Running with dogs

This could be a dumb question but anyway here goes.

I've noticed a few people here mentioning bringing their dog with them on their run.

I'd like to do that but my dog wants to stop every few yards for a pee or a poo or a sniff of the hedgerow (I live in a very rural area).

Do other people have that problem and how do you make sure your dog doesn't slow you down?!!!


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16 Replies

  • Don't take it! You need to concentrate properly on the programme than having to mess with a dog!😊

  • I stop for the poo to pick it up, honestly there isnt much you can do about that and if you want a furry running buddy its just one of those things, if its mid run i tack a little extra on at the end. The pee on the other hand, he just has to keep up as i dont stop. I dont go very fast and he is on an extendable leash so it took a couple of runs but he has got the idea now, he runs ahead, pees where he likes and is moving again before the leash is at full stretch.

    I stick to the same route if i can, he knows where we are going and what stops at the bits he likes. Ive got a bag dispenser attached to his leash and i know where the bins are on my route so its down to a fine art of bag out while running, scoop and bin with as little pause as possible

  • I'm not running with either of our dogs now, but used to run with Old Dog when he was still with us. He learned very quickly that he couldn't just stop and sniff at will, but had to keep going until I said otherwise. Obviously for things that *need* to happen, I'd stop and pickup as necessary, but mostly he was very good. Plus I did alot of running in fields, so he was off the lead whenever possible ;)

    The two we have now aren't such good running companions - Tiny Terrier doesn't seem to like running more than 5 mins at a stretch. And Fluffball used to run nicely with me over the summer, but the last couple of times I tried taking her out, she was fine while we were walking but planted her furry behind on the pavement as soon as I started running and refused to move! Some training needed there, I think!

  • I have always run with my dog (apart from a brief horrible hiatus in the Autumn when she was ill) I don't do road running so a lot of the time she's off lead and it is her job to keep up with me - in fact me running has improved her recall because I don't wait around for her. The five minute warm up is a useful window for pick ups, not always successful but I have mastered the art of running around in big circles whilst I get a bag ready and then swooping down (or running on the spot)

    Taking a dog does mean not running light as I have a bag of treats, whistle, lead round my neck, poo bags and Poop Pot or Dicky Bag to put the used ones in.

    My very first run was on a tow path where dogs need to stay out of the water so she was on a lead then - I can't say I thought about *her* for a moment, apart from registering her "You're barmy" look! Now I have an elasticated waist belt with a bungee lead for places/times of the year she needs to be on the lead, but she understands the difference between a run, a 'we need to get somewhere' walk, and a 'sniffage walk' where she can sniff as much as she wants and make very slow progress. Occasionally (especially if there's a duck or a rabbit ahead) I get some dog-assist.

    You're a graduate, so it isn't even as if you are a very hesitant beginner risking complications.

  • Hi, what breed of dog do you have? I often run when I take my springer to the local forest, so he runs off the lead. I agree with GoogleMe I find he is more 'with me' when I am running because I often turn around and he has to run to catch up with me (he gets a treat when he trots along next to me). Sometimes he comes with me along the road/pavement, I use a halter to ensure he doesn't pull and he usually trots along well without trying to sniff but he has usually had a proper walk off lead earlier in the day. It does mean extra 'stuff' to carry like doggy bags and treats. Maddee_6333 does canicross with her dog so can give you information about that - it sounds good fun! Best of luck with your running.

  • I used to run with my big dog on a lead. There is inevitably a poop stop, but he doesn't get bogged down with all the sniffing because he likes the faster pace. I also tell him 'let's go' when we're going to run, and I'll say that when he looks like he might get distracted for a moment. The other thing you could try is run-walks. Sniff all you want during the walking bits, but the running intervals mean business.

  • I used to run with my dog while he could still do it. He used to run loose as we were often out by 5am, no one around, no traffic and free beach. And the ranger only starts at 7am. I had about 200metres of road but the grass verge is large so he did not strayed on the road.I could pick up after him in two seconds and there are bins everywhere. No problems. Once I hit the beach, he would sometimes plonk himself down and watch me run up and down along the shore, probably counting how many times I passed him.

    At parkrun there are a couple of dogs. It looks like the owners took them out earlier for their constitutional as the dogs appear to just run.

  • I always take my dog with me - I am a bit self conscious running alone, and I feel like she takes the focus off me a bit. And she makes me feel safe if it is an evening run. As for the sniffing - she pretty much just has no choice in the matter - while were running she isnt allowed to stop and sniff, if she tries I just keep going and encourage her along with a 'lets go!' But she has the attention span of a teaspoon so has never really been intent on sniffing one spot for too long anyway. I have also put in a fair bit of training to get her to stay in a heel position - it took a long time, but now taking her with me is really no more difficult than not having her, other than the occasional poop break, but she usually waits until we get home anyway. There is one dog that we sometimes pass that is constantly pulling, stopping and zig-zagging all over the place, and I think that that would be quite difficult to deal with... but the owner seems to manage somehow!

  • Attention of a teaspoon! Love it - is she a spaniel! 😊 I have 3 dogs but only take Winston my black lab and Ozzy my flat coat labradoodle on runs. Lexi is the springer and wants to go off road into hedges all of the time so is a nightmare on the lead. I'd end up with a broken ankle or something! I shout 'Come On! if they try to slow down for a sniff and it seems to work. But, I run on a road in the middle of the countryside so there will be no doggy smells. Dread to think what it must be like trying to run where loads of dogs have been, especially with male dogs...xx

  • Haha nope Zeph is a rottie! Shes a bit atypical of the breed though - has more of a lab personality! It sounds like a really nice place to run in the country - around here if you head out of town there are dog baits around so Im not willing to risk it so I stick with the streets and parks... that way Zeph has a mix of on and off lead running too :)

  • Dog baits? Nice to run in a park though...xx

  • I'm working on this. I feel it's a shame to go out and not take the dog but she is a bit of a handful in some ways. Actually one way in particular. She was bitten by a little dog when she was young and now (she's five) she's prone to run at them and snarl at them. I don't think she would bite them but of course the owners don't know that and naturally get angry sometimes. She's totally fine with dogs her size or bigger (she's a lab).

    I got a great bum bag/belt thing from the pet shop that the lead attaches to and it has compartments that I can put poo bags, phone etc into.

    The only other thing I've noticed is that if I'm going full pelt down a hill (which I love doing) there is a very real danger that she'll get in between my feet and I'll fall over her. Watch out for that scenario too!

  • I speak from painful & expensive experience.

    I would not run with my dog on a lead.

    When a dog runs off lead, they can stop & start & change speed at will. When they run with you on a lead, they cannot adjust their speed. This happened our dog two years ago, he was running with my husband & had to be on the lead as the park was busy, with lots of cyclists. He damaged his cruciate ligament & we eventually had to have surgery for him.

    I wouldn't use an extending lead - ever - a friend of mine lost her eye when her dog pulled to the end of his extending lead, it snapped, sprang back & blinded her. 😞

    I would definitely run with my dog in areas where it was safe for him to run off lead. 😀

  • I would definitely second not running with an extending lead.

  • Oh someone mentioned me in the thread, hi!

    I got into canicross because, though my dog was happy to run loose right beside me, my daughter's beagle pup would take off across the fields! I've been doing it for about 6 months now and still learning - you can find more info on (other websites are available, but that one suited me best).

    Before I found a local group to go out with (most groups will have beginner sessions, and most dogs pick it up pretty quickly when they're in a group) I bought a waist belt for me - pretty essential - and a cheap bungee extension thing for an ordinary lead. It is also advisable to have your dog in a harness rather than a collar so you can't damage their necks. If your dog is already using a harness, getting a different one and only using it for running is a good idea anyway as it helps them realise that this isn't a 'sniff all the great smells' walk, but a 'woohoo I can go really fast today!' run.

    I generally walk for an extra 5/10 minutes before the actual warm up section of my run to give them a chance to do what they need to do.

  • Thanks for all the replies folks! I will lean towards bringing the dogs with me for a short fast walk to begin with and see how it goes.

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