Q's about running for beginners, people and dogs.

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!


Cow Dog School- Flunk Out
Barked: Wed Feb 15, '12 7:58pm PST 
I am just starting out with my weightloss journey, and I would like to help my dog release some of her herding dog energy. She just turned 1 in January, she is a working line Aussie who weighs around 35-40 lbs. When we go to dog park she seems to be able to run circles around most of the dogs there all day. I would only start out doing at least a mile or so a day and work up. I just dont want to over work her. Please help!

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Wed Feb 15, '12 8:37pm PST 
At just a year I'd make sure to not push her too far, even though she isn't a large breed.... I always want to be careful when we're talking about joint health. I'd possibly start giving her joint supplements and it's always a good idea to talk to your vet about what he thinks about her age and the shape of her joints. smile But I had a shepherd with bad hips as she aged... so I think it's just that playing out in my mind a bit.

Other than that, it's just like when we (people) start a training program. Dogs are natural athletes, but still take it slow and watch your dog for any signs of being tired (and most working breeds will work through it, we have to tell em' when to take it easy). I think if you start with just a mile and she does it no problem then I'd do that a while, and make sure you increase the distance in small increments. A mile for a young herding dog probably isn't a problem smile

Be mindful of heat in warmer months, and have water for your pup when you exercise. Also check her pads when you start going on longer distances for any wear or tear.

Those are just some of the things I've been told/figured out in trying to get in shape with Lenny. He can easily run about 2 miles (most of that at top speed too!) so I have gone to letting him go beside my bike to get some of that sprinting out of his system since i can't keep up on foot. I'm not as athletic as he is, that's for sure. laugh out loud

Most important is to have fun! Exercising with my dog has been the greatest thing for the both of us, I hope you and your dog enjoy the fresh air together too!

Barked: Wed Feb 15, '12 9:05pm PST 
Look up 'Couch to 5k'. It's extremely doable and they make podcasts that tell you what to do and eliminate trying to time your running periods. I was actually running 6 or 8k before my surgery set me back at the beginning and I'm just restarting. If you've got access to softer ground (Dirt trails) that would be my suggestion for starters but if not don't worry too much about it. The vast majority of the early stuff is fast walking.

On your off days, like Lenny mentioned, Biking is great. Zephyr rarely does wind-sprints unless we're on the bike or she's going at a squirrel. They keep her fit and happy.

Edited by author Wed Feb 15, '12 9:06pm PST


Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Fri Feb 17, '12 8:56am PST 
Look up Jeff Galloway too--not sure how it compares with Couch to 5k, but he's a huge proponent of interspersing a one minute walk break with every 3 to 4 minutes of running--you can build up to longer running periods as you get more stamina.

It's about really saving your joints from repetitive stress injury--so it may feel like you're being wimpy, it's saves you from the number one plague of runners --doing too much too fast and getting their training side lined due to injury.

Your heart and cardiovascular system gain fitness fairly rapidly and are ready to do more and more, so you may feel all powerful and great, but the conditioning process for joints, tendons and ligaments is much slower.