Do you run with your dog?
1. You get fit!
With time so precious these days, its sometimes tough to juggle all that you need to do in a day. Sometimes the thought of exercise on top of all of the other daily tasks is too much to bare. Think of running with your dog as killing two birds with one stone! Your dogs’ exercise needs are met and so are yours!
2. Its fantastic for relationship building
When we run with our dogs they are connected to us via our canicross equipment. We are running together as a team. That team feel while out exploring the woods or wherever you may be is brilliant for your relationship with your dog.
3. You explore new places
Its obvious to say, but when you run, you go further meaning you’ll want to find routes that satisfy your running needs. Running with your dog really gives you the opportunity to mix it up in terms of your usual daily routes. Discovering new places together is brilliant fun!
Now for some tips to set you and your dog up for success:
1. Proper equipment
For your first run together, a flat collar and lead is all you need, but if you find you are hooked after your first run, equipping yourself and your dog properly is key to ensure you are both comfortable and to reduce the risk of injury. Canicross is becoming a very popular sport, so there are plenty of places you can purchase what you need.
2. Stick to soft ground
Choose your running routes wisely so that you are running on soft ground. Woodland paths are best for this. Repeatedly running on hard ground is not good for either you or your dog and the risk of injury is proportionately higher due to the impact on yours and your dog’s joints.
3. Gradually build distance
As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Gradually increase the distance you and your running partner cover to build fitness. This is just as important for your dog as it is for you. Yes, your dog runs whilst being exercised, but they change pace very frequently and are in control of what pace they set themselves. When running with us, the pace is fixed and dogs being dogs will keep going even if they want to slow down. You and your dog will enjoy the run all the more if the distance you set is a challenge but is an achievable one.
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.