Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heel, Boy, Heel

Will I still think he's cute after his first run?

Well, today might be the day. Yesterday's onslaught of new snow, freezing temperatures and general malaise sapped my motivation to run. However, I would like to run today. But I have to watch the dog. Maybe I could watch him run.

Dobson has never run with me. I originally planned to wait until he is six months old, but his seemingly boundless energy of late causes me to think that maybe he could handle a four-miler. Of course if I'm wrong, I might be in store for a long cold walk back to the apartment (or car, depending where I go).

In addition to Dobson's inexperience, I have never run with a dog. I have this fear that he will spot a squirrel, which is a new obsession of his, and dart after it, looping behind my back, catapulting his 40-pound frame toward the unfortunate animal (or the tree trunk it escapes to), and wrenching my arm clean off from the shoulder. I hope he trips me instead. Wish me luck.

10 comments:

Ian said...

I have a lot of experience running with a dog and if you're going to continue to do it they your best bet is one of those elastic leashes that strap around your waist.

The worst part about it isn't stopping so that he can pee on everything it's that whenever he pulls or strains at the leash it totally messes up your arm-cadence. I came to discover that this is a bigger annoyance than I thought it would be.

Ian said...

Didn't mean to sound like a downer in that previous comment... I LOVED running with my dog, but he's too old and arthritic to keep up anymore.

Jess said...

He's SO cute! What kind of dog is he? An English Sheepdog?

As for running with a dog, personally, I hate running with Scooter. He's totally erratic -- sprinting one minute and stopping to smell something the next. Plus, Scooter's a Beagle, so he's pretty small, so running a mile or two is about all he can handle before he literally just wants to sit down in the grass. Which, sometimes I think isn't a half bad idea :)

sherijung said...

Heh, the only time I've fallen is when I got tangled up in my dog's legs when she drifted into my path because she was eye-balling a squirrel. But I live in California where's there no ice to slip on.

Seriously, though, I highly recommend using a haltie type of collar (goes over the nose and upper neck) as it gives you much better control over your dog and takes less arm strength to give corrections. Also recommend mastering the walk with your dog before attempting to run.

Barefoot Johnny O said...

Running with dogs is great fun. Occasionally they will frustrate you with their constant want to sniff and leave their mark. Constant direction and conversation is sometimes required. Pepper and I run all the time. She loves it and it's the best exercise I can give her. I use a harness with a long leash (that way I don't choke her). I continually play it out and pull it in, so it takes some effort, but I liken it to what McDougall quoted Jurek as saying, and I'll paraphrase, "running with someone else lets you get outside of yourself," therefore the miles will fly by. Pepper also helps with my pace. When she's trotting, I'm at about a 10 min/mi, but when she's loping, I'm really making time. She gets excited when I put on my running clothes which psyches me up too. Dobson will love it and so will you.

Al's CL Reviews said...

I second the Halti or a Gentle Leader (same thing, different brand). I run with my Border Collie/Husky.

That said, you have to watch your dog. Our pup Scuttlebutt is boundless energy, but at the moment a hilly 3 miles is too much for him. Just like people, they have to build up mileage. Guinness likes to go to the bathroom a lot on runs, so I have to make sure when she drifts to the grass to let her go (and it isn't fun to run with a poop bag).

Talk to your vet if he is under 6mos. It might hurt his growth. Also you have to think about the ground on his feet (too cold right now?).

Mike Antonucci said...

The New York Times just had a pretty good story about this.

Carolina John said...

i don't run with dogs. they get in the way and stop to pee more often than i do, so no thanks.

Roisin said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and state the obvious...

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!


What were you saying?

Rachel said...

That is an unbelievably cute dog. My favorite part of running with Shine is how he is full speed ahead 100% of the time...until he suddenly throws on the brakes to poop. I always almost eat it but it cracks me up everytime.