Running with dogs is a very unique experience……especially when your dog is Addie. Addie turned a year old in the beginning of September and I got the go ahead from her vet that she could begin running with me. Initially I ran with her leash that I used when walking her. She was sporadic with the stop and go and weaving at first. My first run with her was on a Saturday and we did a little over a mile, we survived. She did have a mini meltdown when she encountered an object in the middle of the sidewalk. She turned and began running back towards me, running her incredibly hard head into my shin. I had a bruise for about a week.
About a week or two into running with her I decided it was time to start looking for a hands free leash. I ordered one on Amazon.com and got it two days later…..you’ve got to love Amazon Prime. Let me tell you, that hands free leash was a game changer. All of a sudden I had my hands free and Addie had a little more range of motion. It was a win win for both of us. By the end of September she was up to close to three miles and at a pretty decent pace.
It didn’t take long to realize that Addie wasn’t perfect though when it came to running. She has some pretty intense leash aggression towards other dogs. I find it frustrating because I have never had a dog with this before and when she is in the back yard or at the dog park she gets along with all the dogs. I did some reading and found that this is a pretty common issue with Australian Cattle Dogs, plus she has had a couple negative encounters while on a leash. She has come a long way the last few months, sometimes she doesn’t even bark when we see other dogs. Of course there are all the other times that for lack of a better word, she acts like a complete ass. One Friday she was so focused on a man walking his three dogs that she ran into a post because she was running forward but looking backwards. Not one of her shining moments. The guy with his three dogs thought it was hilarious. I must admit I get a little jealous when I see someone running with their dog calmly at their side. Sigh……
A bigger challenge is squirrels…..she has an incredibly high prey drive and has tunnel vision when she sees one. I swear she will be the death of me…..or at least the cause of a sprained ankle. If the squirrel is running down the sidewalk it’s fine, it’s the ones that run across the sidewalk that are the problem. She has jerked me around and caused me to do what I think are some pretty smooth skills. I’ve jumped over things and onto rock walls all in response to Addie’s sudden movements into a yard after one. I’ve tried correcting this on the spot but I can’t seem to get through to her. I need to move somewhere there aren’t squirrels…..I’m open to suggestions.
Addie has become an amazing partner and while she has a ways to go both literally and figuratively. We are now up to five miles together and will probably push to six by the end of the month. I have years of running to go with her and can’t wait to go on many adventures with my blue eyed crazy girl.
Until next time!!