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Future running buddy?

Posted May 22 2010 10:59pm

Ever since I became a runner, one of my dreams was to have a dog to run with.  Now, years later, I am hoping that dream will become a reality with Tessa.

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I’m not really supposed to run much with her right now because she is still a puppy.  I was told that dogs shouldn’t really run longer distances (more than a mile or so) until they are at least a year old because their bones are still growing and they are learning how to use their bodies and move properly. 

We’ve only had Tessa for a couple of months and I can already see a difference in the way she moves.  When we first got her, she was like a clumsy Tigger – constantly tripping over her own feet, skidding all over the place, and knocking things over with her tail or her ears.  In just those short few months she has become more sure on her feet, more stable. 

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However, I am still at the point where I can barely take her on a solid, non-stop walk.  She wants to stop at everything and look at it, smell it, put it in her mouth.  She chases anything that moves…  squirrels, birds, geese, blowing leaves, other dogs, children, people on bicycles.  She has gotten a little better but not really all that much.

The last few days I have been trying to walk/run our morning walks.  Run a few minutes, then walk.  Run a few more, walk.  Sometimes we do ok, but other times we just don’t. 

Oh, and the newest thing?  Well, usually when we are outside walking she goes off into the grass if she has to go poo.  If she pulls to the side and I see she is sniffing around, I let her go because I realize it is potty time.  However, the last couple of days as we were running – she made absolutely no attempt to pull over to poo.  She literally just made a dead stop, in the middle of the road one day, the middle of the sidewalk the next, and poo’ed!

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I’m hoping this is just a puppy thing.  I read about other people running with their dogs and my heart aches.  I really enjoyed this writeup by Melinda about the benefits of running with dogs.  I want those benefits!!! 

Any of you runners out there who run with your dogs… did you ever have these problems at first?  Does anybody have advice as to whether this is something my dog will outgrow, or whether she just might not end up being a running partner?

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