To jog with a cockapoo, you’ll need to have the right harness, plan your running route carefully, and consider some important safety issues before you set off.
Cockapoos are bred from the working dog breeds of poodles and cocker spaniels. As a result, they absolutely love to run and they have tremendous stamina (I know from first hand experience!). As a result, cockapoos make excellent jogging companions for early morning runs and longer-distance cross-country trails.
Things you need to jog with a cockapoo
You don’t need much to jog with a cockapoo. When running with a dog, all you really need is an appropriate harness, and a lead with some bungee flex in it.
You’ll need a harness when you’re jogging because a collar will put too much strain on your dog’s neck if you need to quickly direct them or slow down. Harnesses come in all sorts of shapes and designs, but look for breathable harnesses like this one pictured below. They’re pretty inexpensive on Amazon, and breathability is key if you want to stop your cockapoo overheating!
A lead with some flex in is also an essential because a typical rope or leather lead doesn’t have any “give” in it. This is important because if your dog pulls suddenly on a “normal” lead while you’re running you can quickly get pulled off balance and end up injured – not ideal if you’re running in uneven countryside or next to busy roads!
Thankfully, these leads are pretty affordable on Amazon. I have this hands free lead pictured below. It’s proved pretty durable after around a year of use, but I’m probably going to end up reordering another one soon due to general wear and tear (I’m kind of nuts about my running!)
I like it most because you can have the lead “hands free” when you hit your stride, but you can easily hold your dog steady using the loop that connects to your belt if you encounter a rogue mountain-biker or need to pass a bunch of people.
One more thing that you may want to consider when running with a dog is having a collapsible water bowl that will clip on to your lead. These give you a really great way to share your water with your dog if you both need to take a short break from your jog!
Plan your running route
Once you have the necessary kit to help you to jog with a cockapoo, you’re going to need to plan your running route.
If you’re just about to start running with your cockapoo, you should try and map out a route that is safe for both you and your pooch.
- Avoiding having to run next to or on busy roads (including country lanes)
- Avoiding routes that have sharp stones or gravel that may stick into your dog’s paws
- Avoiding routes with slippery or unstable ground (like boggy fields, or paths covered with tree routes)
Remember that your dog is having to learn lots of things when he starts to jog with you, so give him a break by choosing simple and safe running routes (even if they’re a little boring for you!)
As you get more confident, these things may become less of an issue. You’ll get to know how your dog responds to obstacles, and learn how to signal and correct his path at speed.
Starting your first run
If you’re setting out to run with your cockapoo for the first time, you should make sure that you start small and build up to bigger distances.
Just like humans, dogs also need to warm up – so, whatever you do, make sure you walk with your cockapoo for around 10 minutes before starting any run!
I started off jogging with Ziggy for just a kilometer (about half a mile) each time. Obviously, cockapoos are enormously energetic, and he wasn’t tired from this whatsoever, but I wanted to get him used to two things:
- Running at my pace (not his!)
- Paying attention to me
This meant changing pace while on the run and getting him to look at me by calling to him. I would also randomly direct him towards and away from me with the lead so he got used to responding to quick direction changes (this helps massively to avoid puddles!)
After a week of very dull 1k runs, I upped the distance to 2k and did this around 5 of 6 times over a two week period. After this, I was pretty confident that he knew what I expected from him, so I upped the distance again to 5k and stuck at this distance for a few months.
Now, Ziggy is more than capable at completing a 10k with ease, but I don’t make a regular habit of this to protect his joints. Generally, a typical week for us as “running buddies” is two or three 5ks. Sometimes, I’ll take him on one of my longer runs, but only if we’ve not got a big walk planned for him, or we’re going to be busy at the weekend.
How old should a cockapoo be before you start jogging?
Cockapoos should be around 18 months before you start jogging with them. This gives their joints enough time to develop, and it means that they will be less “excitable” and less likely to drag you off-course when you’re running!
Now you may be tearing your hair out because your cockapoo won’t calm down, but patience really is needed here. Any dog that is too old, or too young, should not go out on super long runs. This is because it can put stress on their joints and cause all sorts of issues.
Recommended article: When do cockapoos calm down?
How to jog with a dog safely
To jog with your dog safely, you should do the following things:
- Make sure you stop regularly for water breaks
- Don’t run over sharp stones and gravel
- Run with harnesses and bungee leads
- Give your pooch time to warm up
- Avoid running next to busy traffic or on county roads
- At night, wear reflective gear and put doggy lights on your dog’s harness
Sticking to these simple rules will help you to jog safely with your dog and enjoy many years with your new running buddy.
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