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!

Dec
12

Running Buddy of the Month – December 2011

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We’re a bit early for our December running buddy, but I was just so impressed with Charlie the West Highland White Terrier, I had to post his story. Charlie lives in Yorkshire, England and has a personal best for the half marathon (21.1km) of 1 hour 44 minutes.  His owner, Adam Abel, wrote this post.

Charlie is about 2.5 years old. We re-homed him in summer 2010 when he was 1. How the previous owners could gave him up I have no idea, as he’s just the cutest and well behaved little bundle of energy. I think that’s probably where the problem lay though, as he has a LOT of energy, so needs a LOT of exercise to burn it off. Sure, he will sleep all day if you let him but after a couple of days he goes stir crazy sat around the house.

So, after a few months of long walks in the Yorkshire countryside I decided at the age of 38 I needed to get fit, and took up running again last Autumn after a 10 year break. As I was starting pretty much from scratch with a C25K program I didn’t think it would be an issue taking Charlie along, despite him being below the age many vets recommend starting them running. Let’s face it, on a 5 mile walk he runs about 10 miles back and forth it I let him, so a 3 mile jog/walk at my slow pace wouldn’t do any harm.

So Charlie has been my running partner for a little over a year. In that time I’ve gone from a half hour walk/jog to running a 10k in just over 40 minutes & HM in 1:42, and Charlie has been with me practically every step of the way. He’s not done any races, but he does all but a very few of my training runs, including a 1:44 Half Marathon rehearsal run. The only times he doesn’t come are if it’s extremely hot out (not often in Yorkshire!) or if I am doing a fartlek or similar, as he gets frustrated with the constant pace changes. The rest of the time he LOVES it and I love having him around. He’s the perfect running partner, happy to go for a PB, or a long slow training run, and never complains I’m running too fast (but he did complain I was too slow in the early days!). On the tougher days when I really can’t be arsed he gives me a reason to get out in the first place, and some gentle encouragement on the trail. I just wish he’d learn to go before we get going, as stopping to clean up after him wrecks my average pace!

The vet confirmed at his last check up that he is as fit as a runner’s dog, and has no issues caused by running early in life as we were sensible and built things up slowly. He’s also one of the best behaved dogs either the vet or myself have met, which I’m sure is at least partly down to the balance running brings to his life.  So we are both fighting fit and busy training for my next race, a half marathon in January. In the mean time my wife, Lisa wondered what the fuss is about and has taken up running too since this summer, so some days Charlie gets a gentle warm up with her and the lead handed over to me at the door when they get back. So far he’s got her up to running 10k where she got under the hour for the first time last month!

I just need to figure out how I am going to get him enrolled on a UK Atheletics coaching course now!

 

6 Comments

1

I love this post! People look at me funny when I take my little scottish terrier girl, Kaileigh, out for my runs, but half the time she’s asking me to pick up the pace. Little dogs have just as much potential as the big dogs, and sometimes twice the spirit!

Thanks for sharing!

2

Thanks for commenting, Stefanie. Little dogs are great runners. We often see a little fox terrier running with their owner and they’re doing something like 4 minute km pace!

3

I love this post as well! I have Jack Russell Terrier that I take running with me. She is a little over one year and I have to tell her to “Heel” the entire run. Otherwise, she is trying to drag me to go faster. She is only 14 lbs…I love her!

4

Have just read about Charlie, he sounds great. A friend of mine runs regularly with her Cavalier, i also take my 2 x German Shepherds out running, not all the time , but again they seem to enjoy it, they certainly know when i’m in my running gear. Keep on running Charlie!!

5

WOW! This is awesome, I was trying to figure out if I could train for a half marathon with my westie and found this. My girl is almost 4 and she has worked with me since last september from couch to 5K and now she is working on her first half marathon by my side.

6

Amazing, hey? Small dogs are capable of so much. Would love to see a pic of your girl and hear how she goes in her half.

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