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Discussion Starter #1
I'm an avid runner looking to take my dog along with me. I run 5k's everyday so its nothing to extreme but its a great workout that I'd love to share with my bud. The only problem is that every time i try and take him for a run he either...

A. Tries to out run me/drag me
B. Makes immediate stops to smell things
C. Doesn't run in a consistent line of motion

I'd really REALLY like to get him to where he can run comfortably with me but wow, is it possible for a dog to have TO MUCH excitement, haha. I'm obviously willing to train, I'm just curious as to what types of things to try while training him.

Thanks in advance guys!

btw, he's an already very athletic dog...

 

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Your boy is still a bit young (15 months?) for regular road work. Large breed dogs need to be fully grown before having their joints stressed That's okay though. You need to teach him to walk at a proper "heel", before you start running with him. Spend the next couple-three months getting him solid (on-leash) with all the basic obedience commands. Those are "sit", "down", "come", and "heel" (incl. "automatic sit" when you stop and/or run in place). By the time you get all that accomplished, he should be over 18 months old and you can begin conditioning him for running with you.

You may not think so, but he'll need to get in shape for regular distances, and his pads will need to toughen up.
 

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Your boy is still a bit young (15 months?) for regular road work. Large breed dogs need to be fully grown before having their joints stressed That's okay though. You need to teach him to walk at a proper "heel", before you start running with him. Spend the next couple-three months getting him solid (on-leash) with all the basic obedience commands. Those are "sit", "down", "come", and "heel" (incl. "automatic sit" when you stop and/or run in place). By the time you get all that accomplished, he should be over 18 months old and you can begin conditioning him for running with you.

You may not think so, but he'll need to get in shape for regular distances, and his pads will need to toughen up.
As for commands he's already got that down very well. He "auto-heels" before and after I open and close the door for his walks. as for our walks, he doesn't auto-sit mainly because I haven't trained him for it. He'll be 18months old this August so I think he'll just start entering the right age group. As for his paws, I agree. He gets roughly an hour of walking per day and its on concrete so I don't know if that's sufficient or not but its a start I guess. I don't plan on taking him straight into 5k runs, but rather start him out with say a mile, then work our way up till he can run it solid.
 

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I don't know what kind of weather you have in August, but the heat and high humidity can be quite dangerous. Once the summer weather breaks in Sept.-Oct., you can take him out in the cool mornings. That'll be soon enough.
 

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That's true. I run with water anyways so I can at least provide a cool drink, but not shade, haha. We're getting close to that weather anyways, well more like another 3 months probably here in Orlando. Any recommendations as far as what to do when he.....say....tries to take off run wit me in toe. I'm an alright runner but I can't run 20+ mph like him, haha. That's mainly the biggest problem I have with him when I try to run.
 

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I've been running with my big mutt lately and he tends to pull a bit at the beginning of the run. By the end he's going just as slowly as me though :) Maybe you could take him out after a long day of play when he's worn down and ease him into it that way?

Beware of taking sharp corners when you're jogging though - I did a tabletop fall over Rufus one too many times before I started training him to "turn left" and "turn right".
 

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I've been running with my big mutt lately and he tends to pull a bit at the beginning of the run. By the end he's going just as slowly as me though :) Maybe you could take him out after a long day of play when he's worn down and ease him into it that way?

Beware of taking sharp corners when you're jogging though - I did a tabletop fall over Rufus one too many times before I started training him to "turn left" and "turn right".

That's a great idea. I think I'll try and wear him out a little with some catch before we go run. I don't mind if he pulls a little at first but he seriously tries to peel out and launch down the sidewalk, haha.

As for turns, thanks for the tips! Much appreciated!
 

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That's what formal obedience is about. You should be able to do any combination of walk, turn in any direction, trot, break into a run, turn at speed, and stop suddenly with the dog in position--and maintain a slack lead while doing so. He should ignore other dogs, rabbits, people, and bushes while at heel. Obedience trials have very tight requirements for performance in these things, but "guy-and-his-dog" standards will suffice for most of us.

That's why I say it takes a couple of month's work. I'm not a professional trainer, and I got my gnat brained knucklehead on the program. Your guy looks like he was born for that kind of training. Once a young athletic dog (like mine or yours) learns the drill, no mortal human can shake him from the proper heel position. Their speed and reflexes put ours to shame. Expect to get a bit of road rash during the training phase, however.
 

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That's what formal obedience is about. You should be able to do any combination of walk, turn in any direction, trot, break into a run, turn at speed, and stop suddenly with the dog in position--and maintain a slack lead while doing so. He should ignore other dogs, rabbits, people, and bushes while at heel. Obedience trials have very tight requirements for performance in these things, but "guy-and-his-dog" standards will suffice for most of us.

That's why I say it takes a couple of month's work. I'm not a professional trainer, and I got my gnat brained knucklehead on the program. Your guy looks like he was born for that kind of training. Once a young athletic dog (like mine or yours) learns the drill, no mortal human can shake him from the proper heel position. Their speed and reflexes put ours to shame. Expect to get a bit of road rash during the training phase, however.
Haha, thanks for your advice. I don't need him to be a competitively obedient dog, but rather obedient, lol, if that makes sense. He obeys very well although he has his moments. He's only 17 months old so I can't fairly expect high standards of obedience from him but I'm sure he'll get past his stubborn young faze here in another year or so. I'll probably start training him sometime at the beginning of August with running. I'll get him used to walks down the sidewalk, because it does follow the road a ways and there are cars and people on bicycles, etc. So we'll see how he does with that, then I'll graduate him up to a light jog, so on and so forth. I don't mind if he wants to stop and smell, just not while I'm running. There's a larger GSD female in our neighborhood that runs with her owner but she's not friendly at all. We tried introducing them and she kept trying to bite at Zeus. Zeus had his tail wagging the whole time trying to lick her on the face, lol. The big dummy didnt realize he was about to get bit.
 

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I run about 7 miles a day with my girl and the smartest thing I ever did was teach her directional signals. left, right, drop back and move forward along with a signal for stop.
 

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I run about 7 miles a day with my girl and the smartest thing I ever did was teach her directional signals. left, right, drop back and move forward along with a signal for stop.
That's actually a good idea. I'll def. work with Zeus on that. He's a beast as is let alone a beast uncontrolled while running, lol. What type of reinforcement do you guys use while training them....on the run:D? I usually offer him some love or treats but I don't feel like running with a bag of treats hanging from my hip.
 

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the directional signals I taught starting with short slow walks using marker training and conditioned secondary reinforcers. Once she grasped the concept I started picking up speed and duration gradually with each successive trip. this also helped condition her body and behavior to the running. These days a run means I wear skates lol..

pick him out a toy. get him interested in it. reward him with treats for being interested in it...get him to the point where he starts drooling at the sight of it.

then...never let him have it except as a reward for good behavior. You might look into shutzhund training and building drive.

then, when you are running and he's performing what you've asked, you can do a game of tug/jump for the toy on the fly. rope toys are good because they are easy to carry.
 

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I just started running with my dog this spring. She will be 2 in September (but she is a smaller breed than yours, so different development rates mean that her growth plates were closed when we started to run).

Before I even started to think about running with her, we did a LOT of loose-leash walking work. Being a Brittany (meaning that being in front of her handler is her instinct) this took a LOT of work. We have also been doing Agility, which I think really helped her to be conscious of where she is in respect to me.

When we started running, we would do very short spurts at first. For my dog, running is a very strong reinforcer. So, if she started to pull, I stopped on a dime. She quickly learned that pulling meant that the fun of running stopped.

In no time, we were able to run further distances with no pulling, and now we do 5k runs every morning (we go at 5:45 AM to avoid the heat and humidity of the day).

Good luck!
 

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the directional signals I taught starting with short slow walks using marker training and conditioned secondary reinforcers. Once she grasped the concept I started picking up speed and duration gradually with each successive trip. this also helped condition her body and behavior to the running. These days a run means I wear skates lol..

pick him out a toy. get him interested in it. reward him with treats for being interested in it...get him to the point where he starts drooling at the sight of it.

then...never let him have it except as a reward for good behavior. You might look into shutzhund training and building drive.

then, when you are running and he's performing what you've asked, you can do a game of tug/jump for the toy on the fly. rope toys are good because they are easy to carry.
I just started running with my dog this spring. She will be 2 in September (but she is a smaller breed than yours, so different development rates mean that her growth plates were closed when we started to run).

Before I even started to think about running with her, we did a LOT of loose-leash walking work. Being a Brittany (meaning that being in front of her handler is her instinct) this took a LOT of work. We have also been doing Agility, which I think really helped her to be conscious of where she is in respect to me.

When we started running, we would do very short spurts at first. For my dog, running is a very strong reinforcer. So, if she started to pull, I stopped on a dime. She quickly learned that pulling meant that the fun of running stopped.

In no time, we were able to run further distances with no pulling, and now we do 5k runs every morning (we go at 5:45 AM to avoid the heat and humidity of the day).

Good luck!
Awesome! Thanks a lot for the advice guys. I'll start setting our path up and getting ready for some training. I can work on these during his nightly walks around the neighborhood. I've got a Kong foot ball that I stuff with treats all the time so I've got the Pavlov's dog trick down, lol. Now I can use that as a tool, WOOT! haha. Thanks again guys, the advice is much appreciated.
 

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That's true. I run with water anyways so I can at least provide a cool drink, but not shade, haha. We're getting close to that weather anyways, well more like another 3 months probably here in Orlando. Any recommendations as far as what to do when he.....say....tries to take off run wit me in toe. I'm an alright runner but I can't run 20+ mph like him, haha. That's mainly the biggest problem I have with him when I try to run.
That's why you need to work with him on formal obedience, as suggested by others. While on lead, he can't be forging ahead, or zig zagging in front of you, not to mention coming to a dead stop to check out/sniff something. That would be dangerous to you. He needs to be focused on you, and you alone. I, too, have taught my dog directions - left, right, etc. It really helps (I walk 4 of various sizes at one time).

Orlando weather will be hot and steamy long into the Fall! Train first, then start conditioning, and hold off on runs until the weather cools somewhat.
I live in St. Petersburg, and no way would I be running my dogs, even at night or before dawn. Even THEY know better! It's out to potty fast, and back inside where it's cool and comfy. Heat stroke isn't pretty, and a bottle of water isn't going to be enough to cool him down, should he get overheated. Most people don't know, so please don't take offense, but to cool him off, water on belly and feet. Just walking in the heat and humidity of FL during summer months can be dangerous, to human and canine alike.
 

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Haha, thanks for your advice. I don't need him to be a competitively obedient dog, but rather obedient, lol, if that makes sense. He obeys very well although he has his moments. He's only 17 months old so I can't fairly expect high standards of obedience from him but I'm sure he'll get past his stubborn young faze here in another year or so.
Pardon me while I rant a bit. I'll try to be gentle.

The complaint that someone doesn't need a dog trained to competitive standards, is very weak. That argument, and its alternative: "I don't want a robot dog", are typically excuses for not wanting to put in the time required for completely training a dog. Also, by 17 months, a dog could be extremely well trained--if you had started when he was new. Okay, you didn't. That's water under the bridge. But he is no way too young. Waiting for him to outgrow his headstrong phase may not be the wisest strategy.

Some extremely tiny minority of dogs have a phenomenal talent for figuring out what their humans want, and they just do it. Others have a way of convincing their humans that whatever it is they are doing is what the human wanted in the first place. There may be some overlap here. The rest of the dogs in the world have to be trained to do what we want.

What you are saying--and I'm taking the liberty of providing a translation--is that your dog already has very good obedience, except that he makes you do what he wants to do when you go out for a walk. Don't feel bad about it. You're not the first person to be played for a sucker by a dog, and you won't be the last. It's the thing they are geniuses at.

A dog who heels properly, focuses on you, and knows enough to swerve with you (on the same side) around street signs and utility poles can allow you to avoid injuries to you, your dog, and innocent bystanders. It's not that hard and you're already spending enough time with him. Just make that time more productive.

Sorry for the lecture, but I'm somebody's father. It's what I do.
 

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That's why you need to work with him on formal obedience, as suggested by others. While on lead, he can't be forging ahead, or zig zagging in front of you, not to mention coming to a dead stop to check out/sniff something. That would be dangerous to you. He needs to be focused on you, and you alone. I, too, have taught my dog directions - left, right, etc. It really helps (I walk 4 of various sizes at one time).

Orlando weather will be hot and steamy long into the Fall! Train first, then start conditioning, and hold off on runs until the weather cools somewhat.
I live in St. Petersburg, and no way would I be running my dogs, even at night or before dawn. Even THEY know better! It's out to potty fast, and back inside where it's cool and comfy. Heat stroke isn't pretty, and a bottle of water isn't going to be enough to cool him down, should he get overheated. Most people don't know, so please don't take offense, but to cool him off, water on belly and feet. Just walking in the heat and humidity of FL during summer months can be dangerous, to human and canine alike.
Thanks for the advice, I'll start focusing on his attention to "me" more. That would improve a lot of things in its self as well.

Pardon me while I rant a bit. I'll try to be gentle.

The complaint that someone doesn't need a dog trained to competitive standards, is very weak. That argument, and its alternative: "I don't want a robot dog", are typically excuses for not wanting to put in the time required for completely training a dog. Also, by 17 months, a dog could be extremely well trained--if you had started when he was new. Okay, you didn't. That's water under the bridge. But he is no way too young. Waiting for him to outgrow his headstrong phase may not be the wisest strategy.

Some extremely tiny minority of dogs have a phenomenal talent for figuring out what their humans want, and they just do it. Others have a way of convincing their humans that whatever it is they are doing is what the human wanted in the first place. There may be some overlap here. The rest of the dogs in the world have to be trained to do what we want.

What you are saying--and I'm taking the liberty of providing a translation--is that your dog already has very good obedience, except that he makes you do what he wants to do when you go out for a walk. Don't feel bad about it. You're not the first person to be played for a sucker by a dog, and you won't be the last. It's the thing they are geniuses at.

A dog who heels properly, focuses on you, and knows enough to swerve with you (on the same side) around street signs and utility poles can allow you to avoid injuries to you, your dog, and innocent bystanders. It's not that hard and you're already spending enough time with him. Just make that time more productive.

Sorry for the lecture, but I'm somebody's father. It's what I do.
Hmmm, I seemed to of had a great and long relationship with my previous dog before he passed away and he wasn't a "robot dog". Not all owners need or want to be "Der Führer" to their pets. Some owners are perfectly content with the minimal and while that may sound "weak" to you, that is your opinion not the divine word. While I understand where your coming from and to an extent agree I think you were letting your opinion override your decency. I appreciate the help and advice you've offered so far but please refrain from flaming, it's not called for.

Zeus is well trained. Does he stay perfectly 12 inches from my left hand side at a 6 degree angle with a shadow length of 36 inches? No, does he mind when I say "heel, sit, down, lie down, sit up, stay, etc" Yes. It's good enough for me. I was only curious on some tips for running with him. I've gotten some great advice so far and it's greatly appreciated and will go a long way towards me training him. Just try and keep the flaming down, it's not called for and there are more effective ways of getting your point across.


Oh, and by the way.....I'm not your child so don't talk to me like one. Thanks.
 

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Man, reading this thread makes me feel pretty bad. :( I am a first time dog owner, and I was under the impression that all exercise was good exercise. So once or twice I took my 5-6 month lab-collie mix on a 6 mile run (9min/mile pace), and once I ran him in 80 degree/humid day (hot for Wisconsin terms). Not to justify the run, but we did stop for water breaks and he plopped down in a puddle at one point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not unprepared or lazy; I've done tons of research, read books, websites, and forums. I guess I just missed the part about waiting until he’s 1.5 years old to do longer runs. I hope I didn't cause any permanent damage.

For now I have gone back to normal walks, or a quick fartlek run which doesn't go over a mile. Every now and then I would like to throw in a 3 mile slower distance run? Or would this be advised against?

FYI He just turned 7 months earlier this month.

Also, thanks for all the good info mentioned in this thread so far.
 

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Not all owners need or want to be "Der Führer" to their pets.
So requiring a dog to reliably obey 4 commands, makes one a totalitarian madman? You've illustrated my point better than I ever could.
 
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