Jogging with a dog: Running together
Do you like to go for a run and want to share your joy of endurance training with your four-legged friend? No matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner: just like you, your dog friend also needs a training plan to gradually build up his condition and strengthen his muscles. We explain to you how the joint running sessions work and what you should know in advance.
Jogging with a dog: What do I need to keep in mind
Before you put on your jogging suit and lace up your running shoes for your first run together, there are a few points you should consider:
When is a dog allowed to go for a run?
Your dog can go jogging with you as soon as he is fully grown. For smaller breeds, this is already the case after about 8 months. In particularly large breeds, however, the bones and joints need up to two years to be fully developed.
When can I jog with my dog?
You should refrain from jogging within 2 hours of your dog's meals, as too much exercise after eating can cause stomach pain and, in the worst case, lead to life-threatening gastritis. Seasonal weather conditions and environmental influences also play a role:
- Jogging in summer: In the warm months, we recommend that you go jogging in the early morning or late in the evening. Especially in hot weather, the dry air causes problems for your furry nose, because dogs have far fewer sweat glands than humans and therefore run the risk of heat stroke more quickly. In addition, the overheated ground cools down in the evening: An evening run on asphalt roads and pavements is therefore not only more pleasant for the dog's owner, but above all for the dog's paws.
Our tip: If you can't adjust your running times to the temperatures, it's best to choose a shady route, for example through a wooded area or along field paths, where the heat is somewhat less intense.
- Jogging in winter: Be careful in sub-zero temperatures, as dog breeds with little winter coat get cold quickly. Therefore, make sure your pet doesn't get cold. Warm dog clothing such as dog coats or dog blankets can prevent a cold. On particularly cold days, it is best to warm up and stretch your dog indoors after jogging.
What requirements should my dog have for jogging?
- Your dog is healthy and has a strong cardiovascular system.
- There are no joint diseases present
- Any injuries to tendons, bones or musculature have healed completely
- His age, size and breed are suitable for regular and sustained running.
Which dog is suitable for jogging?
Most dog breeds love to run and romp. Your four-legged friend will probably enjoy jogging with you. However, not all dogs are suitable for long distances and a fast running pace. We'll tell you about some breeds that are particularly happy to run and some that you should rather avoid endurance sports with:
These dog breeds like to run:
- Australian Shepherd
Dogs of these breeds are allowed limited jogging:
- French Bulldog
- Rough-haired Dachshund
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Swiss Mountain Dog
- German shepherd dog
These dogs should be allowed to abstain from jogging:
- English Bulldog
Our tip: Your four-legged friend is not allowed to run long distances at a fast pace, but you don't want to miss out on exercise together? Then try "slunning" - slow running - and take breaks from walking every now and then.
How long can my dog run?
All dogs and people need initial training, gradually increasing the running times and gradually reducing the walking breaks until they can be completely eliminated. The final distance and duration of running sessions that are healthy for your pet cannot be determined across the board. It is therefore advisable to treat your pet with care and attention. Heavy panting and trembling, for example, are signs of overloaded condition. By the way, it is not unusual for your dog to walk a little stiffly the day after the first jogging session, as your dog can also suffer from sore muscles. If your dog is lame for a longer period of time or seems consistently exhausted, this may indicate physical overload. If in doubt, you should have your pet's condition checked by a vet.
Jogging with a dog: The equipment
The right equipment ensures a pleasant running experience not only for you, but also for your four-legged friend. In addition, your pet can distinguish between different leashes and harnesses and is already mentally preparing for the run when he reaches for his jogging gear. Ideally, this should include:
- Jogging leash or a leash with shock absorbers that compensates for strong pulls.
- Padded chest harness, the Y-harness is particularly suitable.
- Abdominal belt that you wear around your waist and to which the jogging line/leash can be attached (for optimal freedom of movement and little rotation on the leash)
- Reflectors, especially in the dark
- Dog jacket, optional on cold days
- Paw protection/dog shoes for heated walking paths in summer or when there is road salt on the paths in winter (optional)
- Drinking bottle, optional for longer distances on warm days
Instructions: Jogging with your dog
The equipment is ready, your four-legged friend is healthy and you are ready to start running together? Let's get going! These 5 simple tips will get you started on a relaxed run:
- Basic obedience: Before you start your first jogging rounds, your dog should walk "at heel" and at best not be distracted by external influences. This will help you avoid accidents and falls if your dog suddenly pulls or spontaneously changes direction.
- Hierarchy: Your dog should not question your leadership qualities. Especially when you are out of breath, he must not take advantage of this and take over.
- Satisfy basic needs: Before a jog, your running partner on four paws should be neither hungry nor tired. They should also have already done their business.
- Slowly increase the running speed: start at a comfortable trot and slowly increase the trotting speed. You will notice that your general walking speed will increase after the first few training sessions and that your condition will improve without tiring too quickly.
- Be considerate: as a good leader, you will naturally look after the well-being of your pack. Is your pet panting heavily, trying to slow down or looking for every little puddle to drink? If so, take a break and then walk a few metres slowly so that your furry friend can regulate his breathing and take some water in peace.
How did you start your running training together? Where do you enjoy running the most and what tips do you have for running beginners? We look forward to hearing about your jogging experiences!