When choosing a dog to weave into the fabric of your active life, careful consideration is important to ensure your furry friend meets your expectations.
The most important thing to consider is your lifestyle and what you want your dog to be able to do. Considering whether you want them to run miles with you, swim laps of the beach, sit quietly while you practice yoga or be a bit of an all rounder, will fast track you to choosing the right canine friend for your activity level.
In terms of different dog breeds, much like humans, not all are born equal in their sporting prowess. While fitness can be improved upon, general ability often has a genetic component and this should be considered when picking a breed.
For the avid runners out there that want their four legged friends beside them, consider sporting or working breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Kelpies, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds or Hungarian Vizslas. These breeds are often also keen swimmers.
Ones to avoid for this level of activity are the brachycephalic breeds, being all the ‘squish faced’ dogs such as Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs. If you’ve ever owned one or even stood next to one, you will know that they have difficulty breathing. This is due to their distinctive faces causing a degree of airway compromise, meaning swimming and extensive endurance type exercise (particularly in the Australian climate) are not recommended.
Most breeds are suited to an all rounder type lifestyle, but remember that the working or sporting breeds may need a little extra exercise so be prepared to spend some time burning energy in the dog park. Furthermore, if you are in the market for a dog that is happy to sit beside you during your yoga sessions then consider adopting an older dog with a little less energy.
While there are no hard and fast rules for picking the right dog for your lifestyle, careful consideration of what you want your dog to be able to do will help you make a better choice. Remember that rescue dogs are always a good choice and there are many different breeds and crossbreeds to choose from.
Finally, don’t forget that just like us, our dogs age and so the level of activity in their lives will need to be reduced overtime to keep them happy and healthy.
TEAM SPORTELUXE TIP: Do you own a dog already? Check out the fantastic (and fun) new Ask Pawl online video advisory service created by PAW by Blackmores. It offers a virtual ‘pet naturopath’ who supports animal owners with health advice and natural wellness solutions. A great first port of call before heading to the vet!