As I mentioned earlier, dogs ca make an ideal training partner. Here are some tips for those dog-running novices:
- If you're in the market for a dog and your primary goal is to find a running partner, look for a breed that is adept at running. Sled dog breeds, sporting and hunting breeds, and herding dogs all make decent running partners. Toy breeds... not so much.
- Dogs have issues with thermoregulation. They cannot run in hot weather like humans. Humans can cool down while moving due to our sweating mechanism. Dogs will pant to cool down, and will need to stop moving if they overheat. If your dog wants to stop and lie down, it's too hot. Don't continue forcing it to run. If you live in a warm or hot climate, you will probably have to run early in the morning, late in the evening, or at night.
- Dogs need to work up to longer distances, just like we do. If their first run is a 20 miler, odds are good they'll get hurt.
- Get a good leash. Avoid retractable leashes.
- Take time training the dog. Before taking your dog out on the trails, it should be able to reliably come when called, sit, stay, and be able to run at your side without excessive pulling.