Running with my Chihuahua

I would love a big dog that I could go running with. A wiemeraner, kelpie or labrador. We would go running pre-dawn, after dark, or on trails, and she would keep me safe. I admit, I feel a twinge of jealousy when I’m out for a run and I see Dave Robertson out running with his dalmatian. I would love to run with a dog.

But I live in an apartment, so I can’t have a big dog. Instead, I got a chihuahua. Her name is Tequila. I take her out for a walk every morning at 7. Most days, I have been out to strength or interval training, so I’m in my running gear. I come home, grab the leash, and we head out for a lap around the block. Tequila explodes out the door… she can’t get out fast enough. She tears down the stairs and out to the footpath, with me in tow, and she doesn’t stop there. Pulling at her leash, she takes off down the road. One day, a little girl picked her straight up and exclaimed, “Look, it’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua!”. The neighbours who see me bolting down the street in my running gear alongside my tiny dog probably think “that poor little dog, being dragged along on a run like that”. But Tequila loves it. I’m the one who gets dragged along when she takes off.

I have taken her along to Parkrun (5km) now on several occasions. She is my little pacer. I take her when I don’t want to run fast (like if i have a race the next day). The first time I took her along, I expected that we would walk most of the way. But she surprised me. She was happy to run along, as long as there were kids or other dogs to chase. I picked her up and carried her through the turnaround, to stop her from getting stepped on. And where we could, we ran on the grass, to stay out of the way of other runners. At her most recent parkrun appearance, she absolutely bulleted the last kilometre home. I couldn’t keep up with her. I felt bad for holding her back.

I’m hesitant to take Tequila out any further than 5-6kms because she is so small. But her vet says that as long as she is over 12 months old and all her bones are developed, she wants to run, and she is not exhibiting any joint problems, then it’s OK.

Through the power of google, I have also read about other chihuahua owners whose dogs make excellent running companions. One man has been running with his chihuahua nearly every day for 8 years. Another lady has taken hers out for runs up to 10km long.

Tequila’s 5km Parkrun PB is 33 minutes 32 seconds. Not a bad effort for someone whose legs are about 10cm long.

Does anyone else enjoy running with their dog?

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15 thoughts on “Running with my Chihuahua

  1. Oh no Tequila almost beat my park run time of 33 mins 17sec. Have to see how I go tomorrow. I can’t have a chihuahua almost beating me!!

    1. I picked up a little 5 lb. chi from rescue this past Feb. She’s a Doll, has tons of energy and is very active. I didn’t think anything about taking her jogging with me until I googled the topic!! We did a hilly 6 mile trail last night @ approx 5.5- 6mph. She not only kept up but was happy to chase a flock of Spruce hens that were on the trail. when we got home she wanted me to run around the lawn and play with her! I’m assuming she would “tell me” if she didn’t enjoy going.

      1. I think so… My friends dog just sits down on the path and refuses to walk anymore.

        A few weeks ago Tequila came out with us for about 8km on a dirt road.. I let her go off leash, and she stayed a few metres in front of me the whole time.

  2. Glad you are enjoying parkrun, but don’t be too concerned Rach… She is a racing chihuahua! Next week is Newy parkrun’s first birthday, and I have convinced Mum to come along, and she is going to walk it with Tequila! I think Tequila may have other ideas…

  3. This is brilliant, I have recently started jogging with my Chorkie and he loves it! When searching online to check that this is OK to do as he is a small dog, I was upset to find quite a few articles and comments of how wrong and dangerous it is, but I’m glad I found this! We jog 3-5k 4 or 5 times a week and I too find that he is my little pacer, he runs on the lead and will run ahead when the path becomes narrow and the comfortably at my side again! I also believe he is looking leaner, he was becoming a little chunky, so I thinks its benefiting him that way too.

    1. As long as he enjoys it and does not have any problems I think it is totally ok!
      Some little dogs have lots of energy to burn… I have found that Tequila’s behaviour is so much better on days we have run… She can be a little destructive when she has not been out much!

      Last year I met a marathon dog…. A guy and his dog (kelpie I think) who do marathons.
      They take adequate walk breaks and they carry water, and they only ever go as fast as the dog wants to go. The dog loves it!
      I don’t think a chihuahua should run a marathon, but a few k’s is ok. Tequila comfortably runs up to 7km with me now!

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  5. I jog with an 11 pound Chihuahua around 2-3 miles most mornings, and some days she outlasts my blue heeler mix. When I was considering adopting I hesitated because I already ran with my first dog – the blue heeler – and I thought the new Chi wouldn’t be able to run with us. She completely surprised me by having absolutely no problems. We definitely started short distances and worked up to the full run. The Chi does a gallop while the bigger dog can trot – and she still has no issues and loves it. I did a bunch of internet research when I was thinking about whether the Chi would be able to run with me. I hope this helps someone else to have the confidence to give it a try with their dog.

  6. I got so relieved reading this. My 3 year old chi gets hysterical every Sunday when it’s time to go for our weekly jog in the park. I know he can take intense activity, and the vet says as long as he endures it’s ok, I just have to check for signs that he may be getting tired. I’m a slow pacer, we do 2,5 km on Sundays and while I may never be running a marathon, I love that this is our moment :))

  7. I just started running with my chihuahua, Pebbles. She has a pin in her hip from a car accident, which happened a few months before I adopted her. I’ve found nothing online in terms of how safe it is to take a dog jogging who has had hip surgery. She moves really well though. I just do my best to monitor her energy levels throughout the run. I pick her up if she seems to be getting over heated at all and make sure to transition between walking and jogging in short intervals. I give her lots of breaks to relax and drink water. I think any dog can handle going jogging within reason. She’s getting stronger and seems to enjoy our runs together. I think this is topic that requires common sense. If you know your dog well and stay attentive to them throughout the run then there should be no problems.

  8. I run with my chihuahua, pebbles. She has a pin in her hip from getting hit by a car a few months before I adopted her. She keeps up pretty well and seems to enjoy our little runs together. I pace myself and transition between short intervals of walking and jogging. I carry her if she seems to be getting too warm and give her lots of breaks to catch her breath and drink water. I think as long as you stay in tune with your dogs needs throughout your jog then there should be no problems.

  9. I have been running with my Pomchi, Ziggy, for about 2 years. I started doing 2 runs a day…one 3mi for him and one longer run for me. Then he wanted to go for BOTH runs! He is up to 8-10 miles a day, but absolutely loves running. I make sure to run at the cool parts of the morning and evening, and give him breaks whenever he needs it. One time I left him to go run by myself and left my other pair of running shoes out and came back to chewed up laces.

    1. Tequila once chewed my laces too!
      The heat is the hardest thing for dogs, I am looking forward to the onset of cooler weather soon, and being able to take tequila to parkrun again!

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