I assumed when we spent a fortune on our 4 legged creature that we were also investing into her running-on-a-leash skills. The breeder assured us that we should have no problem with her seeing how he ran her dad (103 lb chocolate lab) 3 miles every day. I had such high aspirations.
She really has improved, don’t get me wrong. And the other night she ran her fastest mile yet. But I’m starting to fear that her max-endurance is leveling off at 2 miles. It probably is just the heat though, so I’m anxious for cool weather to return! We’ve worked really hard with her so far, and it turns out she’s also worked pretty hard on us in return. Throughout her recent “training” with Adam and I, we have learned a few important lessons about taking your dog “on a run.” I would like to share those with you.
1. If you tell your dog you’re going to take them on a run/walk, you better stick to your word. Or else you will get these eyes…
and your heart will shatter into a million pieces and you will feel like the worst human being alive.
2. Always, Always, Always carry a plastic bag. In every pocket. Even if your dog has already pooped…they WILL poop again when you least expect it. And it will be in your neighbor’s yard and they WILL just happen to walk by their window mid-deed.
I about died when I saw this. Surely this does not exist in real life!
3. Lower your expectations. Don’t expect to run the pace you normally run, with your dog. Reason? Squirrel!
4. Either bring water with you, or try to run by a sprinkler, or a stray water fountain, or your neighbor’s garden hose, or their bird bath…
5. Be on high alert. High alert for what? For tripping and falling on your face, what else? No matter how trained your mutt is, they will at some point divert their attention for a split second and feel the need to cross behind or in front of you thus causing a dangerous entanglement. So maybe invest in wrist guards?
6. Remember that they have 4 legs to wear out, while we only have 2. It made sense in my head before I typed it.
7. Remember to give them continual praise. They need encouragement just like you do! And while you’re encouraging them, it will help you along as well!
8. If you don’t take them on a walk, their energy level will be something like this…
9. And after your run/walk, be ready for all parties involved to cease productivity for the night.
So there you have it. 9 lessons we’ve learned *so far* from this whole “running with your dog” thing. She’s at least 72 lbs now, so pretty soon I might be strapping a saddle on her back and riding her around the block instead.
Tonight’s run went pretty well. Truckee did GREAT for the first 2 miles, but mile 3 was pretty much a slow walk. This was a run for Truckee, and not me. And honestly, that just felt GOOD. It was peaceful, and quiet, and we weren’t pushing for a specific time. It’s always nice to have these kinds of runs every now and then. But, speed work tomorrow back at the gym for sure! Trucks will be happy to take a day off!
**I still need to review my new Garmin! I think I’ve finally figured out how to use all of its’ bells and whistles, which aren’t a ton (thank goodness). It’s pretty simple and self explanatory. Review coming soon!**
How does your dog do on a leash? Can you run your normal pace with them ever? Did you work up to it?