Athletic Dog Breeds
Are you looking for a canine company that’s as ready for a 10km run as it is for a jog around the block? Man and dog have been runners and hunters together since long before the rise of any civilization. Back then, the dog was more wolf. It was so far back that there’s been long enough for humans to lose a lot of their sense of smell because they relied on the dog, who would track prey for a share of the kill, some anthropologists speculate. It’s a sensible argument if you understand dogs. Man and dog were good partners in the stone age and it’s still a good partnership now, and there are many reasons why every man should have a dog. Okay, so you’re not hunting the Sylvanas but if you are working out, here are the dogs who like to get physical and would make excellent workout buddies.
1. Labrador Retriever
This dynamic loving breed makes great partners for everything including a workout. Run where you like, there’s no stopping them. They love crashing through undergrowth and long grass. All the Labrador and retrievers thrive on adventure. These dogs are curious and clever and totally in love with humans. So laid back, they fall over. Being so social they love joining in so they great for group workouts. All the different kinds of Labrador retrievers are lean and strong. The heavier set English Labrador is pure muscle. The gun breeds, come in more streamlined and have the stamina for long distances. All the Labrador retrievers will do anything in the water. They are the perfect family pet. Incredibly loyal and so eager to please they will follow you anywhere.
2. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is renowned for its empathy. It is a very intelligent breed that’s very cued into humans and the traditional service dog. Quick to learn, protective and obedient, they still think for themselves. They were bred to mind livestock and guard homesteads. For a big dog, the German Shepherd is incredibly fast and agile being bred for the rocky terrain of the Alsace region of France. They are confident and fun-loving and will try anything once from surfing to climbing ladders so helping you out with a workout is nothing.
3. Golden Retriever
If you are looking for a companion who remembers your workout routines better than you do, this your breed. Retrievers are super smart and super gentle and powerfully protective when they need to be. They have absolute faith in their human and will want to be with you and joining in. Being a working breed, they enjoy running for the sake of it and will happily hit the track for a few laps and jump a few hurdles or dig in for a long run across fields. The golden retriever is the original water lover, bred for retrieving shot ducks from lakes and rivers. They are full of fun and energy and will keep going until you stop.
4. The Boxer
Yes, Boxers. They are happy, live in the moment dogs that love playtime as much as hanging for a Netflix binge on long lazy days. These dogs are in for the sprint but when fit can manage one heck of a long jog. They were used as couriers in battle but bred for hunting big animals like wild boar and bison. If you are tempted to miss workouts, these guys will soon have you regretting it with full-on zoomies around the living room. They are great workout buddies. They’ll go like a bullet from a gun but once done they sleep. Boxers are lovably dopey with faces full of expression and temperament that’s both protective and gentle making them irresistible as pets.
5. Australian Shepherd
If you want more serious excursions, look no further than the Australian Shepherd. These pups are hunters so they love to stay busy and active. They are more than capable of putting up tough competition and motivation to keep going on an extreme hike. The Australian Shepherd has both smarts and stamina. It’s a tough breed full of characters that would complement an active family. It’ll protect anyone in its pack and be devoted to the boss. An Australian Shepherd makes the perfect companion and all the other good things humans want in a dog from a nursemaid to children to workout buddy.
6. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are very easy to train and have an ultra-calm temperament that makes them so wonderful with children. Although they would run with you, they make great companions on long hikes and walks. These dogs were bred to take on several tasks around Swiss farms including herding bulls and pulling work carts. A Bernese Mountain Dog comes with bags of stamina and enthusiasm. Workout with this breed anytime playing pushing and pulling games.
Vizslas are energetic and playful making them happy and eager to get stuck in and have a go. These are super tough Hungarian gun dogs bred for pointing out birds and retrieving the game. Anything out in the open suits them. Just like all the gun dogs, they love water but are just as happy plowing through the undergrowth or playing fetch in the garden.
Weimaraners are real sweethearts but they need to be active and right at the center of things. They were around by the 1600s and being bred for high endurance for use in intensive hunting for boar, bear, and wolf. Runner’s World describes the elegant ‘black spirit’ breed as excelling in quick, rapid bursts and long-distance running, with a low-maintenance short coat for hot climates. It’s this adaptability that makes the Weimaraner a great choice as a running companion. Perfect at negotiating rough terrain or paths, the Weimaraner is brave, easily trained and a great family pet— a champion all around.
9. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are sturdy confident dogs that enjoy climbing and running. Their high stamina can compete with owners who are riding or running. They were bred for cornering and killing lions on the plains of Africa so they are extremely brave and athletic.
10. Border Collie
The original farmer’s friend, this collie breed couldn’t be better for humans. They are super intelligent problem solvers who are very finely tuned in to their owners. Once trained, it takes little to control them. They love any kind of agility challenge and if you work out by dancing, they have the smarts to make great partners. Collies love to be using their brain and in the thick of things.
11. Alaskan Malamute
While the Alaskan Malamute is best known for sledding and rescues, these dogs are the champions of endurance and bravery. As a breed, they are super tough and patient and calm around children. They were bred for strength and endurance but are gentle in nature and they were made to run. Like all the husky breeds, running makes them happy and they can keep going for miles.
12. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Cattle Dogs are long-distance herders and tough. Working an endurance path with aerobics stations would be perfect for this pup. They are highly protective and very intelligent. They are also classified as Queensland, Black or Red Heeler and stuffed with the Aussie can-do attitude. Their enthusiasm for everything you are doing and sheer love of hard work makes them perfect running buddies if you are working up to a marathon.
13. English Setter
The English setter is the aristocrat of dogs bred for the hunt and to look good. All the setters have incredibly gentle temperaments and are especially good with children. Being so human-centered there’s no better choice if you are planning workouts with the family. They will get stuck into anything with enthusiasm but happy to be a loving couch potato once the workout is done.
14. Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russells are plucky and brave and the champions of the strength of their size. Jacks will run, run and run and think nothing of exploring a rat or rabbit hole. They have the super agility needed to catch rats but they’ll run their little legs off on an agility course and you’ll get a workout keeping up.
15. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Originally trained for, you guessed it, duck hunting. These are high energy outdoor dogs although they are just as happy to lazy the day away indoors and get fat. They suit hiking, even the more extreme and anything, anytime to do with water or running. They’ve been bred to fetch but are just as happy to show off their skills playing soccer.
16. American Staffordshire Terrier
The stocky and compact American Staffordshire terrier is a surprising running dog but it has stamina is spades and strong bones and muscles to back it up. They can easily manage a trot along on a jog for a couple of miles. These are busy curious dogs that need regular exercise for mental stimulation and being very protective of their pack, they love being around children.
17. English Shepherd
Bred for herding and guarding on the great USA cattle round-ups, the English Shepherd from English and Scottish collie stock is the perfect all-round dog for any outdoor activity. Being collie, it is intelligent, loyal and obedient and like all working dogs loaded with super endurance and stamina. These dogs are highly adaptable and love to learn and gentle with children. They’ll happily run agility courses, outlast you on endurance hikes and give you a real run for your money if you are on your bike.
When you are looking for a dog to join your family, it makes sense to find a breed that will fit into your lifestyle. It’s not just that you have to exercise the dog, so you may as well exercise yourself, just like the neolithic hunters found out, life’s better when there is a dog’s about. If you don’t fancy buddying up with a human for your workout, man’s best friend is the best workout buddy around. Whatever their breed they’ll want to be involved if they can be with their human and use their natural instincts.