Running and hiking can sometimes be rather lonely pursuits. It can be tricky finding friends or partners who match your athleticism or are available at short notice when you want to go hit the trails.
While some people love the solitude, I personally, find the addition of a furry four-legged pacer much more enjoyable. Poodle mixes have the potential to make great exercise buddies, although not all are as equally suited. In this article, we have pulled out three of our top picks of Doodles who will be quite happy to join you on your next adventure and equally be able to keep up too!
If you are looking for a Poodle cross to run and climb with, the good news is there are some great variations that are up to the job. The Standard Poodle itself has great attributes as an active dog and pairing it with another equally active breed is a recipe for success
Table of Contents
The Labradoodle is one of the first Poodle crosses that springs to mind when thinking of an active dog. The cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle brings together two strong breeds with a strong working dog history to give them the stamina to take on some of even the most grueling or prolonged workout sessions.
Labradoodles do come in different sizes depending on whether a Standard, Miniature, or Toy Poodle was used in the breeding. If you are looking for a dog to hike and run with it is advisable to consider a full-size standard Labradoodle or a Mini Labradoodle on the higher end of the height/weight range.
Standard Labradoodle: 50lbs to 90lbs / 20” to 26” in height
Mini/Medium Labradoodle: 15lbs to 50lbs / 13” to 20” in height
As an average guide a Labradoodle will be happiest with 1 to 2 hours of vigorous exercise a day although if regularly trained and used to longer distances, they will happily manage more.
The bouncy, exuberant nature of the Labradoodle means not only do they enjoy running and hiking, but it can also be a great way to tire them out and ensure you have a nice chilled dog at home. Just remember, just like us humans, your Labradoodle needs to build a tolerance to longer exercise.
Building up their running time gradually will avoid injuries and ensuring they have reached physical maturity before any particularly grueling hikes can avoid joint injuries or disorders.
You can also check out our full guide to running with your Labradoodle.
The Goldendoodle shares a lot of similar traits with the Labradoodle as it is the combination of another retriever breed and a Poodle. The Golden Retriever has a long history as a working dog too, meaning it supplies genetics primed for athleticism and endurance. Add this to the Poodle and you are onto a winner.
Goldendoodles are even friendlier than Labradoodles which means if socialized and trained well they will not be bothered in the slightest if you choose to train and hike in busier locations. Training should be focused on helping these lovable scruffs to ignore others and focus on their workout or your personal best will be going out the window while they attempt to stop and greet everyone.
Like the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle comes in different sizes dependent on Poodle parentage however the smallest variations are unlikely to be able to keep up with particularly active owners. We recommend a standard Goldendoodle or a larger Mini.
Standard Goldendoodle: 50lbs to 90lbs / 20″ -26″
Mini/Medium Goldendoodle: 25lbs to 50lbs / 15″ to 20″
Anecdotally, some Goldendoodle owners advise that after puppyhood they are slightly less demanding of daily exercise than Labradoodles. However, they still require a good 60 to 90 minutes a day to keep them out of mischief.
Goldendoodles who live with more active families or owners however will happily tolerate more prolonged activity and often thrive on it.
Goldendoodle have brains and inquisitive natures which means they are always on the go. They are capable of tremendous bursts of speed and will keep up with even the fastest sprint runner.
Many Goldendoodle owners report taking their dogs hiking. However, as a running buddy is where the Goldendoodle really seems to come into their own.
For those looking for a slightly more compact outdoor adventure buddy, the Aussiedoodle makes a great choice. The benefit of this dog over the slightly bigger and heavier Labradoodle and Goldendoodle is that they can be lifted easier which can be helpful for more challenging hikes or treacherous terrain.
The mix of the Australian Shepherd and Poodle creates a mid-sized dog that looks lean but packs some serious muscle to power lengthy outdoor pursuits. The Australian Shepherd has a history as a cattle dog having to cover vast areas and moving quickly, this energy and drive are not lost in the Aussiedoodle.
While there are some instances of smaller versions for the most part the Aussiedoodle is a match between an Australian Shepherd and a Standard or larger Miniature Poodle. This results in a fairly consistent mid-sized dog that is large enough to carry the muscle for prolonged exercise but lean enough to have some serious speed credentials.
Aussiedoodle: 25lbs to 50lbs pounds / 19” to 22”
Being a bit smaller than their Goldendoodle and Labradoodle counterparts, the Aussiedoodle can manage on around 1 hour of daily exercise. However, they will manage more with training. They can jump with the agility needed to cover uneven terrain with ease.
Most Aussiedoodles fall in the category of medium to high activity level. In addition to hiking and running with their human pals, Aussiedoodles also excel at dog-based sports like flyball and agility.
Are Standard Poodles Good Running Dogs?
The common factor in all our Doodle picks above is the presence of Poodle in their genetic make-up. This begs the question, are purebred Poodles good running dogs in themselves?
Standard Poodles may not be the first breed you think off when thinking of running. However, this is partly due to the fact that the Standard Poodle has found fame in the show ring. It is unlikely the perfectly coiffed show Poodle would be out hitting the trails but many domestic Poodle pets are great running companions.
It is not just the Poodle’s endurance and stamina that lend them to running. The Poodle is incredibly intelligent and alert, they are aware of their environment and often extremely in tune with their owners. This makes them ideal for seamlessly blending in with your running cadence while at all times looking out for potential threats or obstacles.
What are the Best Dog Breeds for Runners?
While we have picked some of the best Poodle cross mixes for running, it is worth mentioning that there are other options for runners. Interestingly some of the most well-known purebred dogs that are associated with running are not always particularly popular Poodle crossbreed options.
It may be assumed that the high-energy Poodle plus the most active breeds listed below may combine to make a dog that is overall too energetic for most domestic households.
Some of the most popular non-Poodle crossbreeds for running include:
Siberian Huskies and Malamutes
Bred to pull sleds across frozen tundra, running is hardwired into these dogs
Agile, muscular, and high energy, the Weimaraner will run for miles on end with the appropriate training.
German Short-Haired Pointers
Similar to the Weimaraner these short-coated dogs are solid endurance dogs.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback can expend some serious speed. Hailing from Africa, this breed was originally bred to chase lions!
There is a reason this dog is so often picked as a military or police dog. They are loyal to their owners and extremely active which makes them great for running.
What is the Best Dog for Hiking?
Most dogs who have the stamina and athleticism for running will be able to convert this to hiking with training and exposure. However, there are a few breeds out there that have particular prowess in scrambling and climbing.
The good news is the Poodle, the Labrador Retriever, and the Australian Shepherd all rank highly in the hiking stakes making our picks of the Aussiedoodle and Labradoodle great choices for hiking too.
If you want to look beyond the Poodle and Doodle family there are some other breeds synonymous with mountains. We’ve picked our top two below and also explained what the Doodle offering of them may be like.
This working dog has a history of herding livestock over hills and wide expanses of open pasture. There is of course the Doodle option of a Bordoodle who will possess similar traits
Bernese Mountain Dogs
If Mountain is in the name it stands to reason that this breed will do well in the wilds. The Bernedoodle variation is less inclined to be a long-distance runner due to their larger size. However, he will possess the stamina and strength to manage a fairly lengthy hike.