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I really want to be able to take my puppy running in the mornings (when she is a bit older - right now she is still building up to longer walks and short runs, and I don't think she would be able to take a long run right now) but I'm not sure how to train her to run by my side...because she gets super excited by running and starts trying to play with my moving legs!!

We try running in the park, and she is fine sometimes, bounding along beside me, but other times, she just gets so excited - jumping up at my legs, nipping at my legs or trying to tug on my sweatpants, or running between or in front of my legs! I am concerned that she is going to get hurt (by me accidentally kneeing her in the face, for example) or that I am (from being tripped up by her). Any ideas on how to teach her to run alongside me?

We have just started doing some umbilical training this week, and I am hoping that this will help, but I am open to other ideas! Is this an issue that really needs to be trained out of her, or is it just a puppy thing that she should grow out of with time?
 

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I think the excitement will die down as she gets a little older. You just have to keep reinforcing calmness by praising her and giving her rewards as she remains at your side not jumping. The more you do it, the more she'll get the hang of it :D Start off with just loose leash walking. When she masters that, I suggest walking faster. If she can stay calm, lots of rewards and praise. Keep increase the speed of your walk until you're at a trot, then a jog, then hopefully finally a run. The more she succeeds at slower speeds, then gradually the better she'll be to handle the excitement of the run.
 

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Puppies shouldn't be taken on forced runs (i.e. running until the human decides otherwise) until their growth plates close, especially large breeds. It can cause joint damage if dogs are forced to run before then. For large doge, like boxers, german shepherds, goldens, etc., that's at 18-24 months old. Until then, enroll in obedience classes to learn socialization/manners, and take your puppy for walks.
 

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If your dog is really a puppy you shouldn't be running with them yet anyways. You shouldn't do any forced running with your dog until the growth plates close. The dog running and playing on it's own is fine but having them run with you is bad for their joints and bones. Once the dog is old enough for running with you it should be easy to train to run properly with you.
 

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Wait till your pup is fully grown - in the case of a large breed, that's at least 18 months. Then work up slowly towards a running program, much like you had to do when you started. Keep in mind your dog's size, structure and tolerance for weather (a short nosed dog might not handle jogging in hot hot weather, a short haired dog might not do ok with very very cold) when considering running with them.

In the mean time, socialize and teach obedience skills, things like walking along paths and getting used to bikes, traffic, passing other dogs are all things to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!

As I said, she is too young to go on proper "runs" now, I am looking for the right way to get her there as she grows - I don't intend to start doing long runs yet!!

However, she does love little sprints and romps in the park right now, and has so much puppy energy that it is a great way to burn it off! I'm assuming that it won't hurt her to just romp around on the grass for a little bit? She absolutely loves it, and seeing as she is too little to be off-leash, I need to run with her when she does it.

She is getting really good with walking (still very distracted by everything and everyone, but that's expected at her age!!) and because we live in a city, she is absolutely wonderful with all the sights and sounds - some things (like bikes that look like they would be fun to chase) are distractions, but so far, she is not really showing any fear at anything, and has zero aggression towards other dogs.

All in all, she is awesome, and really WANTS to run most of the time, which is why I want to get her used to it early on - well, that and because she has SO much energy, and although I work from home and have time to spend, just walking her is starting to take an hour or more each walk...and seeing as we are giving her 4 a day (plus going out for peeing), just walking alone is turning into a full time job, and I would like to be able to burn off more energy doing little runs in the park so that her walks can be around an hour each, not 8 hours a day!

GeorgiaPeach gave 18-24 months as the age to start running - can anyone corroborate that or give a good website to learn about development of joints? Honestly, that seems pretty old to me! Especially for a breed with a 10yr life expectancy....any thoughts on age to run?

And yes, she is a large breed (pyrenees shephard cross) and now 11weeks old.
 

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Try googling articles by Chris Zink. SHe is a vet specialising in animal sports medicine.

We have twice hosted Chris in Brisbane and she is adamant that growth plates need to be closed before any strain is imposed on joints. And yes that means 15 to 18 months for older dogs.
 
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