If you enjoy running and want your dog to be able to run with you, you have to be careful about which dog breeds you consider. Some dog breeds will want to run with you, but will cause irreversible damage to themselves for doing it. Some dog breeds can run with you without causing damage, but just don’t want to. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep activity low-impact for larger breeds until your puppy is approximately 18 months old. Before that point, strenuous exercise can damage their developing joints. As a runner, you want to research dog breeds that can run with you, are willing to run with you, and can do so without hurting themselves. Start your research with these dog breeds that make good running partners:
1. Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier loves to run! Their short, wiry coat means they won’t overheat as easily in warmer temperatures than their thicker-coated counterparts. They are exceptional sporting dogs and are happiest when they have a job to do. This makes them a great running partner for short or moderate distances, like a 10k.
2. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a descendant of the original sled dog, so they are built to carry loads over long distances. That high endurance paired with an equally high energy level makes this dog breed a good running partner for short or long distances. Much like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute has a thick coat, which makes them a better fit for running in colder climates.
3. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog, also referred to as the Blue Heeler, is a herding and working dog. They are high-energy, hardworking dogs that are happiest when they have a job to do. Because they were originally bred to drive cattle over long distances, they are an agile and athletic dog breed that makes a great running partner for almost any distance.
4. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog with a high energy level and strong work ethic. They are athletic, built to run, and will love the chance to be active with you. Plus, they prefer to be with their families instead of being alone, so running is a great chance for your Aussie to get plenty of exercise while also spending time with you. They tend to enjoy short or long distances as well as running on trails with obstacles.
5. Border Collie
The Border Collie is known for its high energy and herding instincts. These dogs are highly intelligent, bursting with energy, and loves having a job to do. With a lean, athletic build, these dogs are sure-footed and fast with plenty of endurance to spare. This makes the Border Collie a great running partner for short or long distances.
The Boxer, like other dogs on this list, has running in their blood. Originally bred to chase down large game, these sturdy dogs also served as couriers during wartime. They are working dogs, so love having a job to do. Their hardworking instinct, muscular structure, and high energy level mean they need plenty of exercise and tend to make a good running partner for short or long distances.
7. Brittany Spaniel
The Brittany Spaniel is a light-boned, quick, and agile dog breed. They were originally bred to be hunting dogs, which means they are used to running and chasing down prey. These dogs tend to be eager to please, highly intelligent, and also have a very high energy level. They need a lot of exercise and running short or long distances with you can be the perfect activity for them.
The Dalmatian is built to run. Classically known as the “firehouse” dog, they were originally used to clear the way for firefighting carriages by running ahead of them. This means they can keep pace with horses. Whether running long distances or running through the park or yard, the Dalmatian is happy to be running with you, especially on softer trails.
9. English Setter
The English Setter was bred to be a gun dog. They are built for running in fields all day and have the energy level to match. They need plenty of exercise to remain happy and healthy. Running can be a great activity to make sure they get enough exercise. The English Setter is a good running partner for short or moderate distance, like 4-6 miles. Marathon running or longer distances, like 10 miles, may not be a good fit for this dog.
10. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a strong, sturdy dog with a durable build. They are working dogs, so they are happiest when they have a job to do. Protective and eager to please, the German Shepherd makes a good family pet and a good running partner. Their high energy level and work ethic make running a good activity for you and your GSD to do together.
11. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer was bred to be a serious hunting dog. They are sure-footed, require regular exercise, and fast. This dog breed is known for its athleticism and endurance. Lean and muscular, German Shorthaired Pointers are a good running partner for long distances as well as short. They have even been known to keep up with cyclists! Whether running on a road or on trails, this dog breed is at home.
12. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a happy-go-lucky, friendly dog with enough energy and stamina to go the distance. Originally bred to be a hunting dog, they are highly trainable, durable, and have plenty of endurance. Similar to the Labrador Retriever, they make good running partners for short, brisk runs or long, slow runs.
13. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, sturdy ball of energy. They have seemingly endless amounts of energy. Although they are small, they are stocky and athletic with high endurance levels and can run for long periods of time. They make great running partners for short sprints, short distances, like a 5k, and long distances. However, you will have to train with them to work up to longer distances.
14. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever makes a great running partner. Loyal, playful, and friendly, the Lab was bred to be a hunting and working dog. That work ethic paired with their higher energy levels and sturdy, lean build makes them a perfect fit for running with you for sprints or for long distances.
The Standard Poodle isn’t normally what comes to mind when you think of a running dog. However, they were originally bred to be gun dogs and water retrievers, which means they do have athletic instincts. They are highly intelligent and have plenty of energy, so they tend to make great running partners, especially on long, slow runs.
16. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog with an affectionate temperament and an adventurous spirit. They were originally bred to work with fishermen to retrieve equipment that fell overboard or to herd fish into the nets. They have a high energy level and plenty of endurance whether they are in the water or on land.
This dog breed makes a great running partner for short and long distance runs and also enjoys running on trails. They tend to excel at obstacles courses as well. So, as long as you can get over the obstacles on the trail, your Portuguese Water Dog probably can too and will likely enjoy the challenge!
17. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is known for its endurance and high energy. As a descendant of the original sled dog, they are built to run and are one of the most athletic and versatile working breeds. Because they have seemingly never-ending energy, Siberian Huskies are a great fit for running with you for short or long distances, as long as the weather is colder. Because of their thick, double-coated fur, they are well-insulated against the cold, but can overheat in warmer temperatures.
The Vizsla is a super-athletic dog breed and they love to be close to you. They tend to be a great fit for dog sports and often excel at speed, endurance, and obstacle courses. This makes them a great running partner, especially for experienced runners. Highly trainable, loyal, and eager to please, the Vizsla will love having an activity they can do with you. They have a short coat, which makes them a good fit for most climates, and can run short or long distances, on the road or on trails.
The Weimaraner is a loyal, loving dog that was originally bred to hunt large game. They are strong and durable with a high energy level and plenty of endurance. Weimaraners also love to spend time with their families, so they will love any activity you can do together. Their short coat makes them a good fit for most climates and they make a great running partner for short or long distances on road or on trails.
A lot more goes into the right dog for you than whether or not they make a great running partner. Consider your lifestyle, space, experience, and more when looking for the perfect puppy for you and your family. Once you find the right fit and hit the ground running with your furry friend, don’t forget to bring plenty of water, so you and your pup stay hydrated!