If running is your passion, you know that there is nothing better than finding the best running partner. And with friends constantly making up excuses to not run, who better than a four-legged friend to run with? After all, dogs are a man’s best friend.
And while most dogs are fit enough to run a few miles, there are certain breeds that will run above and beyond the rest.
Picking a certain breed will also depend on the type of runner you are. Long distance runners may need to find dogs that are a medium muscular build. Those of us who only hit a few miles a day or a few times a week could get a bigger dog that is muscular but weighs more.
Finally, there are dogs that will run only short distance and would be better off playing fetch for a few hours than hitting the trails.
There are also other factors that need to be considered besides the breed. According to Animal Planet, age is a factor to consider before you run with your dog: “Sure, puppies are nothing but balls of energy, but remember that their bones are still developing at their tender ages so make sure you clear the idea of running with your veterinarian. You also need to check in with the dog doctor about older dogs to ensure there too are healthy enough to keep up.”
With that in mind, here is a break down of some of the best pups to consider depending on what type of runner you are, if you’re investing in a new run buddy.
Long distance pups
German shepherds are a great breed to consider if you are a long distance runner. According to Livestrong, “German shepherds can sustain a fast pace and have endurance to boot. Innately active, they’re always up for exercise…Their stride is outreaching, smooth and rhythmic, and they can easily cover a lot of ground, making them great companions for runs 10 miles or longer.”
A Siberian husky is another great option for a long distance companion. Huskies have no problem running over 10 miles, but, because their fur is so thick, it is important to avoid outdoor runs in extreme heat. According to Active, to ensure that you and your husky stay healthy, “wait for their bones to fully mature before you hit the pavement to help minimize joint issues down the road.”
Short distance runners
A Vizsla, the Hungarian hunting dog, is a great option if you run shorter distance at a quicker pace. These trim dogs have speed and agility, and can run on many different terrains. According to Livestrong, “Vizslas are great at navigating rocks, roots and other obstacles you might find along the path…This breed requires lots of strenuous exercise, so be prepared for them to outlast you on a run.”
A Jack Russell Terrier is a great option if you want a smaller dog, that can still handle runs. The Terriers are energetic and sturdy and are a great option if you love to run quick 5ks. According to Active, the Terrier’s “little legs are strong enough for three miles, but you need to train him to work up to that distance.”
So, whatever your personal running preference is, there is a four-legged best friend waiting to hit the trail with you. Just remember to carry water with you to avoid exhaustion and always be aware of your dog’s health conditions and age before you start running!