Dogs are great human companions, and they even prove fantastic running partners, especially Labrador Retrievers. Labs are known for being super energetic, forever active, and the most loving canine companions. Since they were originally bred for hunting and swimming, Labradors are also surprised by their incredible running abilities. And also, since they are easy to train, Labradors can prove your ultimate running buddy even for long-distance runs.
How Far Can I Run With My Labrador?
Labradors are active and athletic dogs who can easily run 5 to 7 miles a day. Since they are built for such a lifestyle, running comes naturally to Labradors, and like many dogs, they do not need training. However, the length of running (kilometers/ miles) depends upon the individual Labrador’s health, endurance, age, and fitness level. The one with high endurance can even run for 10 miles a day without risking their physical health. However, according to fitness coaches and dog experts, Labradors should not run further than 7 to 10 miles a day, or they may experience an increased risk of joint and hip disabilities.
Running With Your Labrador Guide
Running with your Labrador Retriever is the best way to bond and spend time together. Sprint is a great exercise that keeps dogs, and humans fit, active and energetic for the day. Lab owners can teach their canines the art of running along; believe it or not, this will stay along for a lifetime.
However, before you begin giving running lessons to your Labrador, the most important step is a Vet consultation. Determining whether your dog is fit for long-distance running and reviewing its overall health is very important.
Running can do wonders for your Labrador’s health and lifestyle, but if he isn’t physically capable of the routine, it can lead the dog toward pain and disabilities.
With that said, here is the step-by-step guide that explains everything about ‘Long-Distance Running with Labrador Retrievers.’
Every dog breed has its own personality, and therefore each of them takes more or less time running than others. Here are a few things to consider while taking your Labrador on runs or long-distance runs.
Begin with walking before running.
No dog is naturally built for long-distance running, and therefore you can’t push them for the same. Initially, your Labrador should learn loose leash walking. Alongside, since the environment has endless distractions for dogs, teaching them discipline while on the trail is extremely important as well.
While you are just starting, take your dog on long walks without a lease for a few days. Introduce them to the environment and keep them from following anything like squirrels, cats, and butterflies around.
Increase the walking speed and miles gradually but do not take it to the level of running. Besides that, it doesn’t matter right or left but command the dog to keep on your side so that you both do not tangle while walking or running.
The next step is to introduce short-distance runs or sprints.
While you are out for the walk, use cues like ‘Run’ or ‘Let’s Go and get into a small sprint with your dog. Initially, Labradors will take time to work with the clue (when to begin and where to stop), but gradually they will learn to pick the same.
While it might be tempting to go for longer distances, slow down, especially with the overexcited Labs, or you will overdo it. Also, do not forget to take rests in between, especially for catching your breath. Follow this routine for a month or so, and it will help in building your and your Lab’s endurance rightfully.
After a month or so, your Lab is ready to increase that extra mile.
Increase an extra mile every 5th to 6th day or after every few running sessions. Continue the pattern until the dog is comfortable and happy, covering the distance.
Though no matter what, do not encourage your Labrador to run more than 10 miles in a day. The dog may give in to your speed and go that extra mile, but that’s not safe for him, ultimately.
What are the Safety Tips While Running with a Labrador?
Running with a Labrador can be very exciting, but without safety measures, it can prove dangerous. Consider these safety tips and ensure the best for you and your canine’s health.
- When you are just beginning, make sure the ground is soft since running on hard surfaces can be painful for Labradors.
- Use private areas like your garden or backyard while you are just beginning. This will allow you to keep the dog off-lease without risking him running away to a longer distance.
- Always be mindful about warming up before running by walking for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Be mindful of the time of the day and the weather both. During summer, choose evenings or early mornings and avoid the afternoon sun. Whereas during winter, pick the sunny afternoon hours and avoid morning and evening since it can get breezy. If it’s extremely sunny, even during winter, soak your Lab well in sunscreen.
- Pay close attention to your dog’s nails before you step out to run. If your Lab has an active outdoor lifestyle, his nails will trim from time to time. However, it is still better to check their nail length and trim/ clip if required.
- Ensure taking breathing and hydration breaks in between.
- Remember, when your Labrador is into long-distance running, Diet is the key. For healthy running, a routine ensures at least 20% to 30% protein, a maximum of 20% fat, and no more than 30% of carbohydrates.
- While you are active for long-distance runs with your Labradors, make sure you give them a day’s rest every 3 to 4 days. Doing so is important for muscle recovery.
- Overworking your Labrador can lead to uncalled health complications; thus, be mindful of the distance, time, and frequency. Watch signs when the dog is done running.
When Can Labs Start Running?
Since running isn’t really safe for puppies, wait until your Labrador turns at least one and a half years old. Labs, though, will begin running short and long distances (on themselves) as they turn 6 months old.
It is because Labs are originally active and meant for lifestyles that include swimming, hunting, running, and jumping around.
However, until the Labrador is fully developed, or preferably until he turns 18 months, avoid encouraging him to do long-distance runs.
Are Labs Good Long-Distance Runners?
Yes, Labradors are good long-distance runners, and they even make fantastic running companions.
When accompanied by a fit body and healthy lifestyle, they can cover miles while running, and that too within a blink.
What makes Lab’s good runners is the fact that they enjoy exercise, an active lifestyle, and being along with their humans.
How Much Running Does A Labrador Need?
A healthy adult Labrador needs at least 60 to 80 minutes of exercise every day. Whereas Labs who are usually following a relaxed lifestyle can make it up with 45 to 50 minutes of exercise every day.
70% of this schedule can include long-distance running or sprints, whereas reserving 30% for a game of fetch and activities that include mental stimulation.
How Fast And Far Can Golden Retrievers Run?
Adult Golden Retrievers can run easily up to 35 miles per hour which are considered a fair running speed.
However, the pace can range given to Golden Retriever’s age, fitness, endurance, and lifestyle.
Golden Retrievers are fast runners, and they can cover a maximum distance of 6 to 8 miles quite easily.
For continuing further, tough training, stamina, and a good amount of breaks in between are necessary.
Can Dogs Run Themselves To Death?
Given the circumstance, some dogs can run themselves to death. It is possible that some dogs run too fast and too far, that heat and exhaustion can cause their death or a near-death experience.
That is why even if you own a dog breed that is meant for running, always look out for signs to stop. Monitor when it is too far or when the dog is done enough and consider taking the stop.
Can English Labs Run?
English Labradors love an active lifestyle which makes them good runners. They can thrive in the backyard and can even make it for a sprint or long run on the countryside trails.
However, the racing abilities do not depend upon the type of Labrador but the individual dog’s fitness level and endurance.
Health impacts of running On Labrador Retrievers
Running has multiple positive and negative health impacts on Labrador Retrievers or similar dogs in general.
Positive health impacts of running On Labrador Retrievers include
- Weight regulation and maintenance.
- Strong heart and lungs.
- Reduction in stress and anxiety.
- It adds mental and physical stimulation.
- Reduces boredom.
- Promotes immune health.
- Calm demeanour and better sleep.
Negative health impacts of running On Labrador Retrievers
Though running generally does not have any negative health impact on dogs, excessive running can make an impact. It may lead to head problems like
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
Labradors may or may not be famed runners, but they can be your ultimate running companions. There is no special training required to begin running with your Labs, but the tips and tricks above will definitely help you with the process.
While you are encouraging your Labrador to do long-distance running, consider reading the dog. Monitoring a dog’s health, fitness, and endurance is essential before you push him over his capacity. Remember, too much pressure can negatively impact both their physical and mental health.