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Jogging Tips For The Human Part Of Your Team
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More Links Malamute
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Jogging With Iron Will Dogs
It is possible to jog with malamutes and other arctic breeds, and just like walking your dog, you can accommodate most any area that you can walk your dog to jogging with your dog. However, malamutes in particular are sometimes very distractible, so it is suggested that you always keep your eye on what is going on around you and that you know going in that it could get interesting!
Case in point, the unexpected encounter with a very small animal, be it a squirrel or a cat. Could be a rabbit darting out of the bushes. It is important to remember that most malamutes or arctic breeds in general will display a "prey" reflex and dart after smaller animals and/or rodents. They are programmed that way - and they do not seem capable of remembering (or caring) that there is a human attached to their leash when that response kicks in.
Also be aware that you can at any time out of the blue actually run faster than you thought you were capable of usually because you are being pulled along by a salivating dog in pursuit! If you like that extra exercise though, it is a great way to get it!
I am famous for usually trying to multitask to the extreme, so listening to my IPOD while jogging (if I tried it) with my dogs would probably be right up my alley. Fortunately/unfortunately I am not a jogger or I would have even more funny experiences to relate. I have a hard enough go of it at times keeping control of the leash walking them when the malamutes become distracted over something I did not anticipate or see right away. Adding listening to tunes might just be pushing the envelope for me. For that reason, I always walk without listening to music!
If you are in charge of 100 pounds to 200 pounds of dog depending on how many you have, I always think it is best to remain focused on that one task for the moment. It is easy to get upended by one dog let alone two of that size simply because you weren't anticipating sudden moves or the "bolt experience". I have always felt that jogging or any sport involving them AND trying to listen to tunes might be dangerous to my health.
If you jog with your malamute or your high energy dog, you are definitely giving them what they crave - that vigorous exercise they need. Again, the simple precaution of making sure that you bring water for them (and yourself) is worthwhile no matter what the weather. Malamutes are quite fast runners although their nature tends to give them more of a "digging" and pulling response over a husky who runs light and runs fast; meaning that they have a tendency to put their shoulders into their running and usually "bear down" as if they were pulling loads behind them. They do run well but they are sometimes very interested in all that is going on around them, so keeping an eye on them is essential. They also tend to "drift" if not directed firmly to stay to one side or another and can get in the way of the walker's or runner's stride very frequently.
As in all things, practice improves their agility (and yours) and they are quick to learn anything. They so appreciate people paying attention to them or exercising them that they will quickly learn to do what needs to be done. They mean to please but need direction to get it right.
When running with your dog, it is still important to make sure you are responsible in taking care of any dog waste on your jaunt. Dog-friendly places are again extremely good for jogging as usually they provide us all with the supplies needed in case we forgot to bring our own.
Having appropriate footwear is paramount to YOU having a good experience, and keeping an eye on the dog to make sure it is not excessively tiring or in need of a water break or bathroom break is important. I always feel responsible for cleaning up any byproducts of their exertions and hope the folks ahead and behind me will do the same. It makes for more enjoyable outings with pets and lessens the spread of canine disease. Parvo is one of the most easy transmitted diseases through dog feces and can be deadly. I always give a 2 thumbs up wave to anyone stopping to pick up their dog waste and dispose of it properly!
Not running malamutes at the hottest part of the day can increase the efficacy of running simply because they do overheat in the hot part of a day over 60 or 70. If it is cool weather, they probably could run forever, but on warmer days, they would be best run early in the day or late in the day, whenever there are cooler temperatures. Allowing frequent breaks for water again is a must.
There are many breeds that I see folks jogging with that do not "require" a leash and even though there are signs posted that the dogs should BE on a leash, they seem to know their dogs will behave and luckily they do. I have yet to see a problem arise from that. However, the malamutes are a breed known for the "prison break" and I would not recommend ever attempting to jog anywhere with them unleashed! In my case, it would be a jogging experience that could go on forever as I would be in hot pursuit of them!
I often dream of letting them run unleashed on the beach but think that dream will need to stay just that - a dream! The few instances where they have been off lead, they have shown an ability for sudden speed that I have never seen before; however, the thought of actually staying with us does not appear to have crossed their mind. They are simply long gone and the only way to get them back is to go in pursuit - with a car preferably because we never can catch up to them. That dream run on the beach now has realistically at 100 foot lead attached to each of them.
Malamutes or any arctic breed dogs are "born to run" and you will probably tire far sooner than they will. However, just keeping in mind that most arctic breeds are always in need of discipline from that supreme alpha (YOU) is essential. They need direction whether it is in walking, jogging, or any of the other sports you can engage them in and if you remember that, almost guaranteed that your experience will be a pleasant one. Just remember to always keep your eyes on them and on what is going on around them just to keep ahead of the game! They can be a lot of dog to handle but so much dog to love in their dedication and love of life. It is all about knowing what to do in any given situation.
Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on February 09, 2013:
Awesome, Carolyn--they can act up quite a bit when running at first....we just started doing the scooter again with all 3 and it took a few very patient days as they tend to run over each other's lines and carry on something hilarious--but finally they got it. Remarkably, I think mals are so smart it doesn't take long for them to figure out ANYTHING--we love exercising with ours--and they sure keep us going at a good clip!!
Carolyn on February 09, 2013:
My husband and I run with our malamute every day, except a couple days during the week that we just walk. At first, he was an absolute spazz running, all over and inconsistent. Now, over the course of six months, he has learned to pace himself according to the humans. It is a blessing and a curse with this guy- we have to exercise, but we also get to exercise. Now when he's in the backyard with the toddlers running, he walks slowly behind them, it's very sweet!
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on October 23, 2009:
Well written! Let me tell you, I am a runner, very long distance and I've only tried running with my Mals twice and both times...absolute disaster. Like you mention their need to prey....it's even harder to stop them when you're already running then if you're just walking. Not only that my female I swear has such A.D.D she's all over the sidewalk back and forth thinking she may be missing something. lol I am so jealous of people that can run with their dogs and yes, I do have accidentally had them get loose off their leash and they're just gone...... I must say I am quite proud at the dog park though since they are generally the fastest dogs there (i'm such a proud mom)