Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Running with a Dog

Well, guys, last week I did something pretty exciting.

Say hi to Libby!  I adopted her on Friday from a shelter in the area.  She's a three-year-old Beagle mix.

If you know me, you know I'm a rather ambitious person.  So, after last month's half marathon, I immediately started thinking of what to do next.  I knew I was tired of running alone all the time, and I didn't really tell anyone, but my first thought was, maybe it's time to get a dog.

So I did!

Eventually, I would love to run with Libby.  So, among the copious amounts of other dog research I've been doing (I've never had a dog before, so this is a major learning experience), I did a little reading on training your dog to run with you.  So, here are some tips that I'm going to keep in mind that might be helpful for you as well!

Start slow.  Just like my own training, I have to start Libby off slow.  She is currently recovering from surgery, so once her recovery is over I plan to start increasing her walking distance.  Next, I plan to add some short speed walking into the walks, and gradually building up to a short run.  I don't plan to take her out on my long runs.  I will, of course, keep a close eye on her throughout to make sure we're not overdoing it.  The goal is to have a good, reliable buddy for my 3- or 4- milers.

Teach her to heel.  This will likely be the biggest challenge, although I think she will learn quickly.  Little lady loves her some rabbits.  I also need to keep her from switching sides so she doesn't trip me.

Teach courtesy.  While Libby has been great with people and other dogs so far, I need to teach her not to go up to them while we run.  One suggestion I saw was to carry a bone and throw it the other direction as a distraction if a tricky situation comes up.

Bring water.  Dogs don't sweat, so I need a way to cool her off.

Give her a day off after the run.  Of course, she will want to walk, but she's not training for anything, so she gets more rest days.  :)

Make running fun!  Won't be difficult.  :)

No half marathons in Libby's future, though.
So, I have a lot of work until we get to that point, but I can't wait to run with my pup!

Do you run with your dog?  Any suggestions for me?

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