Do you run with your dog??

Hi all,

I haven't posted anything on here yet, but have been an avid reader since I started the programme 5 weeks ago, and have found it really really helpful and motivating!

I did week4 run2 today (I had to repeat week3 due to illness) and decided to take my dog with me. He's a lab, 6 years old, fit and healthy. And it was awful!!! I don't think I was running quickly enough to make him actually break into run, so he ended up kind of trotting along very quickly but not quickly enough, and he just could not match my pace and I ended up having to drag him around with me which knackered me out and slowed me down, and made those 5 min runs even tougher!

Though I succeeded in completing the run without stopping (despite wanting to give up quite a few times out of sheer frustration!), I just feel really deflated that it was such a disaster, as I would really love to be able to run together - does anyone on here run with their dog? If so, did you experience the above? I want to figure out whether it will get better with practice or whether it's best to just leave him behind?!...

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19 Replies

  • I run with my dog and have done so since week 1, however she is a small Westie cross. Therefore my slow running pace is just right for her, not too fast or slow. I do feel like I am dragging her sometimes on the longer runs. I love running with her but hate having to stop and pick up the poop and run with the bag until the next bin!!!!

  • I've tried with my yorkie& it wasn't very good . He keeps wanting to stop & sniff empty his bladder , so now I don't take him , take him for a walk after

  • I can't run with my dog, he's either to fast or to slow. A friend of mine used to run through the woods where her dog could be off lead, so pacing wasn't an issue.

  • I'd love to be able to help, when I see someone running with their dog, I'm so jealous! I'm a great animal lover but can't keep a dog at present. What I would say is that you will be amazed at how far your running will progress in relatively short periods of time.

    So I started at nothing and now I can do say a 5k as a light jog in the same time as I could six months ago, but then, would have to have been really pushing it.

    Perhaps you could give it a test every now and again, to see how you're going and whether you've got more together?

  • Souki who graduated the same time as me used to run a lot with her Dog(s) I remember her saying something about you need the right harness, if memory serves me right she made several posts about the it on here, here is one;


  • I would love to, I tried with my last dog- and she was fast! She really, made me work out hard..... which is ok, to some degree. The problem was when we hit a good pace, she would suddenly stop to sniff/wee etc, yanking my arm out of the socket. Not good!

    My puppy is to young to run at the moment (skeletal development etc), but may give her a try in the future.

    PS. I had my dog on a harness if that makes a difference?

  • I run with my dog. She is 6 also and it really is easier to NOT have her with me , but I still bring her anyway. She walks pretty well healing with me, but running is different- she does want to sniff at posts, mailboxes, etc. When she spots any wild animals( squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, deer) she wants to go and chase them! 99.9% of the runs she has to poop and I am left carrying the smelly bag! She gets more tired during the last part if the 30 min. Runs and then lags behind me a bit which is surprising to me because I am the one who is struggling to keep going! Good luck;)

  • Hey. I never run without my dog. He's a two year old Alsatian/collie. It wasnt easy at the start though coz although he's fit, he wasn't used to distance running so I built it up gradually and started with interval running. He got treats and loads of encouragement to run beside me because he would be behind me then in front and all over the place. He has a harness which we only use for running so he knows that when he's wearing it we're going to be running without stopping and he's not aloud to stop and sniff. He gets a chance to do that at the end of the run. He loves running and it's the best feeling ever, I hate not running with my buddy. It never feels right.

  • I'd love to run with my collie but she's a nightmare on the lead. Consequently we've only had a couple of runs together, where I can safely let her run free. She's a rescue dog and we've been working on lead-walking but don't seem to be making much progress. I know she'd love to run with me and I like your idea of a separate 'running harness' so that's something else to try.

  • Willis is a rescue as well and took a while to get used to the lead but running has been really good for him and it helps to build a bond eventually. If I'm slowing down he looks back at me as if "hurry up, this is to slow!"

  • Mol pulls like a train! She also pays very little attention to me once we're out and about. We have been working on both of these problems but even sausages won't persuade her to stick by my side. ;-) I'm sure there's a way to get through to her. I just need training. :-/

  • I run with my mini labradoodle, she's 3 and has completed the programme with me and come with me on my half marathon training, running up to 11 miles on the lead. I think it works because she is fairly small (cocker spaniel size) and it's a comfortable trot for her, I find it easier than walking her as I find she pulls more when walking!

  • I don't run with a dog, but I know many people who do and they all say the same thing; 'it's great, until you have to collect their poo'!! Then you are left running with the dog owners badge-of-honour until you find the nearest bin, or get home.

    As many of my friends are trail runners, this is a real problem; and being sensible people, they don't leave it where it falls.

  • Sometimes I do, and sometimes not. It depends how wet it has been! Because if it is dry, I can choose an off road, no-sheep route which my dog can investigate and then catch up every now and then. When I've run on the road with her it is awful - she's a collie and loves to run at 20mph or walk, but my running pace isn't any good for her. Having said that, she does seem to be 'getting it' now, and last time (off road) she kept up... but I have to be alert as she may dash in front of me and then stop, etc. I guess I should focus on treats etc and see how we do. I've thought of a harness - there is some sort of running-with-dogs event that uses them, but I think with those the dog should be in front pulling you along. That won't happen!

    I find my dog does her business during the 5 minute walking warm up so that's not so bad for stopping.

  • Coincidently, I spotted this yesterday on the RunnersWorld website

  • I did consider running with Dudley - for about a minute! He's a Jack Russell/springer cross so he spends all his time sniffing stuff out and trying to eat cats! The bit about running with a poo-bag made me laugh out loud! I always try and take him out first so that I'm super warmed up and he's pooped on the sofa when I leave him and go for the run. I'm envious of those running along the seafront with their beautifully behaved sleek Labs but my darling scruffy pooch does not a jogging-friend make!

  • Thanks everyone for all your replies and suggestions! My choc lab was actually really well behaved, and didn't even try to sniff or say hello to any other dogs, bless him - I think he knew we were on a mission, so he was in 'working' mode, as it were! But it was just his pace not matching mine which was the biggest issue for me.

    I do have a special lead that you kind of wear across your body and you then attach the dog to your side and he gets a bit more freedom - and more importantly, my left arm wouldn't get knackered from holding him and pulling him along - though it may end up resembling resistance training where my whole body ends up pulling him along!

    I might just concentrate on building up my stamina a little more, and then take things from there

    Let's keep on running folks!

  • I don't usually run with our dog but my husband does (he is faster than I am.) He uses a retractable lead and a gentle leader head harness and he gets on fine. On the rare occasions I do I find that he alternates between walking and trotting as my pace is obviously not right for him (he's a fit black lab) and one time he decided to run across my path whilst I was running across a turning down one of the rather steep hills in San Diego where we were living at the time. Fortunately there were no vehicles coming as I was flat across the road! It certainly put me off running with him! I did find I had to drag him up hills too. I think the advice to try from time to time is a good one, but remember that if he isn't used to it, even if he's fit, he probably needs training up like you did to manage the continuous length: it's not like he's a dalmation that can just run and run. Think what behaviour working labs' were bred for: walking and stoping as you do and running to retrieve when a bird falls -those runs are never in 30 minute lengths really! Give him a chance to gain the stamina :-)

  • I never run without my dog... well, once or twice she's had a run and I've had a run but I couldn't exactly say we were with one another. I prefer it if she can be off lead but if it is an on-lead run (or I've spotted someone else running or someone putting their dog on a lead) then she does seem to get the message that it isn't a 'sniffage walk'. I use a training lead, usually set to shorter as she is more able to keep the slack like that. I run in lots of different places and take different routes to keep her paying attention.

    As to the swinging poo bag, I have a Muksak to put them in. Essential dog owning kit. I don't run light as I have that on a lanyard across my body and then another bag across my body that carries dog whistle and dog treats.

    I don't think I could have contemplated starting C25K or completed it without her. So often I might not have run if it hadn't been for having to go out anyway.

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