Eternally energetic and always grateful for their next run, having a furry friend for your workouts offers endless benefits. After all, they’ll never skip a Friday evening meet-up with some lame excuse, nor moan and complain their way through a Monday morning workout session.
With an active doggy in tow, you have an exercise companion who’s always ready and raring to go - no matter the day, whatever the weather. That said; there are some pretty important differences between breeds that make certain dogs more suitable to particular fitness fans than others.
Here we give you the lowdown on fitness-loving dog breeds - their temperament, things to be aware of and the very special traits that make us love them all the more.
Perfect companion for… Running (and running, and running!). In fact, husky dogs have no issue keeping pace for a daily 10-mile marathon.
Temperament… Friendly and intelligent; but also independent and stubborn.
Things to be aware of… These dogs are seriously high-energy. They demand at least two brisk walks a day and are not to be let off the leash (as you may not see them again!).
You should also bear in mind that their thick coat means summer runs must be taken before the sun rises or after it falls.
What we love about them… Huskies were bred to run in a pack pulling significant weight behind them. Their athletic build and pack nature make them a perfect friend for playing and exploring.
2. Alsatian (German Shepherd)
Perfect companion for… Long distance running and swimming in lakes!
Temperament… Initially reserved, these dogs can be aloof and tend to take a while to form a human friendship.
Alsatians aren’t usually aggressive, but they are territorial, making them protective and naturally inclined watchdogs.
Things to be aware of… Alsatians are among the breeds that suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (which is where the joints partially dislocate). This typically happens in older age, so you may find that your fitness buddy becomes less and less enthusiastic as he or she ages.
What we love about them… Alsatians are incredibly loyal to their owners and the bond that forms between them is really rather unique in the dog world. We also love the fact that these dogs can easily put in two hours of activity each and every day without so much as a faltering waggy tail.
3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Perfect companion for… Walks, light jogging and playing chase.
Temperament… Friendly, playful, and outgoing; as well as sometimes stubborn and protective.
Things to be aware of… This corgi has been bred since medieval times to herd cattle and sheep. If they ever enter ‘herding mode’, you may find that he or she frantically follows your heels and may even nip at them! To avoid this simply keep Fido occupied and active.
What we love about them… Short, stout and unassuming, we’re big fans of just how much muscle is packed into those misleadingly teeny legs!
4. Labrador Retriever
Perfect companion for… Frisbee, swimming, hunting, fishing and hiking.
Temperament… Playful, intelligent, easy-going and friendly.
Things to be aware of… Labradors are high-energy, so you’ll need to keep up with your fitness regime if you’re going to keep him or her happy. This is especially true given their tendency for excess weight problems which can lead to significant issues with their hips, elbows, heart, and blood pressure.
What we love about them… Labs were bred to chase down and catch game for their hunter masters. This makes them focused on pleasing their owner, so they take well to training and being directed. Their positive nature also makes them ideal for first-time dog owners.
Perfect companion for… Long-distance running and sprinting.
Temperament… Affectionate, smart, lively and energetic.
Things to be aware of… Don’t be misled by their small stature, Vizslas are tough enough to tackle any exercise, especially quick bursts of sprinting.
These dogs simply love company (so if you’re out all day at work you may want to consider a different breed).
What we love about them… The sociable nature of Vizslas make them an ideal dog if you’re planning on training in large groups or with others who are bringing their dog pal along with them.
So does your pooch love a good powerwalk? Use the #ProworksFItness hashtag and let’s see your best pics!