Albert the Dog at JackRabbit

Review: JackRabbit Sports





My People and I have different notions of what “running” means. The Lady’s concept of running is going straight from point A to point B without stopping to look at or smell anything. I don’t think She truly enjoys running, but it is exercise, and it is free, so She does it now and then.

In the early days of our relationship, I used to try to accompany Her, thinking that maybe I could teach her to enjoy running more. Unfortunately, she did not go fast enough for me and proved unable to adapt to my program:

My typical running route. Don’t try this without a proper warmup.


I do sometimes run short distances with the Guy. These outings are a little more successful, because he is faster than the Lady. But they are rare, since the Guy likes to run at the gym on a treadmill, a strange instrument that allows humans to run without any of the pleasures of changing scenery and smells whizzing by. The Guy prefers this torture device to the outdoors, even in balmy weather.

You wouldn’t guess it to look at him, but it seems the Guy is the world’s first known man-hamster hybrid.

Given the obstacles I’ve faced when running with my People, it was with great anticipation that I accompanied the Lady to JackRabbit Sports last week. In addition to selling running shoes and gear for humans, JackRabbit offers a variety of training programs to help humans learn how to run better. I hoped they might be able to help my People learn how to run more like a dog, thus enabling all of us to enjoy running together.

Sadly, a dog-style running class is absent from their otherwise robust curriculum, which includes beginner running, marathon and triathlon training, cycling, and swimming. In addition to selling running products for humans, they also offer yoga and swimming gear.

Looking for a wetsuit, size tiny.

They do not seem to have a swim cap in my size.

Upon entering the shop, I was politely greeted. Although they sell many kinds of bars, gels, and powders with which humans can re-fuel their tummies while training for their next half-marathon, I was dismayed to discover there were no dog treats on offer. But then a very warm belly-rub/ear-scratch combo from a JackRabbit human went some way towards assuaging my disappointment.

Near the back of the store we found a bank of hamster wheels treadmills. JackRabbit uses these to record runners’ running gaits so they can help humans select a suitable pair of shoes from their curated inventory.

Albert the Dog

I am not a hamster.

The Lady did not use the treadmill during this visit. She said that she didn’t need a new pair of running shoes yet, but I think She just was just feeling self-conscious about people looking at and evaluating Her while She is running.

I understand this reluctance. Why, just the other day a lady on the sidewalk said that I walk like a wind-up toy. I was highly offended, because as you probably can tell from my photos, I walk with the gait of a majestic and fearsome leader.

Thankfully, the JackRabbit humans did not mistake me for a wind-up toy. In the end, we left with a pair of warm running tights that the Lady will no doubt find necessary during the cold week ahead of us.

Should JackRabbit ever decide to expand their educational offerings, I have several ideas for classes to help humans learn to run more like dogs. We would cover techniques such as chasing, running away, barking while chasing, ducking under benches for cover, recognizing a good spot to pee, and rolling in the grass.

I have no doubt these classes would become the next hot workout among New York’s fitness glitterati.

In the meantime, I continue to ponder the strange running habits of humans. Human readers, do you run with your dog companions? If so, did they train you how to run like a dog, or did you teach them how to run like a human?


JackRabbit Sports has four locations in New York: Union Square, Brooklyn, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side.

Reviews are based on visits to the specific location listed at the time the review is posted.  Please note that businesses with multiple locations may often have differing policies regarding dogs depending on the individual locations.  We recommend that you call any store or business to check its dog policy before visiting.


21 thoughts on “Review: JackRabbit Sports

  1. While I cannot comprehend your, nor your humans’, interest in running (whether outside or on this so-called treadmill), I hope JackRabbit Sports takes your suggestions under consideration, Albert. Seems like a prime opportunity to expand their market. Perhaps you could be their spokescanine? That’s what I call a win-win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose cats do not really enjoy running that much, Carol. Pouncing, leaping, stretching, yes–but running not so much.

      I am hoping they will take me up on my offer so that I can become a celebrity fitness trainer. I can just picture Jake Gyllenhaal showing up for my “Run Like a Dog” class in his spandex leggings and knitted beanie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are correct, Albert. All of those activities are much preferred to running. My aged sister Violet has been known to run when the furry beasts are fed. The sight is so jarring she frightens even The General into surrendering his food.

        And JackRabbit sports is missing a golden opportunity if they don’t hire you as a celebrity fitness trainer. I even can imagine a reality show based on your celebrity boot camp!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Bean was very interested in your graphic .. she too is wed to the holistic pleasure of running, sniffing and possibly rolling in something fragrant (in human speak subsitute stinky for fragrant) … her boss man is a good runner aforgotten nd seems to enjoy it whereas I actually hate it but do it as some sort of penance to pay for crimes committed in a previous life. Nothing will change this view and nothing will change The Bean’s derision for my cumbersome style- when we run most of her time is spent standing four square well ahead of me eyeing my lumbering form with pity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. scrapydotwo says:

    I like the way you do the running. Just like me, also got some zig-zag running in my program. I also don’t want to sniff where my mum wants me to sniff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! And so very spot on.

    I have always envied people who can run with their dogs. Jasper, my dog, and I have tried and tried, but it has never worked out. With us, pacing is the biggest obstacle. I want to go at a consistent pace. Jasper thinks that’s stupid, pointless, and BORING. He wants to sprint, then play, then sniff, and sniff, and sniff … and repeat. I doubt even your class (if you had one) would help us because I have absolutely no talent in either the sprinting or sniffing departments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Bor Bor, even if you say you have no talent, as a teacher, I believe any student is capable of improvement! But one must have the will to learn and improve. That is where my People are lacking.
      It sounds as if Jasper and I have similar running styles.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My human runs the same way yours does! She doesn’t like it when I suddenly stop to sniff something, cuz sometimes the lease pops out of her hand and flies back at me, then get scared and run away, and things get a little chaotic. She just runs on the hamster wheel now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Albert, I must say your running plan does look more intriguing than the simple loops around the greenway that are most often in repertoire. I’ve gotten out of the habit and hope to begin running again soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.