1. Go for a run
Start with a ten minute run alongside your dog, then add ten additional minutes each week so that the dog’s muscles have time to adapt. Over time, your dog will grow accustomed to your pace and running together will become second nature. Remember, dogs do not sweat so if you are going to run during the summer months, its best to do so early in the morning or in the evening.
2. Doggy tag
Simply run up to your dog and “tag” him, then proceed to run the other direction. We promise your dog will chase you! When your dog catches you, stop and make him sit for a treat
. Then, tell him to “stay” as you back away and begin the game again.
3. Run stairs together
Put your pup on a leash and find the nearest school or stadium with a tall set of bleachers. Run up and down and bleacher stairs with your pup by your side. For an added challenge, try varying your steps (i.e. two steps at a time or one step per two stairs.) Make sure to reward your pup
for staying by your side every few trips up and down.
4. Fetch abs workout
Grab your dog’s favorite fetch toy and take him to a space with room to throw. Toss the toy as far as you can and while your dog is running after it, do as many crunches as you can before he returns. Continue crunches until your dog drops the toy at your feet and is ready for another round. Repeat. If you want to add some variety you can switch up the exercise you are doing while your dog is fetching (i.e. pushups, planks, burpees, squats, etc.)
Some breeds will have an easier time working out than others. Brachycephalic breeds— those with a pushed-in face, like pugs or Boston terriers—have a harder time breathing in general, especially when exercising. Pets with shorter legs typically cannot run long distances, so try shorter running intervals or sprints. Always watch for signs of exhaustion or overheating in your dog, no matter the breed. If you find your dog to be panting excessively or failing to keep up, stop exercising and let your dog rest.