Author Topic: Running with a Berner  (Read 5470 times)

Offline SadieA

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Running with a Berner
« on: January 06, 2009, 11:47:04 am »
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.

Thanks!

Tonda

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 12:00:13 pm »
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.

AudgePadge

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 12:29:45 pm »
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 continue...it'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... :(

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 12:43:34 pm »

Hiking...off 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.

SC Trojans
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Offline Amy (guffer)

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2009, 05:49:33 pm »
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. 

DenverFurKiddos

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 02:38:24 am »
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.

I agree... especially since I just saw a woman running with her Old English Mastiff!  Ugh....I felt like pulling my car over and telling her to knock it off!!!



Offline SadieA

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 12:03:38 pm »
Thank you all so much for your advice! We're not jogging anymore, and are instead trying to work up to going on longer strolls. Once the weather gets a bit nicer, we'll try some short hikes! I'm not sure if Sammy is allowed off-leash at the parks with hiking trails, but I'll look into whether there are places where he can be. If not, at the very least I can put him on a longer leash and watch to make sure we're going his pace.

Speaking of running with dogs, the other day while I was out with Sammy I saw something that really upset me- a man was jogging with his 3 month old lab puppy on a leash! It was kind of dragging along behind him. I didn't immediately say anything, but then was kicking myself so when I caught them on a second loop, I asked how old his dog was, and then told him how cute it was and made up this completely untrue story about how Sammy got hurt jogging when he was little, and my vet told me that it's not at all safe for puppies to run like that, on a leash, and it was really expensive to treat his injury, etc etc. The guy honestly seemed to have had no idea! I hope that by making up my little "personal experience with this" story, I managed to avoid insulting him or just making him pissed off- I was so worried he'd think I was just an obnoxious jerk and ignore the message completely! That poor puppy. The guy walked away with the dog, at least, and I do hope he'll go online and look up appropriate activities for a puppy!!

Offline Olliesmum

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 01:53:58 am »
Have to agree with SC Trojans on this one, Ollie has a lot of energy lately he is now turned 21/2 I think it is the apple cider vinegar. But I would never jog with him, he loves to walk now and can go for quite long distances at his pace however not ours we find after about 1/2 hour we are slowing to his pace rather than he to ours.
I would also take plenty of water with you for him to drink along the way.
I know in the UK if you are thinking of carting with your Berner it is recommended 18 months plus and hip and elbow scores done before they will allow you to do it seriously they don't mind your'e Berner having a try but then it is up to you to get the scores done if you want to continue.
Enjoy your hikes I know Ollie loves to explore new places.

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Running with a Berner
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 12:21:28 pm »
I asked how old his dog was, and then told him how cute it was and made up this completely untrue story about how Sammy got hurt jogging when he was little, and my vet told me that it's not at all safe for puppies to run like that, on a leash, and it was really expensive to treat his injury, etc etc.  That poor puppy. The guy walked away with the dog, at least, and I do hope he'll go online and look up appropriate activities for a puppy!!

Well Done!!!!  I hope he heeded your warning too for the sake of that puppy.
SC Trojans
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