Running with a dog on the mountain trails of Japan

I was kindly contacted by Inna, a Russian woman who has lived in Japan for 20 years and enjoys running with Angie, the Dalmatian originally from the international school where Inna teaches. I asked her what it was like running with a dog on the trails around Kanagawa prefecture:

"I was a road and marathon runner, but now I am very much into trail running. Angie is a school dog and when I began taking care of her she could not run more than 3-5 km. Now we run on the trails for between 3 and 5 hours. I am happy for Angie, since on the trail I let her off the leash and she is healthy, strong and protective.

Most of the people on the trail are rather friendly or at least neutral towards Angie. I had one difficulty: when we were running every morning over the Sangaoka, there was a man regularly running at the same time us. Angie would always bark at him, I don't know why. I just changed my running time so that she didn't stress him.

Angie waiting for Inna at a path junction

The amazing thing about the dog is that when we are on a new trail, she stays close to me, usually within 5 to 10 meters, always within sight. When the trail is familiar, or we run back the way we have come, Angie runs far away and I have to call her from time to time to make sure she is there. What amazes me the most is that she remembers all the junctions on the way back. She leads. She is always in front, just on new trails she waits for me at the junctions.

Inna like's to run by the Moritogawa river in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, especially in summer:
If you like me run with the dog you don't have to worry about your dog getting dehydrated. Mine loves to swim, drink and play with the water. She is very funny when she tries to chase birds or squirrels from the river.

I would love to get a Doberman and run with him and my Angie all over Japan's trails."
What are your experiences of trail running in Japan with a dog?

For the ultimate website on running and climbing Japanese mountains with a dog see:https://hana2009.wordpress.com/  He gives detailed advice about being on Japanese mountains with  a dog in the comments section here: https://hana2009.wordpress.com/about-2/

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