We know how important it is for us to keep fit and get regular exercise each week. We’ve got the internet to help provide us with a plethora of demos to help guide us and for us to follow through with if we’re stuck on where to start. However, it can be difficult to kick-start a routine by yourself. It can be pretty lonesome if you’re exercising alone so why not tie it in by getting your canine companion to exercise with you?
Dogs love the great outdoors and they need plenty of exercise to keep in sync with their active mind and bodies. Whether your dog is a pet model or new to the modelling scene, keeping fit will help them stay healthy, boosting their immune system. Your dog can be the best motivation for you to get out of the house to talk a brisk walk or run.
So, have we got you thinking about starting a running routine with your pooch? Great! Here are Models Directs tips about getting started.
Start off slowly
First off, start walking with your dog on a loose leash. You’ll understand how your pup reacts outdoors and what triggers them to become distracted. Other dogs, birds and squirrels are common distractions that can interrupt a nice stroll outside. Try keeping your lead in a J-shape and give it some slack whilst walking. Once they are accustomed to walking with you at a slow pace, you’re ready to move onto the next stage.
Pick up the pace
Now that your canine buddy has mastered walking by your side at a slow pace, it’s now time to choose a cue word that will communicate when it’s time to pick up the pace. You can teach your pup your cue word and what it means by adding short bursts of running to your walk. Say it just before you start to increase your pace so that your dog connects the word with your action. Reward your dog when they have caught up with you, to treat them.
Just like how you’d need a cue word to start your run, a cue word to slow down is just as essential. This will be helpful if you need some time out or when you’re approaching a busy crossing.
When starting your regime, only add in short runs or a few sprints to your walk. This will help get you both into the swing of running at a short distance together. Once you’re both comfortable doing this, gradually build up the running intervals on each walk until your canine is used to the running.
Warm-up and cool down
Just as you would do a warm-up before your workout, and end with cooling down, your pooch is no different. Add in some slow warm-ups to get you both started for the exercise that lies ahead.
Dogs enjoy having the opportunity to explore their surrounding so when you’re out you’re about, give your pup the chance to do this. You can power up or recharge your batteries whilst they are enjoying the nature around them.
Don’t run before you can walk
As tempting as it is to run with a puppy, it might not be a good idea to do so whilst they are young. Their growing bodies might not be able to withstand the strain of running so early. Dogs mature at different ages. Usually, many can start running between 9 and 12 months of age but it’s best to consult with your vet who can guide you better on when to start.
Must-have dog gear
If you’re set on embarking on a workout with your dog, we’ve got some essential must-have dog gear that will prove handy.
A safety harness
Having a secure harness, not too tight nor too loose, will help keep your dog securely near you. Your dog might be a puller, tugging to move in a different direction when getting distracted so a harness will be handy for its and your safety.
What’s even better is that some added features come along with harnesses making them an effective dig gear. Reflective materials for safer runs at night, clips and pockets for handy storage for treats, collapsible bowl and poo bags are some examples.
High visibility jacket
If you decide to run in low light conditions, a reflective jacket for your dog will help them stay visible to others around them be it motorists or pedestrians. This will give you an added sense of security that others can see your pup and not just you.
Just like humans, dogs need to keep hydrated especially when exercising. Take a bottle or bowl, whichever your canine friend prefers, to keep them hydrated during their workout. Don’t forget this crucial dog gear!
Dogs are friendly and loving creatures who bring an immense amount of love to a home. Dog owners feel connected to their lifelong companion so it would make sense to have them on board at every step in daily life. Exercising with your dog as opposed to by yourself will make the experience richer, memorable and certainly instil motivation for you to get up and go. Try out our tips if you’re new to running with your pup and let us know how you get on.
If you’re thinking of applying for your gorgeous canine as a pet model, contact us today to open your pup’s world of being behind a camera and then being the star pet of tomorrow’s ads and magazines…good luck