First thing is first, not all breeds are made to be your running companion, and some dogs, just like some humans, will hate running. So if you are looking for a four legged running buddy, you will need to get a suitable breed, try to gauge if their personality is active, and then you will need to train them. Just like you most likely can’t run a marathon without training, neither can your dog.
Breeds like huskies and greyhounds were bred to run and will be great long distance running partners. Some other working dogs can also be naturally suited for running. However, if your pup has a squishy nose like a pug or bulldog will not be athletic enough to run with you since they are prone to overheating. I personally have a small dog and have found smaller dogs do not have the energy to go on longer runs. I’ve also found that they need to be trained to run with you even if they are on leash.
Before You Get to The Start Line
You will want to ease your dog into a running program. You can start with 2-3 miles 3-4 days a week with them in which you are going at a comfortable pace that you can communicate with them without being out of breath. Once you have got this down for a week you can try adding 0.5 miles incrementally and work your way up. You can also add another run on the weekends. It's important for you and your dog to take a rest day or two rest days a week.
If you just want to go on occasional runs with your pup during the weekend, you can send your dog to a dog running program so professionals can get your dog ready for your long weekend run. I love this option because it reminds me of moms dropping your kids off at cross country practice!
Find Your Running Partner
Let’s start out with going through the dogs that are best suited for long, steady runs. These include Weimaraners, German Shorthaired Pointers, Vizslas, Parson Russell Terriers, Dalmatians, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Border Collies, Portugese Water Dogs, Catahoulas, Standard Poodles.
The dogs that are best suited for short, brisk runs are great for your 5k rather than your half marathon. These include Greyhounds, Pit Bulls, English Setters, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Belgian Sheepdogs, and Pharaoh Hounds.
If you are into running longer distances but your running days are well behind you and you’ve slowed down Golden and Labrador Retrievers are great for you!
The climate you are running in not only affects what you wear and what time you run at but also which companion is best for you. If you are in a cold environment, Malamutes, German Shepherds, Swiss Mountain Dogs, Siberian Huskies, and Border Collies are great options. If you are in a warm environment, Vizslas, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Fox Terriers are great options.
And finally, if you are a trail runner rather than a roadrunner, Portugese Water Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Weimaraners, German Shorthaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Dalmatians are great trail buddies.
After You Cross the Finish Line
You want to fuel your dog with good quality food and plenty of water after runs. You can even try giving your dog CBD oil for dogs or CBD dog treats to help with any pain or inflammation that may naturally occur post run and with consistent activity.