Jolly

Running with Dogs

Doodles, Boo & OscarMort, too 8 Comments

I recently purchased a running leash, because I like the idea of running with the dogs.  My pooches are big dogs, ideally suited to long distance running and I’ve seen pictures on Instagram that make it look like a fun thing to do. But my purchase sat on the side looking interesting. Because I’ve tried running with dogs, and it wasn’t a wholly satisfying experience. So it was just a decorative adornment in the dog box for quite some time.

In fact, my last jog with the dogs was a complete disaster and resulted in our previous running lead snapping. How? I had both dogs tethered to my waist (OK – possibly not the brightest idea I ever had), when they saw a cat. Which they immediately launched themselves at. I think it was a good thing the leash snapped, because I suspect the alternative was me face-planting prior to being towed along in hot pursuit. (I thought Oscar had done a better job of training his “furry beasts”, but this demonstrated that he has far more work to do).  I actually managed to grad the lead and restrain the brutes before they terrorised the poor feline, but it kind of put me off going out with them again. (Incidentally, Oscar has found another social media channel to dominate: he has a Facebook page now, so he can post numerous selfies of his delectable self.  You can check him out here).

I would have left it there.  But Instagram pictures have a way of working on you and the wholesome images of owners and dogs exploring shady forests and sparkling streams was alluring.

So I decided to give it one more go before PayPalling a new lead.  I put Dexter in the ute and set off for the hills.  He howled the whole way, as though I were the woodcutter and he were Snow White.  (Doodles does have issues – we’re his 5th home, so I think he thought I was taking him off to an adoption agency…) We had a good time, but running with a regular lead was a pain in the butt, because I had to hold it whilst Dexter legged it through the saltbush sniffing out birds to chase. He also drank most of my water. Bad dog!

My solution was an Ezydog road runner leash, the sort that fits around your waist so you can run hands free. (Handy if you want to carry a water bottle, phone or just generally have your hands available to avoid any face-plant problems should a cat stray across your path…) The leashes are well designed and well made, with some features that make the experience a whole lot more comfortable.  For a start, the waist band is padded, so when the woofet tethered at the other end decides he wants to set an Olympic qualifier pace, you aren’t sliced in two.  I did try to explain the concept of “the Garmin sets the pace” , but Dexter doesn’t recognise the Garmin as top-dog.  (And I’m not convinced he sees me in that category, either).

20150725_115017_001

The leash is long, too, which is great on two counts.  One, it means that it gives plenty of room for adjustment around the old jelly-belly, and two, it means that we’re not getting up close and personal, so I don’t end up tripping over my-mate-with-four-paws when he detects something in my path deemed worth a sniff.

20150725_114915

The other feature that I really like is the “zero shock” webbing at the end, designed to reduce the impact of Olympic qualifier pace setting by hounds.  I wouldn’t say it completely removed the shock of my dog trying to haul me along at something akin to 2:30’/km, but it did absorb some of the discomfort.

Zero shock feature
Zero shock feature

I bought new collars for Gracie and Dexter at the same time.  A necessity, not a luxury, as between them, they’d nibbled Dexter’s into pieces, and had started on Gracie’s.  The Ezydog ones are pretty chunky with padding against the neck and reflective trim, which is good in the twilight hours of early morning walks.

The products aren’t cheap, but I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for, so I was happy that the leash and collars are good value for money.  However, I have spied a whole backpack system that would be the answer to the water theft issues in the hills.  (Dexter has a drink problem – he is addicted to slurping water, which in turn results in him constantly needing to be let outside for a piddle).  I’d love a backpack so he can carry his own supplies, but my budget wasn’t going to stretch to that as well.  (R.E.S.U.L.T: I wasn’t duped by PayPal into thinking my spending power is unlimited – thank you Dry July)!!

I guess the next thing is that I need to repeat the exercise, because whilst the leash was great, Dexter and I were no Torvill and Dean partnership.  By the end of the run (we did 5km), my back was hurting and I could feel that I was heel striking, which is not my normal style of running.  I suspect that the continuous pulling around my waist pulled my out of alignment, so my running posture was compromised.  For  trail running, it will be ideal.  The design of the leash, and in particular, the length of the lead, means it will wrap round my waist and clip together, so that I don’t have to hold anything or have bits of leash dingly-dangling around my legs.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I only refer to Dexter and not Gracie, that’s because Gracie is not keen on running.  Well, she likes it.  But not for long.  Or far.  Because that interferes with her lying down time, having a snooze.

20150725_132854

And Oscar has taken up traffic directing duties, so is too busy bossing unsuspecting motorists around to participate, despite Twin1’s best efforts to train him to walk on a lead.

Travel like a local

Do you have a running dog?  What are your recommendations for a good run?  Do you think Ezydog should sponsor us to try more products? 😉

(This post is not sponsored.  All views are my own).

Related Posts

8 Comments

  • The Jolly Running Project on 25th July 2015

    […] Running with Dogs – Dexter and I test the Ezydog running leash #Doodlesontherun #vizslagram #r… […]

  • Haidee on 28th July 2015

    Haha, that totally cracked me up about the dogs seeing a cat and bolting! I can so imagine my great big Labrador doing that. Not that I would be RUNNING per se, try walking. He will often pull me into a jog though (entirely NOT my idea). #teamIBOT

    • Author
      Jolly on 29th July 2015

      I tried running with our lab, when we lived in the UK. That worked, but only because we lived in the middle of nowhere, so he never needed to be on a leash. He could just pootle along. Except when he saw rabbits. Then he bolted – and usually refused to come home!

  • Lisa on 28th July 2015

    Great review, thanks. I’ve seen the Ezydog running leads and think they’d be great once my pooch gets the hang of running steady until I tell her to stop! She loves to run but is terribly inconsistent. One minute she’s charging along like a bulldozer and the next she’s stopped to sniff, just about pulling my arm off. I imagine if her lead was around my waist I’d pop a disc or something!

    • Author
      Jolly on 29th July 2015

      I have to say, Dexter is a bit like that, but I’m assured its just a case of practice. But the thought of popping a disc isn’t attractive, is it, so I’m never really keen to have another go!?!?

  • EssentiallyJess on 28th July 2015

    My dog would love it if I ran with him, but I would have to be able to run a whole lot faster. He has to be in front, and he loves to pull, no matter what I do. Running — in fact walking with him, is a safety issue!

    • Author
      Jolly on 29th July 2015

      I wish I’d discovered Ezydog in the UK. My spaniel nearly dislocated my shoulder with his delight in pulling. He sounds like he might be related to your dog – at least as a kindred spirit! 🙂

  • […] and I review the @ezydog running leash here. #ezidogaustralia #ezidog #runningwithdogs #runner #vizslagram #dogsofinstagram #doodles […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: