Perfect Partners: The Best Dog Breeds for Running

Are you an active person looking for a breed of dog who will be a good running partner? Running with a dog is a great way to stay motivated. On those days when you can barely drag yourself out of bed, you’ll get motivation from the unbridled enthusiasm of your canine running companion.

Jogger with dog by his side

The simple reality is dogs love to run, although some breeds are designed to be better running partners than others. Although a dachshund makes a loving pet, he’s hardly the ideal running companion with his short, stubby legs. Most dogs make eager running partners, but some breeds definitely have more stamina than others. So, before rushing out to find a four-legged companion, think carefully about its suitability as a running partner. The following list takes a look at a selection of dog breeds to help you decide which breed is best for you:

1. Greyhounds – You would probably expect these dogs to make great running partners because of their association with the racetrack. Unfortunately, though, greyhounds are basically sprinters and are not really build for endurance.

2. Retrievers – These friendly dogs have lots of energy and can make great running partners if they are trained properly. Retrievers are not particularly good at running fast over long distances, though, so they obviously wouldn’t suit anyone who enjoys this type of running.

3. Huskies – These beautiful dogs can make exceptional runners, as they are friendly, intelligent, and versatile. If you live in an area where winter temperatures generally plummet, then a husky could make the perfect running partner for you.

4. Pointers – These gun dogs are perfect for long, steady runs. The pointer’s medium build and well-muscled hind quarters enable it to keep up a good pace over a long distance.

Woman jogger with dog on lead
A loyal companion makes running safer and more enjoyable
5. Collies – These dogs are known for their obedience and intelligence, and they are always eager to please their owners. The collie’s endless supply of energy makes it the perfect partner for those who enjoy endurance running. During the hot summer months, due to their thick coats, it is best to take them running at cooler times of the day.

6. Irish wolfhounds – These enormous dogs are extremely fast and were bred to be endurance runners. They can make great running partners but, due to their large size and risk of developing cartilage and joint problems, they should not be run until they are fully grown.

7. Standard poodles – Many people think that poodles are just pampered pooches, but these dogs are actually very energetic and intelligent. They can make great running partners for all types of runners, and they will even enjoy sprinting through water.

8. American pit bull terriers – These dogs are extremely powerful and possess great endurance. Pit bull terriers can make perfect running partners, but you will need to make sure that they are properly socialized to avoid any aggression towards other dogs.

9. Jack Russell terriers – These dogs may only be small in size, but they are intelligent, muscular, and have bags of energy. If you want a smaller dog that is able to keep up a good pace, then the Jack Russell could be the best running buddy for you.

10. Rhodesian ridgebacks – These docile dogs were originally bred to hunt lions in South Africa. Their high level of endurance makes them perfect for those who love distance running.

The Best Running Dogs

Pugs and bulldogs don’t make great running partners, as they tend to suffer from respiratory problems and overheating due to their squashed noses. Mixed breeds can make great running partners, as they are less likely to develop any genetic disorders. The most important thing to remember, though, is that it is just as important for a dog to have a good personality as it is for it to have a good running ability.

Here are some of the best large dog breeds for runners and other active people.

Boxer Dog

The Boxer

Boxers are a hardy breed that make enthusiastic and capable running companions. With their lean, muscular bodies and strong legs, they’re up to the task of running a few miles, once conditioned. Boxers are relatively hyperactive by nature and require frequent exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. It’s important to avoid exercising a boxer in excessive heat since they have a brachycephalic head and can overheat quickly.

Siberian Husky Running Dog

Siberian Huskies

With their history of being sled dogs, the Siberian husky is motivated and well-built to withstand the rigours of a good run. If you’re a longer distance runner, this may be the breed for you, although they may not be the ideal choice for warm climates due to their heavy insulation. Siberian huskies are known to be independent and somewhat stubborn and may need training to become ideal running partners.

German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherd

This versatile dog breed can be an ideal running companion when properly trained. They are quite intelligent and respond quickly to training. They’re naturally active dogs that are happiest when active or performing a task such as running which makes them a natural fit for the highly active person. Keep in mind that German Shepherds are intensely loyal and can be aggressive with strangers if not socialized early.

Border collie running dog

Border Collie

This highly intelligent, popular breed of dog might best be described as energy in motion. This is a breed that needs the challenge of being active. They generally approach the sport of running with the same enthusiasm that made them such skillful sheep herders throughout history. Because Border collies are bred for endurance, they are excellent companions for longer distance runs. This is a dog that can meet the challenges of longer distances or faster speeds.

Keep in mind when choosing a dog breed for running that a dog needs to be an adult to successfully run long distances. For this reason, it may be best to adopt an adult dog from a shelter rather than a puppy. Always be sure to give your dog plenty of water before and after running and watch for signs of fatigue. Dogs will frequently continue to run even when they become overheated. Practice safe running with your canine companion and you’ll have an enthusiastic and loyal running partner for many years to come.