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5 reasons my dog is the best running partner

Natasha Freutel is a licensed Occupational Therapist, wellness coach, toddler mom and wife. She is the owner of Fit Mama Santa Barbara and creator of Fit Mama's 30 Day Babywearing Workout Program. She provides expert level personal train...

Why running with my dog is better than running with humans

Two years ago, we decided to get a family dog and ended up with a beautiful goldendoodle named Bear. I know it sounds cliché, but he really is our best friend! Bear is a bundle of energy, and he loves being outdoors, especially in our sunny California climate. I always take him with me now to run, especially on those days when I am less than motivated. He makes the best coach, and I couldn’t do it without him!

1. He is always ready to go

A great way to stay motivated to exercise is to find yourself an accountability partner. This can be a friend, a personal trainer — or a pet. Bear is one of the best running partners I’ve ever had. He's ready to go rain or shine, and he never has an excuse as to why we can’t make it happen. He’s the one waiting for me at the door and making me feel guilty when I say no.

More: 11 things your dog sitter wishes you knew

2. He keeps a great pace

I let Bear set the pace. He slows down when he senses I am tired, but he never lets me fall behind. If I walk, he walks beside me and slowly speeds up until we are running again. He always leads the way and never turns back early.

More: 13 things your dog is thinking when you come home from vacation

3. He is okay with being quiet

Running is methodical — almost hypnotizing at times. Bear and I run in silence, and that’s the way I like it. I can zone out and do all my best thinking knowing I have a guard dog to protect me and who won’t get us lost. In a world full of noise, peace and quiet time is sacred.

4. His joy is my happiness

Bear loves to run. He loves the outdoors, the water, the trees and the fresh air. Seeing his happy smile lets me know I am doing something right. We don’t always have time to get outside together, but when we do, he’s the happiest dog in the world. I am endlessly thanked with slobbery kisses and nose rubs, and he lets me know just how appreciated I am.

5. He never complains

Negative energy is contagious! Whether they mean to or not, humans have a tendency to complain far more than they should — myself included! When I run with my dog, I don’t have to hear about how your knee hurts, if the sun is too bright or the water is too wet.

More: 4 dog-training tips I wish parents would use on their kids

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