Want a running partner that won’t cancel on you, is always ready to go and gives you a boost of motivation?
You obviously need a dog! They really do make the best running buddies.
Not just any dog will do though. You will need to choose a canine companion that will fit your running habits, depending on distance, speed and climate. But generally, high-energy types such as herding and sporting/hunting breeds are the best bets for owners with an active lifestyle.
Having owned a dog walking business in the past (which for me was dog running when possible), I have a few favorite breeds. One of these may be the perfect pooch for you!
German Shorthaired Pointer
These smooth-haired dogs are super energetic and thrive with lots of exercise. Believe me, they can RUN! German shorthaired pointers are also intelligent and eager to please. They love lots of attention from adults and children alike, making them good family pets.
This popular herding breed can run around all day long. They are just bouncing bundles of energy! An outdoor lifestyle is a must for them. Border collies are highly intelligent and goal-driven, making them true athletes, both physically and mentally. Their herding instinct means they are going to be especially protective of you—a good thing when out running, but socialization is especially important for this breed to avoid any unwanted aggression.
Boxers are big furry balls of fun. They are very affectionate and usually love to be around kids. They have super short coats with minimal grooming requirements. A boxer’s active body and mind require lots of activity to match, so plan on daily runs, rain or shine! Although they are super friendly, boxers are well prepared to protect their owners if need be, equipped with rippling muscle and strength.
This perky bird dog is also super cute—just look at that face! A Brittany Spaniel is always upbeat and ready to go. They are rugged and strong, as well as smart and eager to please. They also love to be around kids and other pets—perfect for an outdoorsy family lifestyle.
Never underestimate a mighty mutt! I will never forget Rex, the dog I grew up with—a Brittany Spaniel/Golden Retriever cross. He always had endless energy, whether on a road run or frolicking in a field. He wanted everyone to be his friend, but was smart enough to know when to go into protective mode. A mix makes just as great a partner as any purebred, in running and in life.
RELATED: A Guide to Running With Your Dog
Note that this is not an all-inclusive list. Do your research on other breeds and choose the paw-fect pup for you.
Regardless of what type of dog you prefer, always be sure to take good care of your furry friend. Proper nutrition and regular vet visits are necessities. If you get a puppy, you may need to let them grow until they’re a year or older before running them. Always be aware of how the weather may affect your pet. Take plenty of water and fuel for them, and be mindful of hot asphalt on tender paws.
It’s also very important to take the time to train them well. Use extra common sense when out with your dog. And always use proper manners. Don’t be that person who never uses a leash!