Activities For Dogs Who Like Running

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Introduction

If your dog loves to run, then it should be simple to keep them happy, just take them out for a run and both of you will benefit from the experience. But if you are not so keen on running, there are other options to get that active dog out and burn off some energy. The usual pursuits of throwing a ball for your dog to fetch is still a good activity, but it can become boring for the dog owner to just stand and biff a ball. We have compiled a list of activities that uses your dog's love of running to add variety to your pet's daily life. Variety can be added just by taking your dog to the beach or a pet park and they will get plenty of running after the new friends they make as they play their doggie games. The benefits your dog gets from regular daily exercise is enormous. Apart from keeping them fit and healthy, it keeps them mentally stimulated and happy. A tired dog won't go looking for mischief. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog!

Scootering

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
60 - 120 min
Items needed
Dog harness
Roller Blades or Skate Board
Sled
Scooter
Water and treats
Activity description
If your dog loves to run and you can hardly keep up with them, hitch them up to a scooter or some other vehicle with wheels, and let them take you for a ride. Dogs have always served man in the frozen lands pulling sleds of supplies and people along the icy terrain. You don't have to have snow; you can train your dog to pull a scooter, or you on roller blades, or even while you stand on a skate board. Enjoy the ride as you and your dog become a mini mushing team. Even little dogs can pull a scooter or skateboard; two small dogs make up for one large dog! This activity teaches your dog how to read your signals and to work together to achieve a task. Scootering builds a relationship of trust and gets you both outdoors having fun  and enjoying a good time.
Step
1
Training first
If your dog has never pulled you along before nor worn a harness, you must first get them used to wearing a harness, and then teach them commands or movements that they understand to go left, stop and more. It will take a few practice sessions to get this right. If you have two small dogs, train them to work together as a team. It does take effort and time, but it will be worth it.
Step
2
Trial run
Before you head out to conquer the world, have a few trial runs in the back yard first, then try it again in the park to teach your dog to listen to you and not be side-tracked by other people, or by interesting things going on. Always praise your dog highly and treat them when they get it right. If they don't get it right, be kind and keep trying. Dogs appreciate and work hard for praise from their owners.
Step
3
The real deal
Once you and your dog understand each other, then it's time to go out into the wide world and enjoy scootering with your dog. You can cover an amazing amount of ground as your dog runs, pulling you along. This activity comes in handy if you need to go to the shops for something. Save on gas and allow your dog to get you there. Always keep in mind the level of fitness of your dog. Work up to longer runs, don't expect too much too soon.
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Rock Climbing

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Hard
10 - 60 min
Items needed
Doggie Backpack
Dog harness
A map and phone
Refreshments and water
Activity description

While not technically a running activity, this is a activity that will test your dog and be a fun day out for both. It first involves getting your dog used to a harness, and training them well so that they stay with you rather than taking off. Once they have learned those skills, you can scout an area of steep paths and rocky terraces and really put both you and your dog to the task of climbing these rocky outcrops. You may even have to haul your dog up a short incline, so make sure you have practiced lifting your dog in the harness at home first. This activity requires trust and a true partnership to accomplish the task. Most dogs respond with enthusiasm to this activity as it is a real challenge for them and it enhances the bond between owner and dog. As a new activity, start on gentle slopes first, then gradually move to more challenging climbs. It will be worth the effort when you get to the top to enjoy the view. Reward your plucky pooch for their efforts. Always be aware of safety for you both, and if you don't know the area, have a guide show you around.

Step
1
Do your research
Doing your research before you head out is always advisable. If you are new to an area, make sure you find a guide for the first time out, or at least have a map and a phone in case you get into trouble. You want a rocky rugged track so your dog has to scramble up rocks, sneak through gaps and basically work hard to get to the top. Train your dog in the use of a harness in case you have to haul them up a steep incline.
Step
2
Start slowly
Don't expect your dog to be the greatest rock climber ever on the first outing. Start with an easy climb or walk up a rocky slope and allow your dog to find their rock scrambling feet first. Harness your dog up and let them carry a back pack with supplies, this gives them an important job to do. Have frequent rests on the first few trips. Enjoy the view and the company as you relax.
Step
3
Take it up a level
Once you have a few outings under your belt, then take it up a notch and go for a steep rocky incline. In the past, herding dogs often had to negotiate steep terrain, so dogs have a historic advantage over us. Plus, they have four feet to our two. This activity, which is like a walk on steroids, will give you both a sense of achievement and a fun activity to do together. Keep in mind that coming down is often harder on the human legs than going up, so plan your route wisely.
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Dog-friendly Running Event

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog leash
Doggie Backpack
Treats and water
Activity description

Why not chose a pet friendly event where you can raise money for a worthy cause and have an outing with your furry companion at the same time? Many towns have fundraising runs or a combination of running and walking over a pre-determined distance. This activity is perfect for a day out with your dog. It is a great social day and will teach your dog how to behave in a large gathering. But like all events, train before the day to make sure your dog can handle a crowd. Go to busy malls, markets and parks where there are a lot of people so your dog can get used to a crowd. Your dog will love being by your side as you jog or walk along the track. This event will provide a great day out for your dog and strengthen your bond together. It can also be part of training where your dog has to listen to you and not be distracted by things going on around them - it teaches them how to focus.

Step
1
Pre-event training
Before the big day when there will be loads of people and other dogs around, take your dog to the venue and get them used to walking around the track. By doing this, it is just one less thing your dog has to worry about - a strange place. Take your dog to some crowded areas to get used to a large crowd of people and all their bustle and noise.
Step
2
The big day
Get to the event early and take your dog for a stroll around the area to relax. Then as the excitement builds, get them ready for the start. Have them on the leash and put their backpack on. They can carry the water, treats and medical kit for you, giving them a special purpose. Keep calm and reassure your dog in all the noise. Then, at the signal, begin your event.
Step
3
Keep a steady pace
Set out at a steady pace, and talk to your dog as others go racing by. Often the start is crammed as everyone hustles to get first in line, but as the runners and walkers spread out, the gaps widen and the race is less crowded. Go at your own pace keeping your dog's fitness in mind, as well as the heat of the day. Dogs can easily overheat on a hot day so be very protective of your buddy. This event and the social gathering afterwards is all good training for your dog. They will sleep well after this event!! And you will feel great having helped a great cause.
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More Fun Ideas...

Backpacking Day Out

Even if you live in a town, there are often long walks in the nearby country that you can take advantage of. Plan a day out for your canine, one where they can run free (as long as they respond to your commands to stay close). A dog will cover more ground than you ever will as they run ahead, circle back, check out the sides and even follow behind. They never just go in a straight line unless you train them to. They want to see what's in every corner. You can train them to carry a back pack with some supplies which will help you out. Just check that the track is dog friendly. The highlight is the refreshment breaks - your dog will be right by your side as you pull out the food goodies.

Run and Splash

If you have a swimming pool and it's warm and sunny, teach your dog to run and launch themselves into the pool, swim to the other side and retrieve a toy, and bring it back to you for a treat. This will wear some of that energy off and cool them down. It may take a bit to train them for this new game, and it only suits dogs who love to swim. Don't try and force a dog who isn't interested in water. Remember, it has to be fun. This activity is a smaller version of Dock Diving, which is a popular sport where dogs are trained to run and leap into the water, the goal to achieve the highest jump! So put your dog to work, running and swimming, and they will be one happy pup!

Rollerblade with your dog

If you can rollerblade, then lace up those boots and head out with your dog along one of those paved walkways that are often around towns for tourists. It is a fun way to get some action with your dog, and if your dog is a large one, you can get them to tow you when you get tired. If your dog is a small dog, then when they tire you can pick them up and they can enjoy a ride with you - their tongue hanging out and a huge grin on their face as you whiz along. This activity allows you to discover new areas within your town, exercise your dog, and keep yourself fit all at the same time. Stop for a few breaks so your dog can explore or meet a new dog buddy, then roller away again to find another attraction.

Conclusion

Remember to suit any activity to your dog's size, ability and fitness. Don't take a 'sausage' dog (Dachshund) on a four hour marathon, you will wear what legs they do have off them! And above all, make exercising fun for your dog. While dogs are not fussy about what they do with you as they just love being your buddy, a bit of variety will add a touch of spice to their life. Remember how you feel when you go to the gym and do the same old routine day after day (yawn). Well, that is how your dog will feel about the same old circle around the block. Before you know it they have developed 'selective hearing',  which in layman terms means they pretend that they have seen something interesting and take off, being deaf to all your frantic calls. They are gone, doing something real fun like chasing Mrs. Brown's poor old cat up a tree. So to avoid embarrassment and having to apologize yet again to Mrs. Brown and her pet, make your dog's outings fun!