Running with your dog – how to get started

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With the start of the new year looming perhaps you’re looking to get yourself fit and glancing over at your dog you’re thinking that running with him might be a good idea.  After all, they have all that energy – let’s put it to good use!  Here’s some tips on getting started running with your dog:

Tips for running with your dog


Don’t expect quick results

  • First of all – patience!  Unless your dog is used to going for really long runs, they’ll need time to get themselves used to it.  Even if they are full of energy at home, don’t mistake this for their ability to run 5km straight away – it doesn’t quite work like that.
  • try building up your runs.  Either start with a short run and build up each time you go out or try walk runs for a set period of time.
  • 10 minutes is a good amount to aim for the first time, but if you or your dog is out of shape, don’t be afraid to go less and work up.

What about a lead?

  • you can get running leads that attach to your waist and these are a good idea so that you can run better yourself, keep your balance and maintain good form, but they aren’t necessary especially when starting out.
  • A normal short lead will work fine – best to keep your dog close to you.
  • If your dog likes to pull then you might struggle so make sure they are well behaved on the lead or up your training in that sense.

Can puppies run with me?

  • I’d advise against running with really young dogs – yes they do have the enthusiasm but they are still growing.  Best to wait until they are probably about 18 months old or so and in the mean time make sure the are well behaved on the lead and not pulling when walking.  If in doubt – check with your vet.

Is my dog healthy enough for it?

  • Only you can answer that but if you go slowly and build up your training with your dog I think you’ll be able to spot if your dog is struggling and can’t do it.  Just be aware not to push too far, too fast.


I hope you find these tips helpful and that it helps both you and your dog to be getting yourselves more active.  It’s such a great activity – easy, cheap and your dog will love you for it! If you’d like some more ideas for getting fit with your dog then you might like this article I wrote here.


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