The Dog Jogger, Barry Karacostas, fitness trainer to Elle Macpherson’s Labradoodle Bella, provides an easy to follow fitness routine for you and your pet:
The majority of dogs need physical and mental stimulation daily so they can lead a stress free, healthy and happy life. There are so many benefits to exercising with your dog, you’ll find that he/she will drive and motivate you – particularly after you realise how much stronger your bond between one another becomes and if that doesn’t work the increase in your happiness and health definitely will!
First and foremost you must take your dog to the vet to recommend the amount of exercise that’s right for your breed and to check that he is fit and healthy.
Get Set Go …
Dog Jogging starts with you both running at a steady tempo side by side on lead and once you have established Alpha status with your dog/dogs and you feel confident that they will follow you can start off-lead cross country running. Try to run early morning or early evening when the parks are a little quieter, run on grass as the soft ground is better for both yours and your dog’s joints.
Incorporate a light jog during one of your daily walks. Starting with 10 minutes and gradually build it up to a couple of minutes every other day until you reach your dogs recommended amount of exercise. If he or she occasionally grinds to a halt just walk for a minute then start the exercise again until they understand what they are meant to be doing.
Please remember if your dog is a working breed it doesn’t mean that they are automatically fit and therefore ready to rock and roll from day one, just like us they need to build their level of fitness gradually and keep an eye out for signs of exhaustion* this should be enjoyable and fun for you both. Remember: always take drinking water out with you and offer it in small amounts to keep your dog hydrated.
* your dog really doesn’t want to run, excessive panting, wobbly on their legs and please avoid running in extreme weather conditions.
You will see a difference within a couple of weeks and you will probably have shed some pounds and your dog will be calmer, happier and looking a lot fitter and believe me every time you get the running shoes out they will show you just how much they love to run with their pack leader!
If your main objective is to lose weight, you will need to change your diet, the quickest way to answer this one is decrease carbohydrate intake for both you and your dog – premium dry dog foods and raw food suppliers offer high protein low carbohydrate options.
You will find that you eventually help each other push the boundaries and the guilt of not taking your best friend/training partner out will mean that you will hardly ever miss a session, and honestly the joy and buzz I get from running and leading a pack of dogs is simply indescribable.
If you are thinking of setting up your own dog jogging group or would like more information please click here to contact us.