Dog breeds running

The Best Types of Dogs for Runners
March 23, 2022 – 01:30 pm
Best dog breeds for running companions | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Weimaraner1/24 Tom Pitera/American Kennel Club

Best for: Long, steady runs; going fast; running on trails

Their medium, well-muscled build often makes this energetic breed a great companion. “They need an extraordinary amount of exercise and mental stimulation, ” says JT Clough, a dog trainer and author who focuses on fitness lifestyle in her dog coaching practice, Maui Dog Remedies. “They also want to be right by their person, making the Weimaraner an excellent running partner.”

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This medium-size hunting dog is smart and willing to tag along on just about any run because of its high energy. “They are quick, durable runners that have a good top speed, but also have the build to sustain high mileages, ” says Bryan Barrera, founder of D.C. Dog Runner.

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3/24 Tom Pitera/American Kennel Club

Best for: Long, steady runs; going fast; running in the heat; running on trails

Hope you like getting out the door, because Clough says this breed is usually a ball of energy that should get an hour of exercise each day. “I’d say pound for pound the best running dogs for any type of running, ” adds Barrera. “They are so versatile; they can cover a ton of ground because of their long gait and can cruise on autopilot as long as you want.”

4/24 Tom Pitera/American Kennel Club

Best for: Long, steady runs

This smaller dog, formerly known as the Jack Russell, loves playing and tends to be very eager and active. “They are also hunters, so make sure to spend some time training this breed to run beside you and avoid getting sidetracked looking for prey, ” Clough says.

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Best for: Brisk, short runs; going fast

Greyhounds are known for their work on the racing track, but in regular life they are independent and gentle. They’ll love to run with you, just not for distance. “Some are really only sprinters, so don’t expect all greyhounds to log a lot of mileage with you, ” says Karen London, a certified animal behaviorist who trains and runs with dogs in Flagstaff, Arizona.

German Pointer

6/24 Tom Pitera/American Kennel Club

Best for: Brisk, short runs

Usually intelligent and often misunderstood, the Pit Bull can be a pleasure once it knows not to pull when on the leash. (Pit Bull is common name for breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, pictured, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.) “They are low to the ground and really excel at the shorter distance, ” Barrera says. “One of the rare breeds that look like they are working as hard as you when running.”

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The American Kennel Club calls the English setter a “symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal blend of strength, (and) stamina.” It’s also a fairly active breed and enjoys playing.

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Best for: Brisk, short runs; long, slow runs

Yes, we know they are different breeds, but they genrerally have similar running personalities. These friendly dogs usually get along with everybody and have big bodies that can go the distance. “Easy to train and extremely loyal, the retrievers will make a great running partner at just about any distance, ” Clough says.

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Don’t assume these dogs are like Snoopy chilling on a doghouse roof. This breed often has a mind for sprinting over slogging. They are very active, quick, and require plenty of exercise. Some with a hunter’s mentality have the ability to go a little longer, says London.


10/24 Tom Pitera/American Kennel Club

London says Dalmatians are some of the best long-distance dogs, and they love their exercise. Barrera adds you should be mindful of how they run. “They kind of pound the pavement due to their size, so if possible I’d stick to the soft trails.”

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Best for: Running in the heat; long, steady runs

A strong breed that needs its exercise. “This breed is good in heat so can be a great running partner in warmer climates, ” Clough says. Barrera adds that they have a natural gait and internal engine that makes them perfect for going a bit longer.

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Best for: Running in the heat

This breed is friendly, energetic, and lively. The American Kennel Club suggests early training as Fox Terriers “can eagerly run off to follow any adventure” if not on a leash.

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Best for: Running in the cold

A thick coat and stocky build makes this a perfect breed for cold-weather runners. Built to be a sled dog, these dogs crave work and love exercise.

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Barrera has run with three German Shepherds—all with varying personalities, and all that love running. “Enthusiasm, intelligence, and the need for vigorous exercise make this breed the perfect running partner, ” Clough adds.

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These big guys with even tempers are often great family dogs. Mellow at home, but they were built to work on farms, so they enjoy a short jog to get in some exercise.

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Quick and light on its feet, this working dog usually enjoys any activity. “Very athletic dogs that definitely do best in the colder air, but can hold their own in the spring and fall, too, ” Barerra says.

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Best for: Long steady runs; running in the cold (just not the snow)

They are amazing athletes and very energetic, according to Barerra. “Competent, well-trained Collies are a joy to run with and can dart and duck and move with the best of them.” London adds that their coats help them in chilly conditions, but dense snow can get trapped in their fur, making them too cold.

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This breed generally has lots of energy to burn on many types of runs. “Highly trainable, but make sure to address nipping in the beginning as it is a byproduct of their innate herding, ” Clough says.

Parson Greyhound English Setter Labrador

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