23 of the Best Dog Breeds for Running: Which One is Right for You?

Last Updated on April 24, 2023

Are you an avid runner? Are you training for a marathon, or do you simply like jogging through trails?

Regardless of why you run, it’s always fun to have a running buddy. Dogs make excellent running partners, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best dog breeds for running.

A Greyhound sprinting
A Greyhound sprinting at full speed in a race

If you’re looking for the perfect pup to run with, then keep reading.

Are Dogs Good Running Partners?

Yes, dogs are excellent running companions for humans. Plus, it’s healthy for them too. So while running is physically healthy for us, it’s physically and mentally good for dogs, as well.

Running can help dogs maintain their weight, improve muscle tone, build endurance, and is a great outlet for their energy.

Depending on the breed, your doggo can run long distances with you. You’ll need to keep an eye on them when they begin to get tired, though. Be wary of pushing your pooch too far.

On the other hand, your dog’s energy should match your energy for easy running sessions together.

How to decide which dog breed is the perfect running partner for you

A woman running with a Labrador Retriever
A woman runs with her Lab

How can you tell a dog breed will make a great running buddy for you?

Most dogs that are good for running are herding dogs or hunting dogs. These pups are hard-working, enjoy the work, and have no problem spending lots of time outside. 

In addition, they typically have high prey drives and can run at top speeds to help them get their work done quickly and efficiently. 

So, when it comes to choosing a running buddy, you’ll want to research dog breeds that can fit your lifestyle.

For example, if you enjoy running long distances over peaceful jogs on a trail, then some dogs will be better suited for that than others.

One trait of a good running dog to watch out for is size. Whether your pooch has long legs or short legs, it may be harder for some breeds to keep up. In addition, large dogs, as they get older, may develop joint issues.

In addition to size, your dog’s structure is another trait to think about. For example, dogs with an elbow, hip, or back issue should not go running. Before taking your dog out for a run, get a thorough check-up from the vet first.

Speaking of structure, Snout length is another trait. Dogs with short snouts may find it harder to catch their breath when running long distances or too fast.

Coat type also matters. Thick coats may do well in cold weather but may cause overheating in warmer climates.

Finally, you want to consider your goals and your dog’s energy and desires.

For example, if you wish to run long distances or are training for a marathon, you’ll want a different breed than if you wanted to simply go for a jog a couple of times per week.

Regardless of what you want, every dog has a different personality. So, they may be well suited for running, but they may not want to.

Which Dogs Make Good Running Partners?

A man and a woman running with their dog
A couple run with their doggo

Similar to humans, the size and shape matter when choosing a dog as a running partner. Endurance comes more naturally to herding dogs such as Border Collies and Cattle Dogs, who were bred to cover long distances on a farm.

So, here are some of the best dog breeds for running for your consideration.

The best Small Dog breeds for Running

Can small dogs be running partners? Yes, they can! Let’s take a look at some of these small, energetic pups who enjoy exercising and running.

1. Fox Terrier

A Fox Terrier standing
Source: @hazelthefoxterrier / IG

The Fox Terrier is a friendly and energetic dog breed. They’ll be able to handle running in the heat and love adventure. So, they’ll run alongside you during a running session.

However, be careful when they’re off-leash, as they’ll continue running.

2. Jack Russell Terrier

A leashed and smiling Jack Russell Terrier
Source: @jp_moreira / IG

The Jack Russell Terrier has boundless energy. You may think that due to their size, they won’t make a great running partner. However, it’s quite the opposite.

This doggo is adventurous and will be excited to run long distances.

3. Parson Russell Terrier

A Parson Russell Terrier sitting on the grass
Source: @zorrotheparson / IG

As a small dog, the Parson Russell Terrier enjoys playing. They’re eager and active, which allows them to be great running companions.

Don’t let their small size fool you – this doggo can handle long, steady runs. This pooch is a hunter, though, so you’ll need to keep them focused on the run rather than sniffing out prey.

Best Medium Breeds For Running

Many medium-sized dog breeds will make great running partners, as well. Here are some of them:

4. Australian Cattle Dog

An Australian Cattle Dog puppy running
An Australian Cattle Dog puppy runs outdoors

The Australian Cattle Dog is a natural worker, herding, and athlete. They have boundless energy and will be the first to suggest going on a run.

If you go running with this doggo, they will push you to the end. They enjoy having some sort of work to do, and going on long runs will do the trick for them.

5. Australian Shepherd

An Australian Shepherd running
An Aussie runs on the grass

Australian Shepherds are an agile breed. This doggo will do well running along a trail that has obstacles. They’re quick-thinkers and will enjoy the challenge.

Australian Shepherds are an energetic dog breed and will run all day long with you if they could.

6. Belgian Sheepdog

A Belgian Sheepdog standing outdoors
Source: @thebelgianandtheborder / IG

The Belgian Sheepdog will do well on brisk, short runs, though they have much energy to burn. So, quick runs here, and there will do them well.

However, this doggo is a herding dog and may tend to nip at you while running to keep up. Luckily, they’re highly trainable dogs, so you can nip that in the bud.

7. Border Collie

A Border Collie running
A Border Collie runs at an oval

The Border Collie can handle running in the cold weather, as long as there’s no snow. The snow may get trapped in their fur, thus making them too cold.

Otherwise, this pooch is quick, athletic, and energetic about long-distance running at a steady pace. 

8. Dalmatian

A Dalmatian running on the grass
Source: @luka.101dal / IG

The Dalmatian will certainly enjoy going on a long run with you. This spotted pup can go long distances at a steady pace.

They tend to pound the ground, so it’s best to stick to soft trails if you don’t want people to know you’re coming. Overall, Dalmatians love to exercise and will be happy to run alongside you.

9. English Setter

A English Setter running
An English Setter runs in summer

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), English Setters are gun dogs with a perfect blend of strength and stamina.

This pooch will do well on short, brisk runs. They’re active and enjoy playing, so going on a quick run with you will allow them to get some exercise and unleash some energy.

10. English Springer Spaniel

An English Springer Spaniel standing on a rock
Source: @jinky_springerspaniel / IG

English Springer Spaniels need plenty of physical and mental activity. So they will enjoy joining you on a run or jog. This pooch always wants to spend time with their family and go on adventures.

11. German Shorthaired Pointer

A German Shorthaired Pointer standing
Source: @justamooseandhisbear / IG

The German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog who will do well as a running companion. They can go long distances and will enjoy going fast.

In addition, this pooch has high energy, so tagging along with you on a running session will be ideal for them. Plus, they’ll be just as happy to spend some time with you.

12. Siberian Husky

A Siberian Husky standing on a log
Source: @merlin.the.siberian / IG

Siberian Huskies can run in any season, but their thick coat will allow them to exercise in the cold. They are quick and enjoy the work and exercise of running alongside you.

They have high athleticism and will make an excellent running companion. 

13. Standard Poodle

A Standard Poodle standing
Source: @kylie_and_kim_thespoos / IG

If you’re looking for some excitement on your run, then be sure to bring along a Standard Poodle. These dogs will make the run interesting and make it more fun than it already was.

They’re good for long, steady runs and can even handle puddles and rain, thanks to their water-resistant coat.

14. Vizsla

A Vizsla running in a field
A Hungarian Vizsla running in a field

Vizslas are other great dog breeds for runners. They’re versatile and can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

This doggo can last longer distances and can handle running in warmer climates. They can go for steady runs or go fast. This energetic breed needs at least an hour of daily exercise, so running is ideal.

Best Large Breeds for Running

While there are some downsides to having a large dog breed as a running buddy, they can make an awesome canine companion regardless. As they get older, be mindful of their joints. 

15. Alaskan Malamute

An Alaskan Malamute sitting
Source: @azaimalamute / IG

The Alaskan Malamute is a working dog who was bred to be a sled dog. They are strong and have a thick coat that’s built to keep them warm in cold weather.

So, if you enjoy going for runs in the winter, then this doggo will be a great running companion for you. Alaskan Malamutes enjoy working and exercising.

16. Belgian Malinois

A Belgian Malinois standing
Source: @a.crvz / IG

No matter the weather, the terrain, or the speed, the Belgian Malinois will make a great running partner. They are hard-working and enjoy being with their owners. This doggo will be more than happy to go on a long run with you. 

17. Doberman Pinscher

A Doberman Pinscher at a park
Source: @lucha.thedobiebrothers / IG

Doberman Pinschers were bred to be working dogs. However, they have the energy and the stamina to keep up with their dog owners in the long run. They’ll enjoy going on runs as they need a lot of physical and mental activity. 

18. German Shepherd

A German Shepherd standing in a forest
Source: @mydogwillow_ / IG

The German Shepherd is another dog breed that will do well running in the cold weather. They are intelligent and enthusiastic in anything they do.

This doggo will certainly enjoy running alongside you. Plus, they need the exercise, so it’s good for them, too.

19. Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever running
A Golden Retriever happily runs under the summer sun

Golden Retrievers are gentle large dogs that are friendly and get along with anyone. These family dogs will also make a great running partner, no matter the distance.

This pooch can keep up with you for a brisk run at shorter distances or long-distance running at a slower pace.

20. Greyhound

A Greyhound standing in a flower field
Source: @mojo_and_basima / IG

Greyhounds used to work on the racing track, so you may think they’ll be the perfect canine companion for running. However, while this gentle breed can go fast, they do better with sprints.

Therefore, this large doggo will prefer to go on brisk runs that cover short distances. These runs will be great exercise for them, but they won’t tack on many miles with you.

21. Labrador Retriever

A Labrador Retriever standing on the grass
Source: @lucylablou / IG

Similar to the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retrievers will also do well as a running partner. They can go for long jogs or short runs.

Regardless, this friendly dog will simply enjoy spending time with you. In addition, they’ll also get some energy out.

22. Rhodesian Ridgeback

A Rhodesian Ridgeback standing by a lake
Source: @louitheridge / IG

If you live in a warmer climate, then you’re in luck. The Rhodesian Ridgeback will be a great running partner in the heat.

This doggo can go long distances at a steady pace. With their long legs and stamina, they can go a little bit longer if needed.

23. Weimaraner

A Weimaraner standing in a field
Source: @koda.rex.weim / IG

The Weimaraner is a great running partner as they love being right by your side. They also need plenty of daily exercise due to their high energy levels.

In addition, this doggo needs a fair amount of mental stimulation. Going fast on long runs or trails is ideal for this large pup.

Other Dog Breeds for Running

Two Beagles running
Source: @sean.the.beagle / IG

There are more dog breeds where that came from. If none of the dogs listed above seem to tickle your fancy, other pups will make great running companions. You can check them out below. 

  • Airedale Terrier
  • American Foxhound
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Borzoi
  • Brittany Spaniel
  • Catahoulas
  • Eurohound
  • Pharaoh Hound
  • Pit Bull
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Rat Terrier
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
  • Shiba Inu
  • Sloughi
  • Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Wire Fox Terrier

What are Tips to Follow Before You Start Running With Your Dog?

The number one tip to follow before starting to run with your dog is to start slow.

Make sure you and your dog are on the same page regarding pace and energy levels. The run won’t be successful if one of you gets winded before the other.

Begin running 2-4 miles about 3-4 days per week. Once both you and your dog can manage that easily, then you can add on half a mile or ten minutes to your run.

No matter how far you run or how long it takes, it’s always a good idea to have a day or two of rest in between running sessions.

In addition, just because you’re on the move doesn’t mean your dog might not go the bathroom in the middle of a run. If they do, take the time to pick it up. 

What time of day should you run with your dog?

The time of day will depend on the weather and your dog’s coat. Morning runs or evening runs are best to avoid overheating.

On the other hand, afternoon runs are best in the winter to avoid freezing.

What should you carry during your run with your dog?

When heading out for a run with your furry friend, be sure to bring a couple of things.

For one, poop bags are a good idea in case your doggo has to go in the middle of the run. A waist leash is helpful so your pooch can stay close, but it’ll keep your hands free.

If you’re going to be out for a while, a travel water bowl and water bottle is ideal for bringing so you and your doggo can stop and get a quick drink.

You can also bring training treats, especially if your dog isn’t used to running with you just yet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Greyhound Labrador Retriever mix playing on a hill
Source: @erintookyourdog / IG

Are mixed breeds good running partners?

Running partners aren’t limited to purebreds. If you find a mixed dog breed that has any of these dogs as a parent, then you can bet they’ll be a good contender as a running buddy.

Which breed of dog can run the fastest?

The Greyhound is the fastest dog breed in the world, with a top running speed of about 45 miles per hour (72.4 km/h). It gets its speed from its long legs, flexible spine, slender bones, big muscles, and small waist.

This pup is an excellent athlete and is best known for running in races.

How old should a dog be to go running?

A veterinarian recommends that you do not take your dog running until its growth plates are closed. The timing of this will vary, depending on the dog breed.

However, it’s typically between the ages of 18 to 24 months.

Puppies’ bones and muscles aren’t fully developed, so taking them for a run will hurt them. On the other hand, senior dogs may still enjoy a good run, but their muscles and joints may wear down on them quicker. 

Do dogs need running training?

Similar to humans, dogs need running training as well. Not only do they need the training, so they don’t overexert themselves, but the training will also help the two of you stay on the same page.

In addition, your dog also needs to be well-trained on the leash. For example, you can teach your pooch certain commands to “go faster,” “slow down,” or “stop.”

So not only do they need to be mentally ready to go running with you, but they also need to be physically fit.

Before going on a run with your dog, be sure to talk to your vet about it first.

What should you do if your dog pulls?

If you don’t want your dog to pull, then a no-pull harness will be useful to have. In addition, work on leash training with your pup. Teach them to stay close by and go on shorter runs until your dog gets the hang of it.

Which dog breeds are not ideal for running?

Despite this long list, there are some dog breeds to avoid if you want a running partner.

For example, the Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Corgi, Dachshund, French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, and Shih Tzu aren’t ideal runners.

There are a few reasons for this. For instance, a Dachshund has a long back and short legs that can be fragile when running too much.

In addition, the folds and wrinkled faces of a Bulldog or Pug make it hard for them to breathe and may even cause overheating.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to stick with the breeds listed above.

Which Dog Breed For Running is Best?

A boy running with a Golden Retriever puppy
A boy runs with his Goldie pup

As you can see, all dog breeds are different. Every dog is an individual. While a certain breed may be well-suited for running, their personality might say otherwise.

When searching for the right running partner for you, doing your research on the breed will help. In addition, you can talk to your veterinarian to see what kind of running exercise your doggo will excel with.

Whether your pooch prefers to run at top speed or they like a light jog along the lake, running together is a great bonding moment for the two of you.

It’s a great physical and mental activity, and it’s also a learning and training opportunity for your dog.

Which dog breed do you think is right for you to run with? Let us know in the comments below!

Further reading: Other Dog Breeds to Fit your Lifestyle

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