When Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Run

don’t make him! Today Zeke and I set out for our normal Sunday routine. Drop Doug off at work, drive to the local park, park in the parking lot, walk a quarter mile to warm up and run anywhere btwn. 3 and 5 miles. Some of this run is paved roads and some is trail. I could tell from the moment I laced him up in his harness that he wasn’t really feeling it today. His stomach was extra gurgle-y, probably from having a fish dinner the night before (its been a few weeks since having fish.) When we did start running, he wasn’t his extra exuberant self, pulling ahead. I tried to run the safer part of the trail, but it was still covered in ice with a watery layer on top, so that was out. Back to the park roads which are wide and boring. I admit, I don’t even like running that road much.

Zeke also kept stopping to shake his head and scratch at an ear-I think he picked up some dirt from the previous nights mud-filled dog park trip. So, at 2.75 miles, we looked at each other, I shrugged, and we walked the next half mile to the dog park where we met a cute 4 month old mix puppy named Ellie. Zeke was gentle with her, which was good as it was her first dog park experience. Then, we again, casually walked back to the car, enjoying the sunshine and feeling peaceful.

I am thinking it is time for a change of scenery on Sundays. Until the trail melts and/or until Doug is willing to join us (temperatures of 65 or over are a must for him =P  ) I think we will just avoid that park road. Zeke and I don’t really like running it, we just do so because its convenient. I would rather do the cemetery run earlier and then take Zeke to the dog park later. Or, we could drop Doug off and start a new Sunday tradition…by the beach maybe?? We shall see.

I have also noticed something. Our last run was Wednesday-a 5 miler and pretty quick for us. As I wrote afterward, Zeke was LOVING it, and really on point that day. I have noticed that when we have an amazing run like that the next run is always a bummer. A true recovery run-Zeke is always slower and not as focused. Maybe he is sore, maybe we just had an off day. Dogs definitely get these just like people do. I try to be extra sensitive to Zeke’s off days since he does have to run on leash, usually on pavement. If we had access to beautiful, safe trails and he could run free, I know we would be out there more often and enjoying it a little more. But, we are making the best of living in Queens and soooo looking forward to camping season. And the day when we can buy some land in Vermont and have a weekend getaway!

So my word of advice: if your dog isn’t feeling the run, don’t force it. It should always be enjoyable and his mental/physical well-being comes before your need to log miles or a specific pace. There is always tomorrow’s run.



~ by manicivy on March 9, 2014.

One Response to “When Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Run”

  1. They all have off days.

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