This morning after my 3-mile easy run, Django and I headed to the trail for our first Turkey Trot training run. I ran with Django last winter but haven’t since, so the goal of this first run was to get him familiar with the “Let’s Run” command again.
Django runs with me well, settling right by my side at whatever pace I go. I don’t know if that’s the result of his training at the race track with his handlers, but he’s always done that from the first time I tried running with him. So I don’t need to worry about him pulling at his leash or lunging to greet other people or dogs on the trail. The biggest challenge with him is that he constantly wants to stop, sniff, and pee. So when I first started running with him last year, I taught him the command “Let’s Run” to signal that we are running and not leisurely walking and that he doesn’t get to always stop, sniff, and pee.
This morning, he instantly recognized the “Let’s Run” command and was so excited! I should note that when I say I ran with him, I really mean that I ran and he trotted beside me. Greyhounds are the fastest land animal after the cheetah and can reach speeds in excess of 40 MPH, so there’s no way he can actually run with me. But he settled into a very happy trot by my side. We ran .63 miles. Our run pace was about 11:00, but he slowed down and stopped a few other times to pee, which brought our overall pace to a little above 12:00. Every time he stopped or slowed down, I would say, “Let’s Run” and he’d get right back into running. So I think this was a very successful first run, what with him obeying the “Let’s Run” command and seeming very happy to run with me!
I took a video to show how excited he was. I was obviously going slowly to try to take it, but you can see how excited he got, to the point that we almost ran into another runner at the end. Oops!
My plan is to run with him two or three times a week. Our next training run will be this weekend, with the goal to run for one mile.