Are you thinking about making your Siberian Husky your running partner? This article will show you how to train your husky to stick by your side and make your next run safe and enjoyable.
Your Siberian Husky could be your secret weapon to getting in better shape; imagine a training partner who never runs out of energy, yikes. Your Husky will have the energy and stamina to match whatever run you take him on. But there are a handful of important tips to know first.
Running With Your Husky
Many of you may already be keen runners, but if you’re not, having a Husky is a good reason to start! Not only will it give him the crucial exercise he needs anyway, but you’ll get fitter too.
Running or jogging with your Husky will also prove to be a fantastic bonding exercise. It’s well-known that when any dog has a strong bond with their owner, they are happier and significantly more obedient.
But before you grab your running shoes, you need to know it isn’t as straight forward as having a human running partner. And there are certain things to know and think about before you head out with your Husky.
In the beginning, your Husky might not be inclined to stick by your side, and you may not be ready for other dog encounters. You have to be cautious of where you are going and if it’s safe for you and your husky to run there. Busy roads and narrow footpaths could make your run a little stressful so there will need to be some planning done in advance.
When Can You Start Running With Your Husky?
Professional veterinarians advise that your Husky is at least 1 year old before you start jogging or running with him.
Before the age of one, your Husky is still considered to be a puppy and his bones, joints and ligaments are somewhat fragile. Too much stress early on could hinder his growth or cause other physical issues.
Until his first birthday arrives it’s best to stick to an exercise routine made for puppies.
How Far Can You Run With Your Husky?
Running is what all Siberian Huskies do best. But this doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to start hammering out huge distances with your Husky right away.
It’s important for you to build up slowly so your Husky can adjust and become accustomed to the routine. A strenuous start could leave him limping the next day.
It’s true that Siberian Huskies are capable of running over 100 miles per day. But you must take it slow when starting out. I’ve made a suitable slow build-up progression chart below which also takes into consideration the temperature.
The Temperature is Very Important
Assuming that your Husky is in full health, the only other thing that determines how far you can run with him is the temperature outside.
Above 20° Celcius / 70° Fahrenheit:
If you live in a hot climate or are running during the spring or summer you should stick to runs under 5 miles.
Below 20° Celcius / 70° Fahrenheit:
If you are running when the temperature is cooler, you can raise the distance up to 10 miles following the plan below.
|Week No.||Miles||Rest Days|
|Week 1-2||2-3 miles||Every other day|
|Week 2-4||3-5 miles||Every other day|
|Week 4-6||5-7 miles (Weather Dependant)||Every other day|
|Week 6-8||7-10 miles (Weather Dependant)||Every other day|
Training Your Husky to Run By Your Side | 7 Simple Steps
Having your Husky run by your side is important for many reasons. It will make your run more enjoyable and it’s critical for their safety and for yours.
Although Huskies are particularly smart, they are also rather stubborn-minded and independent. On top of that, they’re rather easily distracted. So when he sees something that appeals to him, it’s going to be hard for him to stay calm and continue on the run without causing a scene.
The following routine is best carried out for 1-2 weeks before you intend on running with your Husky.
What you’ll need:
- Your Husky’s harness
- A simple leash no longer than 6ft
- Hands-free dog walking belt
- Small tasty treats
How the routine works:
- Step 1:
Use the hands-free dog walking belt to take your husky on a casual walk. This will be a new experience for him so that’s all you need to do for the first step. If he wants to walk ahead (which he will do) that’s ok for now. Do this for 2 or 3 days before moving on.
- Step 2:
Once familiar with this new style of walking, it’s now time to reduce the distance between you and him throughout the walk. You will need a good supply of small, highly desirable treats for this to work.
- Step 3:
While you’re outside and ready to set off, assume a starting position by standing still. Have your husky sit down next to you. Once he sits, praise him and give him a small treat to gain his attention and start the training.
- Step 4:
Before stepping off, show him that you have more tasty treats in your hand. Keep them firmly in your hand but let him have a sniff. Once he’s sniffing and interested, start walking. As you’re walking keep him tight to you by holding your fist out to his nose.
- Step 5:
Your husky should at this point be walking right next to you fixated on the treats that he can smell in your hand. That’s perfect.
- Step 6:
Walk for about 5 steps and stop, have him sit, and offer him another treat. Continue the walk repeating this process, increase the amount of steps you take and be sure to praise him heavily every milestone you reach. Start with 5 steps, stop and reward, go for 10 steps, stop and reward, and keep this up until you can walk for quite some time without stopping.
- Step 7:
After mastering casual walks by your side, It’s time to repeat the process but jog instead of walk. In the beginning, don’t jog for too long before you stop, praise and reward. Remember to build up slowly and make it an enjoyable exercise for him. This way he’ll be more inclined to follow you closely the next time you try it.
This 7 step process is all you need to teach your husky to stick by your side. With time, your Husky won’t need to have treats every stop you make. The treats are only used for the training and to keep his attention. After you’ve carried out the routine above for 1-2 weeks. Treats will no longer be completely necessary and he’ll naturally be running by your side with or without them. It seems too good to be true, but it’s a tried and tested method that should definitely work for you.
Points to make about this routine
There are of course a few things that already need to be established for this routine to work as easily as it’s described. By 1 year old, hopefully, the following points are all checked:
- Your Husky knows his basic commands of sit, stay and come here
- Your Husky can already walk sensibly on the leash
If those two points are fine with your Husky, then you’re good to implement this training routine right now. But if your Husky doesn’t have a good understanding of basic commands or isn’t capable of walking sensibly on the leash then this needs to be addressed first.
The Importance of Keeping Him On The Leash
You know when you see those perfect people running next to their super obedient dog without a leash, looking absolutely heroic. I tried doing that once… and that was the last time I ever did it.
I know it looks super cool, but until you’ve been running with your Husky for perhaps years, It’s not a wise move. It’s EXTREMELY tempting for him to run off in different directions, especially when he spots a cat, the local squirrels, dogs or in my case a bird. Yep.
If you keep him on the leash using a dog walking belt, you have nothing to worry about, and he’ll be far less tempted to stop when he knows he attached to you.
My preferred dog walking belt would have to be this one from EzyDog. It’s inexpensive, lightweight and the best feature is the shock-absorbing bungee that it uses as a leash. This really helps to avoid injury caused by him pulling in unforeseen situations.
What to do When You See a Dog Ahead of You
When you see a dog walker and another dog coming towards you need to think about the correct thing to do. Do you stop, or carry on? Your situation and where you are running will likely dictate the answer. Let me explain.
If you’re running in the park, beach or anywhere with an open space that allows you to create distance from the other dog walker and their dog, you should do that right away. A good distance will keep both dogs sufficiently separated and will reduce the chance of any interaction. It also gives the other dog owner some time to see that you’re on a run, and gain control of their dog (in the ideal world!)
If your situation doesn’t allow you to create a good distance, you’ll have to use your better judgment at that moment.
If the other dog is off the leash, large or hyper then it’s definitely better to walk past. You’re going to need maximum control until you pass each other.
If you can see that the dog coming up is calm and on the leash, not really caring about you and your Husky running towards them, you may be able to keep running past without issues. This also depends on your Husky too, you should know him better than anyone, is he going to pull to interact with the dog, or will he keep by you?
As you go past, you could also revert back to the training and pull out a small tasty treat to gain his attention.
Plan The Ideal Route in Advance
One of the luxuries of running on your own is that you can switch up the route you’re running, while you are actually running. You can pretty much go anywhere you want and it doesn’t matter.
But, when you’re running with your canine buddy, you need to have a more solid plan and stick to it.
The route needs to be appropriate for what you’re doing. When you run with a dog you need to have more room and fewer distractions for safety reasons.
So plan a route that avoids busy roads, busy footpaths, and it’s a good idea to choose a particular park that you know will have fewer people. I recommend running early in the morning as opposed to the evening. In the worst-case scenario that you separate from your Husky, you have more chance of finding him if you have daylight.
The Ideal Plan:
- Morning run before the crowds
- Avoid busy roads and public areas
- Opt for a beach, park, trail, hike, field or forest
- Close to your home in case you need to return quickly
Frequent Stops For Rest and Drinking Water
I know you may be striving for greatness, but when you run with your fluffy friend, be sure to make frequent stops even if you don’t need to.
When you have a canine companion you’re recommended to stop every 15 minutes of running. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it allows you to keep checking your husky to make sure he’s ok and able to continue. Remember your husky doesn’t have the luxury of speaking to you, so he’ll just keep running, even if there’s something wrong.
Every time you stop, give him a quick drink using a portable water bowl. These are super inexpensive and it’s absolutely crucial you bring water with you. You should never go on a run without water for your Husky.
You can opt for one of the really cheap portable water bowls like this one. Or you can get ones that have some extra functionality like this one. It’s a little more expensive, but it doubles up as a water bottle too.
Quick List of the Do’s and Dont’s of Running With Your Husky
I know by now you’re eager to get your running shoes on and head out with your Husky. But please always follow the correct procedures and be aware of the common do’s and dont’s of running with your canine friend.
- Always check with your veterinarian first that he’s fit to run with you
- Train him to walk beside you before you start running with him
- Plan your route and ensure it’s safe for you and him to run
- Always bring water and a water bowl
- Bring a handful of treats just incase
- Make frequent stops and check how he’s doing: does he look ok?
- Look super cool running past people with your super cool husky 😏😏
- Don’t start running with him if he’s too young. Wait until he’s at least 1
- Don’t skip your warm-up with him. Start a brisk walk before you run
- Don’t run long distances if the temperatures are high
- Don’t forget to bring poop bags! He may need to stop and go
- Don’t run near busy roads or in busy public areas
- Don’t run at nighttime in case you get separated from him
- Don’t hold the leash in your hand, use a belt instead
Recommended Dog Running Gear
If you’re interested to know what kind of gear will make your run easier and more productive you can check out the following list.
Honestly speaking, some items are not necessary, but as a bare minimum, you do need to use a dog walking belt, instead of holding the leash with your hand. This is much safer for both you and your Husky.
EzyDog Zero Shock Absorbing Dog Leash. I really recommend this option from EzyDog. The belt comes with a bungee leash that’s just the right length. It’s bungee material completely stops injuries through jolting and unexpected pulling. It comes in different colors to fit your preferred style. It has excellent reviews and is reasonably priced. Check it out here
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness. Although this is considered to be a car harness, it’s perfect for general use or for activities like running or jogging. I often recommend other types of harnesses but they are a little on the heavy side compared to this one. This harness offers great strength but at the same time, is light and won’t annoy your Husky while running. You can check it out here.
Non-Essential: But a very good option
Highwave Portable Dog Water Bottle & Bowl. You don’t necessarily need a fancy water bottle and you can bring your own, but this may be something you want to invest in as well. It proves to be extremely handy to have a bowl and water bottle in one. You can check it out here on Chewy.com
So there you have it! Your complete guide to running with your Siberian Husky. I hope this has answered your questions and you’re now ready to head outside!
If you have any further questions or tips and tricks to share, please drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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