HealthBeat

HealthBeat

Running with dogs

Runner’s World magazine is combining two of my favorite things this week: running and dogs.

Today, Runner’s World kicked off dog week and promised a week full of stories about running with dogs – from how to train your dog for running and what gear you should get for your pup.

I’m a regular runner, have been for years. But for the last year or so, my dog, Nema, has been by my side for nearly every run (except races).

We run in the rain and the snow, daylight and darkness (on those morning winter runs). She goes with me on shorter daily runs and longer, hilly runs.

Here's Nema after finishing her first 7-mile run

Here’s Nema after finishing her first 7-mile run

She’s a great running buddy.

As part of dog week, Runner’s World took a look at the top running dogs. According to Susan Dicks, an Albuquerque-based veterinarian and marathoner, there is no perfect running breed for all conditions.

They broke down the dog breed best for each condition. Here’s an abbreviated list of what they came up with (check out the story for the full list):

-Long steady runs (more than 10 miles): Weimaraners, goldendoodles, German shorthaired pointers.

-Brisk shorter runs (less than 10K): Greyhounds, pit bulls, golden and Labrador retrievers.

-Going fast (7-minute miles or faster): Vizslas, whippets, German shorthaired pointers

-Long slow runs: Catahoulas, Labrador retrievers, dalmatians.

-Running in the heat: Airedale terriers, fox terriers, Rhodesian ridgebacks.

-Running in the cold: Malamutes, German shepherds, Siberian huskies.

-Running on trails with obstacles: Border collies, weimaraners, Belgian sheepdogs.

-Most obedient on heavily used trails: Golden and Labrador retrievers, standard poodles, border collies.

My dog, Nema, is a Belgian malinois, a type of shepherd and a sheep-herding dog. She does great in most conditions, except for the hot weather days. (I haven’t taken her on any runs of sub-7-minute pace, so I’m not sure how she would do there.)

Any other runners out there with four-legged running buddies: What kind of dog do you run with?

Side note for those interested in building your dog’s endurance: Runner’s World offered a guide on how to safely train your dog to become your running buddy – great information to keeping your pup safe.

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

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