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Running with a Berner

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Hi All!

I'm wondering if anyone has experience running (jogging, really) with a Berner or similar-sized dog? Sammy is now 1.5, and really, he just wants to be with me everywhere I go, and I'm hoping to get back into running after some time away. He's got a lot of energy, and ideally I'd eventually be able to take him along with me on some of my outdoor adventures, particularly hiking. He doesn't have great endurance, though, and I'm sure that's partially due to his lack of training, but perhaps also just a characteristic of the breed. I'm wondering if it's safe for him to jog a bit- we've twice gone for very slow jogs of about 3/4 mile in length, and by the end he's definitely dragging, but I'd love to keep doing it if it isn't hurting him. I think he enjoys it, and he jogs along right next to me, and it gets him a lot of exercise. So I'm curious to know what you all think, and if it is ok to jog with him, and he begins to improve in his endurance, where is the point where you'd say a longer run is too long? Oh yeah, he weighs around 85 pounds, which seems to be as big as he's going to get. It's a healthy weight for his size. And when he was a little guy, we had some troubles with pano, but no orthopedic problems of any kind for at least the past six months.


I grew up with Newfs, not Berners, but I wouldn't ever have thought of jogging with one. They're just not designed for that kind of pace or activity, and I think this holds true for most of their "cousins" in the Big Paw world.

Anyone out there ever job with their BPs? I know I've seen Danes and various kinds of large sight hounds out jogging, but once again, they don't really look happy as the pace simply is "off" for them.

If Roscoe had his way, he'd be jogging with the lot... Hubs and Ramses run 3 miles a day...Monty has been retired since he got some arthritis, he's sticks to walking.

Roscoe runs laps around the yard for the whole 30 mins they're gone running...  there has been one or two occasions hubs felt bad and took Roscoe with him...and from what I've heard, he's amazing! But, I didn't let them's too risky to be letting him run miles everyday...he's only a year old.

I don't know much about berners, but I don't think they're made for endurance either... :(

sc.trojans: leash, where Sammy controls his pace (which you should notice is a lot of trotting, and stopping) is great and you can build up his endurance and muscle strength for this.

Jogging no - very bad for his joints and he is not built for this, even though he is undersized for a Berner.

To determine how much to do with him now at this age, you should be x-raying his hips and elbows.  You need to know now whether there is dysplasia there so you can take preventative measures now (mild dysplasia may not show up arthritically until age 4 so you want to know now) and determine how heavy of activities you can appropriately do with him. If his hips and elbows are cleared by a radiologist, or ideally the OFA, then drafting and hiking are great activities and he can ultimately go several miles.

Berners are not built for endurance however so a lot of stopping is their usual M.O.

Amy (guffer):
I don't know about Berners, but we take our 110 lb. pyrs for 2-3 mile bike rides when the weather's nice.  They love it, you can tell that they actually prefer the faster pace (not quite jogging, almost like a fast walk.)  I figure they would get about that much exercise patroling acres of land protecting their flocks.  And if my boys don't get their exercise, they act ridiculous in the house. 


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