Dogs and humans receive a pleasurable chemical reward for running, but this quirk of brain chemistry that makes both dogs and humans love running is not universal among mammals. Ferrets, for example, derive no such benefit. The scientists who conducted the study concluded that chemical changes from running and subsequent effects on the brain help endurance-running species enjoy running. The brains of dogs and humans are primed to like endurance running, which may have provided the evolutionary mechanism necessary for us to develop such skill at it.
This study shows that dogs and humans, unlike ferrets, achieve the runner’s high. A friend of mine who hates running believes the study also suggests that she is part ferret, but scientific evidence to support this claim remains elusive.
I’ve often wondered if Bucky would like to go on a run with me, but given his usual reaction to a walk (LEMME GO LEMME GO LEMME GO I NEED TO BE FREEEEES!) I think it’s gonna be a while before he accompanies me on my rounds. Here he is last winter, too much of a little princess to touch the wet ground with his paws: