I have a 8 year old chocolate labrador - Henry - who I walk often, we go on 3km (2 mile) walks a few times during the week.
He is reasonably fit, he weighs around 35kg (77lb) and I've wondered recently whether I should take him on 5km (just over 3 miles) runs that I do on Saturday mornings.
I am usually able to run the 5km between 26 and 29 minutes so it's a steady pace.
Would he be considered too old in labrador years to run a full 5km when he is used to walking at a fast pace?
Regards, Shaun (sticks1977)
My boy ran 5k distances with me until last summer when he tore his acl. That distance, depending on pace is fine, but I don't think that much longer distances are good for large dogs.
I will take my dog on longer distances though at a lower pace.
If he hasn't been running the distance, though, you need to build him up to it over time.
I would try him out on longer walks first and gradually work him up to how long you want him to run. People have to train to run 5k and it's the same for dogs too. Also know the signs for dehydration and how to check for them...this is very important.
I actually have a coworker with a 10 year old chocolate lab. He has slowed down a bit, but when he was 8 they used to run 2 miles a day with an occasional 4 mile in there. He started noticing him having some issues the next day, like more soreness and things, so they started giving him glucosamine supplements and that helped him get back to being more active.
As an addendum to this- it's important to make sure to exercise your pet when it isn't too hot out. One thing I always see is people taking their dogs on hike in the middle of the day and it drives me nuts!