Medium sized and elegantly built (think sleek like the Doberman), Vizslas are gundogs equipped with an easy-going nature and high intelligence – making them easy to train, a must for dogs that run alongside you on leash. They’re extremely active dogs that require daily exercise, and enjoy spending as much time with the family as possible, so not only are they great training companions, they’ll enjoy it more than you do!
While the myths that greyhounds need to run all hours, and will be bored with domestic life has been well and truly busted (they are actually gentle beasts that like to laze about with the family and only need as much exercise as your average dog, if not less!), they are fantastic sprinters nonetheless. Just be aware long distance isn’t really their thing, so they’ll be better included in sprint training.
3. German short-haired pointers
Another dog originally bred for gunhunting, the German short haired pointer is a friendly, gentle and affectionate pet, perfect for family life. However, because the breed does require far more exercise than the average dog, they are ideally suited to active families – and if you’re training for a running event, these short-haired dogs will be the perfect companion to push you along when your motivation wanes.
While their height and shape makes them better suited to short runs, the beagle is also a hunter, and a great companion for short sprints. They are also mischievous fellows and talented escape artists, so having them train with you will help keep them too tired out to try and sneak away – or bolt when you open the front door.
10 unexpected breeds that make great running mates
One of the bigger breeds, the Dalmatians are fantastic long-distance runners who will keep up a steady pace (they can keep pace with horses), and they do require plenty of exercise, so co-training with you is the perfect solution. They are one of the more protective breeds, so if you like running at night, they’ll bump up the security factor for you. Because of their size and weight distribution, stick to soft ground when you can to protect their joints and muscles.
6. Rhodesian ridgebacks
Here’s a fun fact – the Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally bred for hunting lions, making them a natural runner with plenty of speed and stamina. They have an athletic build and enjoy lots of exercise, making them great running mates. Their sleek, short haired coat means they can keep up better than most breeds in the warmer months.
7. Standard poodles
Another tall breed, the standard poodle is also quite sprightly and enjoys a long distance running session. Being a playful breed, they also make entertaining running mates, so they’re great for those lower on motivation, keeping it fun. You will need to keep these bad boys on a leash though, most can hit a decent speed and if something catches their eye and they decide to give chase, you’ll be unlikely to catch them.
8. Siberian Huskies
Bred as sled dogs, Huskies are known for their never-ending stamina and impressive gait. Their thick hair also makes them perfect running mates in the colder months (though have a towel ready when you get home, unless you want drenched floors.)
9. Alaskan Malamute
Another thick coated breed, the Malamute is another ‘working’ breed, originally bred to carry heavy loads over long distance, meaning they too can keep up a good pace over a long distance. They’re also intelligent beasts, making them easy to train to run alongside you.
10. Airedale Terriers
Having served for the US Government, these are the tallest of the terrier breeds and carry the moniker ‘King Terrier’. They’re fun loving, energetic and friendly dogs, and ideal running mates for those covering faster speeds for short to medium runs.
READ MORE: The 10 best dog breeds for running
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