Hint: Not that one.
Physical exercise is coded into all dogs’ DNA, but some breeds are particularly likely to benefit from the act of running. Large dogs are generally more suited to running than small dogs because it’s easier for their gait to match ours, but running dogs come in all shapes and sizes.
Looking for a dog who can keep up with your ultramarathon training runs? Or maybe you need a sprints partner who can keep you motivated? These are the dog breeds that love running across the board. And, bonus, all that exercise will keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come!
We know a local dog boarding facility that had to raise the 10-foot walls around the dog kennels all the way to the ceiling because a pair of frequently-boarded Weimaraners had figured out how to scale the walls and escape. Weimaraners have a lot of energy, is what we’re saying. They’re an incredibly smart breed, too, which means they love the mental stimulation that comes from a long run. In short, Weimaraners are great running companions, but conversely don’t make great dogs for couch potatoes.
If we’re being honest, Vizslas should get around an hour of exercise a day. A day! It’s difficult to exercise a dog that much unless it lives on a farm or, conversely, if you’re a runner. Vizsla’s build makes them ideal for almost all kinds of running, from trail runs to short sprints, and their sleek coats mean they’re comfortable running even in hot climates. In a perfect world, you’d work out your Vizsla’s long gait with a steady but extensive route – they’re the ideal partners for marathon training.
Salukis might look delicate but they’re actually one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. In fact, they’re often referred to as “Persian Greyhounds.” They need a ton of mental stimulation to keep from getting bored (and destructive), so daily runs are an almost essential part of their routine. Their long, lean bodies are ideal for long distance runs; just be sure to keep your Saluki’s hair brushed and clean to ensure she doesn’t develop tangles or knots from all the exertion.
Well, obviously. Greyhounds love to run, but they don’t love to run long distances. They’re the ideal partners for quick, fast runs and they make great roommates, too…they’re naturally independent, gentle, and quiet at home. A number of states – most recently, Florida – have outlawed Greyhound racing which means you might see more of these sweet creatures popping up at your local animal shelter. If you like to exercise at night but work during the day, these are a great breed to consider.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred for long hunts so they’ve got stamina. Perfectly suited to long, slow runs, Ridgebacks must be well-trained to avoid getting distracted by “prey” (squirrel!) This breed does surprisingly well in very warm climates, and they don’t need much grooming. They can jump relatively high, though, so be careful when leaving them in a fenced-in yard!
Dogs are natural running companions. Remember that a dog’s breed isn’t as important to whether or not it’s a runner as its temperament. Look for a dog that’s got a lot of energy, is willing to listen, and preferably has a little twinkle know how to tell when you’re pushing yours a little too farin the eye that means, “I’m ready to GO!” Because dogs are always eager to please, . As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.