When professional trail ultrarunner Krissy Moehl came home with her adventure dog, Piedra, it was after 10 years of careful consideration, regular world traveling and a whirlwind of moving from place to place. In short, it was not a life conducive to raising a pup. So, when she moved back to her hometown in the Pacific Northwest and bought a house with door-to-trail access, she finally brought home the adventure buddy she’d for so long dreamed about. She named her new dog Piedra, which means Rock in Spanish. And an adventurous pup’s new life of bounding happily along trails began.
For runner, photographer and coach Blair Speed, who lives and trains with her pup, Charlotte Ray, in Bozeman, MT, running with dogs is second nature. In fact, she says she often misses Charlotte when she's not out there exploring at her side.
All this have you interested in learning more about running with dogs? Definitely got our wheels turning. So, we chatted with Moehl and Speed, and did a bit of dog running and adventuring on our own to come up with these five stand-out reasons to run with a dog.
Dogs are good at building habits. If you’re trying to build up a regular walking or running regiment, a canine companion will most certainly help you build and maintain daily miles.
They’ll inspire you out the door and down the (or road!)
Moehl says Piedra inspires her to explore new places. That’s because a sense of adventure from a wagging-tailed buddy is guaranteed to bring your adventurous inclination up a notch (or at least we think so).
Cute dogs help you meet new friends
It’s true. Run with a cute pup and report back; we made quite a few new human (and canine) friends while traipsing about the trails with our adventure pup. If you’re single, running with a (well-behaved and adorable) dog is an excellent method for attracting a mate.
Fartlek workouts are more fun
Yeah, ever run with a dog on a leash around your waist and feel like you’re being dragged about a minute per mile faster than you’d normally run? Probably because you are. In fact, the fastest 5K in the world was run with a dog. It doesn’t count of course because it was assisted (every time the runner mas between foot strikes, the dog pulled him just a little bit more forward than he would have gone on his own.
While your running friends very well may be the most reliable people on the planet, your dog will likely be the most eager running partner you’ll ever have in your life. "I owe a lot of my miles to my hound dog, Charlotte," says Speed. "Fortunately, she doesn’t see the adventures as a debt owed; she simply asks for more miles shared. She’s given me more courage, joy and companionship to run farther than I ever have before her, and to simply enjoy more trail time."
(Always heed veterinary advice, and wait till your dog is over a year and a half before you introduce running. Start ‘em too early and you could cause lasting bone damage.)