Ruck Your Dog is upon us which means it’s the perfect time to release this post. I started writing about rucking with your dog back in 2014 but never ended up posting it. I’ve gone through and revised this with information I’ve learned over the years and hopefully you learn something new!
7 Tips For Rucking With Your Dog Video
If you prefer this in video format then we’ve got you covered! Check out our video above which goes over these tips and provides some additional commentary.
7 Tips For Rucking With Your Dog
Here are 7 tips that I think are important to know and remember when you’re out rucking with your dog. If you have any tips of your own please let me know in the comments!
1) Have a Quality Leash
Having a quality leash is incredibly important. You don’t want something that will break or that your dog can get out of. You’ll be rucking (with weight on your back) so if your dog breaks out and runs have fun chasing them.
I’ve gotten good mileage out of the GORUCK leash and the Buddy System leash. The GORUCK leash is a great standard leash and I love it for shorter distances. When Watson would ruck further with me I preferred the Buddy System because I didn’t have to hold the leash all the time.
You don’t have to use either of those leashes just make sure the one you do use is good quality.
2) Bring Water & Bowl
Just like people dogs get thirsty for water. While you don’t need to bring water for shorter distances I would usually bring some for Watson if we went over 1 mile. When we started rucking together I bought a packable bowl and would pour water from my bladder into it. That was a pain.
When the PACElid came out I bought one of those and now use a Nalgene and PACElid. I’ll drink out of the bladder and if Watson needs water I’ll use the PACElid as the bowl and pour water from the Nalgene into it. It works perfectly.
3) Bring Plenty of Poop Bags
When you’re rucking with your dog you are generally going longer distances further away from home. When I take Watson on rucks we generally stay within 5 minutes of our house. If we run out of bags it isn’t a big deal because I can always run home, grab one, come back, and clean stuff up.
When you are further away from home this becomes a much larger issue. Bring plenty of poop bags for your pup and make sure you pick up after them. You might be surprised how many times they need to stop to use the restroom during an 8 mile ruck!
4) Bring Food or Treats
Your dog deserves some treats for joining you so make sure to bring some. This is very important for longer distances where he might be missing a meal. If you’re bringing food for yourself make sure you bring something for them.
5) Ease Into Long Distances (Your Goal is not Their Goal)
This is one of the more important tips on here. Ease your pup into longer distances. If they are used to 1 mile walks and you are used to 8 mile rucks know that you can injure your pup by increasing their distance 800%. Start them out with shorter distances and ease them into longer rucks.
Dogs are amazing. In 2018 a dog completed the GORUCK 50 Mile Star Course. They can go great distances as long as they train up and are eased into them.
It’s important to remember that you have two goals here:
- Complete the mileage for your Ruck Your Dog Patch
- Keep your dog safe
Your dog’s goals are generally:
- Get a great walk in
- Spend time with their human
As long as you don’t force your goals on your dog and keep their goals in mind you should have a very safe and successful ruck!
6) Have a Properly Fitted Collar
A high quality leash won’t matter much if the collar your dog is wearing doesn’t fit and they slip out of it. Make sure that the collar fits your dog and they won’t be able to escape and make friends with the squirrel they have their eyes on. Again, chasing after them with a ruck on is a far from ideal experience.
7) Have Fun!
Have fun while you’re out there! You are spending time with your dog and getting a great workout in. Have some fun and make sure to give them lots of attention. If you’re having an awful time your dog will notice so put a smile on, suck it up, and get your ruck on!
When rucking with your dog you have to worry about more than just yourself. Hopefully these seven tips get you thinking about ways to have the best ruck possible. If you have any additional pieces of advice or tips of your own please let me know in the comments! I’m always looking to make the rucks with Watson more enjoyable.