Dogs are known as man's best friend, and there is no doubt that they make for very loyal and devoted companions. You can even train your dog to run and race with you – and with his natural enthusiasm and gregariousness, he will certainly make a great work-out buddy for you, motivating you to get out on the track in the first place, whilst his energy and buoyancy will easily rub off on you once you are out there as well. Unfortunately, however, and no matter how energetic, not all pooches come equipped to run. Here are some of the things you will need to keep in mind when getting your dog in shape and teaching him to race with you.
First, of all, make sure your dog is healthy and in shape. If your dog is sick, unhealthy or too young or old, he won't be able to keep up with you. Generally speaking, pooches younger than 18 months should stick with strolling. Running before this age can interfere with the healthy bone development of your canine friend, and leave him with physical problems later on down the line.
If, however, your dog is 'age-appropriate', get him into running the same way you would do for yourself, ie. start out slow and gradually up the intensity. For example you can start with a 5-10 minute jog, and then add another 5-10 minutes every week until you reach whatever time or distance of running you are satisfied with. You know from your own experience that gradually building up your mileage will enable your muscles and tissue to adapt naturally to the increased activity levels without suffering injury.
Over time, your canine friend will adapt to your speed. Keep in mind, though, that this process will not be free of hiccups. Initially, your pet will be frustrated at the restrictions you have placed on him, and will chafe at them. You will literally find yourself attempting to hold onto his or her leash at times. Other dogs will not understand what you are trying to do, and will become distracted and lag behind. It is up to you to teach your pet how to run and race with you.
When it comes to the leash, ideally it will be quite a bit shorter than when you simply walk with your dog. If you are used to keeping your dog on a 6 foot leash, then shorten it to two to three feet so that your dog runs with you by your side, not ahead of you. About dog leashes and the proper length of them you can read more on pupsbest.
There you have it then! Just like anything else when it comes to dogs, you have to train him or her to do your bidding. Getting your dog to race with you without any prior experience is not something you will be able to accomplish right off the bat, but with consistent practice and by taking things slowly, you will get there in the end. Good luck! Your pooch has the potential to be the best running companion you could ever ask for.