running with your dog.

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02/06/2012 at 19:05
What are the maximum length runs you can do with a dog? Am training for a September marathon and curious how far I can take my very fit one year old collie?
02/06/2012 at 19:53
My dog has now run a few marathon with me and when I was running a lot last year he would happily run 70mile a week. But like KK says build the miles slowly
02/06/2012 at 21:42

I have a working lab, and he's done upto 19 miles with me quite happily.

We started doing 1-2 mile laps of the park when he was just over 12 months, and built slowly from there. He absolutely loves it when we're out... and he is a much more chilled relaxed dog when he gets plenty of exercise, so it's a win-win

So, my advice would be to start slowly, and enjoy it. The sensation of running with your dog is fantastic......
02/06/2012 at 21:52
A member of our running club has a dog (fox-hound / beagle cross) that has run an ultra with him. The dog will have run further, since it was running ahead, back, etc. all the time.

Did you see the news article about the dog in China running thousands of miles with a cycle race recently?

Makes me suspect Born to Run's argument about humans being much better adapted to running distances than dogs is BS.
02/06/2012 at 22:20

my 1 year old collie is up to 20km now and looks fresh as a daisy at the end...only caveat is on warmer days.

as kat says build it slowly as you would yourself.

Edited: 02/06/2012 at 22:22
03/06/2012 at 07:35
Thanks guys. I absolutely love running with her, definately the best running companion.
03/06/2012 at 07:45

We have recently got a springer puppy. Walking twice daily and I really want to start running with him. When we get to the part, his initial reaction once off the lead is to bound away. Would people suggest starting running with the lead or initially walking off the lead and then start to run a little?

03/06/2012 at 09:43
We have a lab/collie cross and I still haven't found her limit !! As working dogs Collies can cover 50 miles per day. Dogs do have to build up their fitness levels though. Bear in mind that if you start doing 20 mile runs the dog will expect you to keep it up.
03/06/2012 at 13:41
None! We have a springer and she just runs round your feet and trips you up! Or she does her business just 100m out of the road so you're forced to carry it along with you. However if we took her on a run he would just keep going an going, she has a lot of stamina.
03/06/2012 at 14:58
@ Scooby

I always start with some running on lead, and even though the majority of the runs I do with my dog are through forests and open countryside, I regularly call him back to me and make his run on lead for a little bit..... it helps him to know whose in control, and it emphasises the fact that any time I call (or whistle) that there is a reason why he has to come back immediately...
03/06/2012 at 19:02


Cheers for that. I am still in the process of training to come on command and such, so I will wait until I get that sorted before I let him off. I may try a little bimble at the end of a walk to the park, just to see how he reacts.

03/06/2012 at 22:11

Good luck! And remember that dogs need "training" too! One of my friends knackered her dobermann on a run once while she was training for a marathon..

10/06/2012 at 14:11
Ha ha re 'doing their business' - my working cocker is great for that ;P I've been running with him on one of those extendable leads leaving it unlocked so he can be reeled in when necessary because I run on footpath mostly, for now. Thinking of one of those belts though - what do you think?
10/06/2012 at 14:48

Love doing a  3M run with Geordie Our 14 month Balck Labrador

10/06/2012 at 21:41
Has anyone tried the cani-x belts/harness combos? Normally run with her off the lead but for longer training runs will have to include some road work.
10/06/2012 at 21:44

that's exactly what i've been researching but am nervous about taking the plunge...

10/06/2012 at 21:50

I have never used the Cani-x belts or a harness, and I just run with a slip lead attached to a bum belt ( which I use to carry poo bags, etc..)

If your dog will run to heel ( and not pull like a husky) then I don't see the need for a harness, or a spring loaded belt.....

11/06/2012 at 09:45

Collies can generally run any person into the ground. I marshalled at the Highland Fling (53 miles) this year and counted at least 3 dogs running it. Two of them were collie / collie X types. All of them were off the lead, though at another ultra earlier in the year I saw a woman running with a dog on a cani-X harness. Suppose the thing to watch with the harness would be that it didn't chafe the dog anywhere on longer runs.

I take my Lab/collie X with me on all my long runs and he's never had a problem. We usually train on tarmac bike paths where he can run along the grass verge, and I regularly check his pads for wear and tear. I love training with him - as a lone female runner it gives me a great sense of security on dark winter nights.

11/06/2012 at 10:43

Agree with all that - the only caveat being I'd be a bit wary in hot weather but I'm sure any dog owner would be anyway.    When I ran with my Belgian Shepherd if it was warm I'd try and choose routes with lakes or rivers - she likes swimming so she could go in and cool off and have a drink.   

I never used a cani-x belt or harness either - it was mostly off road and I'd get her to run to heel which she does pretty well - next to the road I'd just use a lead and hold it in my hand but again she does run to heel really well - I've had dogs before that I'd be tripping over if I tried that.

11/06/2012 at 13:46

So if I train my labs to do longer distances they'll eventually manage more than the 3 or 4 miles they currently manage with me? Aren't long distances bad for their hips?

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