If the dog is the best friend of man, the dog that likes to run is the super-friend of every runner. Running with a dog is energizing, a great company, a way to stay focused, have fun and look at the environment with different eyes.
The stories of ‘runners’ who go out with their dog to run are endless. Walks in the parks, jogging in the mountains, precise and planned training, with a very well coupled step and that joy of sharing time and silence with your pet; “See him smile” and then rest together. Impossible to have a better partner to run, in addition to always being ready, regardless of the weather and without problems in your schedule.
But, just as there are all kinds of runners there are also all kinds of temperaments in dogs. “Not all dogs like to run,” says Mark Lee, a canine training specialist and recognized Colombian worshiper of dogs, and that is a first condition that must be identified. It seems obvious, but there are those who, against the animal’s temperament, try to force him to train by his side. That does not mean that our pets do not need to go out to exercise and they like it, for their own physical and mental health and that of all the members of the family. But another thing is that they like high-performance training.
Dogs that like to run, you have to train them, specifically, for this more demanding job. Lee warns that “it is a training process that must be done little by little, as is done with humans, and taking into account the characteristics of the dog, such as age, size and physical condition”, regardless of whether it is Creole or pedigree. Every dog requires adaptation work, at the pace of its owner’s career and the amount of time and distance, which increases little by little. That is to say: do not start running 10 kilometers with your dog if you have not trained it previously.
On the other hand, César Millán, famous dog trainer and known for running with them, recommends running for time and not distance. The goal, for restless dogs, is for them to learn to control themselves and keep pace with them so that you as a leader mark the pace and avoid the pulse between dog and master. For the slowest, the idea is to make a little effort, but with a step that is not forced and the foundations soon.
Step by Step
What would be the ideal dog to accompany me 10 or more kilometers? What is the recommended breed and how to train it for intervals or funds? The question every day is more frequent in the world of ‘runners’ and is well studied, including mosques or criollos of all our hearts as well as pedigree dogs.
There are certain breeds of dog profiles that are ideal for running in shape. “In terms of breeds, border collie, Shetland shepherd, Labrador, the golden retriever, German shepherd (as long as it is not heavy, like the Australian and Belgian shepherds) and Hungarian hunting. Definitely, dogs of a thin constitution, of no more than 20-25 kilograms, which allows them to endure long periods of trotting; I hope they have short hair and that they are long-snouted and not flat, so they can breathe better, ” recommends Lee. For the ‘trail’, an all-terrain dog, capable of facing other demands, such as the Weimaraner, Rhodesian ridgeback and German pointer.
But if dogs know how to run, should we teach them to run? “Yes, as to any person, so they have a process of adapting to the rhythm and can go prolonging the time,” says Mark Lee. This involves drawing up a training plan that can start with test intervals and, from the answer, make a judicious workout that can take at least three weeks before the dog adapts to this type of exit. It is recommended to start training twice a week, 20 minutes in each session, and increase the frequency and adding five minutes per week. Remember that this is a training focused on running in a sustained manner, which is not the same as taking it out for a walk or play.
You have to take certain precautions, in addition to taking water and defining points of hydration, crucial for both, master and dog. Preferably the beginning of this new routine is on grass, sand or other surfaces not so aggressive to your legs, and allow you to get used to the continuous impact.