Dogs can become the perfect running buddies for persons who love outdoor activities. But if your dog is anxious then you may find hard to believe that they will ever be able to join you for a walk in the park, because running seems like an impossible mission. The dogs that experience anxiety manifest various symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are subtle and the owner is not able to notice them until they try to involve the dog into activities that require them socialising with other people or pets, or getting out of the house or yard. But there are also dogs that show visible signs of anxiety like shaking, panting, excessive barking or even aggression. You should not hurry to consider these symptoms signs of behavioural problems, you should discuss with a specialist, because they can diagnose the condition, your pet is experiencing.
If your dog was not born a runner, it does not mean you cannot turn them into one. Here is how.
Help them get used with the leash
The first step to train a dog to become your running buddy is to help them get used with wearing the leash. They have to get used to walking by your side before starting to run with you. Anxious dogs are afraid of leashes, and they can start sprinting the moment they feel one around their neck. Therefore, at the beginning your pet should wear the leash inside the house or yard. When they feel comfortable with wearing it, you can take them outside for long walks.
If they have the tendency to pull the leash, you should stop walking. Offer them a treat when they coordinate their movements with yours. The dogs that experience anxiety should receive treats designed for their condition, click here to find more about them.
Go for a vet check
Once the dog is used with wearing the leash, you should take them to the veterinary to ask them to evaluate their condition. They can offer you professional advice on how to train a dog that has anxiety. Also, the doctor will check their health state to see if they have the physical condition to join you for running.
Develop a training program
Once your dog gets used walking by your side or in your front, you can start creating a program. Running is an activity the majority of dogs love, but you have to understand when they prefer to do it, and where they feel comfortable. You should offer them support and motivation, so make sure you do not skip a run, because they will get out of practice. First, you can mix walking with running. Run for a couple of minutes, then walk, and do not forget to offer them treats.
Take it slow
Anxiety in dogs is similar to anxiety in people, so it is important to take it slow, and introduce them to running at their pace. Continue alternating running and walking until you notice that they prefer to run on great lengths. Their body language will offer you the answers, so you will know when they need a break. You should never push your dog’s limits.