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!


Race Etiquette


Marathon RacersWe had a great night at the Twilight Half Marathon last weekend, it’s one of the few dog friendly runs here in Brisbane. Cinnabar, Guinness and Bobbie were running in the half marathon, and we were delighted to see another dog in the event – a small white fluffy dog running fast in what I suspect was the 10km race. I’m always happy to see dogs running, and particularly smaller breeds whose abilities are often underestimated.

What did concern me was that this little dog was running fast, amongst a reasonably sized group of other runners. Even though the dog was extremely well behaved, I feel he was still a trip hazard. He was amongst a lot of flying legs and was small enough such that runners may not have seen him. If there had been an accident involving the dog, it would have jeopardised our participation in the run in future, as well as caused injury and possibly led to a runner missing out on a personal best that they hard worked very hard to achieve.

Here are our suggestions for fun run/race etiquette if you’re bringing your canine running buddy along.

1. Stay at the back at the start and as the field thins out and people start to fall behind, then you can move up. Make sure you keep your dog away from other runners, not just because of the trip hazard, but because some people don’t like/are afraid of dogs and would rather not be too close.

2. At the drink stops, pull over either before or after, instead of stopping at the table. That way you can get a drink for yourself and your dog without blocking the flow of runners past the volunteers holding the cups.

3. If it looks like your dog is going to poop or pee, then move right over to the side so you don’t get in the way of other runners. It goes without saying that you pick up any droppings and carry them with you to the next bin.

4. Go at a pace that’s comfortable for your dog. You’re not likely to set a personal best if running with your dog, and if that’s your goal then leave him at home for this race.

Have I missed anything? Can you think of other things dog runners can do to show courtesy to other runners?


Categories : Dog Friendly Runs



Also don’t forget to have a great collar and leash – you can get a phone number embroidered on your collar from http://www.cloescollars.com in case you get separated from you pal.


Eek… Don’t run your dog on a collar! Too much pressure on his or her throat. Try a harness instead! Front clip harnesses are great if you don’t want your dog to pull; back clip harnesses are great if you do want your dog to pull (which comes in very handy when racing).

I don’t agree entirely with your rule that dogs should be at the back of the field. Small dogs, I kind of understand. But I see no problem with competitive dogs and their humans being at the front, and I’ve never had any complaints, trips, close calls, etc. (If you met my dog, you would understand that being at the back is not an option. She wants to lead, and she wants to win– she knows when she’s done good. If we started at the back, it would probably end badly for all involved. Much safer for us to start at the front.)

Also, if other runners would teach their dogs left/right, that would be great! This probably helps explain our lack of trips/etc. Mine learned it in about a week, and then demanded that I add in ‘straight’ so that she knows where to go if not left or right. It helps her not behave so erratically, and it helps other runners know where the cannonball-with-legs dragging the human is going!


Great feedback, thanks Shelby 🙂 I’m going to try a front clip harness on our current foster dog who pulls like a steam train!

I’m very much a middle of the pack runner so not at all competitive. Given the resistance we get to having our dogs in the race, I feel more comfortable just keeping out of everyone’s way. There was an incident at a fun run last year. The race finished on an athletics track and as one of the front runners was speeding down the straight towards the finish line, a spectator’s dog got loose and tripped him over. There was a lot of negative talk about dogs after that and I’m sure that if a dog that was in a race caused a trip, they’d not be welcomed back. You must live in a more dog friendly running community?

Keep in touch, and thanks again for commenting.


I love walking my dog with the harness. He is my pace dog. I think that you need to know your dog. My dog is too friendly, so staying away from other people would be a necessity.


I agree, what works for you and your dog is the best way to go. Thanks for commenting 🙂


My dog and I will try our first 5K in September. I got her a DoggyRider and will put her in it before the start of the race, and will also start at the back of the pack. We’re not in it to beat any records, just raise money for good causes and have some fun. I’ll try the harness for when we’re training though; I have bruises on my wrist from her pulling leftward all the time.


Awesome! Well done, I agree, the fun is in the experience, not necessarily running fast. We’d love to see some pictures and hear how you get on.


I would be scared to allow my small dog to run in a crowd like that. One wrong move and it could be injured for life.


Agree with you there, Jim. Thanks for commenting.

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