So you own a Labradoodle, love to exercise, and want to take it for a run with you, and seeing as dogs are energetic creatures, of course, that shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Is a Labradoodle a good running dog? Yes, if you have a healthy and fit Labradoodle, it will make an excellent running partner, as they love exercising and being with their humans.
But there are some things to consider before you can take your Labradoodle on a run with you.
Only Run With Fully Grown, Fit and Healthy Labradoodles
A Labradoodle should be fully grown before taking it running with you.
- A miniature Labradoodle should be around 1 year old
- A normally sized Labradoodle around 1,5 years old
But besides being old enough, your Labradoodle should also be otherwise healthy and fit, and without any issues with their breathing.
If your Labradoodle is overweight, running will be extremely taxing on your dog.
You should consider having your Labradoodle lose the extra weight before thinking about going for a run.
Avoid Eating and Drinking Immediately Before and After Running
Starting out, you shouldn’t feed or let your dog drink a lot of water just before or after taking it for a run.
Doing so can lead to bloat, which can be very dangerous for any type of dog.
Any motion will typically get any dogs’ stomach going so it would be a good idea to start with walking slowly, where your dog has the option to pee and so on before you consider running.
Put Your Labradoodle In a Reflective Vest and a Running Leash
Compared to humans, dogs are humble in their requirements before going running.
They don’t need expensive running shoes as we do, but it would be a good idea to equip your dog with a reflective vest.
I would recommend getting the SafetyPUP XP (affiliate link), and it is also the most popular item of its kind on Amazon.
It has very good durability, and it also comes at a very reasonable price.
To further improve the comfort of your Labradoodle while running, you should also consider getting a running leash.
A running leash allows you to attach the leash around your hip, allowing you to have your hands free while running.
The running leash I’ve been using with my Labradoodle is the SparklyPets Hands-Free (affiliate link) model.
This is another highly rated product, and they even have a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.
Don’t Start Out Too Hard
If your Labradoodle isn’t in excellent shape, your mission is to get it there.
Start out with interval training, where you switch between walking and running with your dog.
The run speed should be in a tempo that allows your dog to trot along beside you.
A quick short sprint is fine, but if your dog has to gallop for an extended period of time, you should lower your pace a bit.
Adjust The Food To The Amount of Running
Most dogs in decent condition should be able to run 3 miles 2-3 times a week.
Once again it is important to remember to slowly train your Labradoodle until it is ready for the challenge.
If you run a lot with your dog, remember to feed it accordingly, making sure it gets enough energy from its’ food.
In the same way, you should also lower the amount of food you give your dog in periods where you’re perhaps training less than usual.
Avoid the Asphalt
Running on asphalt can be extremely taxing on your Labradoodles paws if you run on that kind of surface for too long.
Instead, you should consider only running on trails of either grass or fine gravel.
Remember To Cool Off After a Run
It is always a good idea to cool off after you’ve taken a run and an easy way you could do that by simply walking the last 5 minutes to your home.
You should also consider doing some stretching after your run.
After you and your dog has been on a run, the adrenaline level of your dog is normally very high, and your dog is in a mental state of alert.
That is also why you should avoid leaving your dog home by itself immediately following a run.
Try to have at least have 20 minutes at home with your dog, before you leave to go anywhere else.
Injuries Can Be Hard To Spot
Don’t expect your dog to raise its paws and tell you if it in its’ knees or anywhere else, like us humans would do.
Dogs are excellent at hiding when they aren’t really feeling totally perfect so it can be very difficult to spot if your dog has an injury before it’s too late to do anything about.
If you enjoy frequent runs with your dog, you should contact your vet to have it checked every once in a while.
This will make it possible to spot if your dog has any hidden injuries, or perhaps catch something that could develop into a severe injury.
Example Of A Starting Program
A suggestion for a good beginner program to start running with a Labradoodle could be the following:
Start by walking for a few minutes as a warm-up, this is probably also where your dog will relieve itself.
Then try running for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of casual walking.
Repeat this during the entire training session, which should probably last somewhere around 20 minutes.
Repeat this process 2-3 times every week, for the first few weeks.
After you’ve done that for a week or two, try lowering the length of your walking time from 2 minutes to 1 minute, while still running for 1 minute at a time.
Remember that this shouldn’t be more exhausting than you should be able to speak with your dog while running.
Seeing as your dog aren’t able to reply to your talking, try and keep an eye out for it, and see if you can evaluate how it’s doing.
More often than not, your dog will probably look more relaxed and fresh than you!
But if you have any doubts regarding the condition of your dog, consider walking for just a bit.
When you’ve done this for long enough, and feel that you are ready for a bigger challenge, gradually increase the amount of time you are running each interval from 1 minute to 3-4 minutes, followed by 1 minute of walking.
And within a month or two, you should be fully able to run with your dog for more than 20 minutes uninterrupted.
Remember it is always best to start slowly, before gradually increasing the difficulty of any exercise with your Labradoodle.
And if you have the least bit concern that something might be wrong with your dog, take it to the vet, so that he/she will be able to discover anything, before it turns into something really threatening/painful for your dog.
And to answer the question is a labradoodle a good running dog, yes, they are some of the best actually.
Good luck, and have fun. Your dog will love the exercise!
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