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Discussion Starter #1
I recently started doing a Couch to 5K program, wanting Porsche to join me in it. I'm only 2 days in (you do 3 days per week), but while the first day she (reluctantly) finished it with me but was understandably tired, she completely refused to do day 2 with me (planted her feet about 1/4th of the way in). I had to take her home and finish on my own.

I know she's got stamina, and I'm not like forcing her to jog miles here. It's literally a "start from the couch" program for humans - dogs should be in better shape to start with. She shouldn't be having trouble with the amount of exercise - she can run for hours at the dog park.

So I'm guessing it's just boring and a bit difficult too. Plus she's used to stopping a lot and sniffing all the things and here I'm more or less forcing her to keep moving.

Any ideas for overcoming this and making the experience less aversive?
 

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The cadence might actually cause pain. I would listen to her and not force it.

I can hike my whippet for 5 or 6 hours a day, but she can't comfortably jog 2 or 3 miles. I just let it go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
But I mean, people jog with their dogs. Does this mean there's something wrong with the way she's built, or am I trying to make her do too long stretches of jogging (60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking), or...?
 

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Is there a place you could jog where she can be off leash? Or, I guess is she off leash safe to begin with?

I, too, find it strange that a dog wouldn't be able to keep up with a couch to 5K regime. It's literally like 60 seconds jogging and then walking that gets increasingly longer as the weeks go on. (Not saying it's a small feat for a human, because it IS tiring, but it should be perfect for both you and dog). Unless she has some already known joint issues or something.

I'd say if there was a walking track or dog park with a trail, if you go at a not busy time you could do your jogging uninterrupted and she'd be able to get exercise and join you when she can if structured jogging is something she super dislikes.
There's a field near my house that's mowed in a large walking circle. No one ever goes down there. I take Sans off leash and will jog around it. It's on grass, she has time to pause and sniff, but needs to haul a$$ to catch up with me if she gets too far behind.

Edit to add: This is just if you're worried or not sure it's worth trying to work her through it, because you can't take time during your couch to 5k program to cheer her on with treats. A longer leash has helped my girl so she doesn't get nervous that I'm going to step on her, and she can jog just in front or behind me. Her main deal is pulling when we're jogging, she has a small walking-to-galloping zone so she struggles finding the middle pace, but I've biked with my dog before. So she's conditioned to go at least a half an hour bike ride of running.
 

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We can jog with 2 of our three dogs, no problem. But it bothers one of them. She isn't lame, but the cadence doesn't agree with her so we don't take her.

They can't tell us why they don't want to do it. I can't know if she hurts, she's bored, or if she's worried about being stepped on. No idea. But if she doesn't want to, I won't push her just in case it makes her uncomfortable. No known injuries. She's a powerhouse hiker and retriever. She loves to free run. But for some reason, she shies off of jogging. I'm not going to push the issue just in case it causes her pain or discomfort.
 

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Where are you running? One of my dogs hates walking on pavement/concrete and refuses to run on it. But if I run her on trails in the woods or just anything that is dirt/grass, she's fine. I figure the pavement must hurt either her feet or joints or both, I don't force her. I would try and see if she will run on trails (if that's not what you were already doing). If you get a different reaction there, then she just can't/shouldn't run on pavement. Personally I find running in the woods more relaxing and fun, anyways.

Also, I would suggest you let her run out in front of you if you don't already. A lot of people use a harness as a signal for running, and a collar for LLW, in case you were worried about that.

I always bring treats, always have water on you. I know the program has certain intervals for walking/running, but you might have to give up a walk and make it a water break/treat break instead. When it tells you you are half way, the next walk I would offer water. Slip her treats every 15 or so seconds during the walk breaks. Make it fun for her in any way you can.

As a side note, if you can get her to enjoy running, I would start incorporating some basic directional cues. I wish I had when I started, because as I got more serious about running with the dogs I had to put in the training after they were already used to me just guiding them.
 

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Where are you running? One of my dogs hates walking on pavement/concrete and refuses to run on it. But if I run her on trails in the woods or just anything that is dirt/grass, she's fine. I figure the pavement must hurt either her feet or joints or both, I don't force her. I would try and see if she will run on trails (if that's not what you were already doing). If you get a different reaction there, then she just can't/shouldn't run on pavement. Personally I find running in the woods more relaxing and fun, anyways.

Also, I would suggest you let her run out in front of you if you don't already. A lot of people use a harness as a signal for running, and a collar for LLW, in case you were worried about that.

I always bring treats, always have water on you. I know the program has certain intervals for walking/running, but you might have to give up a walk and make it a water break/treat break instead. When it tells you you are half way, the next walk I would offer water. Slip her treats every 15 or so seconds during the walk breaks. Make it fun for her in any way you can.

As a side note, if you can get her to enjoy running, I would start incorporating some basic directional cues. I wish I had when I started, because as I got more serious about running with the dogs I had to put in the training after they were already used to me just guiding them.
Bold - this was my question, too. It could simply be that the pavement bothers her.

Also, depending on how she's built and the slope of her hindquarters, she simply may not be made to jog at a steady pace on a hard surface for long distances.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I just came back from Day 3, and I think I figured out our problem: princess doesn't like the idea of continuous movement. We didn't even get to the first rep of jogging - the first part of the program is always a 5 min walking warm up. Walking, i.e. not standing around sniffing every blade of grass and light pole.

She was so unhappy with being unable to sniff all the things as long as she'd normally get to (I'm usually pretty lax with that, but I don't really wait around for her either) that she threw a hissy fit and basically said "if we're not walking by my rules, i'm not walking at all. take me home.". And I was too frustrated (and also did not have time to cheerlead or work with her), so I just took her home - the first rep of jogging hit us just at the bottom of the uphill to my house. So we jogged that uphill (no issues what-so-ever since we were moving closer to home) and then as we got closer to our house she just jogged right up the front steps and waited for me to open the door. That first rep uphill was killer, made the rest of the run so much tougher. x_x

I did take treats with me and tried to entice her with treats, which she took, but still only wanted to move in the direction of home. We are running on sidewalks, but she has the option to run on grass - which she does sometimes.

I'm more frustrated than I should be because princess IS trained to walk without stopping - in heel position. And she's fine with that. But I can't run with her in heel position. Add a longer leash and more freedom, and we don't want to walk anymore unless we can sniff everything.

Jeez, dog.

Re: other questions - she is off leash reliable as long as there are no other dogs. Which is impossible to guarantee, especially on the wooded trails around us - but anywhere, really. I only have one harness, which I use for tracking, and definitely don't want to get tracking & jogging mixed. I've tried multiple leash lengths - 4ft, 6ft, 15ft. Today I was on the 15ft. Seems the more freedom she's got, the worse she is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll go into the woods next week and see if there's a better result where she has no pavement option. I do find it interesting that she's not choosing grass over pavement more often.

I also find pain a little unlikely because she will literally jog/run for hours chasing dogs who are chasing tennis balls in the dog park. Without stopping. I mean, it could be excitement overpowering pain, but hours? And when we first got her, I did a bunch of half-hour bike rides with her (she was conditioned for it at the time), and she didn't have any issues with that. I accept that she's lost her conditioning since, but what possible injury could've happened in the last 6 months that doesn't show up in anything else?
 

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It wouldn't necessarily be an injury. For example; arthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, etc and so on. Not saying she has any of those, just examples of things that cause pain without the dog getting injured.
 

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The pace is different though. I doubt you are jogging at the same speed as you were biking or at the same speed as the dogs chasing tennis balls.

Your dog, your call. But this is a battle I wouldn't fight just in case.

If she doesn't like it, why do you want her to do it?
 

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It wouldn't necessarily be an injury. For example; arthritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, etc and so on. Not saying she has any of those, just examples of things that cause pain without the dog getting injured.
Yup. And like I said, depending on the angulation of her hindquarters and hind legs, it may be that jogging long distances on pavement is just not something her conformation will support.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I could be unlucky I suppose. She's on preventative joint supplements, and she comes from a line of dogs with no HD/ED/other joint issues for miles. All of the breeder's dogs are basically marathon runners, and continue to accompany him on runs into their early teens. She's not overly sloped either.

I can always be unlucky and get the one bad apple out of the barrel, of course. Let's see what happens in the woods next week.

If she doesn't like it, why do you want her to do it?
Because I need motivation to run. I would never have gotten off the couch without having a dog. Having a dog that doesn't want to run is going to result in me not running. There's no way I'm going to do 4 walks a day PLUS a half hour run by myself.

Yup. And like I said, depending on the angulation of her hindquarters and hind legs, it may be that jogging long distances on pavement is just not something her conformation will support.
But she doesn't have to jog on concrete. That was never the only option. She always had/has a choice. And she can't possibly be built so poorly as to be unable to jog 60 seconds when I want to (but also perfectly able to jog for hours when she wants to).
 

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Tough call... If it is a medical reason I agree with trainingjunkie. If it is a behavioral reason (ex. she wants to sniff everything instead) you can train your dog to enjoy jogging with the right methods. Keyword being 'right.' If your dog isn't having fun, your method isn't working regardless of the reason.
Case in point, my dog will jog up to 6 miles (only because I've only ever jogged that much ever) with me no problem, tail wagging and keeping perfect stride with me. If I try off leash in some areas, he will lag behind because he enjoys sniffing much more. If someone else tries to jog with him, in all cases people he's lived with and really liked, he will dead stop at times, try to pull the leash out of their hands, etc... My dog doesn't in general like jogging, I think. But I've specifically taught him to enjoy/tolerate jogging with me. I would also recommend making sure your dog's joints are fine and is in good health in general. I want to say 5k is nothing for most dogs, but you can't be too careful esp. with repetitive motion on concrete.
 

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I'll go into the woods next week and see if there's a better result where she has no pavement option. I do find it interesting that she's not choosing grass over pavement more often.

I also find pain a little unlikely because she will literally jog/run for hours chasing dogs who are chasing tennis balls in the dog park. Without stopping. I mean, it could be excitement overpowering pain, but hours? And when we first got her, I did a bunch of half-hour bike rides with her (she was conditioned for it at the time), and she didn't have any issues with that. I accept that she's lost her conditioning since, but what possible injury could've happened in the last 6 months that doesn't show up in anything else?
for a GSD it would be a red flag for consideration that there is something physically going on, to see a refusal/ lagging, from a dog that was conditioned and enjoy'd such long activities before only 6 months ago. GSD's love this type of stuff, once I fitted Ra in his wheel chair I had to keep him slowed down at times not to crash trying to fly through the ditches lol .. The sudden hesitation with Faye towards off property activities was her loosing her eye sight in her elder years.. So for me it's a red flag that something is not right for a breed that loves activities and is built for endurance with an effortless gait that they can go forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
God I would hate for it to be a health issue. But that's not up to me, I suppose.

It could also be boredom with general surroundings. She is fairly lacklustre about all the routes around our house normally, and occasionally will opt out of a walk just out of nowhere. But if I take her somewhere she perks up - so maybe the trail will liven her up. If she's still refusing on trail, I won't force her and will start saving up for a full set of x-rays.
 

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Maybe go back to some basic "heel" training where you start slow, speed up, then slow down again... Graduate your speed from day to day where your fast pace initially is a fast walk, then by the end of a week you've moved on to a slow jog. Just take it slow like you're beginning all over again. Other than that, I think the others have some good advice and perhaps there is something else going on. Or she just hates to run, like I do. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maybe go back to some basic "heel" training where you start slow, speed up, then slow down again... Graduate your speed from day to day where your fast pace initially is a fast walk, then by the end of a week you've moved on to a slow jog. Just take it slow like you're beginning all over again. Other than that, I think the others have some good advice and perhaps there is something else going on. Or she just hates to run, like I do. :)
We've actually never worked different pacing with LLW in heel position. She really sucks at it, if I slow down she pulls until I speed up again. Our normal walking pace is the fastest pace I can walk, so the only way to go faster is to jog. We don't have an active "heel" at all.
 
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