can be great running companions – they can get you up early every morning and
they can challenge you to do your best. We know it probably sounds good to you,
but you are wondering ‘Where do I start?’ Our partner, Dawn Celapino, the owner
of Leash Your Fitness, which specializes in fitness classes you can do with
your dog, has put together her top tips for running with your dog including a
training plan for running a 5K with your pup.
your dog’s breed. Not all breeds are suited to running. Snub-nosed dogs like a Pug, Bulldog, Shih Tzu or
Lhasa Apaso, often have trouble breathing during exertion, especially in the
heat. Check with your vet about your specific dog.
- Be realistic about your dog’s
fitness. What kind of shape are you
and your dog in? Does your dog consider a walk
around the block exercise for the day? Remember that your dog needs to work up to distance, just like a person
does. Just because you can easily run a 5K, doesn't mean your dog can too. You need to put them through
a training plan
just like you would yourself. See our 5K training plan.
- Basic obedience. Working on basic obedience will making running much
more enjoyable and safer. The first thing you want to do before running with
your dog is practice walking with him/her in a heel. You
don’t want Fido biting at the leash, pulling excessively, or weaving all over
the place and tripping you. If your pup has not mastered this, it’s going to be
very difficult to run well together. Another good thing to practice is sitting
and staying. When we run with our Trail
Dogs team, we stop at each curb and have our dogs sit. It is a great habit to get in so that Fido
does not dash out into the street.
Getting Started – The Training
- Incorporate sprints into your
walk. Start by incorporating
short sprints into your regular walks. We have people find landmarks on their
daily walk and do a little jog or sprint to it. It could be a lamp post, street sign, tree or anything that gives you a
short destination. You can build these
short spurts up each day
- Consider run/walking too. Just speed up the pace of your current walk and do
not allow Fido to stop at every fire hydrant to pee and sniff.
- Follow our 5K training plan. Try following our handy 5K training plan to get you and
your dog in shape for running your first 5k. This chart is just a guide. Watch
your dog closely to see if he is enjoying running.
Safety While Running
- Run with a harness. We recommend running with a dog harness
instead of a collar. If Fido does pull,
then a harness will be much easier on his neck and you will have much more
control. If your dog is a puller, consider a gentle leader or harness with a
front leash attachment which will help with the pulling.
- Consider the temperature before
setting out. Remember
that dogs do not sweat, they pant. Running with them in the heat is not a
safe idea. They also do not wear shoes so if the pavement is hot, it will burn
their paw pads. Dogs have died from heat stroke just taking a walk in the
neighborhood in the middle of the day, so PLEASE do not take these conditions
- Bring Water. Make sure you bring plenty of water for you and
Fido. Kurgo makes a super cool water bottle for your dog that you can both use! Remember to stop for frequent water
breaks, especially if it is hot.
- Monitor your dog at all times.
It is very important to
give your dog a break if he/she is slowing down or panting excessively.
Just because you are not
overheating does not mean that your dog isn’t. You don’t have fur
insulating your body. A sign of heat stroke is heavy panting,
confusion, acting sluggish and very red gums and tongue. If this occurs,
you need to get your dog water and cool him/her off fast. You can place cool towels or spray water over them to help them cool, especially
on their paws. Once you have started the cooling process, take him/her to a vet immediately.
So, enjoy, run and tell us how your first 5K went! Tag your 5K photos with #kurgo #dog5k #leashyourfitness on Instagram to enter to win a free Gourd Water Bottle. Winners will be selected by September 1, 2016.
About Leash Your Fitness
Leash Your Fitness is a
fitness company in San Diego that specializes in EVERYTHING fitness with your
dog.They do bootcamp, dog yoga, hiking,
camping, kayaking, SUPing and trail running including 5k’s with their Trail
Dogs team! You can follow their adventures on their Leash Your Fitness Facebook
and Instagram pages.