Monday, 26 November 2012

Running with a Dalmatian: first thoughts

Chewie
I've always wanted to run with a dog. Letting them off the leash to run together through field and forest. Best buds going hell for leather, playing along the way.

I never expected it to be a reality if I'm honest. But, when my wife finally agreed to get a get a dog (a life long dream of mine), she set my expectations that it would likely be a collie-cross or a unique looking mongrel with as much oompfh as, as well something with very little oompfh. Little did either of us expect to find ourselves with a delightful 10 month old Dalmatian.

Running with Chewie, our dalmatian

Is tiring. On a walkies on a leash, I ran about 100 metres at about 14kmph; I was heaving. The dog on the other hand was disgruntled that I had brought her up to a 'trot', but quickly settled back into a sniff around once I'd stopped.
That's 1-0 to the dog.

But it has got me thinking about what the possibilities are. I would love to go camping with the dog, run snowdon or perhaps even do a 'Cani-cross', like the ones I found on canicross-scotland.co.uk. But I think it's going to take some time before I can even run around the local farm or field with her.

Caution and planning are unexpectedly important

Being new to a dog and the responsibility of ownership I do feel like it's something that will have to wait. I need to trust the dog and vice versa. And also a lot like my training, I need to know what food and water does to her. I need to know whether she even likes running, the cold, the rain and whether she'll return if I call her.

I don't suppose a lot of these things will fall into place all that quickly, and having read a blog post from That Mutt about running with dogs, I've found out age is another concern. It's not something I thought about to be honest, but she's only 10 months old and probably hasn't fully developed yet. So I need to do my research and plan ahead. But I can't deny it's an exciting possibility that one day her and I might be off somewhere running wild or mad, or perhaps even competing in a Cani-cross event.

But for now, she's content with looking sweet and licking everything that moves.