by Kris Phillips

We all know that keeping active is as important for your pups as it is for you. And yet what happens when your more athletic than your pup. For a long, long time Yukon has been the reason I run. But his age is creeping up. A few weeks ago I followed a tough hike with a 5 mile run the very next day. As I laced up my sneaks to run, something that usually sends the dogs into a frenzy, Yukon laid quietly in his bed. I watched him open his eyes a few times and then close them again, as if pretending to be asleep. “That’s ok, buddy, you sit this one out” I said as I patted his tired head and walked out the door with Swota close behind. It was a heartbreaking moment for me. Though he didn’t seem particularly phased. It also got me thinking, how can I keep stepping up my training without pushing my old man too hard. Fortunately, it didn’t take too much research to come up with some fun ways to train. If your dog is older, small, or just not athletic you can still train with her.

Rucking: Whether heading out for a short walk or up to the mountains for a hike load up with a weight plate. This is also great if you have a younger, more athletic dog as well. The added weight will balance everyone out. For Swota, I toss a 3lb weight in either side of her doggie backpack.

Cross-train. On days where Yukon feels a little slow I mix it up for him. I may jog for 10 minutes or so. And then I slow it down for him, but not for me! I mix in walking lounges, high-knee runs, karaokes. Every so often I find a spot to stop and do some push-ups or crunches. I like to turn this into a dual training opportunity. I ask the dogs to sit, or down, while I do push-ups. It’s hard for them to stay put when there are so many more interesting things happening, but its great practice.

 

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