I love dogs and I love to walk. If you’re a dog parent, you probably feel the same way.
By walking your dog regularly, both you and your dog will enjoy numerous health benefits. You’ll also help curb any behavioral problems your dog may exhibit and, of course, walking helps keep dogs slim and healthy while ensuring they remain mentally and physically stimulated.
But, perhaps even more importantly, going for walks allow you to form an even deeper bond with your dog. Your dog learns to trust you and to follow your lead, and you enjoy the one-on-one time without the stress of everyday life.
Walking with your dog is a win-win situation no matter how you look at it. How, however, do you choose the breed of dog that is right for you?
A lot of people have told me they choose a particular breed based on such factors as:
- Some people want a teacup pup they can put in a purse and carry around with them while others prefer a large dog who can run alongside them on jogs. Still others would like a dog that is somewhere in between in size.
- Hair/fur type. Hair and fur type are an important consideration for many people, especially those who deal with allergies. While in reality there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, there are dogs who are less likely to cause allergy problems.
While both of those considerations are important and must be taken into consideration, as an experienced dog walker, I believe you should consider the dog breeds that may be your ideal walking partner before narrowing down the size or fur type. After all, you and your dog will go on countless walks together throughout his/her lifetime.
Once you’ve identified dogs who make great walking partners, you can narrow your perfect choice down by size and type of hair or fur.
Ideal Walking Breeds
What kind of walker are you? Do you prefer a brisk walk, or maybe even jogging, or are you more likely to go for a long, leisurely stroll?
Not all breeds can physically handle the fast-paced walks nor will all high energy dogs settle for a calm stroll. Identify your walking style then consider breeds.
High-energy dogs are perfect if you love to jog or to go for fast-paced walks. A high energy dog, either a full-blooded breed or a mix, will certainly challenge you to keep up to his/her pace. From my years of experience, I’ve developed some personal favorites, including:
- Australian Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Miniature Pinscher
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Standard Poodle
Do you prefer leisurely strolls around the neighborhood, where you can wander as slowly as you would like? Then consider a low-energy dog, such as the:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Great Dane
Do Your Research
While the breeds I’ve mentioned are my favorites, they are certainly not the only high-energy and low-energy dogs out there. Of course, you want to find a dog that meets your needs and that has the fur/hair length and is the size for which you are looking.
Start by doing some research online. A quick Google search of “high energy dogs” and “low energy dogs” will give you an idea of the types of breeds from which you can choose.
But, don’t take Google’s word for it. Once you’ve made a list of potential breeds that may be right for you, talk to individuals who work with or live with those breeds. For example, perhaps you love your long Sunday strolls and think a Beagle will be an ideal walking companion. Then talk to people with Beagle’s to ask about their personality and walking style.
Spend Some Time With the Breed
Many rescues and breeders welcome visitors to learn more about the breed. If you find a Beagle rescue, consider visiting and spending time with the breed. Remember, however, that all dogs have different personalities. You might find an Australian Shepherd, normally a high energy dog, who prefers a slower pace, due to personality, health, or some other issue.
Which breed is your perfect dog walking mate?
Jennifer Shafton, a native of Los Angeles and a USC graduate, currently lives in Sherman Oaks, California. She is a proud mom of two dogs: Beatrice, a beautiful English Bulldog, and Florence, a spunky French Bulldog. In 2004, she founded Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking and Pet Sitting which services over 200 clients in the San Fernando Valley. Rufus and Delilah has an impeccable 5 Star Yelp reputation and was voted Best Dog Walker on the L.A. Hotlist four consecutive years (2011-2014). Jennifer also writes articles on her Rufus and Delilah blog, which covers a variety of dog and cat related topics, as well as a weekly feature on an adoptable pet for a FuRRRRever home. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.