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!


When Your Dog Constantly Wants to Pee


My Australian Working Kelpie, Guinness, is an entire male, and his life’s purpose is to pee on every vertical tree or pole that we pass on a run. As you can imagine, this can get a bit frustrating.

At what point do you stop your dog from doing this, and force him hurry along with you?

I think everyone will have a different point of view on this. Some may say that I’m the boss and when his bladder is empty, he shouldn’t be allowed to sniff and pee. I don’t quite agree with that.

When I take Guinness on a run with me, I do it because we both enjoy it. For me, I enjoy spending time in his company, and I feel a little safer running alone with a big black dog beside me. For him, it’s an outing, and a chance to run a bit further than just around our backyard.

One part of meeting any animal’s needs is allowing them the opportunity to express their natural behaviours. You may have heard about environmental enrichment in zoos? Well, that’s all about providing ways in which monkeys can swing and climb, and polar bears can play and swim in icy cold water.

It’s very normal behaviour for male dogs to want to urinate on things. I feel that if I stopped Guinness from doing this, it would stop him expressing his natural behaviours, and make the run less enjoyable for him. Since I want both of us to have a good time, I tend to let him lift his leg when he wants to. Yes, it means I have interruptions, but when I want to do some serious training, I can easily leave him behind. Besides, sometimes a brief stop to let him pee is very much appreciated by my tired legs.

I’d love to know your thoughts? Do you run with a male dog who feels the need to prove ownership of every twig? How do you handle it?

Categories : General



Hi Audrey, Charlie, our Kelpie, is neutered and in general has odd toilet habits for a male dog – at least compared to dogs I’ve had in the past. Won’t pee or pooh in the garden. Usually gets his long walk or run about 5pm. I take him for a last walk after 9pm at night and it is unusual for him to pee at that time. His next outing is with June at 6am in the morning and he usually pees at this time – but only after passing trees, posts and cars. It’s not unusual to walk 500metres before he pees and he doesn’t always. Take him for a run, well he wants to pee all the time. He knows he gets scowled at if he is only sniffing after a while, so the leg gets lifted and put down again. Like you I let him stop and start but if we are running with the club after the initial couple of minutes he just goes and doesn’t stop. June takes him for long walks and gives him 15minutes at the start and end when he can stop and start – unless he’s off the lead on tracks – and after that he just walks. June’s thinking is that if he can go 12hours then he can wait for 90 minutes between pee’s. Neither seems to do him any harm.
I only run with him now and have noticed either through age, illness or stopping and starting that I have got slower. My plan for the future is to run with the faster group at the club and hopefully this will help my speed.
I like the new layout – a lot easier to find things on.
A question – In the warmer weather, and you get it a lot warmer in Queensland than we do in Otago, how do you keep your dogs cool. I tend to offer lots of drinks and water about the top of his head. Are those ice collars good? Any hints on this would be good.
Thanks again for the site.


Hi Bill.
I have also lost a bit of speed lately, concentrating on hills and longer distances. Truth be known, I don’t particularly enjoy speed work , although I know it’s good for my running economy. Running faster is the only way to speed back up!
We are looking at getting a white mesh coat for Guinness, our black and tan kelpie. He’s affected by the heat a lot, and will tow Audrey from one patch of shade to the next to avoid being turned into a oily mark on the path. As dogs can only get rid of waste heat by panting, plenty of water is certainly needed. Water on the body, a paddle in a stream, and running in the coolest parts of the day are also appropriate.
We’ll have to look into the ice collar. Are they like the scarves that absorb water into a pocket of crystal soil, and are then thrown in the freezer? That sounds like a good idea.


Hi Francis,
Thanks for getting back to me. I have never seen a collar in any of the pet shops here – only in a number of overseas web sites. I think there may be a few different names, but if you key in ‘Kool Collars for Dogs’ the site and photos should come up.
At the moment if we are out for a long run and he doesn’t drink when offered then he gets it splashed on. Initially, I think he thought it was for being bad, but now just puts up with it. He’s not keen on water and on one run when it started raining, lay down under a tree for shelter while I was supposed to wait in the rain, with the house about 300 yards away. You’ve got to love them!
Working dogs seem to be so keen to please and not let you down that you really have to get them cool before they start keeling over. We try to stick to early morning starts for long runs and stay in the shade.
Thanks again to you and Audrey. The site is now on my favourite list and one I look in on regularly.


I hate it when my dogs think our running time is their peeh and pooh time..it is so frustrating.

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