WHAT? Is that some sort of illegal drug and what does it have to do with my dog?
NO. It’s not an illegal drug.
It’s a hormone, one that is known to clear up anxiety, deal with stress, make you feel good; it creates bonding that rocks. It’s a thing that if you could put in pill form, people would be clearing the shelves, buying enough to not run out. Ever.
What Does Ocytocin and Running With Your Dog Have To Do With One Another?
Connection releases oxytocin. Real connection. And our dogs are one of the easiest things to start connecting with. They have no judgements, they are just simply happy to be with you.
Combine getting outdoors and a little exercise and you’re golden. Oxytocin galore.
How To Start Running With Your Dog
Heading out the door with your dog ready to put a 5 miler in when you haven’t been running in a very long time, or maybe you’ve never been a runner, isn’t a very good idea.
And then there’s that thing about how to get your dog to run nicely on a leash when they haven’t done it before.
One good reason when it comes to training your dog to run with you is you can run a short distance, then turn and go in another direction, many times. It is a great help in teaching your dog to stay by your side, rather than pull ahead.
Dogs do what works for them or what you let them get away with. If you let them pull ahead, they will. If you let them drag behind, they will. It’s only a game for them, they just don’t know the rules.
Once your define the rules by requiring your dog follow you closely in expectation of a direction change, it becomes clear. This running thing means to hang by you and follow every move you make!
Start with running back and forth in a park, field, beach or open space. Make it 10 or 15 minutes. Done. It won’t be long and the movement, the fresh air, the quality time spent with your dog and the oxytocin release will have you wanting to up your time and distance to get more of a good thing!
You’ll be ready to move on to longer sustained running sessions on a trail, road or on the beach and you’ll both be stoked about it.
Also true, dogs may have water out available but most dogs don’t drink enough on their own. Add a run session in and your dog will naturally drink more. You should however, make water available all the time and encourage your dog to drink after every single run session you have together.
So… I’d like to make this really easy for you so that you can have the life you love with your dog by your side.
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