I have read a lot of the forum topics about running/jogging with you Lab. I see most believe you should wait until your Lab is at least 1 year old, preferably 2, and it should not be more than 5 miles and also should be done as much as possible off leash and on soft surfaces.
I also read here and some other places, that it depends on your dog, and you need to read your dogs signs, as to what they can and can't do.
My question is for the people who have run and jogged with their dogs for many years? Are you happy you chose to run with your dog, have you seen any health issues...positive or negative resulting from it? What age did you start moderate to light jogging with your dog and how far did you typically go distance and time wise?
I am just curious about this topic for the future, as I love my dog Daisy very much and am looking into different issues to see how I should approach them with my dog.
fyi- Daisy is only 5 and a half months now, so this is more about later, as I am not jogging with her now...although in the mornings, when I start heading home from walks, she really, really wants to sprint home...seems like she wants to run, but I am holding her back. I go to the local forest on weekends, and she just loves to gallop through the trails off-leash...she seems to love running, when she has the opportunity.
I haven't been jogging with my dog for years but there are a few things that I have learned. I started easing my dog into jogging at 1.5 years. The main thing that I have noticed is that the outside temperature is the biggest determining factor in how much my dog wants to run. If it is below freezing outside my dog can run forever. At around 60 degrees she appears to be mortal. At 70 I pay close attention to her. At 80 and above we are walking. The other thing I learned is that my dog can't read my mind and that I need to give her some kind of indication when I am changing direction BEFORE I change direction. I usually make a grunt or put tension on the lead.
With a dog younger than 1.5 years I would suggest going on off-leash walks with your dog on trails. This of course assumes you have good recall. The off-leash walks will allow your little guy to get all the running that he wants without it being forced.
I ran with Lucy all the time, and she loved it! We didn't start until she was just shy of 2 years old. Prior to that though she ran while retrieving, and she ran while hiking (off leash.)
We started slow - walk/jog mixed up over a couple miles, and then built up to longer runs. If she was going to be on leash (pavement) I really never went more than 4 or 6 miles max and I'd always try to find a park or softer trail to go on.
Off leash while I was trail running, I'd run up to 7-8 miles. When we'd hike/backpack, we would go up to 10 or 12 miles in a day but it was a slower pace with lots of breaks.
I was always aware of the heat - really what felt like moderate temps to me was hot for her. So during the summer we'd run early in the morning. But in the spring/fall/winter we'd run any time of day. Lots of water and rest after.
We had to put her down at 8 y.o. due to cancer so I never had to deal with hip issues or other health issues later in a dogs life. But still, running was/is a big part of my life and its something I wanted to share with my dog so I'm glad we were able to do it together.
Best of luck and enjoy!
I don't have anything to offer about running with a young Lab but wanted to share my experience of running with Cade my 6yr old. This year I started running as we live in a rural area with not many houses or cars. I started with an easy to moderate walk for about a week then increased my intervals of walking/running. We both LUVED it!
I'd take the girls to school then come back for Cade, she'd be sitting at the back door shaking with excitement and had that look...'you better be taking me Ma'...haha! I stopped for a few months over winter but as soon as Im done with uni in a few weeks will both be running again!
Slackercodemonkey and Mylablucy,
Thanks a lot for your nice responses and advice, it's very much appreciated.
I look forward to running with my Daisy, and will do it responsibly.
Thanks, sounds like yours loves the time running with you! I appreciate your response.
I can only echo what the others have said, but make sure you wait until the dog is old enough (at least 2 years) and you need to ease the dog into running. You might already be running 5 miles straight, but the dog will need to work up towards that.