Running with your dog

Running and walking fast are great for a healthy heart. Not only is this movement completely natural for the human body, a large amount of endorphins flow into the body, especially during running. Thanks to these hormones, we feel happier, and running also has a very positive effect on long-term psychological health. Moreover, running clears your head, gets you thinking about other things and recharges your batteries.

It helps to have a running buddy

Some people like to run alone, others enjoy company. Either way, there comes a time when we have to convince ourself to get dressed and hit the road. It's usually much easier to run at least in pairs, because even when you don't want to, your buddy motivates you and leaves you no choice.  

But what to do when you like running but don't have anyone to join you? And yet, your dog is staring at you with big eyes, wondering when you'll finally go out for a walk. So why not make your dog your running partner? He'll never turn you down, regardless of the weather, and sooner or later you'll have to take him out anyways. So why not combine the pleasant and the necessary into a healthy activity, one that will do more for you than several short walks around the neighbourhood?

Things are always better in pairs

Running in pairs is more motivational, and running with a dog is nothing new; in fact, it has developed into a number of sporting disciplines, including caniscross. There's no need to make excuses that a dog has four legs and will be faster. You're the one who will coordinate your run together. Of course you can run with any breed of dog, you just need to choose your tempo and distance with your specific type of dog and the terrain in mind. A slow basset hound or a bulldog whose short snout makes them overheat quickly won't be excited about a long route. Not even a fast run is the right choice in this case. Medium-size and larger breeds will even love a faster run over longer distances, but will not enjoy a run in the summer heat, especially dogs with a darker coat. 
Puppies must first get big enough for regular runs; their bones develop up to the age of a year and a half or so, and over-exertion can harm their healthy growth. Until they reach this age, it's best to work instead on obedience training and commands. Of course you can still run with them, just not for too long or too far, and your pet should definitely not pull anything.

What do you need for running with your dog?

For yourself this means the proper shoes and good clothing, including a pocket for treats for your canine jogging buddy. You need to teach your dog to listen to you and respect that while you are running there is no time for sniffing around and exploring. You have to be sure that your dog will come to you when you call. Until then, they shouldn't be in a busy environment without a leash. A pocket full of treats from the very beginning is a great way to keep your dog attentive.

It's better to run in a forest or on field paths than on roads and pavements. You won't encounter so many disruptive elements, you'll breathe fresh air, and the softer surface will be gentler on your and your dog's joints. In time, not only will you realise that your physical and mental health are considerably better, but that communication with your dog has greatly improved and the bond between you has grown stronger.