It’s widely known that running is a great cardiovascular exercise for humans, but it’s also an excellent way for dogs that are in good health to have some fun while spending quality time with their owner.
Not only does running help maintain weight, improve muscle tone, and build endurance, it also stimulates mental health and provides an outlet for your canine companion’s energy.
Certain breeds can tolerate different weather and surface conditions better than others, so always be mindful of your dog’s capabilities. Have your veterinarian perform a physical checkup to ensure it’s a safe activity for your dog.
It should be noted that puppies should never be taken for a run, as their joints are still vulnerable. Because their bones and muscles aren’t fully developed, they’re at risk for orthopedic damage. Medium-to-large breeds should not be allowed to run on surfaces like concrete or black top until they are at least 18 months old. Given that some dogs mature slower than others, check with your veterinarian to make sure your canine companion is ready to start running beside you.
For senior dogs, their fitness level is likely not what it used to be, even if they still enjoy running. “Dogs age quickly, and just because your dog ran fine last year doesn’t mean he is up for the task this year,” says Russell Hartstein, a certified behaviorist and dog trainer in Los Angeles.
Based on certain qualities, such as endurance, obedience, build, strength, athleticism, and intelligence, we’ve put together a list of breeds that could make good running partners. NOTE: this is not a comprehensive list and any individual dog could potentially make a great running companion.
Highly energetic, this medium, well-muscled breed is great for long, steady runs. They are active and intelligent, with a strong desire to work and play for long stretches of time — preferably with their owner.
Strong, active, and athletic, this breed has great stamina. They love exercise and could keep up with a fast runner. These dogs tend to pound the pavement, so it’s best to stick to soft trails for long distances.
With its sleek, red coat, this breed has no trouble running in warmer climates. Eager and graceful, their impressive stamina makes them ideal jogging companions. Chock-full of energy, these robust, medium-sized hunting dogs enjoy vigorous daily exercise.
This energetic breed possesses speed, but also has the build needed to go on a high-mileage run. These dogs thrive with plenty of exercise and love spending time outdoors with their human companions.
Fast and powerful athletes, this breed loves to run. Their natural gait and internal engine make them the perfect companion for longer distances.
Bred to work closely with humans and eager to join in on family activities, this breed craves exercise and mental stimulation on a regular basis.
Muscular, fast, and powerful, these dogs love vigorous, daily exercise along with stimulating mental challenges. Bred to be working dogs, Dobermans have the energy needed to keep up with runners.
These energetic dogs not only enjoy exercise, but their short, easy-care coats make them adaptable to both hot and cold weather.
Don’t let their fragile appearance fool you. The Saluki is one of the fastest breeds in the world. These dogs are highly adaptable and can live in any climate. Daily exercise is essential to keep them physically and mentally fit.
This loyal, hard-working breed is strong, well-muscled, and has the ability to run long distances in different weather conditions and on various types of terrain. They are also happiest when they’re with their owners.
Before you bring your canine companion out for a run, always consider his health. And make sure to bring lots of water to keep him hydrated, no matter how short the distance!