Diet & Weight Magazine

How Puppies Are Just Like Runners: A Guide To Puppy Training

By Fitfulfocus @fitfulfocus
Take an exercise you already know and love and apply it to training your pup with the help of this guide on how puppies are just like runners.

How Puppies Are Just Like Runners: A Guide To Puppy Training

I've been a new mom to the cutest fur baby there ever was for about a month and half. Mr. Moose brings me so much joy and happiness, but he can also be a handful. We have great training days and days where I feel like we're taking five giant steps backwards, but I'm starting to learn about all his needs and little personality quirks.

I've noticed that Moose and I have a lot of similarities, and a lot of those similarities come down to the fact that I'm a runner. I guess that theory about people choosing dogs who are just like them is true!

Since I know that having a new puppy can be overwhelming at times, much like starting a race training cycle, I thought I'd put together a quick-and-easy guide on what you need to know about owning a new puppy based on the fact that they're just like runners!

How Puppies Are Just Like Runners: A Guide To Puppy Training

We get antsy if we can't exercise

Puppies need to get exercise. If they don't get it, they'll find other ways to expend their energy, which usually means some form of destruction to your home. Moose is a big fan of eating walls.

Runners are the same (not with the wall eating... unless you like walls. You do you.). Sometimes we complain about having to get in a run, but whenever we can't run (bad weather, lack of time, or injury) we don't know what to do with ourselves. Moral of the story, be sure to spend a few minutes each day playing with your puppy and getting him/her to run around a bit. Once your pup has had all their shots, take them to a local dog park and let them be social.

We need our rest

After we get all that good exercise, we need to rest up. Runners need to give their muscles time to recover. Puppies need to do the same if they've been running around a lot, but sleep is also when your pup's brain really develops. New puppies need a TON of sleep, so don't be nervous if it seems like they're sleeping more than they're awake for the first few weeks.

We need to fuel properly

I notice a HUGE difference between runs after a week of eating well and runs after a week of eating poorly. I have more energy (mentally and physically) when I run after properly fueling. I feel stronger. I run faster. Dogs need adequate nutrition, too. So many dog foods are filled with chemical preservatives and ingredients you can pronounce. I wouldn't eat that stuff, so why would I want my dog to? Lately, I've been giving Moose Freshpet. It's refrigerated, all natural pet food made with fresh ingredients - no artificial or chemical preservatives.

How Puppies Are Just Like Runners: A Guide To Puppy Training

When I first opened up the bag of Freshpet Select Home Cooked Chicken Recipe with Garden Vegetables and Antioxidant-Rich Cranberries, I was tempted to try it myself. It smelled so good! I read the ingredients and honestly thought, "Seriously, I could probably eat this." I refrained, but honestly guys, I wanted some! It's like a home-cooked meal for your pup. What better way to fuel his active life?

We're food motivated

I know some people say, "Don't use food as a reward for working out," but I'm definitely not one of those people. I love knowing that a delicious smoothie bowl waits for me at the end of a long run or that I've earned a big old glass of wine. Puppies are the same way. Moose loves Freshpet Select Grain Free Tender Chicken with Garden Vegetables so much, I've been using it as treats for when he does something really good or does his tricks. It's amazing how much better he listens when yummy food is around. He even learned to high five:

Finding a treat that your puppy loves will help significantly with his training. He'll know that certain good behaviors means he'll get a tasty treat, just like I know that I'll get yummy chews every time I run another two miles or that I'll get wine at the end of a long run!

Running makes us poop

Running gets things moving in our digestive systems. No secret there. If you aren't able to poop before your run, odds are you'll have to poop a few miles in.

Exercise makes puppies poop, too. Before heading in after a long walk or time at the dog park, see if your puppy will go before bringing him back inside. On the other side of things, if you're inside and notice your pup has a sudden burst of energy and starts running around and around like crazy (see the video below), he likely has to go. Recognize this signs and take him outside before he has a chance to go in the house.

We love recognition

We run for bling! A race isn't really complete without a nice shiny medal at the end. While puppies don't necessarily want medals (unless they're tasty and chewy), they do want praise for doing good things. Whenever he goes to the bathroom outside or does something well. Pet him. Tell him he's good. Give him lots of love. Puppies respond much better to positive reinforcement than negative, so praise him when he does something right instead of bopping him on the nose or yelling when he does something wrong.

Improvement takes time

You can't expect to go from zero to marathon in a day. It takes practice to build up mileage and improve speed. You can't expect your puppy to learn everything overnight, either, as awesome as that would be. It takes time to teach him tricks, how to walk properly, how to not chew on wires, and how to not pee in the house. It also takes progressions. Your puppy can't go from being crated to having full range of the house. You have to give him a bit at a time until he's comfortable and you're sure you can trust him. We're still working on making sure Moose is ok alone. He won't pee in the house when we're not home, but he does think the walls are tasty. It can get very frustrating at times, but I know we'll get there.

One day, when Moose is bigger, I hope he'll be able to come running with me, too. Then we'll have even more in common!

Let's Chat:
Dog owners - what tips would you add?
Would you judge me if I try Moose's dog food?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
How Puppies Are Just Like Runners: A Guide To Puppy Training

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