I have an eight-year-old German Shepherd dog that I have been running with since I got her about six years ago. She was only about two years old when we began running and at that time I was running in some marathons and half marathons. My training runs during the week were 5 to 7 miles at on every Sunday at it long run which alternated between 10 and 15 miles.
In the beginning she was simply not in shape to even stay up with me for the small and short training runs during the week. The long run on Sunday was completely out of the question even. She was good for two or 3 miles, but after that it began a process of me having to pull on her leash constantly to keep her up with me. It simply was not worth the effort and I would usually end up putting her back into the pickup and finishing my run.
I was quite surprised at her inability to run for more than three or 4 miles at a time with me. However, as I kept training with her her mileage began to increase much the same as a human who continues training at longer longer distances. I guess what I will most want to say to runners with new dogs who they plan to run with is that the dog requires his or her own training schedule also. Many people think of dogs as natural born runners because they can run so fast in enjoy the process so much.
But any writer who begins running with the new dog will tell you that the dog can simply not keep up with a human who was in good enough shape to run a half marathon. Plus, there is a significant difference in the dog’s ability to run in hotter weather versus colder weather. Even nowadays, when my dog runs with me on a hot summer mornings her ability to keep up with me for long distances is severely diminished. In fact, at eight years old I can tell age is creeping up on her and her longer distances, especially on days when it’s very hot and humid, are becoming less and less lengthly.
She always lets me know which is getting tired because she begins lagging behind and I feel tension on the leash. I will prod her along to some extent, but after a while it becomes a futile process as she simply does not wish were is able to keep up. In the summer months, I run near a lake where we can frequently stop and I allow her to get into the water for a while to cool off and get a drink. This seems to links and her running ability somewhat on those hot summer mornings.
By the way, I had a running friend some time back who ran with their dog on a regular basis at the beach and on one hot summer morning the dog simply died from an apparent stroke or heart attack. Of course the dog amount of died anyway from the heart attack it was not necessarily caused by the running but runners should be wary when running with their dogs do not overextend their ability.
One other additional piece of knowledge that is handy to know is that glucosamine for dogs is a very important supplement for those canines who run a regular basis.
Steve Weber has more information about glucosamine for dogs on his website. Visit his site and learn how glucosamine can greatly benefit the canines life.