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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! :) I'm new to the site, don't have a dog yet but am looking forward to adopting sometime either over winter break or next summer. I bike pretty much everywhere <5 miles away from my house, and plan on bringing the dog with me when I do so most of the time. I also go out jogging fairly regularly during cooler weather, and bike for fun.

Now, I don't expect to adopt a dog who is ready and able to run 10+ miles in a day, especially if a good portion of that ends up being on pavement, so I'm looking for some advice on conditioning. Let's assume this dog isn't overweight, but either doesn't have a history of traveling much or its history is unknown.

I was thinking of starting with the Couch to 5k program, found here: The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan | C25K Mobile App

If the dog seemed bored or not at all bothered by it, especially in the first couple weeks, I could skip ahead a day and see how that goes. I would probably do my own run prior to running the dog at first so I can focus on the dog's comfort.

Does this seem like a good plan? What about training/conditioning for a bicycle? I tend to pedal pretty fast without thinking; I may need to install a speedometer to remind me to slow down to a more comfortable pace over long rides. How quickly should I extend the distance and increase the speed once the C25K program has been run through? I like to follow plans, and when I'm training for something I tend to set it up similarly to the program above and just follow my planned program. I'd like to do that for the dog, too, because it would keep me on track with training.

What should I look for in terms of discomfort, so I know if I'm pushing too hard? Finally, how can I best gauge how tough the dog's paws are becoming, and under what conditions might booties be recommended (other than when there's salt on the roads in winter, of course)?

Thanks for any and all advice; it's much appreciated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Apologies for the double-post. In retrospect I probably should have put this in the "dog health" section rather than sports. But since running is a sport in human terms I guess I think of it as a sport in general. Whoops. :p Newb mistake.
 

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I think running 10+ miles a day is actually a bit much, and pavement is not good for a dog's joints. I'd advise finding a softer trail or something with grass, and make sure you take a lot of breaks for the dog, even if s/he is in top condition. Dogs do not have the same stamina as a bike rider. If the dog is going to be running on pavement for any extended period of time, it should wear boots. Imagine running barefoot for 5-10 miles. Your feet would probably be torn up by the end of it, plus there could be glass, nails, or sharp objects on the ground that could do lots of damage.

Keep in mind that what you're asking the dog for is a full-blown run for 5-10 miles. That's a lot, and would be very hard on his or her body.

Make sure that when doing this kind of thing, you do NOT run a dog under a year and a half to two years. Their plates aren't done closing, they aren't fully developed, and it could do some serious damage.

Whenever you do get the dog, get him/her checked by a vet, thoroughly. Not just a basic checkup but a full examination. Make sure to bring up any concerns and how much strenuous exercise (running) the dog will get.

I'm certainly not an expert and I'm sure other members will pipe up at some point. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to the both of you. :) It definitely wouldn't be 10 miles per day - more like 3-4 ~3 days a week, and maybe one ~10 mile day every 10-14 days or so. I'll definitely be putting a speedometer on my bike though, to remind me to pedal more slowly when I've got the dog with me. Also, duly noted re: boots. I often ride near the edge of the road, but maybe not close enough to allow the dog to be off the shoulder, so I'll certainly look into a pair of sturdy boots. (Incidentally, I do actually know someone who runs a barefoot 5k every morning as a get-up-and-go workout, and that includes in the winter. I wouldn't demand that of any animal though.)

I've never even heard of Pooch to 5k - I'll definitely look into that.

Out of curiosity, isn't bikejoring basically asking for a long-term run? Granted it's always at the dog's speed due to them pulling the bike in question or helping to pull, but it seems like the same general concept to my admittedly uneducated eyes. Would doing some research into that yield transferable information?
 
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