Some people absolutely love running and others...not so much. One fact that is undeniably true is that dogs love running free whenever they get the chance. When us humans run, we tend to tire quite quickly, especially if we are not used to running all of the time. Dogs, on the other hand, act like they can run forever.
While that might seem like the case, the truth is that dogs do have limits when it comes to running and you will be able to tell once they have hit theirs. Some dogs do try to keep going even when they know they shouldn't, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on them to check how they are doing.
Signs Your Pup is Winded
When your pup comes in from being outside during the summer, chances are that your dog will exhibit some signs that will tip you off to the fact that they are highly exhausted from all of the running they just did. Dogs sometimes do not understand being tired and will try to continue on until they absolutely cannot go anymore.
Dogs do not seem to realize they need to take breaks every so often as easily as humans do. Because of this, you will want to keep an eye open for signs that could be an indicator that they are tired. Your pup may be panting quite a lot when they first come through the door, so make sure their water bowl is filled to the brim so that they can grab a drink.
Dogs are strange in that they are mostly unable to sweat, save for a tiny exception, so they will need to get rid of the extra heat in their body by panting. Another way that the heat leaves their body is through their paws, so it is highly likely your pup will go lay down in order to allow themselves to cool down.
History of Dogs Running Around
Around 15,000 years ago is when dogs became domesticated, according to multiple reports. Dogs have always been strong companions to humans, helping us with hunting, gathering and much more. Dogs were not always domesticated though. There was a time when all dogs had to fend for themselves and they were raised to take care of things with the abilities they were given.
Some breeds of dogs can run quicker and further than others, but it has always been one of the species' defenses. They also run because it burns energy and they absolutely love it.
There have been so many different facts found out about dogs throughout the years and we keep learning more about how they used to do things and how they have evolved over time. You know that dogs prefer to live in a home with a nice big backyard to run around in. They crave the freedom of the outdoors to let loose.
Even though dogs are domesticated now, they still have the instincts of dogs past and they are no better now at handling their tired selves than they were thousands of years ago.
The Science Behind a Dog's Endurance
There are a lot of interesting facts when it comes to dogs and running. Like a lot of people are aware, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes have been used as sled dogs for thousands of years. These dogs are a perfect fit for cold weather and lugging things around.
While there is a lot of controversy around sled dogs and whether or not it is painful for the pups, we have learned a great deal about how their bodies react to exercising. It has been reported that a dog's body reacts very differently to that of a human's. Their body will become tired after a day of exercise, but after a few days of doing the same thing, their body becomes accustomed to it and adapts to be able to handle it.
Training Your Dog to Handle Endurance
As we just mentioned, dogs handle exercise a lot differently than humans do. They adapt to the strain put on their body by changing how their muscles react to the movements. A human exercises and then gets sore, time and time again, but dogs have superpowers where they can just change what they need to accordingly to make it better for the next time they run.
Keeping your dog active is incredibly important in making sure that they live their best life with you. Our lives sometimes become so busy that we neglect certain aspects, and while we cannot train our dogs on how to run, we can help keep them active by training them to run alongside us and play fetch.
Training your dog to run can be tricky, and it's not because they can't run. Dogs are so good at running and will try to get ahead of you all of the time. You need to train them to understand that when they are running with you on the sidewalk or on a trail, they need to stay by your side, not pulling or trying to run off into all different directions.
Training your dog to run on a leash can be understandably frustrating at times, so be sure to train them when you have a good chunk of time to do so. Pups can be the best running partners if you can get them there.
You will need to get a shorter leash so that they cannot run off too far. Take your pup on the same route each time you leave the house so that they learn the route quickly and learn how to best run on it. Take treats with you and stop at checkpoints to give them positive reinforcement. Try to take them on their run a few days each week so that they continue to stay in shape with you.
By a Keeshond lover Molly Martin
Published: 05/18/2018, edited: 04/06/2020