There are lots of hands-free waist leashes around, but I find the simpler the better. I prefer the ones with a fast easy clip, lightweight, easy to wash, and quick to turn into a hand-leash. For dogs that chew, or larger dogs that lunge, make sure you get a thicker option with clips that withstand strength. There are many circumstances in which I only pull the waist leash out for a short road section on a trail run and want to be able to quickly clip it on and off.
I also do not like leashes that are too long, because the longer the leash, the less control you have of the dog and the harder the yank if they try and race off. For longer runs, consider a Bungee leash with a bit of give, and for short sections where you need control, consider a shorter leash without stretch. The Ruffwear options have added in a secret poop bag pocket that has saved my butt a couple times!
These are wonderful! I love this on Whiskey because she heels offleash really well but I need a leash for very short sections (around the car, crossing roads, reactive dog, bear). This only works with a dog that has recall because the leash is short and around the dog’s neck. It’s also not good if you want to run with your dog on leash a long distance as it’s too short. This leash is ideal for short moments when you need a close ranging reliable dog in full control in seconds. You reach down and grab the handle and suddenly you have a dog on leash. Not only do you not have to carry a leash, but the size is a perfect traffic length and easy to reattach back.
I normally do not use harnesses for running. I run with my dogs mostly off-leash and I’ve taught them not to pull so they don’t strain their necks when I ask for a heel. However, there are times we run longer distances on leash and even a moderate strain on the neck is not ideal.
For dogs that need to be on-leash or dogs that pull, or a dog that might need a lift, a harness is a great tool. The Ruffwear and Hurtta harnesses have worked well for us and our friends. I would look for a large ring to clip your dog on and off (with large rings you can do it even while running), for a harness that doesn’t chaffe, one your dog cannot slip out of, and something bright.
Even better than a harness, if your dog is large enough, is a harness with small pockets to carry items like poop bags, keys, cards, treats, and….dog poop! Who better to carry the poop around than your dog? Ruffwear makes this harness that has small streamlined pockets that are perfect for runs and carrying small things.
One of the worst aspects of running with dogs is carrying and smelling dog poop on your entire run. Guess what? I’ve found the answer! The Puppouch is a drybag that keeps everything airtight (and watertight). For a better experience, throw it in your dog’s pack and you don’t even have to think about it. The only issue is forgetting about the bags until your next run! That’s right, the poop is so airtight you won’t ever smell it until you take it out again so just don’t forget about it!
Running in the winter or at night (our winters have the sun setting at 3pm sometimes) needs headlamps and dog lights. Even if your dog just runs at your side, dog lights are a courtesy to everyone else that might be on a trail. It can be super scary to hear or see movement on a trail and not know it’s a dog. It’s also great to have different colors for different dogs so you can see whom is whom (and you’re not yelling at the wrong dog). I absolutely recommend dog lights for anyone taking off leash dogs outside in low light. The collars are better than single LED lights because you can see the light from all angles otherwise the dog light can disappear as your dog rotates.
Human dog hat
The perfect running hat, lightweight, crushable, quick dry, airy, and washable. The best part? It comes with an option with you chasing a your dog, or your dog chasing you. Which is more accurate? You decide! In addition you’re support this blog and all my work here if you get anything from my shop 🙂 Please take a look!
This has been the lightest, yet waterproof waterbowl I’ve found. It’s small but it does the job and it’s tiny fitting into any crevice or pocket.
Musher’s Wax/ Boots
Assuming you’re not taking your dog running when the pavement is much too hot, you might still need some protective coating on dog paws that may run raw, or over short hot spots. Wax can help a dogs’ paws providing relief and a protective coating. For longer periods, injury, or hot pavement, dog boots may be needed. I’ve got an extended post on winter dog boots, but as we do not run on hot pavement in the summer, I don’t have experience on the summer dog boot options (although some of the winter dog boots are also good for summer).
Cooling Dog Vest
To help dogs that overheat in warm weather, cooling vests and bandanas can be helpful. I sometimes carry cooling bandanas in my running pack for my girls on warmer days, or I might drench their ears and paws during water breaks. Cooling vests should be a light color and keep the dog cool for longer than a bandana, however, keep watch for when the vests dry out and if your dog is still too warm. Cooling paws, ears, and throat can help during the run, but please do not go out if your dog is struggling. A cooling harness combines harness and vest. Just keep extra water when there isn’t water sources and avoid the heat if at all possible.
Hi Visibility Jacket
In areas and trails where you may be passing by others, close to roads, or in lands where others may be hunting, it is helpful to make sure your dog is easily visible. On rainy days, or in locations where my dogs blend in, I make sure I choose jackets that stand out so that people can see them from a distance and understand quickly they are dogs, not coyotes or bears. Choose a jacket or harness that stands out against your dog’s color with reflective fabrics.
Because a dog pulling for a length of time on your waist will not be efficient or painless, a way to distribute the pull would be from a proper belt. To take it another step forwards you would be then going onto a full pulling system and become a canicross team. The belts help distribute the pull into your whole body and a proper harness system will reduce the yank. This is quite different than waist belts where you want your dog to run beside you, these belts have your dog running in front.