Sure, most fit canines could thump us in a 5-K, but anyone who has ever watched leashed runners at a local park knows that some animals are better athletes than others. But how does your dog rate? Or if you’re searching for a perfect running partner, what kind should you pick?
Not surprisingly, it depends. There’s no perfect running breed for all conditions, and a dog’s personality and temperament are as important as its pedigree, says veterinarian and marathoner Dr Susan Dicks. Mongrels can make fine runners, especially if they’re medium-sized, alert, and eager.
Some breeds, such as huskies and greyhounds, were bred to run, and most working dogs are naturally suited to running. By contrast, squishy-nosed dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, don’t make good distance athletes, because they’re prone to overheating.
That’s not to say your pug can’t run, but he shouldn’t join you for a late-summer 10-K run. If you want to go long or hit technical trails, some breeds definitely rise to the top. So say Liz Devitt and professional dog trainer JT Clough, who co-wrote a book about training dogs to run. Here they pick their top running breeds in eight categories.
Don’t forget to check out these training tips to running with a dog.