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Bored running partner
by: Matt and Winston

Winston, our 2.5 year old, and I just got back from a 9km run. We generally run between 6-10 km at a time 5 days a week, pace from 3min km intervals to 5:50 yogs...Running as cold as -15 outside. We have knit him a neck warmer that he hides his ears in when cold, and also have numerous jackets to layer. We went thru phases where he was absolutely not into it. He would actually stop and make me pull him, sometimes after 200m. There was always something he was trying to tell me. Ie: it's raining and he doesn't like to be wet, it's cold, he wanted to go down the other street to hunt squirrels.....

I spoke to a few professional working dog (military) trainers about it and they said to be predictably unpredictable. Winston learnt that running in the rain or snow was still fun... I would break up bacon pieces and get random people to give him bacon on our route and let him go to random off leash areas during the run...(starting with a long lead I carried) I also found that while running I treated him as working, he was not to squirrel hunt while we are running. ..if u watch them, they are scanning trees all the time...And I reward him. Most of the time later in the runs when he protested it is just boredom. I solved that by teaching him to run on curbs and park benches and now he loves it.

We began after he turned two to run him off leash in the woods. This along with cross country skiing has been some of our best moments.

I guess all I can say is if you stick with it and praise them and make it fun they will love it. But even now and again they will let u know they would rather stay under the blankets.

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