Are you a runner? Are you a dog lover? Are you looking for a way to improve your fitness and/or your dog’s fitness?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you’ll be happy to know that this article is the perfect place to stop in for some friendly advice on running with your Jack Russell Terrier.
It isn’t always an easy feat, but with proper training and understanding on your part you can help your furry friend as well as yourself get a good run in and also make sure that everyone has a great time. Here are some great tips for running with your lovely pooch.
Test out your dog’s endurance
When you’re starting out running with your dog, you may find that his pace and comfort are all over the place. Some days he wants to run mile after mile, and other days he’s more comfortable with a leisurely jog around the block. It will vary depending on his mood, but also his endurance.
For this reason it is really important to make sure that you test his endurance properly before you look into running with him. It’s the best that you start slowly, each time make your run a bit longer until you’re both in good condition. Dogs need adjustment period, just like you do.
Not all dogs love to run
As we just mentioned, no matter what the breed of the dog is, each one has own distinct personality and he may simply not be a runner. Maybe he prefers quick walks, but not jogging. Or, perhaps he’s more of a sprinter. Make sure you don’t force your dog to do something he genuinely doesn’t like to do, because that’s no fun for anyone.
Now generally speaking, Terriers love going for runs because they are an active breed that really enjoys getting a workout everyday, so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem getting your dog out for a jog every morning or evening. Just watch to make sure your dog has fun, too!
Make sure your dog stays at your side at all times
This is a smaller part of the reminder that you have to properly train your dog to run with you. Training him comes from a series of tricks that he as to learn, including hand signals, command words, and a relationship with you that will allow him to understand what you are wanting from him as well as the ability for you to read his body language so that you can watch for a shift of attention or some other warning sign.
Remember that training your dog will take time. You have to make sure that he understands all of the hand signals and commands that you teach him at a walk, first, before you can run. The faster pace will make him want to give into his dog instincts, making him harder to control. Start slow and remember that you are running with a dog.
Something to remember is that your dog should stay at your side when you are running to make sure that you have total control over him as well as the fact that both of you will be safe from injury as much as can be expected. Leash train your dog properly and you will see the benefits of it when you and your dog have a great run together each day.
Always have your Jack Russell on a leash and use a harness, not a collar to prevent strangling and for overall better experience (this is a must for a bike riding with your dog too!). Waist-worn leashes like Ruffwear Flat Out Leash are a great option as you don’t have to hold it all the time.
If you are in the designated off-leash area and you are 100% sure your dog will always follow you, feel free to let your Jack off leash but always have him in sight.
Plan for the weather
In the summer, you may love running in the binding sun, but you will find that your dog won’t. This is because the hot pavement will simply be too much for your dog and he will hurt his paws severely in the heat (remember – if your bare feet can’t stand the heat, nether your dog’s paws can!).
Same goes for rough terrain. Make sure your Jack Russell Terrier is not hurting his feet or his muscles when he is out for a run with you. In this way, you have to put the health of your dog before your own because they are more sensitive to the weather. Remember this for the winter time, too.
There are some products out there intended for protecting your dogs paws in harsh environment like Pawtector from Natural Dog Company or some doggy boots. Pawtector is a cream that is applied on paw pads prior to going out and it creates a wax barrier to protect your dog’s paws from harsh elements like heat, water, snow or ice.
We use it regularly (in addition with Paw Soother as after walk soothing treatment) and they work like magic, leaving Kala’s paws healthy and smooth.
Stay at your dog’s pace
No matter how much your dog is used to running with you, he should be in charge of setting the pace to make sure that you are going at a pace that suits him. Though Jack Russell Terriers are definitely fast little dogs, they still are quite a bit smaller than you and will tire a little faster in terms of endurance.
Make sure you don’t go too fast for him, and make sure he stays hydrated so that he can keep up and finish the run with you. Since it’s a joint activity, you want to make sure you both cross the finish line, right?
Let him recover
Young or old, trained or not, make sure your dog has time to recover between runs. If you are someone who goes out a couple times a day for a run (good for you!) then make sure you don’t push your dog too hard. Consider only bringing him once, or once at the start of your day and once at the end of it.
Work at his pace and don’t wear him out too much or you’ll find that he won’t enjoy going out with you after all no matter how much you entice him with treats. Keep that in mind, and if you want to bring him with you each time, take him for a simple walk instead of a jog.
While this isn’t a complete list of how to make sure your run with your Jack Russell Terrier is a success, it is a great one to work from that will really impress you when used in real time in real circumstances. If you are looking to get the most out of your time with your dog while getting fit, these are great tips to achieve great things for both of you.
Grab the leash and give it a try, your dog may just be the motivation you needed to get out there yourself.