Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!

Archive for Dog Breeds


Beware the Brachycephalic Running Buddy

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bulldogShort nosed breeds of dog, like this gorgeous British Bulldog, are popular companions, but the shape of their head and neck makes them totally unsuitable as running buddies. Some other breeds that fall into this category include Boxers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Pugs and French Bulldogs. They’re known as brachycephalic breeds – “brachy” meaning “shortened” and “cephalic” meaning “head”.  There are degrees of brachycephalic-ness, for want of a better word – some Staffies and Boxers have a longer nose than others and may be less adversely affected by the shape of their head but owners still need to take a great deal of care with them.

The problem with the short head is that it has adverse effects on a dog’s respiratory tract. Their nostrils are usually narrower and their soft palate is longer than normal which can block the entrance to their windpipe. There are small pouches in the larynx called laryngeal saccules which, in a brachycephalic dog, are everted which means they stick out into the larynx. This means that there are many obstructions that get in the way of air reaching the windpipe and to top it all off, in these breeds the windpipe is often narrower than normal.

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Categories : Dog Breeds, Dog Health
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Jack-RussellFor many people having a small dog is the most practical way to experience the love of man’s best friend, whether it be because of space limitations, budget constraints or just having fallen in love with a particular small puppy (I am personally an absolute sucker for the Tenterfield Terrier). But even for the most avid runner, small dogs can make excellent partners and a few in stand out as mini-athletes.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell is an extremely popular breed of small terrier, well known for their intelligence and active nature. Originally bred in England to flush foxes out from their underground homes during hunts, the Jack Russell was specifically bred to be a small dog that could keep up with larger hunting hounds on the run, giving it unique traits for a small breed. Their fearless natures means that you should be careful when running with them as they won’t be afraid to enter a melee with much larger dogs. The Jack Russell is actually one of the most durable running mates and can actually run for much longer than many other breeds. They are generally short haired making them capable in hot conditions.

Toy Poodle

Known more for as a beauty dog, to pamper and own as a status symbol, the Poodle is actually an admirable runner. Much quicker than most people would give them credit for and full of beans, the actual reality of poodle ownership is in stark contrast to the perception. Poodles were originally bred to be retrieving dogs so they are an active breed. Like all dogs, they are susceptible to arthritis in later life, which can be reduced  with good weight control and exercise.

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Categories : Dog Breeds
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border-collieWhy Border Collies Make Great Fitness Buddies

Border Collies make fantastic pets. They are full of energy, acrobatic, love the outdoors and the water and are perfect as a running buddy. Border Collies are generally very friendly and are great with kids, so you can find yourself stopping in many places along the way when your pooch decides to befriend a random stranger. To top it off they are extremely affectionate, good looking dogs.

Border Collies are in the upper echelon when it comes to doggie intelligence. They are highly responsive to verbal language and non-verbal communication  which make them great pets for people of all ages. Border Collies are, when compared to other breeds of dog, not difficult to train and they acclimatise easily to different indoor and outdoor settings.

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Categories : Dog Breeds
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