Running with your dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can share with your four-legged pal. We’ve logged our share of miles with dogs, and appreciate the companionship, the motivation, and the accountability that comes along with the terrier territory.
If you’ve been to most any of the Charlotte area races or run clubs, or just around town on your own running routes, you’ve probably seen runners and dogs of all types. While some dogs are more suited to logging miles than others, there’s probably a place for most of them in your running life.
Charlie is a Goldendoodle you’ve probably seen running around Charlotte. He and Deanna O’Conner are regulars at the RunCharlotte Six Pack events, Matthews-area run clubs, and other events. He caught the running bug early, when Deanna would take him to her CrossFIt workouts.
“He is so full of energy, running came natural for him,” she says. “Sometimes he’s so excited starting out that he looks like a bucking bronco! Once we get going he has an adorable trot that looks effortless for him.”
Kate Hamilton also has a Goldendoodle named Charlie, too. No relation. 😉 She started running with him after his first birthday.
“Maybe once per week,” she says. “We started just running for 30 seconds at a time, naturally starting and stopping as he pleased so that he could learn that running is supposed to be fun!”
Now, Charlie runs 2-3 times per week, and is up to 5 miles.
“My favorite part about running with Charlie is simply spending time together. While we run, he will sometimes look up and smile at me,” adds Hamilton, “It’s my favorite thing whenever he is happy!”
Five Ways Running with Dogs Can Make You AND your Dog Happy!
- Your running will stay more consistent. Once your dog gets into a running routine, you’ll probably find it much harder to make excuses for staying in. Sure, we all need some time off. But dogs thrive on routine and will anticipate your time together.
- You’re both more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Dogs, like people, need regular exercise to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. Running can check those boxes for you both.
- You’ve always got a running partner. Most dogs are eager to get out the door for a run or walk. They make great listeners, they probably like your playlist, and their presence by your side can be enough to provide security on your runs.
- Dogs can help you both make new friends. Socializing with other dogs and people is good for you both. This is especially true for folks who have difficulty starting up a new relationship, and dogs who need practice being around people and dogs. Like running; start slow, and build on small success.
- A happy (tired) dog is usually a good dog. When a dog doesn’t get enough to do, they’ll find their own entertainment. And it’s usually not the kind that makes dog owners happy. Sharing a few miles will help them burn off the energy. And everyone’s happy!
Got questions about how to get your dog into running, or whether your dog would make a good running partner? Be sure to ask your veterinarian first. Some dogs, like some people, may need extra care to exercise safely.