The Best Running Partner You Never Knew You Had: Your Ridgeback

Running with your Ridgeback can be a ton of fun – as long as you're prepared! This post will give you all the safety tips you need to make sure your runs are a success.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Running
ncn18 (iStock)

Sit, stay, and grab a dog treat (or a human treat, we won’t judge)

Let’s dive into why the Ridgeback might just be the running partner you never knew you needed.

Who needs a personal trainer when you have a dog that will bark at you to keep going and then give you a congratulatory lick on the face when you’re done?

Are you tired of dragging your sorry butt out for yet another solo run, wondering if the only thing that’s going to keep you motivated is the promise of a post-workout donut? Well, fear not my friends, because I have got the solution to all your running woes: the Ridgeback.

Yes, you heard that right. The Ridgeback, aka the Rhodesian Ridgeback, may just be the secret weapon you never knew you needed to take your runs from snooze-fest to “holy cow, I think I might actually enjoy this”. With their toned and muscular physique, endless amounts of energy, and stamina that puts even the Energizer Bunny to shame, these pups are practically begging for someone to take them out for a run.

But hold up, before you go trading in your running shoes for a leash, there are a few things you need to know. Running with a Ridgeback can be a blast – if you know what you’re doing. Lucky for you, I’m here to dish out all the insider tips and tricks you need to make sure your runs with your four-legged friend are a success.

Running with a Ridgeback puppy: it’s like chasing a tiny tornado of fur, but be careful not to overexert their developing bones and muscles!

It’s a beautiful thing to watch these little bundles of joy grow up, isn’t it? From their floppy ears to their wagging tails, every stage is a new adventure.

At first, they’re just tiny little things, barely able to open their eyes. But soon enough, they’re stumbling around like drunkards, trying to figure out how to use their legs. And let’s not forget about the teething. Oh, the teething. Suddenly, everything in your house becomes a chew toy, and you start to wonder if your puppy is part beaver.

But no matter what stage they’re in, one thing is for sure – Ridgeback puppies love to run. And boy, can they run. But as they grow older and their muscles start to develop, they become even more agile and speedy.

Did you know that in large breed puppies, their bones can grow faster than their muscles?

  • Puppies in large breeds need time to develop their bones and muscles properly.
  • High-impact exercises like running or jumping can lead to joint issues and injury.
  • Their muscles may not be strong enough to support their bones during intense exercise.
  • Starting with low-impact activities can help prevent joint damage and other health issues.

Of course, it’s important to remember that every puppy develops at their own pace. Some may hit their milestones earlier than others, while some may take a little longer. And that’s okay. As long as they’re happy and healthy, that’s all that matters.

The benefits of running with your Ridgeback puppy include increased exercise and bonding time, but be aware of the potential risks and hazards

It’s just easier to run when you’re being dragged by something cute

First and foremost, running with your puppy can be great for your cardiovascular health. Nothing gets your heart pumping like a good run, especially when you have a little ball of energy by your side. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to bond with your puppy and build trust between the two of you. Who needs couples therapy when you can just go for a run together?

Running with your puppy may lead to joint damage and fatigue

But of course, with great benefits come great risks. One of the biggest concerns with running with puppies is the potential for joint damage. After all, their bones and joints are still developing, and too much impact can be harmful. Not to mention, puppies can get tired quickly and may not be able to communicate their exhaustion as effectively as an adult dog.

Starting slow is key when running with your furry friend

You can’t just throw your puppy into a 5K and expect them to keep up. Start slow, with short bursts of running, and gradually build up their endurance. And always monitor their behavior during exercise. If they start limping or seem overly fatigued, it’s time to take a break.

And let’s be real, sometimes running with your puppy can feel more like chasing a wild animal than a leisurely jog. Between the sniffing, the sudden stops, and the occasional squirrel chase, it can be hard to stay focused on your own running form. But hey, at least you’re getting a good upper body workout from all the leash pulling.

If your Ridgeback puppy is still chewing on your shoes, it’s probably too soon to start running together

Determining the appropriate age to start running with your Ridgeback puppy can be a bit of a tricky situation. There are a lot of factors to consider, like breed, size, and individual health. But fear not, my friends, for I have some tips to help you out.

One important factor to keep an eye on is your puppy’s weight.

When they hit that one year mark, they can start packing on the pounds as their growth rate slows down. So make sure you’re checking in with your vet regularly to ensure your furry friend isn’t carrying a few extra kgs. I mean, we all know the struggle of trying to fit into our skinny jeans, am I right?

  • Ridgeback puppies can start running around six months of age (or whenever your vet gives the OK).
  • Gradual introduction to running is key – don’t expect your puppy to be Usain Bolt right away (unless they are, in which case, can I borrow them for my next race?).
  • Start with short distances and slowly build up over time.
  • Just like with your own fitness journey, it takes time to build endurance and get used to running on a leash.
  • And if all else fails, just let your puppy lead the way and pretend like you’re training for a marathon while chasing after them!

Practice running with my puppy on a beach or grass walking trail

Here they can really stretch his legs and run around like a crazy person (or dog, same thing). We start with just a few meters of running on leash, and gradually build up to 100 meters where he’s just cruising along beside me like a champ. And of course, we mix it up with some gentle hikes and longer off-leash walks. Gotta keep things interesting, you know?

Running with your Ridgeback puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience, as long as you do it safely and responsibly.

From puppyhood to adulthood, Ridgebacks love to run and will always be up for a good sprint or jog with their favorite human companion

You’ve got an adolescent or adult Ridgeback and you’re ready to hit the road together for some running fun? Great! Just remember to start slow, take breaks, and stay hydrated.

First things first, let’s talk distance

You may be eager to run miles and miles with your pup, but it’s important to remember that running can be hard on a dog’s body.

Just like with a puppy, it’s important to start with shorter distances and gradually build up your Ridgeback’s endurance. It’s also important to pay attention to your Ridgeback’s behavior during the run. If they’re showing signs of fatigue or discomfort, it’s time to take a break and head back home.

Next up, hydration

This one is key. Bring water for both you and your Ridgeback on your run and take frequent water breaks. Ridgebacks are prone to overheating, so it’s important to avoid running during the hottest parts of the day and watch for signs of panting or difficulty breathing.

Investing in proper gear is a must

At very least, you’ll want to make sure you have a well-fitted leash and harness for your Ridgeback. A poorly fitting leash or harness can cause discomfort or even injury to your pup. The leash should be long enough to allow your Ridgeback to move freely, but not so long that it becomes tangled or difficult to control. And the harness should fit snugly around your Ridgeback’s chest without being too tight or too loose.

Here’s some more kit to make your runs a breeze

  • A sturdy leash and harness to keep your dog secure and by your side while running.
  • Dog shoes to protect their paws from hot pavement or rocky terrain.
  • A collapsible water bowl and water bottle to keep your pup hydrated on the go.
  • A hands-free waistband leash to keep your hands free while you’re running.
  • A doggy backpack to carry essentials such as treats, poop bags, and a small first aid kit.
  • A reflective vest or collar to keep your dog visible and safe during early morning or evening runs.
  • A GPS tracking device to keep tabs on your dog’s location and ensure they don’t stray too far from you.

Well, well, well, look who’s up for the challenge of running with their Ridgeback puppy!

It’s like trying to teach a baby how to do taxes, but don’t let that stop you. Just be aware that there are some potential risks involved, like joint damage and exhaustion. But with the right mindset and plenty of treats, you can safely introduce your four-legged friend to the world of running.

Wait until your pup is at least 12-18 months old before hitting the trail

Start with short distances and gradually increase the intensity while keeping an eye on your pup’s behavior. And if they’re acting out of the ordinary, maybe they just need a nap. I mean, who doesn’t love a good nap, am I right?

By waiting until your Ridgeback puppy is fully developed, you can avoid the canine catastrophe that is joint and muscle damage. And if you’re struggling to keep your pup motivated, try bribing them with some bacon bits. Trust me, it works every time.

Let’s be honest, running with your Ridgeback puppy is the ultimate excuse to work off that extra slice of pizza you had for lunch. And let’s not forget the feeling of accomplishment after a good run with your furry bestie. Plus, maybe they’ll even let you pet them for a few seconds without nipping at your hand.

So, throw on your running shoes, grab your leash, and get out there with your Ridgeback puppy. Take it slow, keep an eye on their behavior, and most importantly, have fun. And if running isn’t your thing, there’s always the option of binge-watching Netflix with your pup instead. After all, who doesn’t love a good Netflix marathon?

I'm Amanda, a fitness enthusiast who loves exploring new trails with my RR, Max. I share recommendations for outdoor gear on my website and also post photos and stories of our adventures. Join us and get active with your pup and explore the great outdoors yourself!