I'm the Alpha

Jun 20, 2013

As I'm sure I've lamented about, running with two independent, energetic puppies was not my idea of a good time. This lack of patience lead to me ditching the dogs and pounding the pavement solo, circling back home, getting the dogs and M, then going for a walk.  And/or having M walk them while I ran and if we crossed paths taking one for a half mile jaunt or so. It goes without saying I felt guilty for ditching my responsibilities as a pet owner, but I was extremely frustrated with our lack of communication on mama's "me time". 



Then I saw this:

  



Running With Your Dog Clinic

Many of us love to run and walk with our dogs! They provide a sense of support, security and companionship. But, have you ever wondered what their unique running needs might be or how best to motivate and reward them on a run?

Have no fear! Big River Running Company — your local experts in all things running and walking — and Treats Unleashed — whose five local shops feature all-natural pet foods, fresh- baked pet treats and high-quality pet supplies — have teamed up to offer a "Running with Your Dog" clinic hosted by Dr. Stu Fox
Creek Veterinary Hospital!

He will only lie in an empty pool

This, by far was the most educational course I'd been too.  Google ain't got nothing on a quality class lead by stellar, friendly people. 

Lessons Learned:

  1. Don't feed right before a run; wait 2 hours (after feeding) then run, or feed 1/2 food 30-45 minutes after the run. 
  2. Keep their chest cool (this is the body part that over heats the fastest)
  3. Reward often with (special) treats, and tons of positive encouragement
  4. Use a static leash (3-6 feet) 
  5. Make sure you are the "alpha" on the run
  6. For temperatures 90 degrees and above
    • Go on a shorter run
    • Take plenty of water breaks
    • Immerse or pour water over your pooch (see #2) to keep cool
  7. Carry pepper spray for safety (for unruly dogs + people)
  8. If your run lasts longer than 45 minutes
    • Take plenty of water breaks
    • Bring plenty of treats for reward
  9. Signs of distress
    • Excessive panting (dogs don't sweat, they pant)
    • Foamy mouth
  10. Quickest way, (in an emergency) to cool off your dog - rubbing alcohol on their pads

Armed with an arsenal of information - I was the dork taking copious notes - I headed home to take the dogs for a run.  And found this:


Picking my battles wisely, I enjoyed my coffee whilst they played. On top of the picnic table.


Goodies from class - shaped like a foot!


--- Friday --- 
(when I finally had the courage to try)


Leashed and gentle leaders - check. Packed Treats.  Remained calm. Made sure I was the one leading the running, not them.

IMG-20130614-00587.jpg

Took lots of water breaks. Praised like crazy.

SUCCESSS!




This run took my stress level down about ten notches. And I really enjoyed having them along for the run. They are up to 2.70 miles (11-12 minutes miles) already - which I hope one day will turn into them going on long runs with me. 

Ten bucks well spent.



Do you run with your dog?

Ever take a class like this before?




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