Sometimes the best running buddies are those with four legs and a tail. Taking your pooch for a run can be rewarding and mutually beneficial, providing your dog with a regular dose of fresh air and exercise. But not all dogs are cut out for running, especially if you like to turn over long distances. It’s important to remember the same principles apply when it comes to building up fitness and refuelling post-run, so make sure their water and food bowls are topped up. The breed of dog can also determine what they’re best suited to so we’ve decided to help you out by listing our top 10 dog breeds for running.
1. Border Collie
Border Collies were first bred as herding dogs, often working alongside shepherds to monitor and protect livestock. They’re athletic, energetic and are well known for adapting to their environments whether it be a suburban neighbourhood, trail run or wide open park. Border Collies need around 2 hours of exercise a day, so a run can be the perfect way to keep them active. Generally, active Collies are happy Collies – something most of us will relate to!
2. German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherds love high-intensity exercise, often craving challenges of some kind and are well known to be great companions on bike rides, jogs and runs. They’re known for their loyal and protective nature, making them an ideal running buddy for those after-dark jaunts. Regular exercise will also help to keep them out of mischief, a win-win for all involved.
You won’t need 101, just 1 will do. Dalmatians love to run, they have plenty of stamina and make the perfect partner for longer distances. They’ll set a good pace and help to keep you motivated along the way. Similarly, the more active they are, the better their behaviour. But avoid running with puppy Dalmatians due to the damage this could cause to their young bones.
4. Jack Russell Terrier
One of the smallest breeds on our list, Jack Russell’s are certainly not short on energy! They love running off-lead so open spaces away from roads are the perfect environment for these pooches. They often require around 1 hour of exercise per day and will love you forever if you choose to take them with you. Easy to please and eternally happy, Jack Russell’s are a great choice of running buddy.
Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs and are one of the true multisport athletes of the canine world. They love running and swimming so perfect for triathletes in the making, although we’re yet to find one that cycles! They’re intelligent and respond well to instruction, however cleaning poodle fur can be tricky if they get dirty so beware.
These iconic dogs were used during the war to deliver messages between camps so long-distance running is a piece of cake for them. Often enjoying brisk walks or jogs, boxers require less daily activity than other dogs on this list so taking them running just a few times a week would be enough to supplement the rest of their exercise schedule. It’s important to note that boxers can be prone to breathing issues, so keep a close eye on your pet pal mid-run.
The Energizer battery of the pack, Labs will go all day if you let them. They need high levels of exercise and love running, swimming and fetching. Labs often will exhaust themselves and so it’s important you know when
to call it quits, particularly if you want to go again the next day. Inactive Labs are more likely to demonstrate destructive tendencies due to pent up energy, so do yourself a favour, save your shoes and couch from being mauled and take them out for a jog.
These furry Usain Bolts are your classic short distance runners. Not built for long-distance running, they require around 1 hour of exercise per day and although they look athletically built are not always inclined to want regular exercise. If you do run with your Greyhound be aware to keep them on a leash unless well trained as they will often chase anything that moves – and you are not catching up with these guys!
Bred to pull heavy sleds through the snow, Huskies need lots of exercise and often. Their furry coats mean they’re not well suited to hot environments, so avoid running huskies when the mercury’s spiking. They’re loyal and can be incredibly well-drilled to stay by your side throughout a run. Natural born athletes, huskies are the perfect companion for serious runners who can commit to exercising them on a daily basis.
10. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
These buff breeds are not natural looking runners but have plenty of energy and enjoy being as free as possible during exercise. They’re good for a few miles around the block, but not ideal for longer distances. Like Labs, regular exercise will keep Staffies out of trouble and away from your shoe collection.
What breed of dog do you have? Comment below if we’ve missed your best mate off the list and let us know what you love most about running with your pooch.