My wife loves running. She loves our dogs. She loves running with the dogs. Me? Well I love running and them but am less convinced the two should always go together. “Why?” I hear you ask – well I’ll tell you.
When to run with dogs
The main reason I would suggest for starting to take your dog running is for motivation. If you are often tempted to skip a run when the rain is lashing down, the wind is howling and your bed is warm then get yourself a dog. They need taking out anyway so you may as well run as walk and have a hope of keeping warm.
A second time to consider running with a dog is when you are somewhere that they can run safely off lead and you can concentrate on your own run and just use their antics as a distraction when you want it.
A third thing to consider would be company. Some people seem to struggle with spending time on their own and finding idiots people willing to run through mud and brambles for hours can be a challenge. Dogs have no choice 🙂
When to leave the dog at home
When you are running somewhere new a dog can be a pain if you want to have them off the lead (and you will) as you need to be sure you are not going to find yourself in a field of sheep, next to a busy road, surrounded by caniphobic pensioners and squealing children etc.
I would also think twice if you are upping your distance as I certainly find it hard enough to concentrate on my own position after a certain number of miles without having to worry about my four legged companion.
Another time to leave the dog behind is if you need to focus on a quality run. Jogging along steadily and he’ll be fine but if you need to focus on a speedwork session or hill repeats then the last thing you will want to do is stop to sort out whatever mischief he has gotten into.
So, run with your dog when you are going somewhere you are familiar with, when you are running just for fun and when you want some company. All other times see if you can find a sitter for the setter.