Let me give you a little insight into my previous runs with Millie Mae, my two year-old black lab who has days’ worth of energy. I should add that my fiancé and I have only had her for a few months, and we got her when she was one year and seven months old. So training, especially with a leash, has been a little tricky. Prior to even walking out of the door I would have to wrap my hand in her leash almost seven times so she couldn’t bolt as soon as we stepped outside. During the run my arms would get so tired, and I could barely run ten minutes without having to take a break from holding the leash so tight.
After doing a little bit of research, I found Stunt Puppy, a company that makes leashes and collars for active dogs. Trying a hands free running leash seemed like it might work best for Millie and me. The Stunt Runner allows for hands-free control and is flexible and adjustable to handle slight variations in terrain while on the run.
As usual, the first steps out of the door were a bit tricky because Millie clearly could not wait to get outside and give this new thing a try. Once we got to the edge of the drive Millie sat like she always does waiting for my watch to load for our run, I noticed that she had not tried to jump up and bite the leash as she has done before. Since the leash is shorter, and Mills is only 2.5-3 feet away she won’t jump since it is too close. That was a blessing in itself.
Once we started our run I immediately noticed a huge difference. Literally, it was like going from day to night. Also, I no longer have to do my leash wrap routine because this new one clasps around my waist allowing for a hands free run. I will admit that I was skeptical of wearing a leash like a belt, but it actually helped me control Mills better because I was using my weight to hold her still. Plus, the best part is she helps pull me up the hills (don’t judge.) I would still recommend being careful running downhill because if your pup is anywhere as crazy as mine they will want to sprint, and one wrong move you’re being dragged down a sidewalk.
When running with Millie I still make sure to put her harness on instead of attaching the leash directly to her collar. This way I have better control, as well as it is more comfortable for her, and reduces any chance of her irritating her neck. However, Stunt Puppy also offers a variety of collars that many working dogs and active dogs that are durable, adjustable and even reflective! For anyone who wants to be more active and share the joy of running with their dog, I highly recommend the Stunt Puppy products!