This great guest post, brought to you by Lovejoys, is breaking down the best running buddies.
Lovejoys, a pet food brand from the UK, have recently produced a fun, interactive graph showing 20 of the best breeds to run with, and in this post they’ll break down the very best of the bunch, the individual traits of each breed that help to make them the perfect companions, and which style of running they’re suited to. Which dog’s do you run with? And how do they compare to the competition?
As a gundog, this sturdy companion was bred to retrieve birds from the swamps of 15th century Germany.
Despite the prevailing image of a delicate lapdog, the poodle is actually a rugged and intelligent breed. The standard Poodle is an agile hunter and adept at taking complex commands. In fact, they’re considered the second smartest breed in the world (after Border Collies).
Easy to train, attractive, and friendly, the Poodle makes a great companion, and is adept at track running and urban jogs of up to 5 miles.
Australian Cattle Dog
Born in the outback, the sturdy and resilient Australian Cattle Dog is very much a working breed. Perfectly designed to herd cattle, this short-haired dog traces its ancestry back to the wild dingo.
Being highly intelligent, this breed needs regular, structured training. As herders, the Australian Cattle Dog formed an incredibly close bond with humans. They are well known for their loyalty.
So, how does this make a good running partner? This breed thrives on pre-planned, structured activities in which it can be tested physically and mentally. Running provides a great outlet for this.
Typically, the smarter a dog is, the easier it is to train. Some breeds are known for wandering off, but the Australian Cattle Dog’s upbringing means it prefers to stay close. This, coupled with it’s good nature, makes a friendly and adaptable partner in any sport.
The Border Collie is an athletic, well-mannered dog. With a long history of herding sheep, this breed takes extremely well to instructions and can often display near-human levels of intelligence.
Why are they such good running partners? Having been trained by us for centuries, the Border Collie is an obsessive worker that relishes the opportunity to impress.
Years of herding livestock in Britain has given this breed the calm, analytical nature to take part (and excel) in many human activities. Running is no exception, and they’re ideal companions for busy running tracks because of this.
Historical use in war has lent the Dalmatian a reputation for protection, strength, and loyalty. Their close bond with humans and horses led the Victorians to use them as carriage dogs.
Because of their good temperament and stamina, Dalmatians can make excellent running partners on fast-paced runs for 8 miles and beyond.
Their protective nature means it’s important to train these dogs properly. Although they are fiercely loyal, this energy must be directed towards a positive outlet. Running is a great activity for you to train each other.
Planning to run in warmer weather? This part European, part African breed is known for its speed, versatility, and distinctive fur markings.
Running up the spine of this breed is the eponymous ‘ridge’ of fur. Created by breeding the dogs of European settlers with the native South African hunting dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback displays the instincts of a wild dog with the refinement of a house pet.
Their elegant appearance is similar to the Hungarian Vizsla, to which they are a larger, more formidable cousin.
Because of their natural heat resistance, the Ridgeback makes an ideal companion for athletes in warmer climates. What’s more, their blend of endurance and strength makes them one of the better breeds for long distance running.
With a strong, intelligent disposition and an ingrained love of humans, the Husky makes good company and an even better running partner, able to cover distances of 10 miles and over on evenly paced, steady runs.
Bred to pull sleds through the frozen wilderness, these dogs have excellent endurance. Unlike its close relative, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, the Siberian Husky is small enough to be agile.
Although Huskies love humans, they have retained a fierce streak of independence and wanderlust. If untrained, a Husky is likely to go exploring. Used to covering vast distances each day, it’s important that this breed has a controlled outlet for their energy.
Running with you Husky can help them blow off steam, although it might still be a good idea to keep them on a leash! Try to go running in the early mornings or evenings as this breed is intolerant to heat.
German Shorthaired Pointer
With loveable personalities and an adventurous, athletic demeanour, the German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the best breeds to run with – some dog runners have covered serious distance with these guys.
Bred as a gundog in 19th-century Germany, this breed is extremely comfortable in the outdoors. Well-mannered around other pets and people, they’ll likely steal the hearts of everyone you encounter. However, it’s important to discipline these pets from an early age.
Without guidance, the German Shorthaired Pointer’s energy levels can be difficult to manage. Luckily, they are very easy to train, being a loyal, smart breed.
This dog lives for excitement and exercise. Online guides will typically recommend this pet for enthusiastic runners, especially those who like to frequently change their pace. Could there be a better athletic companion?