Having a dog is a great thing. However, just going for a walk several times a day usually bores not only the owner but also the dog in the long run.
Depending on the breed, dogs can be introduced to jogging from the age of 1 to 1.5 years.
Then it’s time for a little more action to bring variety into everyday life and to get more out of the four-legged friend!
This article therefore deals with the topic of jogging with dogs.
At what age can my dog go jogging with me?
To be able to take your dog on jogging tours, it should be physically mature. You should also bear in mind that small dogs are usually fully grown earlier than large dogs.
Regardless of the breed, you should not take your dog jogging if it is less than one year old, as the joints are still too soft in this first year of life and can be damaged by the high strain of jogging.
For small and medium breeds, jogging can be considered slowly from the age of one year. For large breeds such as German Shepherds or Rottweilers, it is better to wait six months longer.
Do I have to train my dog specifically?
Yes, definitely! Just like people, dogs need to build up their fitness slowly, develop their own running rhythm and get to know themselves in order to be able to jog long distances successfully.
For this reason, you should start with short distances. Before training, your dog should be given the opportunity to follow his natural needs.
This means that you walk a few metres normally beforehand and the dog can sniff and relieve itself.
Your dog must first recognise the difference between walking and jogging.
Then the training begins. For this, it is recommended (at least in the beginning) that you put your dog on a normal lead.
Ideally, your dog should be so leash-handy that he always adapts to your pace and the leash always remains slack, even when there are distractions. If this is not the case, you should practice this first. Also teach your dog not to switch sides easily.
If you are jogging and the dog suddenly changes sides at your feet without warning, it is easy to fall over the dog and injure yourself and/or the dog.
It is best to use a different collar or harness for jogging than for normal walking. This way your dog knows exactly what you will be doing today and can adjust to it.
Once you have taught your dog to walk next to you on a loose lead at any pace and to hold this position reliably, you can start jogging. At the beginning, it is enough to run together for one minute.
This can then be gradually increased to two, three, five, ten, etc. minutes, depending on how quickly the dog builds up its fitness. minutes.
Also look at how fast you run and what your dog’s pace is. It doesn’t make sense if you are tripping on the spot and your dog has to be dragged behind you panting heavily.
The other side would also be unfavourable if you have a big dog but want to jog in a relaxed way yourself, but your dog always overtakes you.
It is also important to give your dog enough rest on longer jogs. Daily jogging is also not recommended, as the dog’s muscles (and your own) need to regenerate.
Training should therefore only take place every two days.
Is jogging possible in any weather?
Basically, you can go jogging with your dog in any weather. It doesn’t matter if it’s windy, raining, sunny or snowing – jogging is almost always fun.
The only criterion here is the temperature. If the thermometer climbs above 20°C, you should give up jogging for your dog’s sake. Dogs are much less able to cope with heat than humans.
If you notice that your dog is getting too warm, you should stop the training immediately and offer a break in a shady place. Also make sure that your dog always has enough water to drink.
If the temperature starts to rise, you should take your dog for a run in the woods early in the morning or late in the evening. On particularly hot days, you should refrain from exercising altogether.
Even if it is slippery in winter, you should refrain from jogging, as black ice carries a high risk of injury.
This is the ideal surface for jogging with your dog.
To protect your dog’s joints, the ground should not be too hard. Jogging with your dog on asphalt is therefore an absolute no-go! Ideally, you should jog with your dog on natural forest soil. This is not too hard, but also not so soft that your dog twists and turns.
Meadow paths are also suitable for jogging, but many meadows harbour other dangers. For example, there are often mouse holes in meadows.
If the dog steps into such a mouse hole, it can easily pull its paw, sprain it or even tear its cruciate ligament. For this reason, a meadow is also not really suitable for jogging.
Natural forest and field paths are the ideal training ground here, which can and should be used well and with pleasure.
If you have gravel paths nearby, these are good for your dog to a certain extent. If possible, choose forest or meadow paths when you go jogging.
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Conclusion – jogging with your dog
To add variety to your dog’s daily routine, you can go jogging with him. To make this fun for both of you, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For jogging to run smoothly, it is important that your dog has good basic obedience. The dog’s ability to walk on a leash is also put to the test here, so the dog should stay with you at all times and, if possible, not go on a nose work.
Beforehand, you should build up your dog’s fitness and increase the workload slowly. In addition, the weather conditions should be included in the plan.
The dog’s comfort temperature is in spring; if it is very hot, it is better to exercise the dog in the morning or late in the evening.
Have fun training your dog!