Picking a Running Dog

Picking a Running Dog

One of our Austin dog training clients was nice enough to send over a link to an interesting article about different things to consider when selecting a dog to be your running buddy and/or using your current dog’s strengths to make your runs more enjoyable.  I wanted to share the article with our readers because not only does the article bring up a lot of great information, be sure to check it out if you get a chance, but with the many great hike, bike, and jog trails in Austin, our local readers will definitely benefit from the information.  Here are a few things that stood out most for me…

Different breeds of dogs are suited better than others for different physical demands, and that’s why there is no one universal breed of dog that is going to make the best running buddy.  Because there are so many different styles, speeds, terrains, and distances of running to consider, it’s best that you find a dog that is suited for your style of running.  For example, if your running style consists of slow, long runs then you may be best matched up with a Labrador Retriever or a Catahoula, which have a bigger body that can handle the distance—if you go slow.  If your style of running consists of going all out (7 minute miles) you may be better paired with a dog that has a lean build and a mental aptitude for running, like a Vizsla or a German Shorthaired Pointer.

Climate will also play a big part in choosing the best breed of dog to be your running buddy.  The stockier bodies and heavier coated dogs, like the Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, will do better in colder climates.  Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Vizslas, which have a long nose, a short, sleek coat, and a svelte body that are better suited to handle hot climates.

So what’s the best running dog to have in Austin?  Well even though we can eliminate a few breeds, just based on climate, there is still no right answer – it all comes down to your style of running.

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