Any tips for running with a dog?

Not strictly 10k related although I am in training for a 10k!

My parents have a new (adult) spaniel who is full of life & I'd love to be able to run with him to give them a bit of a break. 

I've seen people running with dogs on harnesses, would it be wrong to use just a normal collar/lead while I see if he likes running?

Any advice greatly appreciated! Jo x

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9 Replies

  • I've taken my 9.5yo lab' on every run.

    She wears a halti head collar and a retractable long lead.

    She thankfully tends to do her business in my warm up walk, it's a bit annoying when she doesn't as have to stop and bag- something to think about!

    I'm that slow that she can trot ahead, do a wee and then catch me up without the lead being pulled. Lead pulling can really jar and hurt your shoulder/elbow so that's why she has her halti. She just naturally holds back a bit.

    I just lock her in at my side when we pass others then let her lead run freely again.

    After 4/5 runs she kind of learned the procedure and even stopped giving me worried sideways glances when I started huffing and puffing lol!

    I am slow though, she doesn't ever get a chance to run, she just does a fast(ish) trot!

    Give it a go, it's great company and definitely with a spaniel will help dissipate some energy!

    Good luck :)

  • Allow the dog to prepare for longer distances by doing shorter runs rather than expecting to do too much at first.  He'll love you for it I bet and will be great company for you.  Some folks run with dogs fastened to a belt on their waist, leaving their hands free.  

    Good luck with it.  Have a great time together 😊

  • I ran with my sister's springer spaniel while on holiday in France. She was mostly off lead, as she's brilliantly trained and very responsive. She waited for me at every potential turn to see where I wanted to go, I just gestured in the chosen direction and she was off again, always looking back for me (probably to check I hadn't dropped dead of exertion) occasionally coming all the way back to leap up. I loved it (so did she!). On roads she was on a retractable lead. Worked really well. She runs sometimes with my niece so she knew the routine. And it was nice to have company. 

  • I run with my spaniel all the time and she loves it. 

    During C25K I ran on a conservation area running path where she had to stay on lead as she is a hunter. I found she pulled too much on a collar and soon converted to using a harness which gave me better control. I now run trails so she remains off lead. You can get running leads which clip around your waist which are handy as you will still have two hands free. As JT says whatever you use, the dog will take a few runs to get the idea of what is expected. If this is their main walk, you will need to build in sniff time and play time too, but once you get into a habit, they will soon learn when it's their turn to be a dog, and when they must behave.

    Poo bags are a must.

  • When I started, I used to run with my dog. I used to let him loose as there was no one around and we run on the beach. Now watching other people running with dogs I would say, get your dog to empty his bladder completely first. I have seen runners who had to stop then dragging their dogs away from every trees, shrubs and bit of grass. Not good. I also think, if possible, get an harness. It just seems to be better in controlling dogs while running. Just an opinion.

  • I always run with my dog and started out with normal collar and lead and then occasionally lead and harness... in those places/times of the year where she needs to be on the lead. Now I have a Trixie elasticated waist belt which comes with a lead with a bit of bungee in it and that's excellent (I tried another when I mislaid this for a while and it was nothing like as good) Round about £20. You can get very expensive proper Cani-X set ups.

    I think it may be tricky to get a true picture of what it would be like for both of you with one system by trying another, if that makes sense.

    My dog is a Welsh Springer Spaniel... not quite the same kettle of fish as a working type English, but then again, distinctly independent minded. After a few too many off lead runs where we started and finished at the same point and were presumably in the same wood but most definitely not together, it was time to revisit her recall training. I don't run light... I have a cross body bag with whistle and dog treats, and a Dicky bag for poo bags, unused and used, but added warm chopped sausage wrapped in foil or sachets of cat food. Much improved!!

    She does seem to get the idea quickly whether this is a 'sniffage walk' ie she is allowed to do a lot of stopping to 'read the papers' or a run where you don't.

  • Forgot to say, the harness is only used for on lead running, so Lucy knows this is what is going to happen when I get it out, therefore she is in the right frame of mind before we even leave the house.

  • harness's are generally better but depends on the dog, if you look up Canicross, you can also get leads with a bit of stretch so you're not jerking them if they stop for a pee and you keep going!

  • Thanks for all the great advice!

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