According to the CDC, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week. Reaching these targets improves and maintains long-term mental and physical health. Here is the fun part, studies published in 2013 and 2017 show that dog owners average 23 additional minutes, or an extra 2,760 more steps per day compared to non-dog owners. That’s right, having a furry bestie is actually pawsome for your health. Also, exercising with your pupper helps you forge a stronger bond with them.
That said, dog owners will tell you that not all dogs are created equal. You need to pick a dog breed that not only fits your lifestyle, but is also up to the challenge of an active routine. Remember that athletic dogs are only happiest when they are active. If you are looking to have an athletic lifestyle or if you already have one, then here are the top 10 most athletic dog breeds to choose from.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an extremely athletic dog that is also very com-fur-table with people. The dog was bred to be a lion hunter in Africa and has developed an efficient stride as well as a short, low-maintenance suit of armor to withstand heat while running. If you live in a hot environment, then the Rhodesian Ridgeback is the pawfect choice for you.
The Weimaraner is a high-spirited and extremely active running companion that loves open spaces. They have a hunting background which means that they are great jogging companions, and can also expertly navigate difficult terrain. Their low-maintenance grey coat helps them handle hot climates and active sports quite well, and will love to be your partner in whatever activity you enjoy.
Rat Terriers are an American dog breed valued for several skills and tendencies, including hunting, pest control, and as family dogs and farm dogs. What this means is that they are just as comfortable chilling at home on a couch as they are hiking or jogging. They are obedient, highly nimble and also have exceptional trainability.
The Greyhound is known for its pawtastic speed, anc can run at almost 44 miles per hour. If you are a sprinter, then maybe the Greyhound can help you push your athleticism to new heights. However, like any 100m sprinter will tell you, after a sprinting session, these pups need their rest, and have gained a reputation as being a 44-mph couch potato.
The Australian Shepherd was bred to be intensely focused, devoted, and energetic. These are pawfect traits for a hardworking herding dog who can run continuously for about an hour. Today, the Aussie is known to love dog sports like flyball, and tracking and obedience competitions, all of which can translate into any athletic endeavor you may wish to participate in with your furry friend.
The Labrador Retriever is another incredibly adaptable breed known to excel at rescue, service, hunting and competitions. This dog is smart, and needs to be mentally and physically engaged or else they will be destructive. Besides their adaptable nature and athleticism, the Labrador Retriever is also known to be America’s most popular breed. There is very little not to like about this athletic hound.
The Jack Russell Terrier was bred to be both smart and active. The JRT is great at dog competitions and loves to dig holes; activities that can easily be channeled into helping you meet your athletic goals. If their mental and physical energy is untapped, they can get destructive, which means this dog is great for owners that need extra motivation to get active.
The Border Collie not only has smarts and a strong work ethic, but they are also known to be almost obsessively athletic as well. They were bred to be champion sheep herders achieving almost any athletic endeavor with just as much ease. If you want a great companion to help you meet your athletic goals, then the Border Collie is a pawfect choice.
If you live in a cold environment, then the Siberian Husky is a furrific choice for you. These pups historically pulled sleds across long and difficult terrain, which means they are more than up for tackling the challenge of a long hike or run. They make great companions to help you meet your athletic goals while building a strong bond at the same time.
The Vizsla is known to be an all-rounder when it comes to leading an active lifestyle. They are great at hunting, pointing, and retrieving, and have loads of energy which makes them great athletic partners. If this energy is left untapped, they can become destructive. The Vizsla has exceptional trainability and forms very strong bonds with their owners, making them the perfect athletic partner.