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Is it me, the dogs or the owners I wonder that make Dogs such an issue when running?
Running is great, having just gotten into it I am finding my self in the park far more often for a morning or afternoon run.
I also love dogs, I have two myself. I beautiful black Labrador and a King Charles Spaniel.
When I go running at my local park, it can be beautiful. As we get into spring the trees are coming to life with green buds and blossom. The park I run through has a perfect 1km loop, which is great for interval training sprints and generally keeping track on how far I have gone.
It does have one small issue, the paths of the 1km loop can become very narrow. Not a problem as I run away on my own, however if I am running in the early afternoon it can quickly become congested with dogs and dog walkers.
Now I don’t really have an issue with the dogs, they are doing what they are told its generally the owners that are to blame for any bad behaviour of the dogs.
- Max is just being friendly!– Max (why are they always call max) has spotted you running from the other side of the park, now he is fully intent to see if he can out pace you. Fine, but you don’t need to announce your speed by jumping up at me with your sharp muddy claws
- Professional Dog Walkers – great now the pack animals have somehow managed to entwine their leads forming an impenetrable swathe of dogs and leads 4 meters across. Do I hurdle the group? What gives these women (I have never encountered a mail professional dog walker) the right to block the entire path with others out running?
- Don’t Worry he won’t bite! Ha very funny, as I am trying desperately to complete my run, I don;t need reminding that the dog hurtling towards me is equipped with a set of very strong teeth!
- What your lead doubles as a well concealed trip wire? Running along and suddenly the dog seemingly under control is allowed to run free at the press of a button. Yes the dog can shoot across your path and leave a web of leash that will trip the unwary.
So these are a few of my pet grievances when running. So what is the answer.
Well for starters I can stay at home, and run on my treadmill. Treadmills are an excellent workout and I know my house pets are safely away from my feet.
But dog owners, please keep your pooches under controls
Be considerate of other park users, and don’t block the whole path.
Finally, if your dog does make a mess please pick it up, even if its not on the path. Lots of runners will use the sides of the path to ease pressure on their legs while running, and can find themselves running through the mess.
Photo credits: Brian Cribb