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When Can You Start Running With Your Puppy? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

When Can You Start Running With Your Puppy? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Tabitha Henson  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Tabitha Henson

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you’re an avid runner and just added a new pup to your family, you may be wondering when you can start running with your puppy. Before we can answer this question, many factors come into play. For example, what kind of puppy do you have? Do you live in a hot climate? Are there any shaded areas where you run?

Running is an excellent activity to keep in shape, and it can be an excellent form of exercise for your pup, too. However, it needs to be done safely. In general, if you have a smaller breed, you may be able to start running with your pup at around 9 months of age. Larger dogs may be ready to run at about 1.5 years of age, and some pups, depending on the breed, may not be suited to run at all. To get more answers, keep reading to learn the specifics about when it’s safe to start running with your pup.

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When Can You Start Running With a Puppy?

Now that we’ve mentioned a ballpark for ages when it is safe for puppies to run, there are other factors that will determine your decision.

Starting too soon can cause health problems for your puppy. For example, if you start too early, their joints can become damaged because the bones and joints are not fully developed until a certain age.

puppy on leash
Image Credit: Piqsels

How Far Can I Take My Puppy While Running?

For starters, you’ll want to start out slow, which means no marathons! When you start running with your puppy, it’s best to do under a mile initially. Your pup will need to build strength and endurance, just like us humans. If you can, avoid hard surfaces, but we know that’s not always realistic.

How Do I Train My Puppy to Run With Me?

Running together must be done safely, and that’s where training is essential. For a dog, there are tons of exciting things to check out while outdoors, but you’ll need to train your pup to run beside you and not get lost in the idea of catching a squirrel.

First of all, ensure your pup walks well on a leash. If you constantly have to tug on your pup while running, you’ll get annoyed fast. When you’re starting out, make sure to bring treats for when your pup runs right beside you. Positive reinforcement is key in training your pup, and that goes for running, too. With patience and time, your pup will be running right beside you in no time.

puppy running with owner
Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock

What Are the Worst Breeds for Running Companions?

The dog breed you have will determine if and when your puppy can run with you. Some dogs take to running better than others, and some may never be able to enjoy this activity with you, but that’s okay! You can use other forms of exercise with your pup, such as a game of fetch or throwing a ball in the backyard.

Dogs with short muzzles, also known as brachycephalic dogs, have smaller airways and narrow nostrils, making it harder for them to cool off through panting. It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise with these dogs. Examples of brachycephalic dogs are Pugs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs. If you want to know for certain if you can have your pup run with you, it’s best to have your pup checked out and cleared by your veterinarian.

What Are the Best Breeds for Running Companions?

Specific dog breeds are excellent for running companions. Dalmatians, Weimaraners, Dobermans, German Shorthaired Pointer, Greyhounds, and Labradors are a few breeds that make excellent running companions.

Since these dogs are medium to large breeds, make sure your dog has reached maturity for bone and joint growth (at least 1.5 years old), and if in doubt, have your pup cleared by your vet before starting a running regimen.

doberman training
Image Credit: Piqsels

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Conclusion

Running with your pup can be a rewarding and fun experience, but it needs to be done safely for both of you. Training your pup is key to avoiding accidents, such as your pup darting in front of your feet to get at a squirrel or bird, which can make you fall.

Your pup’s health, age, and breed play a crucial factor in determining when your pup is ready to hit the running trails. If your pup is cleared by your vet and ready to run, remember to start slow to allow your pup to build up strength and endurance. Also, remember to carry a water dish for your pup and avoid extremely hot or cold days for your runs.


Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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