Best Canine Companions for Exercise

Fitness can take different forms for different people, and I don’t just mean that people have different methods of striving for their goals—though that’s certainly true! There really is no one way that’s the universal hope of giving people healthy bodies and routines, so the options are open in this regard.

They’re open in other regards as well, like the notion that some fitness pursuers don’t want exercise alone. Maybe you and your friend always go to the gym together, or you and a group bicycle through trails on certain days. Or maybe—just maybe—your exercise companion is the creature that’s been given the nickname of “man’s best friend.”

That’s right! I’m talking about your dog, and whether he’s your choice because you just like taking him with you for your workouts or because your people-options are limited for the time being, he can make a wonderful partner for your journey to fitness. It helps, though, to sufficiently look into the breed of dog that you own or are thinking of getting to make sure you’re choosing a good match for your exercise style. A poodle, for instance, might be energetic and eager to play, but his physical details don’t equip him so well for long runs. The goal isn’t to harm the dog by pushing him beyond his limits, so picking the right breed is a good step in gaining your exercise companion. With that in mind, here are some of the best breeds available to be your partner in fitness!


Border Collies. If there’s a dog that’s known for its energy, it could easily be the Border Collie! They’re so energetic, in fact, that if you don’t give them some kind of outlet for that energy, you might as well brace for the chaos that is a Border Collie entertaining itself. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with that stress by enlisting this dog to be your exercise partner! Their intelligence and energy make them a wonderful breed for the job, and their history as herders give them a strong body structure to allow them to keep going for playtime and such (Swalin, n.d.). Do be aware though that these dogs are *not* long-distance runners, so be sure to keep the distance you’re going to travel with them in check (Swalin,n.d.). That way, you and the dog can have a healthy, enjoyable experience chasing after your fitness!


Dalmatians. Another dog that you might think of taking for your daily exercise journey is a Dalmatian. These dogs are built for those long-distance runs because they were bred to keep up with horses for the sake of protection (Swalin, n.d.). That need to run near a traveling horse has led to a breed of dog that’s able to run right beside you as you push through your morning run. In addition to being physically ready and able to strive with you toward fitness, they’re also friendly, meaning you can bring one of these dogs with you for a run through a park without worrying over safety issues—with a smile on your face!


Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. If your exercise regimen includes water, you might think of choosing one of these dogs as your companion for the task! Bred for the purpose of duck hunting around water, this breed of canines can excel in water-based activity. All they need is good health and the proper exposure to water to become good swimmers that can be your water-fitness buddies during your hours spent exercising (“Chesapeake Bay Retriever,” n.d.). They’re energetic, can handle a variety of weather types, love their owners, and already have a strong need to exercise (“Chesapeake Bay Retriever,” n.d.). With those traits in mind, it’s like you’re doing your Chesapeake Bay Retriever a favor by letting him tag along!


Siberian Huskies. Not only are Siberian Huskies arguably the most beautiful dogs in existence, they’re also strong animals with healthy work ethics from their history as cold-weather sled-pullers (Swalin,n.d.). Smart, protective, and lively, they’re hard-to- beat companions for a number of outdoor fitness options (“The 20 Best Active Dog Breeds,” n.d.). The catch though? They’re more suited for colder climates given their thick coats and history, so if you’re a citizen of Florida, taking your Siberian Husky for a run might not be the best option! If you do live in a colder area though, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better exercise companion than a Siberian Husky!

Vizslas. Regardless of what type of exercise plan you have for your outdoor fitness goals, a Vizsla could be the right option because they’re so strong and physically prepared for exercise! Like other dogs on the list, this breed was bred to work—this time, field work (Swalin, n.d.)—and that physical ability and work ethic can surface in the world of exercise. In particular, they’re fans of running, but that doesn’t mean running is the only regimen they can be a wonderful contribution to (Swalin, n.d.)! One other great thing about this breed is that they’re incredibly trainable, so even if you’re running in a heavily populated area, you can still trust your Vizsla to stick by your side and not get lost (“The 20 Best Active Dog Breeds,” n.d.). Honestly, for a workout friend of the canine sort, I’m not sure you could come up with a better breed for the job than a Vizsla!


Jack Russel Terriers. Sometimes, good things really do come in small packages, and the Jack Russel Terrier is a perfect example of that notion for exercise purposes! One more common phrase they showcase is that looks can be deceiving in that they’re small dogs, so they might look like they wouldn’t be too sensible of companions for your exercise adventures. But don’t be fooled! They’re energetic and lively enough to be great fitness friends! Like with the Border Collie, if you don’t make sure this breed of dog gets sufficient exercise, you could be setting yourself up for chaos as the dog’s energy turns to destructive means for an outlet. Once again then, bringing the dog along for your workout is a good option for you and your canine companion. Do keep their shorter stature in mind though since they aren’t physically suited for some of the more intense workouts that other dog breeds are (Swalin, n.d.)!


Bernese Mountain Dogs. The Bernese Mountain Dog is yet another category of canines that’s been bred for hard work, and that work ethic and willingness to follow can show itself in how well they function as exercise companions! They’re strong enough to handle physical activity fairly easily, and they’re a particularly good choice to take on a mountain hike with you, should that be your exercise preference (“The 20 Best Active Dog Breeds,” n.d.). Their qualities get even better since they’re playful enough well into what should be adulthood to be fun exercise friends, and the ease of training of them means you can pursue your fitness with the confidence of knowing that they’ll stay close enough to not get lost.

Affectionate and strong, these dogs would be wonderful exercise comrades to bring with you for your outdoor fitness pursuits (“Bernese Mountain Dogs,” n.d.)!


Pointers. These dogs were bred to assist in hunting, which is actually an explanation in regard to their names. Pointers would point with their postures toward game, and that purpose is part of what makes them good potential exercise companions. The time Pointers spent on farms and on hunts have led to physical builds that make for a capable breed of dog, and they’re clearly able to be trained as they were groomed to point at game (“Pointers,” n.d.). In addition to these job-centered qualities that they bring to the table, their willingness to play and interact when off-duty, so to speak, gives them yet another character trait that could make for a fun, active fitness outing (“Pointers,” n.d.). They’re smart, friendly, and fit, making them great companions for your outdoor exercise goals!

Through careful exploration of breeds, you could find the perfect canine comrade for your fitness pursuits! If it’s not on the list, keep looking for the perfect one for you!

References

Berger, R. (n.d.) “The 20 Best Active Dog Breeds.” Outside. Retrieved from https://www.outsideonline.com/1857061/20-best- active-dog- breeds#slide-1

“Bernese Mountain Dog.” (n.d.) DogTime. Retrieved from http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/bernese-mountain-dog...

“Chesapeake Bay Retriever.” (n.d.) DogTime. Retrieved from http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/chesapeake-bay- retriever#/slide/1

“Pointers.” (n.d.) DogTime. Retrieved from http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/pointer#/slide/1

Swalin, R. (n.d.) “15 Best Dog Breeds for Active People.” Health. Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20841292,0...

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