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shell nyc
30th October 2007, 02:22 AM
Does anyone have experience with a Cavalier as a jogging buddy? Winston turns 1yr on Wednesday, and has endless energy, so I decided to take him for a slow, short jog a couple of weeks ago. It was only 1 mile but he pulled me the whole way! He had so much fun, jumping up at my side as we ran. We've been slowly increasing the distance (while trying to manage the pace...) and so far so good. Three miles in the rain on Saturday (actually, he was offleash part of the time so may have done 5 ;) ! ), 4 miles today...he's a real trooper!
I do worry a little though because he is a small dog (~16lbs) and I haven't heard of any other roadrunner Cavaliers. He hasn't been seen by a specialist but his regular vet says he's in good shape. Anything to worry about?

Thanks!

Matte
30th October 2007, 07:39 AM
Three miles seems like a lot for such a little dog--his legs are only a couple of inches long so his feet strike the ground during that run innumerable more times than yours, and unlike agility or other forms of dog exercise, straight road running is a very repetitive exercise. I don't know about things like bone development, but if no one here knows the answer, I would find out from a vet whether a cavalier's bones and musculature are fully developed at 1 year. It might also make a difference whether you're running on pavement or dirt--dirt would of course be easier on him. I'd also keep really up-to-date on his heart status--if he starts to develop a heart problem, I'd ask an expert about that level of exercise.

Cathy Moon
30th October 2007, 09:40 AM
I don't know what an expert would say, but I wouldn't jog with a cavalier. They tend to exercise themselves in short spurts when left to their own devices.

merlinsmum
30th October 2007, 12:27 PM
I run with my boys - only once have we done 3 miles on the road on lead - this was way too much for them - I had to carry Merlin for some of it.

However, we do still run the same distance but around a wood off lead- they are fine with this as they stop and start constantly rather than "keeping a pace".

They have a great time running around but if Merlin starts to get tired he comes and paws the back of my leg - of course if you were to get their leads out again after you get home - they'd be up for it again!

Karlin
30th October 2007, 01:13 PM
I think a cavalier (depending on individuals) could possibly handle shorter distances (eg under 3 miles only -- I see this is about the maximum for fun runs ith dogs that I see posted on the net) but the problem is he is probably way too young in terms of his bone growth to be doing an impact activity like running solidly for such long distances. He still has growing joints and running for such long distances is really not adviseable. Most agility instructors will not allow dogs to start doing serious agility work til they are 18 months old, their growth plates close, and their joints have properly developed and stopped forming.

I'd hold off on the long distance running with him and keep it to short runs. Check with a vet or an orthopedic specialist for precise advice but 18 months for impact sports is the general recommendation for dogs. :thmbsup:

Karlin
30th October 2007, 01:24 PM
This should be helpful! :) :

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_JogDog.php

Directly related to your question, see below (note cavaliers are short nosed breeds so that is one caution, as is their shorter legs on many dogs, and the fact that a given dog could be prone to either hip dysplasia or patella problems and long distance running especially on pavement could exacerbate these. So a full vet checkup is a good idea before starting jogging or any exercise regime. The other is that usually as with people you need to work up to any distance very slowly, over time, to develop stamina -- I'd think many weeks to go from one mile to even three would be needed):


Humans are better suited to jogging or running for long periods nonstop than are canines, who tend to engage in short, intense bursts of running with intermittent stops to sniff around, piddle and absorb the scenery.

snip

Avoid overexertion:

Remember, dogs will usually try to keep up with their people just because it is their nature to do so. This can mask fatigue and overshadow signs that the dog is overdoing it. So be vigilant and do not push your dog too hard.

snip

Breed considerations:

Keep your dog's breed in mind when planning your exercise routine. Small dogs with short legs usually don't need to ... or should not ...be walked or jogged as long as larger dogs.

Breeds with short noses may have trouble breathing when exercised vigorously. Short-snouters range from little pugs to bulldogs to boxers and many others.

And don't assume that racing breeds such as Greyhounds and whippets can run marathons. While they are built to run, they were not breed to run for long distances.

And for young pups and big breeds of any age, sustained jogging or running is too hard on their joints.

shell nyc
30th October 2007, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the info...we'll slow down and back off a little on the running. I'll try to get in touch with our orthopedist for specifics, but I had read that Cavalier's skeletons are fully developed by 10-12 months, which is why we've held off until now to try. I usually jog at a 9-9:30min/mile pace, but he wants to go faster! Oh, and while some of the run is on asphalt, most is on dirt (the bridle path around Central Park.)

Merlinsmum: I agree that he enjoyed the offleash running much more! He would dart off one way, then back to me, dart off the other way, back to me, run up ahead, wait for me...all of this in the rain and through puddles. I don't think he got the memo that Cavs are supposed to be lap dogs! ;)