Photo: Marissa Deck|Unsplash


You love running, and so does your dog. However, both of you can never seem to get your footing in sync with each other. Here are some easy techniques you can harness to enjoy each and every running session with your dog. 

Being able to involve our dogs in as many facets of our life as possible is a dream come true for many a pet owner. From eating to swimming, and even shopping, paw parents are doing it all. 

So, when it comes to exercising, it’s almost a no-brainer. Put a human who loves to run together with any dog and you get the perfect running duo. Well, almost. Because as much as we imagine a beautiful, in sync experience, it doesn’t always turn out that way. And before you decide to run your dog off-leash to possibly avoid trip-ups, let it be known that it is illegal to do that in Singapore (yes, you can Google it).

So, what now? And how much work do you need to do before you and your pooch are able to enjoy that satisfying, perfect run together? Will you have to sign Rufus and yourself up for expensive training courses to learn how to do that? Not really. It may even prove to be a rather simple task, more so if your dog has some basic obedience techniques under its paws. 

Similar to how you would train yourself to run, starting off slow and easy will be a good way to start your journey to creating an ideal running situation with your dog. 

Choose a side you will prefer to have your dog on to reduce confusion and begin by going on a walk and getting your dog to walk alongside you. Keep doing this until your dog is walking perfectly beside you. Remember to reward your furry friend with treats when it does well! 

Training isn’t over until your dog learns to listen out for your cues! Teach your pooch words such as “Heel” to stop, “Whoa” to slow down, “Move” to start running and perhaps “Let’s go!” to pick up the speed. Loosen your grip on the leash, and combine your cues with short running and walking bursts to let your dog get used to the commands and perfect the execution. 

While some runners are fine holding on to their dog’s leash as they run, others, like Miss Janet Tan, 30, finds that tying it around her waist or to her waist pouch works well too. 

When running with her 15-month-old Japanese Spitz Shiro, she says: “To ensure Shiro doesn’t get distracted and wander off during our run, I employ either one of two methods. First method, I'll have her leash hooked to my waist pouch if I'm wearing one, then I'll hold onto the middle of the leash like how I would walk her, and have a little slack so she does not get to go behind or in front of my legs,” says Janet, a Process Technician at a local firm. 

“The short slack is important so she does not get stepped on by me, neither do I get tripped over by her! For the second method, the leash goes around my waist so basically, we will end up having a little slack automatically and I get to run hands-free,” added Janet.

Always, always award treats for a job well done, and ample rest time and water in between training sessions. 

Just like anyone of us, dogs need to build up their endurance before they embark on a run. Start with a combination of slow jogs and short running bursts, and increase the amount of running time and distance as you go along. 

Adrian Lum: The character of your dog
determines its training style

Make sure to give your dog time to take a break in between, and stop if it is showing signs of lethargy. Over time, and longer running sessions, you will be able to have your dog and run with it too!

At the end of the day, understanding the psyche of your dog’s breed (some breeds are more easily distracted than others), age, character and stamina are important factors to take note of. 

According to ex-SAF dog trainer Adrian Lum, 48, the character of your dog determines its training style. Hyperactive dogs will need to be trained with a firm hand without too much environmental distractions. Timid dogs, however, should be trained using encouragements, praise and rewards, which will motivate them better to come out of their shell and accomplish what needs to be done. 
“Dog training requires owners and handlers to have a good understanding of the dog’s character. Establishing and maintaining a good relationship with the dog is important, and it always pays to be patient and observant, a crucial part to training a dog well in basic obedience,” says Adrian.




Warm up your dog before you run and cool him down when you’re finished by walking for several minutes.
Be aware of weather conditions. Dogs can’t handle heat and humidity as well as humans can.
Carry water on your walks and offer it to your dog regularly.
Give your dog frequent breaks, so he can recharge, go to the bathroom, and enjoy his surroundings.
Only allow your dog to run off-leash where it’s safe and legal, and only if he has a reliable recall amid distractions.
Watch your dog for signs that he’s had enough, such as excessive panting or lagging behind you. Dogs may run to please their owner, even when they want to stop.

Source: American Kennel Club


The Doog Walkie Belt has been designed to free up your hands and pockets as you run, walk or exercise with your dog. It sits snugly and stylishly on the hips and comes with two strong clips for hands-free dog running or walking. The bigger front pockets accommodate larger phones while the back compartment hold treats. The third, holds change or house keys. Size extends from 70cm - 130 cm.

Available at: Singpet.com 

With interchangeable patches and Velcro system on the chest, the IDC-Power harness is suitable for home use as well as for working dogs. One of the most important functions of the IDC-Power harness is that it works well as a visibility vest too: The grey line on the chest strap and the edges of the harness are made of reflective materials. This helps to keep your dog visible even from a great distance when out walking in the dark. The Oeko-Tex material used makes it breathable through its skin-friendly inner lining.

Available at: Singpet.com

Rogz has a wide range of cool graphic ribbons are stitched onto high-grade webbing, ensuring your dog sports the latest. The fashion ribbon is stitched onto high-grade nylon webbing while all joins are box stitched for extra strength and a quality finish. With a lead length of 1.8m, the lead is suitable for small dogs like Yorkie, Pom, Maltese, Miniature Poodle, and Chihuahua.

Available at Pet Lovers Centre

Rock solid range for those dogs that have a taste for the better things in life and an appreciation for the classics. Featuring durable webbing with reflective details for night time visibility. With contoured plastic components, the large (Fanbelt) is 1.4m long while its webbing is 20mm wide. Suitable for Dalmatians, Spaniels, Dobermans, Boxers, Staffies.
Available at Pet Lovers Centre

A padded harness that ensures comfort and additional control for any adventure! The ergonomic boomerang design harness comes with reflective stitching. Woven into the webbing and piping, the reflective yarn makes it great for improved night-time visibility. Padded for extra comfort and support, the Fast-Fit Harness transfers pressure from your dog’s neck to its chest. There is also an accessory D-ring to attach your dog’s identification.

Available at Pet Lovers Centre