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!


Product Review – The Buddy System


I’ve never been a big fan of hands free leashes/waist running belts for running with Guinness. To be honest, the idea scared me – he’s strong and fast and I had visions of myself flying through the air after him, or having the world’s worst rope burn around my middle.

One of our forum readers (thanks Crankygoat!) mentioned in a thread that he used the Buddy System. I had a look and noticed they had a bungee attachment, aptly named the Lunge Buster, and I wondered if that would make any difference.

The only way to find out was to try one!

When the Buddy System arrived, the first thing I did was put the waistband on and adjust it to fit. This was easy enough. I noticed that the leash attached to a loop on the belt that was free to move around my middle.  I thought this was a very clever idea. Guinness likes to run in front of me and weave all over the place, so none of the trees or poles miss out on his attentions. This loop arrangement meant he could move across ahead of me from left to right without pulling me; the loop moved freely along the waistband.  The system came with a second such loop so if I wanted to let him run free, I could then clip the other end of the leash to my waist. Nice design.

The other thing I liked was the clip that attached to the collar. It swivelled freely so Guinness could move around me and behind me without his leash twisting.

Now, the bungee. One end of the bungee clipped onto the waist loop, and the other attached to the leash. It looked just great, nice and stretchy yet it felt strong; I had confidence it would hold my 26kg Kelpie when he pulled ahead of me.

I popped the waistband on, and I attached the clip to Guinness’s head collar. The leash was easy to lengthen, which I found handy while we were running. I underestimated how much length Guinness would need and found myself almost running on his heels.  I had no trouble making the leash longer without even breaking my stride.

We did the Parkrun with the Buddy System but pulled out after 2km. It was an extremely hot day and Guinness just wasn’t having fun.  There was so much radiated heat from the concrete and from the river. However, that 2km was long enough to give the system a work out.

The Buddy System worked a treat.  Guinness could meander around me, and pull this way and that, and the bungee stopped me being pulled hard. I was very quick to feel comfortable with it. The join between the bungee and the rest of the leash was perfectly positioned for me to reach and grab on to; it worked as a handle if I needed to pull Guinness out of the path of another runner.

The verdict? I love the Buddy System. It’s comfortable to run in, it absorbs the pull from my dog and it allows him to move freely from side to side. I’m certainly going to continue using it when I run with Guinness – now I just need to figure out what to do with my hands!

North America readers can obtain the Buddy System from Buddysys.com. Australian readers, keep an eye out – we’re hoping to have some stock here in the not too distant future.


Categories : Product Reviews



[…] dogs love trail running.  Audrey used a Buddy System lead with Guinness on a flat collar.  Although it may have seemed a bit brave, given the black […]


[…] eighteen, as well as three guys).  Guinness was wearing his new Black Dog Infin-8 head halter and Buddy System waist leash, and Sinner was in his regular running garb of flat collar and short lead.  Audrey and I had our […]


[…] Pro Tip: A lot of runners insist on tying the leash around their waist to not only allow for correct form, but to act as a slight resistance band. Just be sure you are in control and won’t be dragged around by your dog  which can ruin your form and lead to injury. Alternatively, avoid a knot by using a leash with a waist band. […]


I absolutely love my Buddy System leash. It is the best hands free leash I have ever used. Super easy now to run with my dog. I love the safety features built in that you can get with tying a leash around your waist. This is one of my favorite products 🙂


Is the Buddy system available in Australia yet? I live in New Zealand and am very interested


Not that I’m aware of Lesley but the suppliers are really efficient and shipped one to me here in Australia very promptly.

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