Dogs are a man’s best friend, and for many runners, they’re the perfect running companion. In fact, dogs generally make a great running partner because they love to be outdoors as much as their owners do! Also, they have no problem keeping up with a human’s pace, plus they will encourage their owners to keep going.
However, not all dog breeds are created equal when it comes to being a good runner. Some dogs may not enjoy running or will tire out quickly and may even pull you down on an incline, while some are built for speed and endurance on the trail.
The list below comprises 15 dog breeds who are perfect for running alongside their owner, thanks to their intelligence, strength, stamina, and love for the outdoors!
These dogs, which originated in Hungary, are very friendly and intelligent. They have a reputation as the “hunters’ friend” because they are tireless trackers.
Vizslas sometimes are called “Velcro dogs” because they love to stay close to their owners and like to be at the center of attention. They’re also very protective, so they’ll sound an alarm if a stranger comes near you or your family. Plus, they are an affectionate family dog who bonds well with children and gets along with other animals.
Best of all, this breed loves nothing more than running with its owner! The Vizsla is a great communicator and only needs to be told what to do once. These are muscular, lean dogs that require plenty of exercises. So make sure you can keep up with them!
2. Border Collie
Border Collies were bred in the border region between England and Scotland for herding livestock, such as sheep. These herding dogs enjoy working out daily and have proved their worth as both show dogs and race competitors because they have exceptional stamina, agility, and speed.
Border Collies are highly athletic and need plenty of exercises to stay happy and healthy. They can run incredibly long distances at a steady pace, making them a perfect running partner for shorter and longer-distance runs. In fact, Border Collies are one of the best breeds for ultramarathon!
However, you will want to keep an eye on your Border Collie when you’re running because these dogs tend to chase down small animals or cars due to their herding instinct. So it’s crucial to train them not to chase moving objects and don’t let them run without a leash (unless taught) in areas where they might get hurt or lost.
One thing is for sure. If you love the outdoors and have lots of stamina, this dog breed will surely match your pace!
These dogs are a mix between the scent hound and pointer breeds, so they’re great hunters. Weimaraners were developed in Germany over 200 years ago to hunt large game such as deer, boar, and bear.
Weimaraners have sleek lines, a short coat that comes in solid shades of silver-grey. And they have a sleek body and long legs, allowing them to run very long distances with little effort.
So if you’re looking for a good canine running partner who will keep up with your pace every time, no matter how fast you go, Weimaraners are a great choice! Like other hunting dogs, they have a very high energy level and can, unfortunately, turn into destructive pets if left alone for too long or without sufficient exercise.
Weimaraners are highly intelligent but can be a bit stubborn. They will challenge you mentally with their curiosity but will also not hesitate to show their affection. They make a great addition to any active family who enjoys long walks or runs regularly!
4. German Shepherd
These dogs were originally bred in Germany. German Shepherds are strong and healthy, rapidly growing dogs that are well suited to various dog sports, including canicross, agility, obedience, tracking, and herding.
German Shepherd Dogs are also very smart, which makes them easy to train. Plus, they are very energetic dogs, have great stamina, and can run very long distances without tiring.
Additionally, these dogs are fiercely protective of the human members of their pack and will remain by your side through thick and thin. Yes, literally! Meaning they also make excellent guard dogs who will bark at anything out of the ordinary, so let them know ahead of time what is allowed on your property!
Dalmatians originated in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, hence their name. They are best known for being featured as firehouse mascots and symbols.
While they may not seem like a great running companion at first glance, these dogs actually do very well at canicross races! They have tireless effort and would run along all day if you let them, which makes them a perfect dog breed for more competitive sports like racing or agility.
Like all high-energy breeds, Dalmatians need a variety of exercises to stay happy and healthy. These dogs are also highly intelligent, but they can be pretty stubborn when it comes to training. However, an assertive and consistent owner will help them rapidly learn necessary commands and tricks.
6. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds were initially bred in the United States to drive herds of livestock off large areas of land or into pens.
Aussies have a double coat, which protects them against extreme hot and cold weather, allowing them to stay outside year-round with minimal protection. They come in various colors, including red, black, tan/brown (red merle or tricolor), blue merle with or without one or more white patches.
This herding dog is super smart, loyal, and an energetic runner that enjoys being outside with their family, no matter if it’s a long walk or a shorter run on the beach or around your neighborhood at night!
7. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a noble appearance and are well-known for their ridge along the back, with a line of hair running opposite the rest of the coat.
Ridgebacks are used in hunting big game, which requires a high level of stamina and endurance, making these dogs more than capable of running long distances with their human companions! In fact, they are very eager runners who will greet you at the door every day with a wagging tail if you get up early enough to take them out for a run before work!
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are hardy dogs with a great thirst for knowledge. They can be described as intelligent, cautious, fearless, fun-loving, and obedient, although they can be aggressive towards strangers due to their strong predatory instincts. So, they should be socialized at a young age to learn how to deal with other people and dogs properly.
With proper training and exercise, they make wonderful companions who are alert protectors of their families.
Greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world, reaching speeds as high as 45 miles per hour, and have made a name for themselves in the racing community. Without a doubt, they make excellent companions for running.
These dogs were used for hunting rabbits and other small games in the past, which required them to have excellent sight and a keen sense of smell. Greyhounds also need lots of physical activity each day, so they are great companions for runners who enjoy galloping around the neighborhood or trotting through forests.
Greyhounds are extremely intelligent and fast learners, and these dogs thrive on attention and need constant physical and mental stimulation.
9. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers were originally bred in Newfoundland, Canada, as working dogs. They are very popular companion dogs in the United States, and it’s not hard to see why. These mellow, loving dogs love to spend time with their human companions at home or out on adventures!
Labradors make excellent family pets because they get along well with children and other animals. They are also known for being very intelligent and easy-going when compared to other dog breeds. In addition, they are very friendly towards strangers and will generally get along with everyone who gives them a chance.
Labs are definitely an active breed that needs lots of exercise each day, and they are more than happy to run next to their owners for miles. Along with being friendly towards everyone, Labradors have a high pain threshold and don’t mind getting dirty!
They are also very patient pups, easy to train, and can be anything from excellent hunting dogs or family pets to search-and-rescue dogs.
10. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are another gentle breed that loves to spend time with their human families. They are also one of the most popular and best family pets as they get along well with other dogs, cats, and children. They have a joyful disposition and are always ready for anything life throws at them!
Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and need to be given lots of attention and physical exercise each day. These friendly dogs are very attached to the people they care for and eager to please their owners. They will follow you around wherever you go and are certainly one of the best dog breeds for runners.
So, if you’re training for a marathon or simply want a companion dog who loves tagging along on runs, consider Golden Retrievers! They can even help keep an eye out for danger while you’re on the run.
11. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are gorgeous, energetic sled dogs who love to run and run some more. They are extremely active and curious pups who need a ton of exercise every day!
If you live in a place where there is snow on the ground all seasons of the year, then your Siberian Husky will be one happy pup! Their thick coats can help keep them warm and cozy no matter how cold the temperature gets outside.
These dogs are highly intelligent and independent thinkers who enjoy stimulating activities such as sledding, running, and hiking. If you want a dog who will always be ready for a run, Siberian huskies will be a good choice!
12. German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers were originally bred in Germany to be hunting dogs. They are outgoing, friendly, hardworking, and playful!
These athletic pups will often follow their owners around everywhere, like shadows. German Shorthaired Pointers love to exercise and will make great running partners if you want a canine companion to accompany you on long daily jogs or weekend runs!
GSPs need lots of physical activity each day to keep themselves happy and healthy. So if you have two hours of free time every day for running or another form of extended exercise outside, then these dogs will be perfect for you.
13. Standard Poodle
Standard Poodles are incredibly intelligent dogs who need plenty of physical and mental stimulation every day.
Being one of the smartest dog breeds, Poodles have the ability to be in tune with their owner and follow through with instructions. If you can keep up with them physically, then they will make great running partners!
Furthermore, these dogs love affection and crave lots of playtime with their owners each day! Their energy level is very high due to the fact that they were originally bred as hunting dogs. They will enjoy accompanying you on long runs where they can run off some steam outdoors in the fresh air!
14. Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bull Terriers are known for their tenacious strength, courage, and loyalty. They are also referred to as the “nanny dog” because of their gentle, playful, and loving nature towards children!
While Pit Bull Terriers may have a bad reputation due to their association with dog fighting rings in history, they have a sweet side with plenty of love to give their owners. They are so eager to please that they will do whatever they can to stay out of trouble!
If you want an energetic breed with incredible strength and endurance and will stick by your side like glue no matter where you go, Pit Bulls are a great choice. They will always be there for you and will make running with you a fun and enjoyable experience!
15. American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are known for their strength, athleticism, loyalty, and courage. They are also commonly referred to as AmStaff, Staffy, or “pit bull” due to their breed history of fighting dogs in dog fighting rings.
Like Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers are another breed that has a bad reputation and has also faced their fair share of discrimination by media who portrayed them as aggressive dogs.
American Staffordshire Terriers are strong, sturdy dogs who love nothing more than to exercise all day long! Their muscular bodies make them powerful runners, so if you want an athletic, fun partner on your next run, these dogs have what it takes to keep up with you no matter how fast or slow you go!
Qualities Make Good Running Dog Breeds?
Running with your dog can be a great way to spend quality time together and can benefit both you and your pooch’s physical and mental health! However, there are some key things that you should look for when selecting the right breed.
Obviously, you will want to consider the size of the breed when selecting one. Different dog breeds are best suited for different running styles and distances. If you plan on running long-distance with your pooch, it’s best not to choose a small dog, as it can be hard for them to keep up!
It’s important to ask yourself why you plan on taking your dog running with you. If it’s just for fun and exercise purposes, this factor won’t matter as much as if you intend to enter competitions where endurance plays an important role.
You need to be able to run a decent distance with your dog before either of you begins to tire out so that the run remains fun and enjoyable for both you and your canine companion! Remember, running can take its toll on both humans and dogs. So if there is even the slightest doubt about whether or not your dog will be able to keep up with you during a run, then you should probably think twice!
Intelligence is one attribute that many people overlook when considering an excellent running dog breed. The smarter the dog is, the easier it will be for you to train them. Intelligent dogs can easily follow directions from their owners, making your daily running routines much easier!
Agility refers to a dog’s coordination and ability to follow through with instructions quickly in any environment. If you notice that your dog does not listen well or takes too long to respond during training sessions, then this could become problematic while running together.
While speed is not as important as stamina or endurance, it is still an essential quality to look for simply because no one likes a slow partner on their runs, after all!
Types of Dogs Runners Should
When picking the right furry running buddy, you will want to steer clear of certain dogs.
1. Toy Breeds
Toy dog breeds are not great for running because they do not have enough physical endurance. While you may be able to run a few miles before you get tired out and need a break, they will probably require several breaks before the run is complete due to their small size and low stamina level!
2. Aggressive or Fearful Dogs
You should never bring along aggressive or fearful dogs on a run because you cannot trust them to behave themselves in unfamiliar surroundings with other people around! Your dog needs to listen when instructed, and if there is any doubt that your dog could cause harm to another person, you should keep them at home during your runs!
3. Dogs With Chronic Health Problems
If your pup has any chronic medical conditions such as asthma or joint issues, it is best to stay away from running because the extra strain can negatively affect their overall health!
4. Dogs Who Have Undergone Surgery Recently
Dogs who have recently undergone surgery should not participate in intense physical activities such as running right after their operations due to healing time requirements. They may also experience pain while moving around, which can lead to discomfort during the entire run!
A Word of Caution
Remember that just because some breeds are known for being great runners does not mean that they will end up being the perfect match for you specifically! Each individual dog is different, and it is vital to consider the dog’s temperament before deciding on a breed. It would be a shame to bring home the wrong type of dog just because they are good at running!