Kona and I had a fun hike Yesterday. I took her on her long leash to her Favorite Trail. That dog becomes a different creature when she has room to explore. I had fun watching her spring from one side of the trail to the other. While I didn't get to move as much as I'd like, I'll never complain about sunrise with a happy dog.
We stopped for a bench-side photo shoot. Kona used more energy with extra room to romp and didn't mind sitting for pictures.
Later in the day, I got a package in the mail. I ordered a Canicross Kit from Canadog. Now, Kona has a harness that she can pull in without choking herself. (Everyone now...Hurray!) I also have a waistbelt and line with a bungee to attach Kona to so I can run hands free and spare my inflamed upper body. (This time..Hip-hip, hurray!)
I know, I know, harnesses only encourage pulling. Here's my thought process: I dream of teaching Kona to walk on a loose leash. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be able to work on that for awhile. The ways I've heard of teaching loose leash walking involve either stopping or turning around when the dog pulls. I'm worried that these methods will stress Kona. She still often whines or paces frantically if I stop on the trail for whatever reason.
For the moment, trail time is still all about Kona exploring, gaining confidence, and continuing to learn to trust me. I won't use the canicross set-up all the time, but, if nothing else, it'll be a good tool for me to use to give my body a rest and still get out running with Kona.
Here's the sled dog!