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Best Running Dogs: The 20 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Posted on May 12 2021

Dog is running

If you've been noticing a lot more people jogging in your local park, you're definitely not alone. Long-distance and short-distance running are both incredibly health-promoting forms of exercise, and following the global restrictions that have put much of the world at a standstill in 2020 and 2021, more and more people are taking up the hobby for the first time.

Among these newer, more casual runners, there are also dog owners wondering for the first time whether their pup would enjoy running with them and would be able to keep up the pace, as well as prospective dog owners that are specifically looking for dog breeds who enjoy running long distances just as much as they do.

Now, it's no secret that the vast majority of dog breeds not only love but need regular exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. But that doesn't necessarily mean that your Chihuahua or Pug will be able to keep pace with a committed runner, even when it comes to running short distances or sprints.

So, what are the best dog breeds for runners to seek out? 

Whether you're trying to run more and think you'd benefit from having an energetic breed by your side or you're an experienced runner looking to make the hobby even more enjoyable with a loyal pup appreciating it with you, look no further than this handy list to figure out the perfect dog breed to run with!

Do Dogs Make Good Running Partners?

Generally speaking, most dogs tend to make for excellent running partners: Their high-energy disposition makes them perfect for all types of outdoor exercise, their physicality is designed to sustain high-intensity runs, and they are always eager to keep up the pace if it means following their beloved owner.

No matter their size and breed, dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy and adequately stimulated. Regular exercise can naturally help curb behavioral problems (bored dogs make for unhappy, problematic dogs) as well as ensure they're kept in shape and safe from a variety of health issues.

In fact, if an adult pooch seems to not enjoy their daily walks or actively tries to avoid them, that's usually a sign of an underlying physical or behavioral issue needing to be promptly examined.

The exact amount of exercise your pup is going to need will, however, largely depend on their breed. More energetic, bigger, and more muscular dogs like German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are going to need over two hours of daily exercise, while smaller breeds like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas will only need thirty minutes of active outdoor playtime instead.

What Dogs Like to Run?

Dog Runs in Water

So, knowing that most adult breeds need between one and two hours of daily exercise, how can you pick the best dog breed for running?

Your search for the perfect companion will have to start by identifying the dog breeds that love running the most, are more likely to follow their owner without distractions, and can easily sustain long-distance runs on a regular basis.

We've put together a handy list of the dog breeds that are generally considered "running dogs" by canine experts, largely due to their stamina, physicality, and ease of training. See if you can spot your beloved pup and start taking them with you on your next run, or save the information for a later time when you're ready to pick your next loyal companion, in life and in exercise!

Border Collie

Border Collies are some of the most energetic dogs in the world, and they'll be able to support you every step of the way, even if you're training to run a marathon!

Thanks to their intelligence and enviable stamina, a loyal Border Collie makes for the perfect dog to train to run long distances, even on difficult terrains like thick forests and mountains.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are well-known for their high energy and loyalty, having been bred as working dogs for generations.

Muscular and agile, German Shepherds make for great running companions for long distances, and they will run obediently alongside you no matter the distractions you might encounter along the way.

Doberman Pinscher

Known for their natural agility, incredible intelligence, and powerful muscular build, Doberman Pinschers make for some of the best running buddies for sprinters and marathoners alike.

Dobermans love to exercise, and they need constant mental and physical stimulation, so they'll be perfect for bringing along to all sorts of other outdoor activities, too!

Labrador Retriever

The affectionate Labrador Retriever makes for the ideal candidate for exercise enthusiasts, as it is one of the most active and high-energy dog breeds in the world.

Labs are known to be playful, loyal, and quite easy to train, making for incredibly enthusiastic pups that you can take along for a long run.

Australian Cattle Dog

As one of the most outdoors-loving working dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog possesses all the herder qualities a running enthusiast could ever ask for.

Athletic, intelligent, and incredibly easy to train, Australian Cattle Dogs will use your run as the perfect mental stimulation for their job-oriented disposition.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies and Malamutes alike are some of the fastest and most enduring dog breeds in the world, making for ideal jogging and marathon partners.

Of course, Huskies were originally bred as sled dogs, so they are naturally fit to run long distances even in incredibly cold weather and adverse conditions.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Stocky and far from the idea of a slender running dog, the American Staffordshire Terrier makes for an unexpected entry into the best dog breeds for runners list.

This breed is, however, well-equipped for short-distance running and sprints thanks to its athleticism, working dog focus, and boundless energy.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is another athletic breed that loves running with their owner.

This breed will easily keep up with you while on a long-distance run thanks to their innate speed, agility, and muscle mass.

Jack Russell Terrier

When it comes to running dogs, small doesn't necessarily mean less apt for tackling long distances!

The energetic Jack Russell is the perfect example of a small and incredibly fast runner, great for long-distance runs and sprints alike.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known as affectionate and loyal family dogs, but their natural athleticism and energy are just as worthy of note!

Intelligent and loyal, Golden Retrievers are a breeze to train, and they will follow alongside you with boundless energy.

Greyhound

Greyhounds are considered the fastest dog breed in the world in terms of innate speed, making for the perfect companion for sprinters.

Weimaraner

Weimaraners were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they possess a job-oriented disposition and natural athleticism that make running with you feel incredibly fun and enjoyable.

As they have great stamina and adaptability, Weimaraners are perfect buddies for short-distance and long-distance joggers alike.

Pit Bull

Muscular and energetic, Pit Bulls are natural runners with enviable stamina and speed.

This loyal breed can keep up with speeds of up to twenty-five miles per hour, making for great short-distance running partners and sprinting companions.

Malinois

The Malinois is yet another herding breed that needs regular intense exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Thanks to their strong build and innate focus, Malinoises will keep up with you throughout short and medium distances.

Springer Spaniel

The adorable Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels also make for great running companions, able to run as much as twenty-five miles per hour.

Eager to please their owner and easy to train, these breeds are perfect for short-distance running and casual jogging.

German Shorthair Pointer

German Shorthair Pointers are great dogs for active owners, thanks to their hunting dog endurance, comfortable short-haired coat, and job-oriented mind.

These hunting dogs are energetic, friendly, and obedient, but they might need a little extra training to avoid distractions.

Vizsla

Thanks to their hunting background, Vizslas make for great running companions.

Mostly known for their "velcro dog" disposition, the Vizsla is energetic, athletic, and surprisingly fast, making for a dependable and loyal running buddy.

Poodle

Contrary to popular belief, Poodles are much more than just stunning show dogs.

Bred as gun dogs and water retrievers, the standard Poodle makes for a great running companion, thanks to its energetic disposition, intelligence, and obedience.

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is another herding breed that loves having a job to do and will follow you through all terrains.

This breed sets itself apart with its people skills and protective nature, making for the perfect active family dog!

Shetland Sheepdog

Like many other herding dogs, the Shetland Sheepdog is incredibly focused, obedient, and athletic.

While their natural stamina might not be enough to keep up with long-distance running sessions, they are perfect for shorter distances and high-energy outdoor play.

Which Dog Is the Fastest Runner?

Dog Listens

While all of the dog breeds listed above make for excellent partners for experienced runners and newbies alike, Greyhounds make for the best choice of companion if you're looking for the fastest dog breed to take your running to the next level.

With the ability to run up to a whopping forty-five miles per hour, Greyhounds have long been considered the running dogs par excellence thanks to their flexible spines, long legs, slender bodies, enormous hearts for their body's size, and incredible muscle mass.

Looking at these incredible physical traits, it's no wonder that Greyhounds are still inextricably associated with track racing!

Keep in mind that while Greyhounds are considered the faster dogs in the world when it comes to instantaneous speed, breeds like the Siberian and Alaskan Huskies are considered better-performing when it comes to endurance running.

At What Age Can You Run with Your Dogs?

If you're looking for a running pup to add to your family or you already have a tiny furry companion in the midst, you're probably wondering when it'll be the best time to introduce them to your favorite exercise.

While generally speaking, dogs are naturally great runners, it's recommended you wait until your pup is at least six months of age before taking them on their first short run. Large and giant breeds might even need a little more time than that to be 100% fit for running, so it's always recommended you consult with your vet before taking your growing puppy to any run or sprinting session!

Taking small and medium breeds on intensive runs before the age of six months might lead to severe joint and muscle problems, as that age window is an incredibly crucial time for your pup's physical development.

Even after they're considered grown enough to run beside you, you'll have to take it slow and easy at first, following your pup's pace instead of the other way around and regularly training them to stick by your side no matter the exciting new stimuli they might encounter along the way.

Our Best Tips for Running with Your Dog

One of the best ways to train a pup or even an adult dog to run alongside you is to use dog treats to incentivize the behavior. For added security and to avoid your pup getting off track and getting lost, make sure they have their ID tag and collar on before heading out of the house, and don't forget to bring your leash along, too.

Just like you would with any other walk out on the town, you'll also want to make sure you're both staying hydrated throughout the run and that you're prepared for all "inconveniences" by taking a waste bag with you.

Don't forget that the post-workout aftercare is just as important: Treat your pup to a relaxing bath to get rid of the dirt, invest in a soothing paw balm to treat their paws, wrap them up in their favorite cozy blanket, and make sure your home is fitted with the comfiest doggie bed for some well-deserved snoozing!

Your One-Stop Shop for Everything Your Little Runner Could Ever Need

Whether you're a long-distance running enthusiast or looking for a running buddy to motivate you to train harder on those lazy days, getting out on the road is just the first part of the job. Making sure your pup has everything they need to run in comfort and safety (plus following up on essential aftercare) is going to be just as important to make sure you'll continue to run together for years to come.

From dog harnesses to shiny, fashionable collars, Bitch New York's sparkling collection of pooch accessories has everything your little runner could ever need to embark on your running adventures in complete safety and fashion-forward style. Browse the collection today to find the perfect fit for your energetic pup!

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