If you're looking for a walking buddy, you have lots of choices. All dogs love to go for walks, so it's hard to narrow a search to just a few breeds. Choose a high-energy, easily trainable breed or a combination of those breeds. Select a dog that's friendly and happy-go-lucky.
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Some of the dogs from the hound group would make good walking buddies if you like to take slow, leisurely strolls. Greyhounds, pharaoh hounds, coonhounds and Afghan hounds are all good choices. Otterhounds may not be a good choice because they can be hard to train and have high-maintenance coats. Basset hounds, despite their short legs, are also good walking dogs but will be distracted by all the scents around him. Hounds like to follow their noses and will sniff the ground a lot, so if you are looking for a dog that will run alongside you, this may not be the best choice.
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Most dogs from the sporting group, such as golden retrievers, Chesapeake Bay retrievers or Labrador retrievers, pointers, and setters would make great walking buddies. These dogs are known for their amiable personalities and affinity for spending time with their families. The Weimaraner is a low-maintenance dog, great with kids and considered easily trainable. Retrievers are also great family dogs who are highly energetic and athletic -- but some, such as the golden and Chesapeake Bay, require a great deal of coat maintenance. The same goes for the setters; but most pointers are short-haired and require very little grooming.
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Most of the dogs in the working group are large and muscular, so be prepared to spend some time and energy training them to heel. Your efforts will pay off when you walk down the street with one of these impressive dogs by your side. The working group includes the dogue de Bordeaux (think Turner & Hooch), a massive dog with a great personality. It requires moderate daily exercise. The Great Dane, the rottweiler, the boxer and the Doberman pinscher are all good choices that require minimal maintenance. Large and giant schnauzers are also good walking dogs but require a lot of grooming to keep their coats shiny and free of tangles.
Terriers come in all shapes, sizes and colors but have one thing in common: They are feisty and ready-to-go -- anywhere, anytime. If you are searching for a smaller dog, you will find several choices among the terrier group with great stamina. This group includes the rat terrier, the wirehaired fox terrier and the West Highland white terrier (the westie). Larger terriers such as the American staffordshire terrier or the Kerry blue terrier are also great walking dogs as they are easy to train and love to spend time with their family. The Staffordshire bull terrier is highly intelligent and people-oriented.
Michelle A. Rivera is the author of many books and articles. She attended the University of Missouri Animal Cruelty School and is certified with the Florida Animal Control Association. She is the executive director of her own nonprofit, Animals 101, Inc. Rivera is an animal-assisted therapist, humane educator, former shelter manager, rescue volunteer coordinator, dog trainer and veterinary technician.