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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to run my dogs by the bike lately. We're doing well as far as the heeling by the bike, and their endurance is going up - all going great. But, I have been loading up both dogs, plus bike, and driving to the local park (which is generally deserted) to train them to run by it. Now that everything is doing well, I've started to just ride them in the neighborhood. But I'm concerned about how much I can run them on the pavement without hurting the pads of their feet. They live in the house, our yard is grass, and when we go walking, it's always on a dirt nature trail down by the house (where they don't allow bikes :? ) so they're not used to pavement. Today I did about a mile (we've been doing two at the park) on the pavement, and both of them looked like their feet were fine, but I'm still a little leery. (We did the March of Dimes when Angaar was about 8 months, and his feet started to bleed, and we had to stop and call for a car.)

Anyway, long story short, how gradual should I build up to this? Anybody have experience here? I'm probably not ever going to do an actual AD, but I want to work them up to where they can do four miles every other day (note, I'm conditioning myself for this too - it ain't gonna be overnight :oops: ).
 

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Not sure you’re heading in the right direction with the cycling to improve conditioning. A 4 miler every other day does allow for sufficient recovery, but the dogs will physically adapt within a couple of weeks, you need more variety for true conditioning, a fast 1 mile, a slow 5 miler, all mixed up. In terms of Fit for Purpose let me use a Schutzhund example of running the six blinds, the dog accelerates to the 1st blind, runs, and then uses a lot of energy to slow himself down before the turn. There is strain on muscles/joints to negotiate the turn and accelerate again, he does this 6 times. This is high intensity, anaerobic then he does the bark/hold and engages the helper. The neck/shoulder muscles are used and the back legs. Obviously there was a pause. This is lasts about 2-4mins. Not a critisism but the jogging doesn't prepare the dog for this e.g. American Footballers don't prepare for a 90min game by jogging for 90mins, it's more specific functional training. If you know the demands of your discipline/role then focus your conditioning around it.

However if you chose to continue the road running keep the pavement use to once or sometimes twice a week, not so much for the feet but the forces transferred through the body, there is a reason why NIKE spend millions on developing shock absorbing qualities in there shoes. Try a bit of power walking sometimes, look at the Guide dogs for the Blind, all that walking builds a powerful little body.

Obviously I take it the dog is a minimum of 18months. I think some may be worried about the March Of Dimes, I take it it was only a couple of miles as any further with an 8month old pup make provoke some strong opinions on this forum.

Your heart is in the right place and good for you for making the effort and time to work you and your dogs out.
 

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woody why would you want to keep the speed consistent? I know last year when I used to run anything over 13+ miles at a time on a regular basis I would change my speed to avoid getting injured (since you would be doing the same motion over and over again). By running different speeds/ strides I actually made it up to 18 miles and 6 months of consistent running before i got a stress fracture, which was quite an improvement over not being able to make it through a cross country season before. Food for thought
 

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Amber, go to our "LINKS" forum here. About halfway down the page is some info that may be helpful.
Training the AD
 

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you could add a little resistance to your training regimen (add weight) and have the dog drag a tire. I realize for the AD thingy you probably have to have the dog heeling by the bike so you you wouldn't want to train the dog to pull while on the bike(unlike my lazy musher self :D ) so the tire dragging is good for the handler to as you have to jog along...No pavement for this though as you want the dog to be able to get a good purchase on the ground. I am not a big fan of running dogs on pavement much as it is hard on the wrists but if you do keep the speed down.
 

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When it is nice out enough to bike, but too muddy for the regular trails, I run Zoso next to my bike 4-6 miles. I also ran the AD with Zoso in November when he was 22 months old and it was truly conditioning for me more than him. He cantered the last mile and had a nice fast recall during the little obedience portion at the end, crazy dog. :roll: :lol: This was on the Missouri Katy Trail that had limestone gravel. The judge noticed a little bit of bruising on his pads, but no bleeding or fatigue. I don't run them on a Springer or anything because I think it'd be harder to tell if the dog was lagging or had to go. Honestly, I'm not sure why they allow them on the AD if the dog is expected to keep up with you with a good heel. I do make sure to keep the leash in a way that I can drop it instantly if need be though. Anyways, a couple miles a few times a week on pavement is probably fine. Doing 12 miles or whatever everyday on pavement is probably not such a good idea. To mix it up if you're just doing it for fun and general conditioning, if you can find a well groomed grass or dirt off leash trail and go riding with the dogs running along side you off leash, it's really pretty neat. Kind of like a fox hunt or something because you can keep up with the dogs as they lope along. Tally ho! :D
 

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Rommel thinks the bike is the next greatest thing to freeze dried beef. Just check his feet every mile or so, use bag balm for sore feet, and bring some water with you. If your dobes are anything like mine, you should have NO problem Amber! They Looooooooooove to run! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mark Horne said:
Not sure you’re heading in the right direction with the cycling to improve conditioning..
I'm not so much conditioning the dogs as I am spending time with them and trying to get them some exercise that doesn't include running around my yard in circles. :D

Mark Horne said:
Obviously I take it the dog is a minimum of 18months.
They've been xrayed, hips and elbows, the male is old enough and has been OFA'd.

Mark Horne said:
I think some may be worried about the March Of Dimes, I take it it was only a couple of miles as any further with an 8month old pup make provoke some strong opinions on this forum.
I'm sorry, but I'd like to know where it's been documented that walking a couple of miles with an 8 month old dog is detrimental. We'd been walking that distance on dirt trails and in the woods for months when we did that walk, and his feet started bleeding after a mile and a half, only because he'd almost never been on pavement before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mark Horne said:
Not sure you're heading in the right direction with the cycling to improve conditioning..
I'm not so much conditioning the dogs as I am spending time with them and trying to get them some exercise that doesn't include running around my yard in circles. :D

Mark Horne said:
Obviously I take it the dog is a minimum of 18months.
They've been xrayed, hips and elbows, the male is old enough and has been OFA'd.

Mark Horne said:
I think some may be worried about the March Of Dimes, I take it it was only a couple of miles as any further with an 8month old pup make provoke some strong opinions on this forum.
I'm sorry, but I'd like to know where it's been documented that walking a couple of miles with an 8 month old dog is detrimental. We'd been walking that distance on dirt trails and in the woods for months when we did that walk, and his feet started bleeding after a mile and a half, only because he'd almost never been on pavement before. There's a big difference between doing jumps, palisades, etc. and WALKING.
 

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FWIW, if Mark read that the same way I did, I understood that you were running the 8mo pup and its paws bled. Not a big deal, I just didn't know what March of Dimes thing you were talking about.
 

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Sam Leinweber said:
woody why would you want to keep the speed consistent? I know last year when I used to run anything over 13+ miles at a time on a regular basis I would change my speed to avoid getting injured (since you would be doing the same motion over and over again). By running different speeds/ strides I actually made it up to 18 miles and 6 months of consistent running before i got a stress fracture, which was quite an improvement over not being able to make it through a cross country season before. Food for thought
Hey Sam

I had deleted my post as I realized it didn't add anything to the discussion. You have a good point, fartlek-type stuff is great for race conditioning.

My stuff with Annie is strictly recreational, I try to keep it consistent (with a speedometer/odometer) because she'll do something like see a squirrel and her speed will increase significantly (even if we're just passing it) for a long time if I don't manage that. I want to control that, kind of like walking her on a leash. I dont' want her to think that she can dictate the speed we go for a number of reasons. Does that make any sense?

To your point, varying that might make sense (good suggestion!). I just wanna control that, and it's best controlled with a speedometer/odometer.
 
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