How to Run With Your Dog
Learning how to run with your dog can be a not so easy task. To this day my dog still goes into "squirrel" mode occasionally, and has trouble when around other dogs on a trail or path. It is not that he is vicious or mean, quite the opposite in fact. He loves other dogs and just wants to play and investigate them. The problem is that they don't always want to play along with his shenanigans. From experience we have learned that having the right gear can help make running with your dog a lot smoother. So here are my top 3 gear recommendations to improve your experience.
1. Dog harness- Invest in a good harness. We use a great harness from Ruffwear that slips over Marley's head and straps in 2 places around his underbelly. It is great for being able to control his pulling and also keeps him from choking himself out. The leash clips to the harness between his shoulder blades, and not onto his collar. The harness keeps him more calm and is harder for him to slip out of than his collar.
2. Waist Leash- We love the Ruffwear Flat Out leash. It is a great leash that has an adjustable handle that can be enlarged to fit around your waist. This helps with not ripping your arm out of the socket every time there is something interesting...Squirrel... for the dog to look at. It places the force around your waist, so it is harder for the dog to pull and completely eliminates the chances of your dog getting lose by you losing your grip. In addition a great added benefit to you is that you can swing both of your arms normally as you would during a run without your dog.
3. Carry water- This tip is important for both of you, but especially important if you are running with your furry friend. Dogs do not sweat like humans do, therefore they can overheat very easily. Make sure to always carry water for your dog. You can teach them to drink straight out of a water bottle stream or you can carry a collapsible bowl that you can pour water into. I always run with either a Nathan fanny pack style pouch or a camel bak type of backpack. I actually prefer the Geigerrig backpacks to camel bak brand. Either way make sure that you have enough water with you for the both of you and if not make sure you have a spot mapped out on your route where you can fill up with more water.
I hope these gear tips help so you and your dog can start to enjoy runs together. Remember that just like you, your dog will need to get in shape and build up mileage. Make sure you don't overdo it. If you are running a long run and you don't think your dog can handle it, then leave him at home or perhaps have him run with you for a part of it and then drop him off at home or have your spouse take him for the remainder of the walk. The last thing you want to do is to have your dog overheat. So get out there and...Squirrel.