Running with a Dog that Pulls

If you want to find ways to connect more with your furry friend, one common interest you may have is running! However, this outdoor activity can be a challenge if your dog isn’t well-trained when it comes to leash behavior. 

Your dog needs to be able to run beside you while on the leash to avoid injuries and tangles. Find out how to train your dog to run on the leash without pulling and some other tips that will keep them safe!

Running with a dog that pulls can be frustrating and dangerous. Hopefully, these tips will help you to combine your love for running and your love for your dog!

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running with dogs

The Ideal Running Partners

The truth is, some dogs aren’t just born to run. Not all breeds are created equal, but don’t feel discouraged! If your dog isn’t one of the breeds mentioned below, it only means you need extra patience and consideration when training them. 

Here are some of the top dog breeds for running. 

  • Weimaraner. These dogs are bred to be great hunting companions, meaning they are easy to train compared to other dogs.
  • Dalmatian. Although Dalmatians aren’t known for being sporty, they make great companions for anything and their physique makes them great runners. 
  • Doberman Pinscher. Bred as a guard dog, the Doberman Pinscher has an athletic build and a great sense of obedience, making leash-training and running with them a breeze.
  • Belgian Malinois. These are the perfect breed to have as running buddies. They are receptive to training and they will enjoy any physical activity with you.

It is important to note that smaller breeds are most likely to struggle when it comes to running. Although trainability varies, their short legs will create some challenges if you plan to run a large distance.

Leash-Train Your Dog Before Running 

They say you need to walk before you run, and that also applies to running with your dog. Your pooch should first learn loose leash-walking before training them to run beside you. 

The environment will be full of distractions for your dog, like squirrels, bushes, things to smell, and more. If you want your dog to stay near you, they need to master how to ignore these distractions. Running in front of you can cause tangles with the leash and injuries to both of you. 

Here are some leash-training basics:

  • Start the training at a walking pace and keep your dog close beside you.
  • Stop walking if your dog starts pulling.
  • Avoid people when you are training. This will make the task easier, just provide an environment without distractions. Also, seek out wider trails with less to sniff!
  • Use positive reinforcement every time your dog stays with you. This is how you will look more rewarding to them than their environment. Try stopping every 100 yards to give them a small treat at first. As your dog continues to adopt the quality attributes of a running companion you can space out the treats to push your dog to achieve further distances between rewards.
  • Once your dog has figured out walking, repeat the basics at a faster pace. Use cues like “let’s go!” that will tell your dog it’s time to move one and get walking. 

Watch this video for more tips!

Dog Harness vs Collar

The best way to control your dog is not with the traditional collar. They’re only great for permanently attaching an ID tag around your dog’s neck.

But as a way of controlling your dog when training, the body harness will always stand out. They are the kindest way to restrain your dog. Here are some of the common features of a harness:

  • The harness disperses pressure so neck pain in your dog will be reduced.
  • It reduces the likelihood that your leash will rotate from the center of your dog’s back while running.
  • They help dogs move ergonomically and comfortably while still being able to be controlled.

There are different styles of dog harnesses, but there are two main types, the nylon strap and the webbing and buckle. 

The best dog harness will make your dog feel comfortable because of the high-quality breathable material. We like Copatchy’s No-Pull Reflective Dog Collar with Handle. It will restrain your dog’s pulling without choking them. It’s convenient to wear on and off and it has a handle on top of it for easier control. Check it out now!

Tips for Running With a Dog That Pulls

Once your dog is finally leash-trained, they are ready to be your running companion. Here are some additional tips that will ensure their safety and enjoyment when running with you.

  • Warm up your dog before your run and cool him down when you’re finished.
  • Never allow your dog to run off-leash, unless it is safe and legal to do so. Only let them go off-leash when they have reliable recall amid distractions.
  • Be aware of weather conditions. Some runners will head out in rain, snow, or heat, but don’t drag your dog along with you during these times. Dogs can’t handle heat and humidity as well as humans can. You can exercise them in other ways indoors.
  • Carry water on your walks and offer it to your dog regularly. Whether your dog has breathing issues or not, or the weather is hot or cold, always bring water and take regular breaks.
  • Let them rest, go to the bathroom, and enjoy their surroundings from time to time. 
  • Watch your dog for signs that he’s had enough, such as excessive panting or lagging behind you. Dogs may run to please their owner, even when they want to stop.

Enjoy the Trail!

Taking your dog on a run is important to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated. And because they love you, it’s just right to spend some time with them doing things you both love!

Training your dog to run without pulling might be a long process, especially if your dog isn’t as trainable as others, but the outcome will be worth the effort! You’ll be able to enjoy the run without worrying about tripping and falling.

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