Having a high energy dog is no joke for the busy dog owner. For breeds like Huskies especially, who are bred for plenty of long working days, being able to provide sufficient exercise can pose a daunting problem. How do you ensure that your dog is getting the exercise he needs to be happy and healthy, and help prevent any unwanted behaviors in the process?
While walking may be the activity that most owners go to, Huskies are much more fond of high-intensity exercise like running. This makes them the perfect pet for frequent runners or joggers, as they’re fully capable of keeping pace and going for long distances without an issue. Being able to run with your dog also provides ample bonding time and a foundation for which to later train other obedience commands in order to have a well behaved and well balanced canine companion. If you’re interested in learning how to run alongside your Husky in order to improve the quality of exercise that he’s receiving, rest assured that there are certainly harder things to learn.
Because running is a fairly intense physical activity, it can be more demanding exercise and thus should be utilized with dogs that are not too young or too old. Exercise is generally no good if you’re putting too much pressure or damage on your Husky’s joints or muscles. Running is also done best when you’re able to take gradual steps. Asking too much may be a recipe for disaster.
To get your Husky up to running at a reasonable pace for longer distances, expect to take at least two or three months for an adult dog to work his way up to that level. You’ll be working on not only his ability to keep pace, but also his stamina and endurance, as well as his awareness of the road you’re on. Traffic and other pedestrians are always a possibility, so be prepared for every possible circumstance.
To start your run training, have your Husky evaluated by a veterinarian. Be sure that there are no evident illnesses or injuries that could affect or cause damage to your dog during a run. Conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia can cause pain in an overactive pup and you want to avoid causing any further degradation of joints.
Once you can get a clean bill of health, your next tools are a reliable leash and collar. Choose a leash with reasonable length. Six feet is probably ideal, in case your pacing is off in the beginning. Other than that, bring a couple of small treats along with you for your initial work in training a good ‘heel’. Being sure that your dog can stay by your side will make your run training much easier.