Are labs good running dogs and will they enjoy it? Generally, Labradors make excellent running partners. They have tons of energy, they love to please, and they are much easier to train than some other breeds. However, before you do start running with your Lab, there are things to consider.
Like any breed, Labs come with different personalities. While most may enjoy running alongside you right away, others may take longer to train. The health of your Lab also makes a difference, especially if they have issues with their hips. There are many benefits of running with a good dog, but one thing to watch out for is health-related concerns.
If you do plan on taking your Labrador running, you are going to need to make sure they are fit and healthy. Just like us, they need a good level of fitness before they can start going on long runs. You will also ideally wait until they are old enough to start running, which is generally when they reach adulthood at 18 months of age.
Are Labs Good Running Dogs?
Labradors have an abundance of endurance and stamina, making them ideal running companions. Once fully grown, they have a lot of energy due to their working roots. Initially bred as a hunting and sporting dog, they can keep up a good pace and run for long distances.
While there are no studies to back up how fast a Labrador can run, it is thought the average speed falls somewhere between 14-18mph. In short bursts, they may be capable of running up to 35mph, making them capable of outrunning humans. However, for the most part, they are more long-distance runners than sprinters.
How far your Labrador can run will depend upon factors such as their age, overall health, fitness level, weather, and the type of ground they are running on. In mild conditions, a healthy young Labrador may be able to keep up with you as you jog for a couple of miles. However, this is a very general guideline, and you may wish to consult your vet to get a more accurate idea of how much running they can do.
Do Labs Like Running?
Labradors do enjoy running with their owners. They have a huge amount of energy to burn, making them especially great long-distance runners. Not only do they enjoy exercise, but they also love to spend time with their owners.
As a breed, Labradors are fit and athletic. They were bred to spend all day hunting and retrieving prey, which meant they needed to have a lot of endurance. You’ll find that they typically prefer running over longer distances, making them a suitable companion for long-distance runners rather than sprinters.
Another reason the breed makes a great running companion is because they love everyone. When you come across other people on your run, you won’t need to worry about your lab’s behavior. They love to please their owners too, which means they will be easier to train and better behaved than some other breeds.
How Far Can You Run with a Labrador?
How far you can run with your Labrador will depend upon multiple factors. These include your dog’s fitness level, the weather, their age and health. To get the best idea of how far you can run together, consult your veterinarian.
If your dog is fit and healthy, they can typically run for a few miles at a time. Any more than this and it could cause trouble for their joints. Keep in mind that other factors will also influence how far they can run, such as the weather.
You should never run with your lab in hot weather. A study carried out in 2006 showed Labradors were one of the main breeds to suffer from heatstroke. This can prove fatal for your dog, so care should be taken to ensure you are only running in mild weather.
Be careful as Labradors love to please their owners so will easily overdo it. Even if they are exhausted, they will continue to run as long as you do. This can put them at risk of a range of serious health issues.
How to Prepare Your Labrador for Running
Like humans, your Labrador will need to prepare for running before they can enjoy doing long distances. They should be fit and healthy, and you will need to build up distance gradually. Provided you prepare correctly, you can enjoy regular runs with your loyal companion.
Building up Distance Gradually
Building up how far you run with your Labrador gradually is the most important tip you can follow. You wouldn’t go for a long-distance run if you hadn’t run for months due to the risk of injury, and neither should your dog. Start off going for short jogs, gradually increasing the distance over a period of weeks and months.
Consider the Age of Your Lab
The age of your Labrador will ultimately determine how far they can run. Labrador puppies shouldn’t go on runs until they reach 18 months of age. However, you can train them to keep up with you by starting out jogging for short bursts at a time. Similarly, older dogs won’t be able to run as fast or as far as younger ones.
Take Adequate Safety Precautions
Before heading out on a run with your lab, there are several safety precautions to consider. Pay attention to the temperature outdoors, and make sure you take plenty of water to keep them well hydrated. This will greatly reduce the risk of heat stroke and other potentially serious health concerns.
So, are labs good running dogs? Absolutely! Labradors make excellent running dogs due to their boundless energy and high level of endurance. However, before you can enjoy going on long runs together, you will need to make sure they are well prepared and that you take several safety precautions.