For many people having a small dog is the most practical way to experience the love of man’s best friend, whether it be because of space limitations, budget constraints or just having fallen in love with a particular small puppy (I am personally an absolute sucker for the Tenterfield Terrier). But even for the most avid runner, small dogs can make excellent partners and a few in stand out as mini-athletes.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell is an extremely popular breed of small terrier, well known for their intelligence and active nature. Originally bred in England to flush foxes out from their underground homes during hunts, the Jack Russell was specifically bred to be a small dog that could keep up with larger hunting hounds on the run, giving it unique traits for a small breed. Their fearless natures means that you should be careful when running with them as they won’t be afraid to enter a melee with much larger dogs. The Jack Russell is actually one of the most durable running mates and can actually run for much longer than many other breeds. They are generally short haired making them capable in hot conditions.
Known more for as a beauty dog, to pamper and own as a status symbol, the Poodle is actually an admirable runner. Much quicker than most people would give them credit for and full of beans, the actual reality of poodle ownership is in stark contrast to the perception. Poodles were originally bred to be retrieving dogs so they are an active breed. Like all dogs, they are susceptible to arthritis in later life, which can be reduced with good weight control and exercise.
The Tenterfield Terrier is a close relative of the Miniature Fox Terrier and Jack Russell and has similar characteristics. These breeds were bred to flush out rats and other vermin out from their hiding places and have a fearless and tenacious nature. They are athletic and although their legs are short, they cover the ground well.
The Shetland Sheepdog or “Sheltie” is the smallest breed of herding dog, that is thought to be descended from small specimens of Scottish Collie and King Charles Spaniel. In appearance it definitely has resembles a small Collie, which gives it another nickname, the “Miniature Collie”. As a herding dog they require plenty of energy and so make excellent running buddies. While preferring herding and doggie sports, taking them on regular runs will provide plenty of stimulation for them and their obedience is remarkably high for their size group, meaning they are easy to run with.
So don’t discount the little guys. Some of them run even harder and longer than the big ones, and combined with high intelligence make excellent doggie running companions.
This article was contributed by Rob at http://www.aboyandhisdog.com.au/. A Boy and His Dog manufacture ethical dog grooming products including dog shampoos, sprays and conditioners.