Tips for Running with Your Family Dog
Our family welcomed a Vizsla pup into our home last year. A Vizsla is a sporting dog originating from Hungary. They are high energy and require daily exercise. The breed choice was researched long and hard. Compromises were made between my husband and I.
My husband had wanted a Bernese Mountain Dog as our next family pet. Although I think Bernese are beautiful dogs, I wanted a dog I could run with for marathon training. Bernese are working dogs, but prefer to lay around.
I wanted another German Shorthaired Pointer. Gertie, our beloved GSP, was a great trail dog and loved to run. We had rescued her from the Humane Society at age 2. She wasn’t the best at leash running though. Although my husband grew to love Gertie, her high energy was little too overwhelming for him – he grew up with Collies.
The Vizsla was chosen as our pet because they can handle marathon distance runs, are trainable and great family pets, but are smaller than a Weimaraner and German Shorthaired Pointer. Please see here for Runners World Top Running Dogs article.
- Train them: Begin early training. Teach your to ‘heel’ and not pull on the leash. You don’t want to be dragged. Teach them to run on your left side on the grass. This is better for their joints and also doesn’t put you both out into the road.
- Use a leash: I use the Buddy System. I wanted something hands free, but there are many other choices. Find the one that works for you and your pooch.
- Hydrate: Bring water on your run for both you & your dog on your long runs or hot days – We use the iFitness Quench Retractable Hydration Belt
- Check the weather: If its too hot, I’m not going to run with my dog. Same goes if it’s too cold.
- Be prepared for the pit stop: I carry 2 plastic bags for clean up. I tie them on the Buddy System and then I carry the bags until I find a trash can.
- Perform a safety check: Running with your dog is just like running with your running friends. Some days your dog may be running a little slower. Remember to look out for them and check how they are making out on their run. Also, remember to check their pads.