Golden Retrievers as Running Buddies

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I’ve just been speaking to a friend who has a Goldie, and she was asking if they were good to run with. In a nutshell, yes, but you need to choose your dog carefully.

Golden Retrievers were bred to bring back waterfowl that were shot during a hunt. So, they are an active breed that is keen to work with people. That’s two points in their favour. They are cheerful and willing, and are easily trained. Three more ticks for this breed as a running buddy. If you start running with your Goldie when he is mature, and build up the distance gently, he will be an ideal companion when you hit the road.

What do you need to look out for if you want to buy a Golden Retriever to run with? These dogs are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. A running dog needs four sound limbs, so you won’t be able to run with a Goldie with either of these conditions. The most important thing you can do to avoid this, is to do your homework before you buy a Goldie puppy. Both hip and elbow dysplasia are hereditary conditions. Golden Retriever breeders are doing their best to reduce their incidence in the breed by carefully screening adult dogs before they are mated. Hips and elbows are x-rayed and given a numerical score, based on the degree of dysplasia. Only those dogs with low scores should be used for breeding.

Responsible dog breeders will be able to show you the results of such testing on their dogs, and be able to discuss with you the suitability of their lines as a running companion. If they can’t, then don’t buy a pup from them, no matter how tempted. You are setting yourself up for heartbreak when you have to leave your dog at home when you go out for a run.