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!


Why I Won’t Do an Endurance Test With Guinness


I’ve been thinking for a while about doing an endurance test with Guinness. They are held in the winter months, and are a way of testing a dog’s fitness and endurance. The dogs have to run 20km, but it is broken up into an 8km, 6km and 6km runs. Between each run there’s a 15 minute break, and a vet check. At the end of the event, another vet check and basic obedience test is performed to make sure the dogs are physically and mentally okay. If the dog passes the test then they are entitled to have the letters “ET” after their name. I thought, given that I’m spending a chunk of my time talking about running with dogs, it would add a little to my credibility, but I don’t think so.

Why not? An endurance test, like many obedience tests, isn’t real life. How often would you go for a run and follow that sequence? When I take Guinness running, we’ll do 5km or 10km or more, depending on the weather, time and how we’re both feeling. Also, if he passes, a dog isn’t allowed to do more than one endurance test in his life. So, there’s no encouragement to maintain a dog’s fitness or endurance beyond that one pass.

The other thing I baulk at is the cost. To enter an ET, I’d have to join the Canine Control Council for around $80, then pay extra for Guinness – he’s not registered with the CCC, but with the Working Kelpie Council, and the CCC charge an extra $30 because he’s not desexed. Add to that the cost of the test, and it’s a lot of money just for that one running outing.

I know my dog can run. I can take him to Glasshouse and he’ll run 25km with me, doze for half an hour and want to go out for more. That’s enough for me.

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