You know how they say exercising with a partner can drastically improve results? Well, why not make your boundary-pushing running buddy one of the four-legged variety? Dogs, like humans, need their exercise, and running with them can be a great experience for both participants. It’s an excellent bonding activity that improves everyone’s health and — this one’s for the puppy parents out there — tuckers out our pooches so they’re happier, calmer and more obedient. A tired pup is a well-behaved pup, that’s for sure!
When researching the best dogs to run with, you have to consider the personality traits associated with each individual. You may want a dog that exhibits athleticism so they can keep up, loyalty so they stay nearby on the trail, or eagerness to master some key running tricks. On top of that, you’ll want to consider your dog's potential for hip or knee issues. With all of this in mind, here are a few pup personalities that tick these boxes.
- The Aerodynamic Wonder — Lightning-fast with stamina for days! That means speed, efficiency, and lean muscle mass that keeps them agile on the street or trail. You'll know right away when you spot this guy at your local shelter: look for the long, lean ball of energy that just won't quit. Hounds and hound mixes often fall into this group. Many greyhound rescue organizations exist to help rehome and rehabilitate dogs rescued from over-exertion and inhumane treatment as part of racing programs. If you have a rescue greyhound, make their safe rehabilitation a top priority for your training schedule with them.
- The Active-Focus Champion — Want an active companion, but need a bit more structure than a limitless whoosh of energy bouncing off your walls? Look for an alert and amped partner who isn't so overcome by energy that he can't focus on your commands. Believe it or not, some pups are naturally good listeners! At your local shelter, look for the dog who tail wags and looks happy to see you, but who isn't necessarily burning holes in the ground with excitement (see above!). They'll be the ones making eye contact and waiting for you to lead the way. They'd be a great partner to help you tackle your 10K training!
- The Curious Companion — Some dogs are couch potatoes, for sure. But others love being outside and exploring all the sights! A curious pup who is up for adventure will make a great outdoor buddy. Find the shelter dog who is sniffing at you with interest. These are the ones that will always be up for a morning jog with a few breaks to stop and smell the roses. Maybe they'd prefer a leisurely stroll more often than a tempo run, but they'll be eager to get outside with you no matter what.
- The People Pleaser — The best way to find a pup who will love running as much as you do is to just find one that gives you, well....puppy dog eyes. Most dogs are eager to please and usually just want to be by your side no matter what you're doing. A shelter dog that seems to look lovingly into your very soul with endless adoration should do the trick!
To be honest, ANY dog can make a great running companion (barring any injuries or anatomical limitations). As with any aspect of having a canine family member, it all depends on how much training and patience you're willing to put in. Some dogs (like our stars above) have some innate qualities that make them well-suited for an active owner, but that doesn't mean that the quiet pup in the corner of the kennel wouldn't be an amazing choice! Many dogs don't fully open up until they trust their new pet parents. With time, love, and understanding, your fluffy bud can be a fluffy athlete in no time!
Getting ready to hit the trail with your four-legged pal? Bring plenty of water for both of you to stay hydrated on your adventures and make sure you take your Armpocket running armband along with you! This durable, protective case keeps your tech within arm’s reach but keeps your hands free for your pup’s leash, treats, and petting breaks. Happy running!