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Running with your dog

You might have dreamt about running alongside your dog on your morning runs. But the first time you leash your dog to go on one of these runs, it didn’t go as planned. Instead, your dog just pulled you everywhere, leaving you unable to run as you wanted to.


Now, how to teach your dog how to run alongside you or, as in canicross, aid you in your running?


Canicross vs running alongside your dog

Before you start preparing yourself and your dog for your first run, you’ll have to decide how you want to run with your dog.

Do you want your dog to run nicely alongside you?

Or do you want your dog to run in front of you like they do in canicross?

The reason you have to decide this beforehand is because you’ll first need to teach your dog what you expect of him. In order to do this, you yourself should decide what you want.


Tools for running

When going for a run with my dogs, I always prefer them to wear a harness. There are two main reasons for this.

  1. If I need them to stop suddenly, for example, when a car passes by unexpectedly, I can pull the leash. The force of my pull will be taken by their chest and not their neck when wearing a harness.

  2. My dogs are allowed to pull me forward during our runs together. By letting them wear a harness, once again, the pulling force will be taken by their chest.


There are also different types of leashes available.

For running, depending on the situation, I either prefer an elastic canicross leash, or a regular leash.

When I’m going for a run in an area that’s free of cars and bicycles, I’ll use an elastic canicross leash. When your dog then pulls forward, the harder he pulls, the more he’ll aid you in your running. If you would do this with a regular leash however, it’s all or nothing for your dog. Up until he reaches the end of the leash, there will be no pulling at all. But the second he reaches the end, he gets to pull 100% of you.


In a more urban area, I would advise to leash your dog with a regular leash. This way you have more control over him. If