If you have a dog and do/want to run with them or you want to get a dog, here’s what I’ve learned running with Izzy Pup.
-have a route
-feed them well
Pupster is only 10 months old; that means she still has all that vivaciousness inherent to puppies. Izzy is part lab and part Australian shepherd. The lab in her is chuck full of energy, like we fill her water bowl with Red Bull or something. The Aussie in her causes her to try to herd us if she gets too bored, and the poor thing has to be cooped up in a cage all the time anyway. Our solution is to take her running.
If you haven’t noticed running is my main means of exercise. One of the things that I made me super excited about getting a dog was that I would have a running buddy! I had to wait a while before she was big enough to run since she was only 6 weeks old when we got her in October, but by Christmas time she was ready to run some. We started off with a really slow mile, and by mid February (we couldn’t run everyday that time of year) she was up to 4.5 miles at an 8 minute mile pace!
Izzy loves it! She gets so excited when she sees the leash come out. She knows the word “run” and freaks out when she sees me changing into running clothes. Yes. She knows the difference between workout clothes and normal clothes.
Here is what I have learned-
- Be attentive to your dog. They know their limits. They know when they need to stop and walk or sit in the shade.
- Invest in a harness. Izzy had to adjust to it at first, and we had to take the first one back because it slid around too much and she could get out of it. But this harness is a miracle worker. Our ten month old pupster who is the friendliest dog ever, is now a very well behaved runner. She doesn’t pull, she doesn’t dart after people and animals. And on the rare occasions when she does try to go after something or someone the harness makes it easier to control her versus her controlling me. Here is the one we got for Izzy; I highly recommend it.
- Route. I think this one is really important. Izzy knows the roads we run and this is helpful for many reasons. She knows where home is, so she can get back if she gets away. And just like a person, the set route enables her to pace herself. You might not think that dogs can do that, Pupster is a smart cookie. Trust me she knows what it means when we go past our street and start on another lap, and she knows when we are about a quarter mile from home. You can tell because she will change her pace. Also, we have this little routine that I let go of her leash when we get to the edge our yard and she darts ahead and waits to congratulate me and be congratulated in return as we go inside to get a drink. She knows to do this; I can let go of her leash at the beginning of the block and she will still carry out the routine.
- Cold water and puppy pops. I make Izzy Popsicles out of Chicken broth and a rawhide stick. Nthise really help cool her down when we get back. If I don’t have any of those made then I try to remember to stick her water bowl in the freezer before we leave so that when we get back it’s icy cold for her, and man does she lap up that cold water in a hurry!
- Diet. Just like it is with a person, if you want to do well when you exercise then you have to fuel yourself right. The same logic applies to your pup. We get some 4 star dog food for a reasonable price, with free shipping from Amazon. Not going to lie, it’s nice to have your dog food arrive on your front porch. Beyond keeping your pup lean and healthy, good quality food also does wonders for their skin and coat. Izzy’s coat is so soft and shiny! Seriously, everyone notices how nice her coat is. Also, I think that it has helped keep her dandruff at bay because I noticed that she doesn’t have any anymore. Here is the food we give her:
This week, was better than the last two combined as far as running goes, but I am still struggling to get back into the swing of things. I’m going to blame that on the massive amounts of rain we’ve been having dumped on us…. I’m a sunshine kind if person. The sun motivates me, lifts my spirits, makes me more jovial. Other than being from Kansas, needing the light of the yellow sun is another commonality between Superman and I.
Hopefully I can squeeze in several short runs this coming week between rain showers. Izzy and I can do a 3 mile run in about 24-26 minutes depending On how hot it is and such. That means that if I have 45 minutes to an hour of wiggle room I have time to change, go run some energy and curiosity out of her, get back and cool off. I won’t be increasing her mileage at all till the summer is over. If it’s cool enough she can do 3 miles without any problems, but if the sun is out, even if it’s not all that hot out, she is done after a mile a and a half. Izzy has a thick, beautiful coat of black fur, so imagine if you were trying to run on a warm sunny day in a black fleece. Yeah she bakes.
My goals for this week are to get in strength training everyday, and sneak in quick runs with Izzy when I can. Nothing ambitious because the forecast looks terrible…
what are your goals for the week?