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Discussion Starter #1
Eventually, I would like Juno to be my running partner. Of course, this will be after she reaches 12 months and with the vet's approval. She will be enrolled in basic obedience classes sometime in the next two weeks. She's already learning new commands quickly. She walks well on the leash and is responding to the "heel" command most of the time (she's learning, I'm cutting her some slack).

My question is:

So what kind of training did you have to do to successfully run with your dog? Obviously, I can't just take her out for a 4 mile run. She will have to build up endurance just as I did. I am absolutely jumping the gun as she has another 6 months before she can go on runs with me, but I like to be prepared.

If you have any advice, that would be great! Thanks in advance.
 

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Just don't over do it, a lot of times dogs will push themselves and end up injuring themselves. What kind of dog is Juno? My schnauzer/chihuahua who is almost a year old loves to exercise, I only walked her when she was younger, but now we rollerblade and bike together, but its good to start walking so she stretches out and then gradually build up to a faster pace, that way there are less chance of injuries. Usually the person will get tired before the dog =P and take plenty of water breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Juno is a lab/great dane mix. I stop for water breaks every 2-3 miles and would definitely bring some for her. I'm worried about the couch potato status of the dane breed and that Juno won't want to run with me. LOL

Thanks!
 

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I think with a large breed dog there are problems you have to watch out for. Even though they are physically capable of running (and heck a LOT faster than we can), running them when they are young and their joints aren't fully developed can lead to problems later. I'd go by what Great Dane people say as far as how much exercise they are allowed to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
running them when they are young and their joints aren't fully developed can lead to problems later
This is why I said I won't be running with her until a year old at least (or 18 months, whichever the vet clears). I would hate to end up hurting her in the long run (haha, a pun). It's definitely worth the wait to have a running partner for many, many years to come. :)

Oh, also . . . My speed is quite slow so it will probably end up being a quick trot for her. LOL
 

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Sometimes I try to get my 2-yr old Shepherd mix dog Lola to run with me. But she tends to stop, goes off to the side, runs across me etc...which gets very annoying because I have to keep stopping. Also, I usually run by the lake near my place and Lola is constantly going after ducks/geese. We are working on walking on leash nicely first, which has been difficult. Any tips?
 

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As you said, in your last post, 18 months will be a more reasonable goal for a dog that size. I started doing 100 yrs jogs with my 13 month old (who's only 24lbs) and jog less than 1/4 mile at a time with my 16 month old (50lbs), all on grass, just to get them used to running with me. Any longer than that is too much on their young bones...as you said, it's more important ensure you have a partner who's fit for years to come. My dogs are substantially smaller than yours and have been done growing for a while...I would really wait until 18 months if I were you.

What you *can* do it work on general leash manners...keeping to one side, keeping pace with you at a variety of speeds, and just in general paying attention to you. You can even jog say 20 feet or so just to get Juno used to that kind of motion on your part and not think that's it's a cue to go bonkers and try to pull you to Mexico (unless you live in Mexico already, in which case that's fine ;))

You almost may want to look into dog stretches to help him stay limber.

Also, this may seem silly but...you might want to teach Juno a pee/potty on command cue and a "stick with me" cue...it's always nice to cut down the chances of having to use your poop bag on a jog, or having your arm yanked out to mark or sniff every single thing :D
 

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I have been running with my dogs for years; I started when they were 3 and 5 years old and we usually go for 2-3 miles on average. I think with the breeds in Juno's heritage, you can never be too careful about joints. Like Shaina, I would wait until she hits one and a half years of age.

Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is essential for a good running partner, but you also need to teach Juno to stay on one side only. Spunky and Honey both walk on loose leashes, but there was once Spunky crossed me to get to a cat on my right -- in order to prevent myself from tripping over her I stopped suddenly, lost my balance and was out of action for two weeks. :( Since then, Spunky always runs on my left, and Honey on my right.

I would also teach her "watch me" -- can be useful when the dog is getting distracted.

For now, keep her fit. Read up on how to identify a dog that's gone too far (intensely red or pale gums, heavy panting, thicker saliva) so you'll be able to tell if you're pushing her limits. Just like humans, dogs build up their endurance gradually. If you want to build up her fitness without causing detriment to her joints, swimming is a great means of low-impact exercise, and the Lab in her will love that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Excellent advice everyone, thank you.

I'll wait as long as it takes to be sure that she won't be injured or disabled permanently. Her health is much more important than having a running partner. And if she decides she doesn't want to be my running partner when the time comes, so be it. LOL

We'll continue to work on leash manners and "watch me" as I feel those are very, very important not only for running but for every day life. We've been working on basic obedience at home, like I said.

I'll keep doing what I'm doing and work on helping Juno grow to maximum potential. Thanks!
 
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