Saturday, February 11, 2012

How to Train a Running Dog - Step 2: Take the Dog for a Run With You

In our previous lesson on training a canine running partner, we completed the first step: Acquiring the dog.

"Step 1B: Do a Bunch of Research on When and How to Begin Training Your Dog to Run With You" was implied. And, if you didn't complete step 1B already, you should be sure to do that.

So, now that Charley is almost 10 months old, his joints and muscles are ready to start going for more than a sprint around the backyard, I think. And, since we've temporarily forbidden the poor guy from accessing the majority of the backyard due to landscaping improvements, today was as good as any to leash him up and take him out for part of my run.

My intention today was to take Charley for a short C25K-style introductory run, something like walk for a few, run for a few, repeat. As you can imagine, things didn't work out according to plan:

Apologies for the whiplash-inducing cinematography. I was using my phone for this.

So, instead, the run went: walk a bit, sprint, jog, walk, sprint, jog, stop, sprint, jog, walk...

It would have been useful for me to teach Charley some basic leash-related commands prior to this adventure, though. He has no idea what "heel", "wait", "whoa", "you're pulling me", "slow down", "slooooow down", and "not so fast" actually mean in the context running with me.

But, regardless of my incompetence as a dog trainer, our first 2 miles together worked out fairly well. Charley didn't yank my arm off. I didn't injure myself keeping up with him. There were other dogs passed without confrontation. And, we had no close calls with automobiles.

Charley is definitely weary of overpasses, though. Can't say that I blame him.



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