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There’s no question that the life of a triathlete differs from your Average Joe. We multisport athletes tend to be high energy and on the go a lot, working to fit in training and all of our other daily responsibilities. If you’re a triathlete looking to add a dog to your family, it is important to consider not only your lifestyle, but also any expectations you may have for your future four-legged friend.
“Getting a dog is the start of a lifelong relationship, so it makes sense to choose a canine companion with a temperament and needs that suit your way of living,” explains Liz Devitt, a veterinarian based in Santa Cruz, Calif.
She emphasizes the importance of asking yourself, “What do I want to do with my dog?” If you’re looking for a running partner, a more active breed is best, but if you’re simply in search of a snuggle buddy, you should adjust your criteria.
“Just like any relationship, it’s easier and a lot more fun to start with someone who meets your needs than it is to try and change them to suit yourself,” adds Devitt.
Here are some of the best breeds to serve the various needs of triathletes. If you prefer a mutt, consider some of the characteristics of these breeds in identifying your perfect match.
Best running partner: Border collie
Border collies were bred to herd, so they are fantastic running partners. What’s more, they are whip-smart, making them trainable when it comes to trotting alongside you during a jog.
Best motivational training partner: Vizsla
Notorious for their high-energy nature, vizslas are known to be great running partners and loyal companions. Gentle and affectionate, they are always eager to put in training mileage. This is a breed that won’t allow you to slack off.
Best post-workout couch potato: Bulldog
If you want a dog with a chill demeanor who will require little in the way of exercise after you’ve logged a big workout, look no further than a bulldog. This is a breed that would usually rather cuddle on the couch than chase a ball around the backyard.
Best cheerleader: Labrador retriever
Not only are Labs excessively loyal, they also have boundless energy and a happy temperament. A Lab is usually up for joining you on a jog or sitting on the sidelines of a race, waiting to greet you with face licks if you’re willing to make a pit stop.
Top Products For Dog-Loving Triathletes
Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner $38, Stuntpuppy.com
Ruffwear Front Range Harness $40, Ruffwear.com
Zuke’s Power Bones $7 (6oz), Zukes.com
Ruffwear Beacon$20, Ruffwear.com
Kurgo Excursion Running Belt $30, Kurgo.com
Ruffwear Track Jacket $40, Ruffwear.com
Zuka Bowl $16.49 (large); $12.49 (small), Itzadog.com