Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Running
If you’re a runner and are thinking it would be fun to have a pooch to keep you company while on your jogs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Ask yourself these questions: Do you run long or short distances? Do you run in the city or do you prefer to take your trek to off-road locales with trails and hills? Do you typically run with a group, or is your style more solo? And are your running conditions year-round – including hotter days – or do you opt for a treadmill when the weather turns too hot or cold?
Regardless of your answers to these questions, you can be sure that there’s dog breed for you. And if you already have a favorite pooch that you’d love to start training to head out with you, we offer some tips to help keep outings enjoyable for both.
So, before you lace up your Nikes, pop in your ear-buds, and head out the door with your new running companion, lets consider the following:
Whether you’re using a leash or allowing your pet to run alongside you, he must be trained on the basics in case you run into other animals, runners, or traffic. Commands including “come”, “leave it”, “sit”, “stay”, or “follow” will help prevent your dog from yanking on his lead and potentially causing you to fall, or him from running off and becoming injured. And if your intent is to keep him leashed during these outings, make sure he walks well on a lead before you try running with him. Note to self: bring lots of handy treats.
All dogs love to run, but not all are designed to maintain a fast pace or continue for long distances. Ease your pooch into this new form of exercise by running for brief, 10-minute periods of time, or for short, half-mile distances, at a slower pace. Build his stamina weekly, while also watching for whether your dog actually enjoys the process. Does he get excited when you pull out his leash, or head for his bed. Some breeds are not designed for longer, forced runs, so in those instances, consider keeping it a fun-run at the leash-free. Take your cue from your dog, and respect his physical limitations.
Start with how much exercise your pooch needs on a daily basis. Factor in his age, breed, weight, and identify the ideal length of time he should be active. If its 60 minutes, then a 3-hour run would be overdoing it – even if he seems up for it. Use common sense and tailor your run to suit your pooch. Maybe he just accompanies you on a good warm-up run, or you plan some frequent rest stops along the way. And understand at what age your dog is considered fully grown. Starting a rigorous exercise regimen when he’s young and before his bones have fully developed can cause injury and permanently sideline your running buddy.
Ready to explore some of the best running companions, you’ll ever find?
If you’re looking for a longer-distance running companion that’s sure to entertain along the way, look no further than the fun-loving Standard Poodle. His long legs mean that he’s big enough to keep up a brisk pace, and because he enjoys a little interaction with his humans, you’ll find he’s up for whatever path you take – anything, but the mundane. Yes, this handsome boy not only does well on trails but he’s no slouch when it comes to jumping puddles or crossing streams when the running gets wet. For the seasoned runner, who wants someone to share their off-road route, this is the pooch for you. (Photo credit: Anna Krivitskaya/Shutterstock)
He’s not only a multi-purpose dog in the field but he’s also one when it comes to running. For starters, he’s easy to train for when you want to run with him off-leash. Next, his coat is perfect for running in moderate, cooler, and cold temperatures as well as the fact that he’s loyal – which means he won’t suddenly sprint off. Finally, he’s a working dog which makes him keen to stay active. The downside is that he can suffer from joint issues, so when you want to really pick up the pace, a shorter route is best. But beyond that, he’s versatile enough to do well on backwoods trails or on city streets. (Photo credit: Maria Ivanushkina/Shutterstock)
Baby, they were born to run. And because they were also born to pull sleds at top speed, this powerful dog can keep up with the most ardent of runners… for hours on end. Given their thick, double-coats, these rugged pooches naturally do best in cool to very cold temperatures such as early Spring, Winter, and late Fall but a short, warm-weather run isn’t out of the question. And if they could choose their terrain, it would be rugged trails with dirt, snow, or ice versus concrete and asphalt. So, if you’re a long-distance runner who’s looking for a soul-mate, you’ll find you’ve met your match with the staggering stamina this breed brings. (Photo credit: Julia Siomuha/Shutterstock)
You may be surprised that in addition to being a super-charged, busy little dog that loves to jump and play with his human pack, this pint-sized pooch is also up for a good run. And I mean, a good run. Given that he was bred to chase down small prey and vermin, it makes perfect sense that he’s not only agile, but ultra quick and ready for the chase. But in spite of his eager nature, those short legs will only take him so far. A reasonable run of 2 to 3 miles is about his limit. If its also your limit, he’s perfect… as long as you can keep up with him. (Photo credit: BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock)
If you’re more of a sprinter than an endurance runner, a Greyhound is going to suit you down to a T. Known for their speed on the racetrack, this lean, agile pooch can actually clock speeds up to 45 miles per hour. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to try to keep up, just be prepared to head out on shorter, faster runs that will test your personal best when it comes to pace. And by “shorter” runs, we mean this breed is seriously, not a long-distance runner. He’ll hit break-neck speed very quickly, then taper off and be ready for a comfy spot on the sofa before you pull out your ear buds. (Photo credit: Liliya Kulianionak/Shutterstock)
This dog has to be the quintessential runner’s dog. Not only is he easy to train – ideal for those who want a dog that can run without being leashed – but he’s also highly athletic and in need of an aggressive exercise regimen. You won’t find him hiding when he sees you lacing up his sneakers – he’ll be ready to go and at the door. In spite of his thick double-coat, this breed was designed to work in all climates, including hotter weather which makes him ideal for marathon runners who need to train throughout the year. Now, because he’s a herder, his ideal terrain is going to be trails and rural areas, however he’s up for anything and could easily adapt to an urban route. (Photo credit: LNbjors/Shutterstock)
While this pooch is known as the “Velcro” dog because of his penchant for sticking close to his owner, he’s also an avid runner who loves nothing better than to expend his abundance of energy through a good long run. In fact, he not only does well on any type of terrain but can hold his own for those endurance runs that leave most dogs behind. Now, if marathon training is in your future, you’ve just found your running mate. His desire to stay close makes him ideal for those who don’t want to bother with leashing their dog to keep him in check. The only caveat – he’s not big on cold weather runs. (Photo credit: BIGANDT.COM/Shutterstock)
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed that’s comfortable taking on long distance runs then the Border Collie is your boy. Why is he low-maintenance? Because his independent nature and big-time loyalty mean he doesn’t need you to keep him in check during the entire run – which can often happen with dogs when you run off-leash. This dog is not only super intuitive and full of energy, but he’s quick, agile and just loves to run. Even better, he’s happy to join you in a nice, long jog regardless of temperature – although snow can be a challenge for this type of longer haired breed. (Photo credit: Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock)
As is typical with most hunting dogs, they like to stay close. A lesson learned in the field, when staying close to the hunter often meant they wouldn’t be accidentally shot. So, with this high-energy, super-friendly pooch, you have a running mate that likes to remain close which means he does well off-leash. He’s also great on any terrain – from trails and hills, to city sidewalks plus… he’s up for any distance. From short sprints, to longer endurance runs, they’re even happy to accompany a marathoner in training. While their ideal running weather would be mild to warm, they can handle colder climates, just on shorter routes. (Photo credit: anetapics/Shutterstock)
If you’re looking for a dog that’s not only up for long-distance running, but also brings a distinctive presence when you’re out on your route, this is the one. Not only is this dapper looking, spotted breed a dramatic-looking running companion, but as a breed known for traipsing alongside gypsies through the super-hot temperatures of central Europe, then as a dog that ran along-side horse-drawn firetrucks, this pooch is built for speed, distance, and warm weather conditions. That said, his wanderlust remains, so you may have to leash him while out on the trail. But, if your dream dog is one that can accompany you on a long, well-paced run you won’t find a better dog. (Photo credit: Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock)
More by Mary Simpson