Top 8 Small Dog Breeds for Running

We may receive commissions when you buy through links on our site. Read here.

Small Dog Breeds for Running
Caption: A man is running with his Beagle

If you’re an avid runner looking to adopt a small dog to join you in your daily running routine, then this article is for you! We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 small dog breeds that can keep up with you on the trail or road.

All the pooches in the list below have one thing in common. They love going on walks and runs!

So if your next addition needs to be able to go the distance with minimal fuss, then any one of these small dogs might just be perfect for you!

1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Caption: Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very popular breed originally used as herding dogs to drive livestock, anything from ducks and sheep to cattle.

And don’t be fooled by their size! While this breed doesn’t look like a good running dog, they are highly energetic, playful, and intelligent. With their extremely high level of stamina and endurance, they’re an excellent match for any jogger or hiker! And as a high-energy dog, Corgis absolutely love to be outdoors in the fresh air and can run for miles.

In fact, they will run alongside you for as long as you’re willing to do it, making them a perfect running partner for avid runners!

2. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Caption: Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are energetic, friendly, intelligent dogs initially bred to hunt foxes and pests like moles and rodents.

Extremely active, the Jack Russell Terrier makes great running partners. These feisty little fur balls crave exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They can run just as fast as your average dog but in shorter distances due to their small size. If you’re planning on running long distances, they will require more frequent breaks than larger breeds such as Border Collies and German Shorthaired Pointers.

Jack Russell Terriers love going on hikes, jogs, long walks, and even bike rides! Basically, anything active! They have energy beyond belief, so if you plan to bring one home with you, be prepared for lots of exercise!

3. Beagle

Caption: Beagle

Beagles are friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs with a playful and gentle nature. They have a soft spot for children and other dogs and are very affectionate towards their owners.

They have plenty of energy and enjoy going on walks and runs, and most importantly, they can run alongside you without getting tired too quickly! One thing, though, Beagles are notorious escape artists. So, make sure to keep a close eye on them. If not, you’ll probably never see them again!

And don’t let their stubborn personalities or high energy level discourage you from adopting this breed because, with proper training and adequate exercise (and lots of it), Beagles make a perfect family pet.

Read More: 5 Best Escape Proof Dog Harnesses

4. Whippet

Caption: Whippet

Whippets, the smaller version of Greyhounds, are highly active dogs originally used as hunting dogs to track hares, rabbits, and other small animals. This energetic breed is friendly, gentle, and affectionate towards everyone they meet! They are athletic yet calm enough to be perfect for families or apartment living.

With their slender bodies and long legs, they are built for speed! They love going on walks and runs alongside you during your workouts and will happily stick by your side regardless of how long it takes (as long as you stop once in a while so they can get some water)!

So if you’re looking for a running companion that can go the distance, then consider getting yourself a Whippet!

5. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog
Caption: Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs, also known as the “Sheltie,” are intelligent, friendly, fun-loving, and athletic dogs originally bred for herding.

These small but powerful pups are also very eager to please and will run alongside you as long as your legs allow! Plus, they are very adaptable, just like their Border Collie cousins! And like other breeds listed here, Shelties love going on hikes or runs with their human families. So they certainly are perfect for active families and those who like exercising!

However, they can be stubborn at times. So training may require some time, patience, and consistency on your part. And since this breed was originally used to herd livestock, these agile little furballs can be extremely active, and they can become destructive if not given enough exercise.

6. Papillon

Caption: Papillon

While Papillons were originally kept as lap dogs in France, they are active and playful little dogs with a lot of energy. In fact, they adore going on walks and jogs around the neighborhood!

This breed is sometimes called “butterfly dogs” because of its highly distinctive butterfly-like ears. They were made famous by Italy and Spain and were introduced to the United States in the late 19th century. And for a good reason. They’re friendly and easy to train! After all, they were once circus dogs.

These little furballs are also intelligent and affectionate towards everyone they meet, even strangers! Papillons love people so much that they will do anything to get your attention (who could blame them?), making it hard for them not to be a nuisance when you’re trying to work or study. The best thing for them is a family that can give them the attention they need.

7. Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle
Caption: Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodles are another intelligent and high-energy dog breed initially used to retrieve waterfowls.

They are loving, loyal, and absolutely adore their humans. These dogs are very popular in the United States, mainly because they are light-shedding and hypoallergenic. And that makes this breed the perfect pet for anyone with allergies.

But the question is, are they a good running canine companion? Well, there’s no doubt about it. Although they are no match for their larger counterparts, Mini Poodles are still very active dogs that can run up to three miles.

8. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier
Caption: Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers were originally used for hunting vermin like rats, snakes, and even squirrels.

This small dog breed is courageous, intelligent, active, and loves going on walks and runs with its human companion. So obviously, they’d make a great running buddy. And what makes them even better is that they are easy to train!

However, the only downside to owning this breed is that they can be a bit bossy and stubborn at times. But when it comes to having a running partner who’s always willing to run with you, these little pups will sure fit the bill!


There you have it, the top 8 small dog breeds for running! All these breeds offer different qualities and characteristics that make them great running partners. So if one breed isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, don’t worry. There are plenty of other small dogs on the list to choose from!

One thing, though, if you are looking for a dog to run a marathon with, these small dog breeds may not be the best option unless you plan on letting them perch on your back with a dog carrier backpack. And if you are seriously looking for a canine companion to run marathons or any other long-distance event with you, check out our other article, “Top 15 Dog Breeds for Running,” instead.

Thanks for reading this article! If you like it, then please share it with others who might find this helpful as well. Cheers!