You should definitely walk your dog, but should you run with her, too? Running is a wonderful form of exercise that can also be great for your furry friends. Before you try to go running with your dog, however, you need to take certain precautions – and consider whether your dog is a breed well-suited to running.
Best Breeds for Running
If you really want a dog that will go running with you (and enjoy it!), consider one of these top six dog breeds that are best for running, listed in alphabetical order:
1. Australian Cattle Dog – As the name of this breed would suggest, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed to herd cattle. These dogs can go for miles without tiring and are very intelligent, so can make adventurous running partners. Once your Australian Cattle Dog gets into the habit of running, she will be dragging you off the couch and out onto the road as often as she can.
2. Australian Shepherd – Despite their name, the Australian Shepherds we know today were actually developed in the USA, working as sheep herders in the Rocky Mountains and also being used in rodeo shows. These dogs are tireless and happy to spend much of the day running around if you will let them. In addition to frequent walks or runs, your Australian Shepherd needs games, chores, and affection to stay content.
3. Dalmatian – The Dalmatian was developed as a carriage dog – a dog that was trained to run alongside coaches and carriages to protect their people against bandits. As such, they are built to run and keep pace with horses, so have excellent endurance and impressive speed.
4. German Shorthaired Pointer – This medium-sized breed was developed for hunting, so they require a lot of exercise but are intelligent and eager to please. German Shorthaired Pointers' friendly and protective natures make them ideal for running with the whole family, but they should also be comfortable around strangers you may meet on your run.
5. Poodle – The Standard Poodle was developed as a water retriever, so these dogs have plenty of stamina. Although the Poodle is labeled a non-sporting breed by the American Kennel Club, they are still very active and athletic dogs that can be great running partners. Poodles can also be trained for a variety of dog sports.
6. Siberian Husky – Huskies are known for their boundless energy. These working dogs are incredibly smart and active, so they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Taking your Siberian Husky for a run is a great way to keep her happy and healthy during the winter months, but her dense double coat means she could easily overheat in summer. During the warmer months, keep her in shape with cross-training activities such as agility training.
Whether you are looking for a way to work off some of your dog's excess energy or you simply want a partner for your runs, training your dog to accompany you on a run is a great option. While the breeds listed above are some of those that enjoy running with people the most, many other breeds can also be trained for running.
Tips for Running with Your Dog
Running is a great form of exercise for active dog breeds because it allows them to work off their excess energy. Before you take your dog for a run, however, you need to make sure that she is healthy enough for this type of exercise. To run, your dog should be at least twelve months old to ensure that she is finished growing. Running can put a lot of stress on developing bones and joints so you shouldn't take a puppy running until she is fully grown. You should also take your dog for a checkup with your veterinarian to make sure that she is healthy enough for a run.
Once you've determined that running with your dog is safe, you need to build up her endurance. Start with short ten-minute runs several times a week and slowly work your way up to longer runs. Always pay attention to your dog during the run, stop if she seems to be overly tired, and make sure she gets enough water.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.