Today when I finally got home from work, I got Darcy's collar and we went out to train together.
I knew what Darcy would need to be able to do as my running buddy, and I thought it would be a good idea to start training her when I was only running in two minute bursts, so she would be used to the whole running-on-a-lead scenario later on. Apparently, lots of dogs have trouble with this, so I was prepared for today being more of a teaching thing and less of an actual run for me. But that's not how it went at all.
She was brilliant.
Darcy, as a Sheltie, is immensely trainable. She is wicked smart and tends to pick up on what you want her to do by following your body language. She knows to look where you're pointing, and she follows hand signals like the dogs that do agility challenges at the dog shows on TV. Seriously.
So after about a minute, Darcy figured out what we were doing. And then she was perfect. She stayed with me, never letting me get too far ahead or trying to run ahead of me. She listened when I told her to speed up or slow down. She had no trouble with the transition between my running and walking. She was brilliant.
But she didn't even have to run. I suck as a runner.
All she had to do was walk slightly faster. But I suppose that's okay. I'll get faster, the temperature will get lower, and it will be better for both of us to run outside. But in the meantime, I have a dog that is absolutely awesome at running on a lead, and I didn't even have to try to teach her.
I love my dog.
If you are interested in running with your dog, click the little running puppy for good advice.
Now I'm off to do the 30 Day Shred while Darcy enjoys her special treat (roast turkey from the deli).