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Top Best Running Dog Breeds

Updated on December 6, 2009
Greyhounds obviously make great running companions, almogaver, morguefile.com
Greyhounds obviously make great running companions, almogaver, morguefile.com

Dog lovers across the globe that lead active lifestyles will very likely enjoy having man's best friend as a running partner. However, not all dogs are cut for running. There are some dog breeds that have special running genes in their blood while there are other breeds that do much better as lap dogs or couch potatoes. In order to determine a good dog breed that will happily accompany you during your jogging outings, you must look for some special qualities.

You want a dog that is athletic, resistant and high energy. Good candidates that match these qualities are dog breeds that have been genetically engineered by humans for their endurance and energy. Generally, dogs that belong to the working, hunting or sporting group make good candidates as running mates because these are dogs that have been bred for hundreds of years for certain specific purposes such as hunting, packing, pulling carts, sleds etc.

Regardless of breed, there are however many considerations to keep in mind before taking Fido out for a run. First of all, puppies especially those belonging to large breeds should not be forced to run for long distances because this puts too much strain on their joints. Their growth plates have not closed yet, and too much strain may make them prone to some serious orthopedic issues.

Another consideration is that any dog requires some conditioning before engaging in sports. You really should not start a dog on a three mile run when all the dog has done before was eating and sleeping at home. Dogs as humans need to get gradually accustomed to exercise and no dog should be started abruptly in any strenuous activities.

Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Ideally, the best running dogs have sturdy, yet agile bodies and should not be weighing more than 70 pounds. Short haired dogs are preferable because they are less prone to over heating. Dogs with brachycephalic features (dogs with pushed in features) such as Boxers, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers do not do well because they are likely to develop breathing problems and can even be prone to heatstroke. Following are some dog breeds that make good running companions.

~Greyhounds

Of course, how can somebody leave out this running machine, the canine equivalent of the Thoroughbred. Greyhounds are excellent running companions that are capable of running long distance. Perhaps the only drawback may be the fact that these dogs are the fastest of all canines and owners may have a hard time keeping up with their speed.

~Weimarener

This is a great hunting breed that was used to chase deer and boar. This fast and powerful breed can be the right running companion for people looking for a high strung dog. They indeed require lots of exercise in order to thrive, however they are not ideal for the occasional runner because of such needs.

~Whippet

Whippets are dogs that somehow resemble miniature Greyhounds and they share with greyhounds the fact that they are fast and very agile. These dogs belong to the sight hound family and are also friendly companions. They have been known as " the poor man'sracehorse'' and for a valid reason.

~Dalmatians

Several years ago, when the movie 101 Dalmatians came out, countless people bought these dotted puppies only to surrender them in shelters a while later once they realized how high energy these dogs turn out to be. For the avid runner, Dalmatians make great companions because they have a great opportunity to drain off the excess energy and offer a good level of endurance.

~German Short Haired Pointer 

These are hunting dogs that have very high energy levels so they thrive on running along with their owners. They are loyal companions that just love to follow you even in the roughest terrains. They are also a very agile breed that can keep up your pace with no effort. They are characterized by powerful hind legs which makes them great for for running in tough terrains.

These are just a few of the many powerful breeds that offer stamina and endurance. Of course, there are many more breeds that may make ideal running companions. Some may just need a little practice and conditioning and will soon get into the routine. Many times avid runners search so much for the ideal running breed and then end up finding that a mutt adopted from their local shelter has turned out being the best running dog they have ever had.

Truth is, there is really no such thing as a running breed per excellence, rather, there are different dogs with different body structures and different personalities. The best hiking dog may be just out there in your local shelter just waiting for an active owner as you to hit the road.

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