Whether you love hiking, walking, running, trekking, or even cycling, it’s wonderful to have a canine companion with you. While most dogs will do their best to keep up with you, it’s quite a struggle for an English bulldog or Dachshund to keep up with a fast-moving human. The same is true for a dog with injuries or illness: they aren’t the best choice for an active lifestyle, and may hurt themselves trying to keep up. Although a dog of any breed can surprise you with its athleticism, it’s usually best to pick a dog that’s both healthy and pre-disposed to enjoy exercise.
So if you’re sporty and looking for a dog that’s as athletic as you are, we’ve listed 10 of the best dogs for an athletic lifestyle.
Siberian Husky: First developed to pull sleds, the Siberian Husky retains the stamina and enthusiasms of its forebears. Although independent and difficult to train, if you are a confident dog owner you may enjoy the Husky’s unique nature. They have exceptional stamina, and will be happy to accompany you on long walks or jogs. There’s only one caveat: it’s best to keep your Husky on the leash, as they have a reputation for running off and chasing small animals!
Border Collie: Exceptionally intelligent and athletic, the Border Collie is a wonderful breed for someone willing to give him/her mental and physical stimulation. Collies can learn all sorts of tricks and compete successfully in many canine sports. They will happily accompany you on daily walks or runs, and you can teach them some tricks to keep them mentally stimulated. You can even stop for a game as fetch, as most Collies adore chasing balls or catching Frisbees. Just make sure you give them a good brush when you get back home, as the Collie’s feathery fur tends to trap dirt and plants.
Weimaraner: The silvery Weimaraner was originally bred to be a gun dog of great intelligence and impressive tracking abilities. The modern Weimaraner retains these traits, and does best with a person that can provide enough physical and mental exercise for him/her, as a lack of exercise makes these dogs nervous.
A Weimaraner will make a great companion for most sports. They have great stamina, and would be great for a person who loves long walks. Make sure that they are well trained to return when called, as Weimaraners have a strong hunting instinct and will dash off to chase and kill anything that resembles prey, including cyclists and joggers!
Rhodesian Ridgeback: The Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally bred to hunt lions, so right away you know this dog is both athletic and happy to be outdoors. As pups, Ridgebacks are very energetic, and even though they tend to calm down as adults, they still need a lot of exercise.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a good dog for a person who will exercise them vigorously every day, so if you jog or walk long distances every day, this breed could be a good choice. Keep in mind that even with enough exercise, training is very important for this breed, and they are not recommended for first time dog owners.
Bernese Mountain Dog: These large tri-coloured dogs were bred as working dogs are typically laidback and active. They do very well at all sorts of canine sports, and have also been successfully trained as service dogs. The loyal, calm Bernese is a great choice for an active family, since these dogs love children and are very affectionate. If you and your family love hiking or cycling, for example, a Bernese Mountain Dog could be an ideal companion.
Corgi: The Corgi may seem like an odd choice for this list. It may surprise you to find out that the Corgi was originally bred for herding, and is a very active little dog. Corgis are very clever (if a little stubborn) and need lots of exercise. A Corgi might be a god choice if you live in a smaller house or apartment, but still love to exercise. Your Corgi will happily join you, whether it’s on a walk, run, or cycle. Daily exercise will also prevent your Corgi from getting fat, as these dogs are prone to weight gain.
Dalmatian: The Dalmatian got its start as a carriage dog, but they proved versatile and could turn their paw to just about anything: fireman’s dog, hunter, and circus acts to name but a few. These charming dogs are not for couch potatoes: they have seemingly boundless energy and stamina. A Dalmatian is great companion for walking, running, cycling or even (with some training) horse riding.
Jack Russell Terrier: Terriers are typically active dogs, and we could recommend just about any terrier for an active person. The Jack Russell is probably the most active of the terriers. For their size, Jack Russells are quite a handful! Originally bred for fox hunting, Jack Russells are full of seemingly endless energy, and have equally active brains. Mischievous and brave, you will never be bored with these dogs. If you can rise to the challenge, you will find this breed to be an amazing exercise companion.