So you want to make your dog run faster so he can keep up with your active lifestyle. You have these dreams of taking Fido along on your morning run, the wind in your hair and his fur, speeding along until you collapse side-by-side on a grassy hill and do a little cloud gazing and snuggling. The problem? Fido doesn’t share the same dream and his pace is slowing you down. Even if you adopted a dog that craves action and adventure, he may not have the right inspiration to follow along at your pace. Today, we have a special guest writer, Mackenzie Grove of Dogclippersly, here to tell us how we can encourage our dogs to run faster!
Before we get into that, though, I want to say that these tips are for healthy dogs in their prime. Very young puppies and elderly dogs shouldn’t be encouraged to run like gazelles unless they choose to do so on their own. Dogs that used to blur alongside you but suddenly slow down should be seen by a vet to make sure something else is going on. In fact, before you try to make your dog run faster, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet to make sure he’s healthy enough to withstand such an active lifestyle. That said, let’s get into those tips from Mackenzie!
How to Make Your Dog Run Faster
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Do you have a dog that doesn’t run very fast? If you do, chances are good that you have a good reason for wanting him to change that. For example, maybe you want him to accompany you on your daily runs. Fortunately, dogs often fail to run fast for one reason: they’re not inspired to do so. You can change that by practicing a few simple tricks.
1- Bring their favorite toy
Just because running isn’t directly associated with fun, you can make it so by bringing along a toy that your dog just loves so that soon he understands that run time is play time. Bring that favorite play toy, stuff it in your pocket to ensure he knows where it is. He will follow you everywhere to get close to that toy, albeit at a faster pace. No toys? Try these?
As a dog owner, you are probably aware that dogs aren’t inspired to do much of anything besides eating snacks and watching you be happy with his actions. Even dogs that are used in police work or combat really have no concept of what they are actually doing except to know that they are playing a game of get the bad guy or find the bag of bad stuff. To accomplish their mission is what turns on your dog. When he performs in such a way that you are made happy and you reward him for his actions, you will have made a connection that is as good as gold.
2- Be a cheerleader
A dog instinctively knows when you are happy with him and when you’re not. When you are trying to get him to do something and he does it as you instructed, you should praise him highly. Get down with him on his level, cheer him, rub and scratch him, give him a treat, give him a look and a feel for that cherished toy you brought with you. Soon, he will get the idea that he has performed in a way that is pleasing to you and he will be anxious to do it again.
3- Keep your sessions short and to the point
When you attempt to teach your dog something new, hold the sessions short and to the point. This is the best way to teach your dog anything since with all the new activity it’s easy for him to get confused and forget what the point of the training is. You might want to start, for example, by running speed trials in a park. Nothing long, but just enough that he will realize that this is not a casual run through the park.
4- Get in shape with him
If you are not in good shape either, you might want to take advantage of this opportunity to make fitness your goal as well. Just as is the case with humans, dogs need to get into relatively good shape before they can run faster. Whatever your motivation is to get your dog to run faster can get your dog to reach that goal as well. Incentives such as medals and plaques work wonders to inspire faster times. Likewise, incentives such as toys and treats can work wonders with your dog as well. Regardless, your reasons for getting your dog to run better will cause him to be healthier in the future.
5- Making it Natural
Running is as natural for dogs as it is for people. Unfortunately, just as is the case for both, humans and dogs don’t always stay active for a wide variety of reasons. The trick to changing that is to give yourself and your dog reasons to run, reasons to enjoy all of the natural fun that is inherent in running. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the natural joy of having wind running through your hair or chasing someone else. The reasons are plentiful. You just have to find them and take advantage of them.
Soon you will have your dog flying with you like the wind. What most owners don’t realize when they are working with their dogs is that they are developing a closer relationship with them, a relationship that will grow to be mutually beneficial and healthy for many years into the future.
Mackenzie Grove, a dedicated dog training specialist and author. She always try to promoting dog behavior issue with a holistic approach. Mackenzie is a frequent blogger and contributor at Dogclippersly. View her latest post on dog teeth care.
Do you have any other great tips to make your dog run faster? Share below!