View Full Version : "Running" the dogs

20th March 2009, 04:53 PM

In an effort to keep more active, I was thinking about jogging 1km, 3x per day. I have access to a private park, over from work, and I bring the dogs to work every day. It would be ideal to combine the running with doggy time in the park.

Do you think King Charles Cav's would cope with the 3km?


20th March 2009, 06:40 PM
Can only say the my vet suggested not running with my Cavs at all. I think she was concerned about hip dysplasia issues but can't remember now. I am sure others on the board will have an opinion.

Cathy Moon
20th March 2009, 10:35 PM
Since dogs seem to run in shorter spurts and then rest and take it easy, I wouldn't.

Cavaliers are such small dogs that doing just one agility run is like running a marathon to them.

the doll
21st March 2009, 01:25 PM
I do up to four miles in the woods twice a week, around half of which a jog. Holly always comes along and generally outruns us. I suppose it depends on the stamina of the dog. Holly is young (1 yr) and has been very well exercised from a very young age. Maybe if the dogs aren't used to it you could build them up slowly. I've asked my vet in the past about running and he reckons the more the better. Its a great opportunity for the dogs to let off steam. If its a private road maybe they could run off lead? Then they can set their own pace, thats how we do it. I think cavs are hardier little dogs than they're given credit for.

21st March 2009, 04:53 PM
My hubby did this with our cav who is super fit as she is walked and off leash everyday.....she was exhausted and for 2 days was wiped out.
I was so concerned about her i took her to the vet and was advised not to run with her again.
I run about 3miles a few times a week but dont take my dogs....i usually walk the dogs, then go and do my run.I was just so shocked to see my adult cav so exhausted....so lesson learnt for me!

22nd March 2009, 03:29 AM
Hi Gary,

I think your dogs can take it! Running doesn't cause hip dysplasia.

However, I would suggest starting slow, and increasing the length and/or duration.

It's just like you, you wouldn't run a marathon without proper training.

How about you start with 1/4 or 1/2 mile, once.

Then slowly increase the length and/or duration and frequency slowly, week after week.

Also, trust your dogs and see how they feel and react. Do they hate it? Enjoy it? Look forward to it? Are they exhausted for 3 days?

2 more things: I would keep them on a leash, and have easy access to (clean) water.


www.drphilzeltzman.com (http://www.drphilzeltzman.com)

22nd March 2009, 08:43 AM
Thanks for all the comments guys. Basil is run on a daily basis already, not far, but he is run quite hard. Let me explain...

He comes to the office every day, and whilst in the office there is little he can do in terms of exercise. I have access to a private park, and in the park - there is a relatively large hill. 30 meter from top to bottom, and I reckon a decline of 30 to 45 degrees. In short, a bloody difficult hill to run up.

Anyway! Basil LOVES for me to throw his ball down. He goes after it like a rocket, grabs the ball, and returns up the hill at an incredible speed. When I first started, I maybe did this 3 or 4 times. Now when he goes out, he will go after the ball, down the hill, up to 30 times.

He returns to the office absolutely knackered. He seems as strong as an ox though. An hour or so of snoring, and he is back to his usual hyper self.

Baxter has recently started, and now as such I only throw the balls a few times. Baxter chases Basil down the hill, and will return with him, back up, the hard way.

I must confess, I always thought I was doing Basil good. I thought it was an excellent source of exercise and I presumed it was simply keeping him trim and proper. When I had a few weeks off, I could see the difference in Basil, and upon returning to the hill, I could tell he needed to build up to his previous levels.

Anyway. If I choose to run around the park with the dogs, I guess I would be replacing the MANIC hill sprints, with much slower paced jogs.


22nd March 2009, 11:19 AM
I have always heard that this is not a breed that should be used for long jogs. Long walks is one thing; long jogs something else. One key reason being they already have obstructed breathing as they are bracycephalic -- they have foreshortened muzzles and this is at best mildly compromising already (hence that is why nearly all cavaliers at least occasionally do the 'cavalier snort', due to soft tissue obstructing their airways). For some dogs this is more than a mild problem and can be fatal eventually.

There have been many examples on this board alone of people with dogs that have had serious problems with overheating on warm days -- they will have more trouble keeping themselves cool through panting with their shorter nose.

More specifics on this issue, see: http://cavalierhealth.org/brachycephalic.htm

In part:

The term "brachycephalic" or "brachiocephalic" means short-nosed and refers to dogs with short muzzles, noses, and mouths. "Brachy" means short and "cephalic" means head. The throat and breathing passages in brachycephalic dogs often are undersized or flattened. The head's soft tissues are not proportionate to the shortened nature of the skull, and the excess tissues tend to increase resistance to the flow of air through the upper airway (nostrils, sinuses, pharynx and larynx).

This developmental defect is somewhat more apparent in a few other breeds: the English bulldog, pug, Boston terrier, and Pekingese, in particular. However, various degrees of BAOS predominate in the CKCS. The primary BAOS abnormalities in the Cavalier include an elongated and fleshy soft palate, narrowed nostrils (stenotic nares), and everted laryngeal saccules, all of which are discussed in detail here. Other disorders may include laryngeal malformation and relatively small windpipe (tracheal hypoplasia or stenosis) and collapsing trachea**, which are not specifically covered in this article. All of these disorders cause obstruction of the upper airway, compromise the dog's ability to take in air, and may result in laryngeal collapse.

I know running cavaliers for any distance is a pretty controversial topic with both vets and breeders and even those who do active sports like agility, many of whom think long runs as opposed to short bursts of activity are not advised. In part of course this is going to depend on the individual dog. I sure wouldn't be running a cavalier any distance over a kilometer or so myself tough would have no issue with long vigorous walks. There are IMHO much better ways to keep a cavalier active and fit.

22nd March 2009, 11:27 AM
Thanks Karlin,

I wonder if I am then pushing them too much with the hill. Basil seems to LOVE it, but I am not wanting to hurt them.

Basil ALWAYS snores when sleeping, and snorts often. Baxter, well not yet.

I have already noted Basil is not a fan of the heat, he pants a lot in the summer.


the doll
22nd March 2009, 12:59 PM
Wow I didn't know cav's have breathing issues. I've never seen problems with Holly but i'll definately be keeping an eye out for it now. I should also probably clarify that I don't run her for 2 miles straight, we run for a bit, walk for a bit etc. She really does love to run though and I always have water on hand for her. When we get home after she generally naps for an hour and then wakes up full of energy all over again! Maybe I have a particularily energetic dog. She's been like that from the day we got her. She is also checked over by my vet on a regular basis and he is aware of the heart issues cavs can have and keeps a close eye on this. Next visit i'll definately mention the breathing though.

22nd March 2009, 04:08 PM
I jog with mine and as soon as it starts to get hot he wears his swamp cooler anytime we are going to out for awhile (the link is below) It really helps in the summer when we are out out in the fields, hiking, ect


22nd March 2009, 04:28 PM
That's a good idea - do you put water in it or wet it down? When Mindy was younger it seemed that she could never get enough heat. Now she prefers to sit inside in the A/C than be outside in the yard with us on hot days - probably a combination of her age and living in a warmer climate.

the doll
22nd March 2009, 04:57 PM
I'm so gettin a swamp cooler, thanks a mil for that :p

23rd March 2009, 11:51 PM
That's a good idea - do you put water in it or wet it down? When Mindy was younger it seemed that she could never get enough heat. Now she prefers to sit inside in the A/C than be outside in the yard with us on hot days - probably a combination of her age and living in a warmer climate.

I will soak it in water or if its over 100 I will put it in the cooler on the way there. (don't worry, when its REALLY hot my dogs are never out of my sight, I make sure they keep hydrated, and I watch them closely for any sign they are too hot)

I live in a hot humid climate and I think it really does help. I use it on the dock/boat more than anything. My 17 pound boy wears an XS for those of you who might be considering it.