May 17, 2017

"I think running with a dog is a wonderful thing, but it has to be done with just as much care as the person who is running takes."

"The things we encounter are people running with the wrong breed of dogs, forcing dogs to run, and then just doing too much."
Ironically, dogs might be so well adapted to the human environment that it’s easy to overlook the stress some face as pets. Given the resiliency certain breeds have shown in combat, emotional therapy, search and rescue, and other challenging settings, the expectation that they’d handle routine human exercise easily is understandable. And it might seem harmless to push especially active breeds beyond what their owners do themselves, for example by having them run alongside a bicycle....


Rick Turley said...

Heh. Nobody ever takes their cat out for a run. Who's the smart one now! (See avatar.)

n.n said...


furious_a said...

According to our vet, dogs -- except for wild pack-hunter breeds -- aren't built for the extended up-tempo pace of a human jogging (or riding a bike). Can drive them to heat-stroke.

Not a problem for me, since the only time humans run with beagles is when they bolt between one's legs through the front door after a rabbit at 645a on Sunday or catch one looking the wrong way when they pull the lead out of one's hand tearing after a squirrel across a busy street.

Expat(ish) said...

People are always surprised that humans are the longest distance runners in nature.


I'm old and built for weightlifting but I can cover more ground than any land animal in a 24 hour period. Most health adults can walk farther in a day than a horse can, for example.

It's one reason we were the global apex predators - we can chase down any animal, given enough enough tracking ability.


exiledonmainstreet said...

When I was a kid, I frequently had our family dog running alongside me (on a leash) when I rode my bike. We'd go to the woods a half mile away and then I'd take her off the leash and she'd roam around (she was very obedient and ignored other dogs and people). The only bad thing about it was that she would inevitably end up with lots of burrs in her coat which had to be taken out when we got home.

It never occurred to me until just now that I was putting her at any risk. But then I think of some of the crap we used to feed that dog, without ever knowing it was bad for her - table scraps, milk and bread (I thought it was a treat for her), even chicken bones and chocolate - I shudder. Even the can of fancy schmancy "Recipe" dog food that she got as a Christmas treat was a bad idea, since the best thing for dogs is to feed them the same dog food all the time. No wonder she puked a lot!

But she also lived until she was 15 years old. She was a very tough mutt. And she never got fat.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

It is hard to say what dogs are really capable of. We got a cavalier king Charles spaniel some 9 years ago. I was marathon training back then and took her on morning 4-6 mile runs at about 7:30 pace. This was in the summer and so it could be pretty warm here in the Boston suburbs. She pulled at the leash the whole way. The only time she would not pull, is if I sprinted (I estimate I could get to almost 15 mph for a hundred yards or so) and she would start to fall behind. For people who know the breed, CKCS are one of the least athletic breeds. The next year, she couldn't keep up with me but my wife would run 10 minute miles with the dog. The third year, the dog could not keep up with my wife.

My take home from all of this is that dogs can take a lot more heat and strain than (at least I) had been given to expect.

Alpha Dog said...

I've had 3 Australian Cattle Dogs (aka Blue Heeler or Red Heeler) over the years and I must say that the energy level of an ACD maintains a high level until the age of 5 or 6. After that age, the energy level starts to decrease. One of my ACD's would run 5-6 miles 4 or 5 times a week with my ex. She took that dog out for a run In all types of weather in Colorado until about the age of 6. All of my ACDs could pace me, while I was in an ATV, going anywhere from 5-20mph for a period of time.

The dogs were not immediately exposed to the high level of activity. They worked their endurance up with a watchful eye. You had to take the energy out of the dogs or they could get into trouble.

If you understand the lineage of the breed, you can imagine where the energy level came from. A dog breed to herd cattle across Australia in all types of conditions.

I'm also not saying that all ACDs have a high level of energy but chances are that they do.

William Freiman said...

William Freiman said...

The family Lab dropped dead running with me....a tough lesson learned.

tcrosse said...

Then there were coach dogs, which were trained to trot alongside horsedrawn carriages or fire wagons. Dalmatians were fashionable for this sort of thing.

Mark said...

Sure, dogs can keep up.

They have no choice but to keep up what with that noose around their neck that forces them to keep going no matter how exhausted they are or else they will be choked and dragged.

Let's see how even the most fit jogger likes being on a leash with a collar around their neck and forced to run alongside a bike or car or horse.

Virtually Unknown said...

Given the resiliency certain breeds have shown in combat, emotional therapy

Yeesh! One of these things is not like the other.

Virtually Unknown said...

Dalmatians were fashionable for this sort of thing.

In Meet Me in St Louis there are Dalmations running under a coach. Makes you realize why they were popular with firemen.

hey have no choice but to keep up what with that noose around their neck that forces them to keep going no matter how exhausted they are or else they will be choked and dragged.

I see dogs running with their owners without a leash, I am guessing you don't have a. dog.

Virtually Unknown said...

I was watching A Football Life on Jerry Rice, and he used to run down horses as a boy all the time. He said it took about 45 minutes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Keep up?

When young HoodlumDoodlum was in high school he was in pretty darn good shape (take THAT uncle Jun!) and could run at a good pace for quite a ways. His family got a husky puppy. When the husky was about a year old (or so) HoodlumDoodlum took the dog for a run--he had the idea that he'd tire the dog out and then relax. This was in Georgia during the summer and Hoodlum assumed the dog'd get hot and slow down, so Hoodlum made sure to keep an eye out for signs of overheating.
But that husky? He ran, and he ran, and he ran. He never slowed down--Hoodlum not only couldn't wear the husky out, but after many miles he couldn't even tell the husky was at all fatigued. It was a humbling experience, in a way!

Anyway...depends on the dog, brah.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Expat(ish) said...It's one reason we were the global apex predators - we can chase down any animal, given enough enough tracking ability.

Right on.

Wiki: Human persistence hunting

Smithsonian Mag: Russian Family Isolated for 40 Years
Yet the Lykovs lived permanently on the edge of famine. It was not until the late 1950s, when Dmitry reached manhood, that they first trapped animals for their meat and skins. Lacking guns and even bows, they could hunt only by digging traps or pursuing prey across the mountains until the animals collapsed from exhaustion. Dmitry built up astonishing endurance, and could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders.

Anonymous said...

I once ran across an elevated pedestrian walkway used by bikers and joggers and also people taking their dogs for a walk. The public authorities actually had to put out a sign warning people that the surface gets very hot in summertime and that it can be fatal to dogs to walk them across it when the temperature gets above a certain point. And to make it as obvious as possible, a thermometer was placed next to this sign so people could tell if it was that hot out.

It was a sunny summer day, the temperature was right at the danger point, and a number of dogs were seen being walked across this thing. The heat was felt through the sneakers, and a couple dogs were definitely in distress with clueless owners and made a dash for a water bowl that a vendor had placed at one end of the walkway.

Molly said...

I have a shepherd type mutt who walks along beside me on my bike. For me, the main purpose of our ride is for the dog, not for the human. So we get to unpopulated parts of the bike trail and I let him off leash for extended period of sniffing, marking, and (if I'm lucky) pooping (is it clear I'm talking about activities of the dog?). So I'd guess on a typical ride, we go 2-3 miles in 30-40 minutes. The dog sometimes picks up the pace, and sometimes slows down. His pace is usually a trot or fast walk, but sometimes accelerates into a run (you can hear the difference). He's only at full speed off leash for dashes into the woods chasing a deer.

I got my dog when he was 3 and now he is 7, so I am mindful of the experiences related here of other dogs who slowed down considerably as they reach 7-8.

Also hot pavement is a danger (or hot sand at the beach, or broken glass). But that has nothing to do with jogging/biking with your dog.

mandrewa said...

I see two people have already made the point before me, but it's worth saying again.

Human beings have a real range of unusual abilities. It's not just our talent at thinking, our ability to use language, and our tool use, we also have these surprising physical abilities like the fact we are well adapted to water for a species that does not live in the water.

Or in this case we are possibly the world's top endurance predator on land. It seems odd to say that because 99.9% of people existing today are never at any point in their lives endurance predators, but we know from studying hunter-gather cultures that this is not an uncommon thing. That is a normal healthy male in his twenties from many of these hunter-gather cultures can chase almost any animal until it dies from exhaustion.

Now wild dogs and wolves are also endurance predators and they often hunt in a similar way, that is they basically wear their prey out, yet despite the fact that they are obligatory carnivores and we are not, in fact we get most of our calories from plants, yet still we are the better endurance predator.

How did that happen?