Running with your dog

Does anyone else run with their dog? Willis (the dog) and I will have completed week 4 today and running with him is the best thing I've done in ages. He seems to love it. The only problem I've encountered is that he is really playful and wants to say 'Hi' to every dog he sees so I end up dragging him along when I'm in the middle of a run. Is there anything I should really be considering when I run with him. He's German Shepard / Collie mix, about 2 years old.

19 Replies

  • Well done for having a dog that will run with you, mine stops to stiff every blade of grass, also when he's had enough he won't run. He's a yellow labrador.

    I do see other people running with dogs, I met one at parkrun yesterday, the man said it was the dog's first time, the dog was running along nicely with him but was also trying to steer his owner towards a puddle for a paddle.

  • It's great fun running with your dog, and really good exercise for them. I used to run with mine (a boxer) but sadly one day she was limping and it turned out to be her cruciate ligament. I don't think it was to do with the running, the vet said it was more likely to be an awkward twist or something. She has had a big operation on it and has to be kept on a lead now. Sadly her running days are over, and I feel like I;ve lost my running buddy :(

  • Check out these past blogs about running with dogs (canicross):


  • We're just back from our final week 4 run and I think he is now taking it as seriously as I am :-). He actually ran past a few dogs without pulling. He looked at them but kept going as if to say "sorry I'm doing my c25k - talk later"

  • I took my dog out with me yesterday, waited until I was out on the open forest before I pressed play on my podcast then let my dog off his lead so at least I had a good warm up. I am only on week 2 so it worked out for me, the dog had a good walk/run :)

  • I got a one(ish) year old rescue collie a couple of months ago, partly as I wanted to have a companion when I go running in the woods. I've only taken her running with me a couple of times so far, but as she is a nightmare on the lead (we're hoping to get to some training classes some time!!), we can only run together where I can safely let her off the lead. So far this has been in some fields and in the woods. In both places there haven't really been any other dogs/people around to be a distraction. As she's rather excitable and often jumps up I thought she might think that running was a game and she would keep jumping up at me all the time, but she has 'taken it in her stride'. The only issue has been when she has stopped dead to sniff something and I have almost fallen over her a couple of times! I think she likes it when I run, but would appreciate it if I could pick up the pace a bit!! :-/

    Willis sounds like a lovely companion to run with and perhaps he is already getting the hang of this c25k thing?! :)

  • He really seems to have got the hang of some "running commands" this week. If he looks like he's going to stop and sniff, I say "keep going" and give his lead a wee tug so he then run along beside me. If he's running too far ahead I say "slow down" and does. I'm shocked at how quickly he's got it because the first few runs were a bit of nightmare. I wouldn't run without him now.

  • That's brilliant. I wish Mollie was such a quick learner! Willis is obviously enjoying his runs with you. :) I'm slightly hoping that we might be able to give CaniX a go some day but at the moment the thought of attaching Mollie to my waist is quite terrifying!! :-/

  • I know what you mean. I'm only 5ft1 and Willis is the size of a small Shepard so he would drag me the whole way. Mollie will get it soon enough. Once they learn that you wont stop for anything while you're running then they know it's best to wait till you walk for sniffing, etc.

  • Mollie's problem is that she seems to think she's a sled dog! She pulls like a train. I'm not sure she went for walks before we had her, but she certainly enjoys them! Collies are not renowned for walking well on the lead but she's also not the sort of dog you can let trot beside you off-lead as she has no road sense, and cats and wheeled vehicles are too fascinating to ignore! Dogs do make great companions where you're out running though and I'm really looking forward to some more runs in the woods together now the weather is improving.

    Happy running. :)

  • I run with Baxter my border terrorist. He's a little bugger outside of the house so he has to stay on the lead and it's always risky passing other animals. However, I hate running without him. I wear a bog standard belt and slip his lead through that to free up my hands. I sometimes get funny looks from passers by as it probably looks like he's dragging me. The only draw back - running looking for a bin with a bag of ****.

  • Interested to see that your dog is called Willis. We don't have a dog and almost certainly never will. But we've often commented that if we did we'd call him Willis. The logic runs as follows. I don't know how well you know your David Copperfield but if you do you'll recognise the character of Barkis, the carter, whose key phrase is "Barkis is willing". We're big on wordplay here and it is but a short step from Barkis is willing to Willis is barking.

  • Ah ok. Willis is named after Bruce Willis. My friend has a one eyed chihuahua called Bruce.

  • I go running with my english springer spaniel called Bea, i love running with her she makes me feel safe when running in the country lanes. Since she was a pup i trained her to heal at three speeds, very very slow walk, normal pace walk, and running it was all part of the gun dog training i did with her. I am so glad i did as shes such a joy to run with, i see others being draged by there dog or they are having to drag there dog, im so proud of her. When she sees me putting my trainers on she gets exited as she now knows were going for a run. It is embarassing to run with a bag of doggy doos so i now wear a bum bag. Allthough i think she has learnt that when the trainers go on she off to 'work' as she goes for a poop before we get going. I put my trainers on and let her out in the garden whilst i get my ipod sorted and she does her business. If your having problems running with your dog i would sugest practcing heal work, start at normal pace, then up the speed, then slow the speed 5-10 mins a day, with some treats, or sold verbal prase, you be amazed how quick they can pick it up.

  • Thanks. He actually runs along beside me ok. He's a rescue and didn't really walk well on the lead when I got him but it didn't take him long to get the hang of it. He's a good boy.

  • Willis sounds very much like our dog - also a GSD/Collie x, and slightly small GSD sized. Our Dog seems to enjoy running with me, although it's quite disheartening that when I'm running, tired out and forcing myself to keep going, he's barely even trotting! That said, he's 10 years old now, and seems to have decided that 5k is a bit far for him and he wants a bit of a break or at least a slow down before continuing... He's generally very good at keeping going though if I don't want to stop.

    Hope you & Willis continue to have as much fun as Dog and I are having! :)

  • I have a thing called a Muksak on a lanyard to pop filled dog poo bags in. It has a brilliant seal so that you can leave the thing in the car in hot sun for a couple of days and still not smell it, even if a biohazard team descends when you open it.

  • I ran with Murphy a 2 year old black labrabdor. If he stops for sniff I use the command

    'come on lets go' and he responds well to that.

    He stops for toilet breaks and that is allowed of course

    The good thing is he is not interested in other dogs especially when he is jogging and he is never out of breath at the end !!

  • Sounds like my black Lab, Max who is almost 3. He empties himself on the runs but weirdly enough he seems to have trained *himself* to do that in any intervals we have. If he needs to go I just pause my music/running watch until we can go again. Other than that he runs like a dream and is tired out at the end, result!!

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