For active individuals, being able to have your dog run with you is the dream.But, getting there won’t always feel like one. From making sure your dog is outfitted well to teaching him new hand gestures, training pups to obey can be tricky. Check out our quick guide on how to train your dog to run with you to get up and running!
1. Is Your Dog up to the Task?
The first, and most important, thing to check is your dog’s health as well as your own. Their physical aptitude can be highly dependent on their breed and age, so use your own discretion and get a vet’s advice if you’re unsure. Typically, breeds like dachshunds shouldn’t be taken on long runs, while retrievers or huskies will love it. Make sure you get him to the vet, and yourself to a doctor, before heading out on your first attempt.
2. Get the Proper Equipment
A standard collar won’t work if you’re out running with a medium to large-sized dog. Consider getting a harness just to be safe. Harnesses spread out pressure from tugging on the leash so your pup will never get yanked. Don’t forget to plan for the weather! If it’s hot, plan accordingly by bringing plenty of water. If it’s on the colder side, try putting your dog in protective clothing.
3. Build a Habit
Now you’re ready to get started! Before running amuck, go on slower, shorter adventures with your dog. Establish a regular walking routine so your pup will become familiar with the route. Go a little farther every day until you cover the length of the route. When he is fully comfortable, you can begin introducing cues.
4. Introduce Cues
Once your habit is in place, make sure your dog understands basic commands like “stay”, and isn’t easily distracted by vehicles or children. Utilize a training clicker, pre-determined hand signs and verbal cues, and tasty treats to ensure the behaviors set in. Start by introducing small bouts of running, then pair them with your signs and a treat. After your pup starts to get a hang of the “start walking” sign, then introduce the “start running” sign. Do this for a few weeks, and you’ll have a running partner in no time!
Running with your dog can be a great bonding time and fantastic exercise for you both! If you and your dog love adventure and a challenge, you can always take running to the next level by taking your dog on hiking trails or trying different terrain.