Long dog, long distance runner?

When we got our standard dachshund Sunny I already knew that dachshunds didn’t feature on the list of Top 20 Best Types of Dog for Runners published by Runner's World. Some small breeds do. 

It’s not that dachshunds lack stamina. Quite the opposite from what I’ve seen.  We’ve had purposeful city walks and rural hikes of up to four hours at a time with Sunny.  It’s not as if dachshunds don’t run at speed. These dogs can really move!

It’s a safety thing

As a predominantly urban runner, I don't feel that I’ve really been able to put Sunny’s running abilities to the test. City running means road running most of the time, and so Sunny would need to be on a lead for his safety.  He’s not one of those dachshunds who can be trusted to walk unleashed near traffic, though I have seen a few in central London.  

Unfortunately for me, while he’s on the lead, he’s likely to put the brakes on at any point if he comes across a chicken bone or discarded half-eaten muffin (or worse).  Standard dachshunds are strong muscular dogs and when they put the brakes on even at walking speed it can be quite jarring.  That seems worth it for him because there’s food involved, but at running speed my sense is that we both risk injury. Instead, we have great fun sprinting short distances together in local parks with Sunny off-lead, never quite sure who’s chasing who.     

Sniffing around or a running schedule? Putting the dog’s needs first

As a runner and - I hope - a responsible dog owner, I have to conclude that my needs as a urban runner outside on the streets must always come second to those of our dachshund.  He may well enjoy a bit of fell running or beach running away from the city, mixed with lots of sniffing around and exploration.  Even then it will always have to be on his own terms and with his safety and enjoyment as our priority.  

That doesn’t stop us wondering how - if - it’s possible to safely take him out with us when we go cycling. Dogs and bikes, anyone?