An Intro to Running with Dogs

Another Sunday Runday, and for the last couple weeks one of my small run crew cohort has joined us on the trails with her faithful canine running partner. A two-year old collie, her human leader (one of my long-time running friends) has spent a lot of effort training the dog on harness and leash to run at a steady pace beside her.

Which reminded me…

A couple months before I kicked off this blog we welcomed a new addition to our household. The pictured pup is a little more than five months old, a Miniature Australian Shepherd, and full of spit and fire.

I’m hoping she’ll be a runner some day.

I’m hoping that this spring we’ll find out.

It was specifically one of the questions I asked the breeder: How will she run?

Oh, she’ll keep up with you. She’s not short on energy.

All that said, we’ve done some quick sprints on our walks to give her a taste of moving faster than a stroll, but five months is too young to properly begin distance training with a dog.

Most online research I’ve done on this topic suggests a puppy should be at least six months old to begin a proper training program, and (not coincidentally) her veterinarian just happens to be one of my running crew so I’ll be getting proper professional clearance before we begin.

Still, running alongside a well-trained running dog this morning got me itching for the spring thaw… just in time to start thinking about how to introduce my favourite energetic pup to my favourite outdoor sport.