This week we will focus on training the dogs. You would think it is easy, just go for a run and that’s all. But it isn’t that easy. I am still learning myself but I will share with you what I have learnt so far. When you think how to train your dog you should see it as how you train to improve your running. If you train for some certain distance, you built for it. You run intervals, you run longer distances, you work on pace and heart rate. It is exactly same for your dog.
The training plan is important but also please make sure your dogs are well hydrated for exercises even if it is just fetching the ball.
My dogs love fetching the ball, even Laferra discovered it is fun to catch the ball, as Roger is chasing her and then she gets a lot of strokes from me for bringing the ball. On that note be careful what ball you are using, as I have read a lot about tennis ball being swollen by dogs but also that it is bad for their teeth.
Balls recommendations and interval training
Personally, I would recommend you those three balls:
- Ruff ‘N’ Tumble Five senses- it appeals to all five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and feel (it smells like beef, got tiny bell inside). Amazon has it for 4.99 GBP.
- Rosewood Starmark Durafoam ball– extremely durable design, even Roger can’t destroy this one and it is lightweight but easy to throw far away. Amazon has it for 6.92 GBP.
- Chuckit Ultra Ball– developed to have a high bounce. Amazon has it for 5.49 GBP.
So my two Muppets play with a ball once a week, usually the beach as Roger can be off lead without any stress. They both sprint to catch it and just jog back, which is ideal.
I feel lucky as three times a week my dogs are being walked by a dog walker, who takes them to the beach and both dogs run for an hour. I consider that when planning what are we doing in the morning or evening. They received a bit more food on those days too.
Canicross training is all start and stop up to max 6km (which we do with cani-fit classes). Again I feel lucky to have cani-fit classes, but you can always do it with your social group runs. I do that 3 times a week, but I switch dogs, so probably one dog will do it twice a week.
Bikejor or scootering
This is a new part added to my training for both dogs (it used to be just for Roger). I have learnt that building strength of your dogs is as much important as other training. So once a week short rides that the dogs constantly pull. Roger has no problem with a scooter or a bike. On the other hand, Laferra doesn’t feel as confident near it, but she loves running fast. She is slim, lean and doesn’t really have many muscles yet. So we will do once a week short distance, Laferra pulling constantly with the scooter. Again I feel lucky that I won a scooter, it seems to be very important part of training. Recently Laferra started making that funny noise like purr. It was just for food but now it seems it is for her running harness and scooter. Does that mean she loves the scooter? I hope you watched the video that we posted yesterday?! If not here it is:
Working on her homework! Amazing Sunday morning. what were you up to?
Posted by Dogxplorescotland on Sunday, August 13, 2017
Ok ok training, training, but where is the fun? These all are fun, my dogs love being just out with me running around the woods. Laferra’s prize for hard work is that she can be off lead and hunt birds or bunnies, where Roger would be 5minutes play with a ball or nice sardines in his bowl when he comes back after the run.
When you think about hydration, think twice. How do you feel when you finish run and you won’t drink enough water? A headache, you feel sleepy and very tired? Dogs would feel same. Roger is good and drinks a lot of water during the day normally. Lafie doesn’t drink much at all. An hour prior leaving the house, I put bowl full of water for both dogs. Yes, they won’t drink just a water. I use few things to make them excited every time:
- Icepaw- Salmon Oil or Cod Oil. 9.99 GBP. It can be any other fishy oil.
- Icepaw- Fish Powder. 4.99 GBP. (Laferra’s favourite).
When we leave the house dogs are ready to pee all that water! I usually drive to trails which are around 1h drive from the house. That means the dogs drunk 2hours prior training. It works for my two but watch your dog, you know it the best and will know when it was ok to give water to the dog.
After a run, my two wouldn’t drink water. I usually put something in their water:
- Few Pedigree biscuits. 1 GBP per 500g.
- Icepaw-Sproutten- two bags 11.99 GBP (it last for a month).
- Sardines- Lidl 0.37 GBP.
I discover that my two definitely run better on empty stomach, so I feed them an hour after training. Please make sure you don’t feed your dogs before ANY running even if you are going for a walk and they will be off lead running.
This may predispose the dog’s stomach to bloat or twist. Generally Google says an hour prior and afterwards don’t feed your dogs. Depends on how hard they work, they get more or less. I keep an eye on Laferra, as a young dog, we can’t keep same weight on her, so I started feeding her double portions. She managed to gain 2kg in 4 weeks. Let’s keep it this way now.
Again off topic
A lot of folks tell me I am very dedicated to my dogs. Well, I feel I am ready to tell you a short story. Before I moved to Edinburgh my life was just a life, nothing exciting, just normal life. I was even depressed just before I moved to Edinburgh. Big decision and finally arrived in the capital of Scotland. A week later after my move here, I have met Roger via borrowmydoggie. My first thought was I wish he can be my pet. He was amazing, a rescue dog that had a lot of behaviour issues but he loved spending every minute of his life with humans.
I spent more and more time with him and I became happier. One day I adopted him and my life changed. From being a miserable and grumpy person, I changed to that happy outdoory person. Loved spending every minute of my life with Roger. He smiles every day and has such a character that everything else wasn’t important anymore. All my problems disappeared in a second that I was with Roger. I have a bad day at work I come back home and I totally forget about everything. Yes, I am dedicated to my dogs, as I know their life is short and I want to spend as much time as possible with them. I feel like a Hero for them and I know how much they love me. I hope they know how much I love them. Roger changed my life. So be happy and enjoy every minute with your 4-legged pals. They also help me with my health problems, but that’s one thing I rather not talk loud! I have those days that due to pain I just can’t crawl from bed, but seeing smiley Roger helps to fight and forget about it.
Anyway, enough all this happy tears notes. August is a month of pre-season training. We are taking it surprisingly very easy due to my injury and high temps. Weather is very funny at the moment, it is very cold for August or surprisingly very humid. No plan in place due to that so more of spontaneous wee trips.
This week back to Roger’s favourite Blairadam Forest. After some rain earlier this week, it was great to see streams full of fresh water. Nice run with Cani-fit family. This time long loops with max speed for Roger. He is defo stronger after training on a scooter. I can feel more pull. However, I learn that I need to tell both my dogs to “get on” and stop letting them trot around. Roger is definitely strong enough to pull for longer. We are still working on Princess Laferra.
Recently my yoga studio re-shared an event for charity workshop to make dog beds and jackets. I thought what a great idea and we could bring dogs, so great option to socialise weird Laferra (she can be funny sometimes when indoor, she is still very friendly towards dogs tho). Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I couldn’t take her but I decided to go myself. I had a blast and it was my first time that I was working with a sewing machine. Apparently, there will be more workshops like this, so keep your eyes on our fb page for more details. Here are few photos:
It was amazing and I have never knew that sewing can be so much fun. I really want a sewing machine now. Also as you can see below my dogs approved the bed I made for them.
Lubi Lykan thank you so much for rescuing those fabrics and letting me and others having fun and learn how to sew. I also manage to find best tweed bow ties for my dogs:D Lubi you are a star!