Born to run

Since I’m staying with my parents, I get to play daily with their two loving standard poodles. They are great dogs and full of energy (you should see them wrestle). But their energy is slowly becoming a problem for my parents, especially since my mother is currently injured.  So after reading a post by Mosely over at Fitness Health and Food, I decided it would be a fun idea to take them out running. The longterm goal is to help focus some of their energy on running and less on being rambunctious.

My father suggested I start running with Layla, she is less likely to try to make running a game. On the other hand, she has a tendency to bark at every squirrel and bird she sees. I took my chances. We suited up, hooked on the leash, and head out the door.

At first she was uncertain of what side she wanted to run on; starting on my right and crossing in front of me to the left. I may have nudged her tuchus during the process. After that slight bumble, we were set to go. She was absolutely fantastic, I only had to direct her towards the road once or twice when she became distracted by noises. By my side the entire time, she was kind enough to go at my pace.

We started slow with a half mile loop around the neighborhood, then a quick stop where I offered her water on our driveway. She wasn’t all that interested, instead she was happy to keep going. Who was I to stop her? We finished up another loop and my Garmin proved that she is a fantastic runner. Following Mosely’s advice, I used a short leash (six feet) and I never had to worry about her going too far from me.

When we arrived home it was obvious that Mardi was getting jealous, he couldn’t understand why Layla got so much attention. So I hooked him into his Gentle Leader and we set off to check out his running abilities. My father thinks he is a stronger runner, but I was a bit skeptical. For the first 200 meters he kept leaping up and trying to hug me (he is quite the bunny), fortunately he got over this and began to run properly.

Then he decided to go to the bathroom. Sigh. I was glad I brought a bag with me, I took care of business and we turned back towards the house. Our second attempt around the loop was much better. Mardi decided to lead me and ran in front for a while. Or maybe he was mocking my slow pace. Returning home my father joked that he kicked my butt, apparently I was panting. Looking at our pace it seems that loop was my fastest of the day and a minute faster than my average.

So what did I learn? Layla is a perfect running partner, she doesn’t speed up or slow down at random. Mardi is a bit of a spaz, but a loveable one. Okay, maybe that wasn’t news. I’ll definitely be taking them out again this week. I hope to work Layla up to three miles before I leave for school, hopefully my dad will take her out regularly and get back into his running routine.

What about you, have you ever run with your four-legged friend? How did you get started and how far do you go now?

If you have any questions about running with your pup, I suggest talking to Jenny (or Mosely) at Fitness Health and Food. They’ve been running partners for quite some time and know what they’re talking about!


About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on August 4, 2011, in Running and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Ugh, I so wish I could take my dog running! Everyone keeps asking me when I’m going to take my ultra-energetic, extremely insane Vizsla puppy running with me. Unfortunately I’m trying to hold out until he reaches the age of 18 months since that is supposed to be better for his joints. I know if I took him out running now I’d want to go too far too soon… and it’s also hot right now! Not a good idea! Hopefully he will cooperate, I think he’s going to be a bit like Mardi.

    • You’re probably making the right decision. I’m not aware of how long a person should wait to take a dog running, but I know that we’ve had hip issues in our previous pups and it wasn’t comfortable for them.
      Hopefully Mardi and your pup will calm down over time! I’d really love it if I could have Mardi run beside me since I know he’d be a great pace-dog. How old is your Vizsla?

      • Kobi (my Vizsla) is 11.5 months old. He’ll be one year on 8/17! That means I’ll probably start him running seriously in February. I might take him running a bit before then, but I don’t want to push him too hard.

  2. this is EXACTLY the reason I want a dog. unfortunately we have an apartment and no yard and I am about to start medical school so we also have no time or money. Hubby says no dog yet. And I wonder – what do you do in the winter time when it is too cold to run in Chicago but the dog is accustomed to that much exercise?

    In any case – I have been running once with my parents lab mutt – 5 years old. Cute dog. Very playful, very sweet, very fun. He is a terrible running companion though. he jumps and darts at things. though my parents assure me he is getting better. hard to say

    Anyways cute dogs!


  3. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

    Awww, I wish my dog was a runner. He’s only 7 lbs and just doesn’t have long term endurance haha. He doesn’t even love being walked for a long time. Your dogs are so cute!

  4. My dogs do NOT like to run. One runs well for a short while (3/4 a mile) and then gets distracted. The other refuses and will just lay down on the ground and refuse to run! I hear the more you work with them though, the better they get!

    Your pups are So adorable though. I just want to hug and squeeze them. Their fur looks so soft and squishy :)

    • Have you tried to take them running regularly? I don’t know how our pups will be long term, but I hope neither ever lays down since I doubt I can carry either home!
      You can come meet them when you’re in Philadelphia, they love new people. :)

  5. My dogs pull so hard when I run that they give me shin splints. I would love a big tough looking dog to run with because my neighbors are creepy, but I don’t want a third dog and Keith says the shelter doesn’t do trade-ins.

  6. I just found your blog, and I love this post! Are the doggies wearing Gentle Leaders? That’s what my dog, Geronimo, wears. This summer I’ve started to run with G-mo, and he loves it! I’m just hoping that I can keep it up during the school year.*

    • Hey Amy, thanks for checking me out! The pups are indeed wearing Gentle Leaders, my father found that they helped get them back on track after being distracted by squirrels. How far are you and Geronimo running these days? And, as if you weren’t already aware, he is friggin adorable!

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