Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Best Dog Breeds for Runners

The Best Dog Breeds To Run With

Running is a fantastic way to unwind after work, to clear your head when you have a million things to think about, to get out and get the exercise you need to keep your body and mind healthy and, finally, it is the ultimate opportunity to spend some quality time together with your dog. Running with a dog makes exercising more fun and motivating; since you know that you are doing something for someone other than yourself by putting on those running shoes. You quickly start feeling bad if you skip a session, and those big dog eyes are going to be looking at you with judgmental eyes until you pick up that leash. It is the encouragement you have been looking for!

All dogs need exercise and all breeds are suitable for outdoor adventures, but some dog breeds might adapt better to running than others. Remember to always bring water with you, especially for long runs and in warm weather, and to remember that running on asphalt is tougher on a dog’s bones and joints than running on, for example, sand, grass or other softer surfaces. Ease into running with your dog, and don’t start out too extreme in the beginning, since dogs – just like humans – can be out of shape. Listed below are a few dog breeds to consider for a runner who is thinking about getting a new puppy or adult dog, as they are likely to fit right into an active and exercise-loving family.

Labrador Retriever

There are few dog breeds as versatile as the Labrador Retriever; a robust yet athletic dog, that loves adventures as well as curling up on the couch, and that is highly trainable and so loyal that nothing can convince him or her to stray from your side. They make great running partners since they love to exercise, and for being high-energy dogs that can easily keep up with you even for a long-distance run. The ability to learn new things and to understand what is expected of them comes very naturally to the Labrador Retriever, and it is a breed that will quickly adapt to your running pace and rhythm.

The Labrador Retriever is a so-called gun dog breed; known for their obedient nature, willingness to work and their never-ending eagerness to not only please – but to impress. Take a Lab running, and you might find yourself being the one struggling to keep up (don’t worry, a Lab will wait for you, if you need it), which makes them the ultimate running partner and a fun friend to share an active adventure with.

2. German Shepherd (GSD)

This magnificent and powerful dog breed is often seen being used as police dogs, for search-and-rescue and to guard property, and the reason for that is their intelligence, their fearlessness, their desire to work and impressive ability to adapt to new situations. A German Shepherd is a dog with a need for regular physical and mental exercise, and it is not a dog for the person who prefers to spend all day in front of the TV. That said, they make perfect running partners thanks to their can-do attitude, their strong physique, and their driven personality, and you will likely need to stop long before they do.

A German Shepherd is focused on his or her task and will quickly figure out how running with a family member works (such as, not stopping to pee at every tree). Thanks to their impressive looks and protective temperament, they might also be a nice safety feature for those who enjoy running late at night or during early mornings. Nobody messes with a German Shepherd, so they will keep you both safe and fit while making running a lot more fun.

Fuel your GSD with the ideal blend of dog food for German Shepherd’s.

3. Siberian Husky

The vocal and active Siberian Husky is not a dog for the lazy dog owner, but one that needs someone who will provide plenty of physical and mental exercise every single day of the week, or they will get bored and possibly start engaging in destructive behaviors (howling, barking, digging, chewing and more). Their need for physical exercise is usually not met by simply walking them around the block for a few minutes every now and then, and they need someone who can truly dedicate themselves to making the Husky’s days fun, variating and challenging. The Husky was bred as a sled dog, which means it is in their DNA to run, run and run, with energy that often seems never-ending.

Taking a Husky for a run means doing them a favor, but also doing yourself a favor; since making a dog happy can be the ultimate motivator. Be prepared though for running until you can barely breathe yourself, only to turn around and see the Husky bouncing up and down – ready for another go. Huskies don’t have an off switch, and even though they will sleep soundly after a work-out – all you need to do is to say the word and they’ll be ready for another go! If you need a dog that truly pushes and motivates you to go for daily runs, then a Siberian Husky might be the right option for you. Make sure to keep your pup’s energy up with the best food for huskies here.

4. Dalmatian

There is something almost horse-like about the empowered body movements of a Dalmatian, and what a coincidence that they are known for exactly that – for being able to keep up with a horse! Their lean physique allows them to move effortlessly along roads and more difficult terrain, and their size eliminates the risk of accidentally stepping on them during a run. The Dalmatian will love going for a run with you, and their long legs might even allow them to trot beside you at quite a comfortable pace, even though you are pushing yourself as hard as you can with your exercise routine. Dalmatians are friendly, fun and somewhat protective of their owners and family members, which are all great qualities for canine running buddies.

The short hair of the Dalmatian is also a plus when running un rain or wet conditions (just remember they might need a raincoat too), since they are easy to clean- and dry off once back inside. No long and thick fur that needs to be showered to get the dirt out, and nothing to hold them back when they’re running alongside you as part of your daily exercise routine.

5. Boxer

While the proud looking Boxer might not be the first breed that comes to mind when thinking about running and demanding forms of exercise – they are, in fact, excellent runners! The Boxer was originally used during the war as couriers, to deliver packages and messages, and to hunt down large prey such as bison and wild boar. All these tasks were physically demanding and required a highly energetic, strong and tough dog, and while a Boxer’s responsibilities and lifestyle may have changed – the mentality and physical abilities remain. The Boxer does not tire out easily and taking them for a run is a great way to help meet their somewhat demanding exercise needs. Replenish them with these dog foods for Boxers.

Those who have had a Boxer, or who have spent time with one, might be familiar with something often referred to as the “Boxer burn.” This is when the dog suddenly seems to go nuts with excitement and joy and start running around the backyard in big circles with their tail (won’t show if their tail is docked) tucked between their legs. This hilarious way of blowing off steam is yet another indicator of how active the dog breed is, and how much the Boxer would enjoy getting out of the yard for a long and challenging run.

6. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever – a kindred spirit that is so much more than just the ultimate family dog, a child’s best friend, and a loving face to come home from after work. Golden Retrievers are also true adventurers; full of life and always ready for a challenge, and there is a very athletic body hiding under all those cascades of soft golden locks. A Golden Retriever tends to be very close with his or her family members; so why let them be a part of your daily exercise routine as well? They will love just getting to be out with you, and it is a fun way to change up your dog’s regular walks as well, with something that will require more focus and the activation of a different set of muscles.

It is easy to be fooled by the mellow ways of a Golden Retriever, but it is a large dog breed that needs to get out and move every day. They need exercise and will be thrilled to come with you on a nice jog around the neighborhood or in a park somewhere, and afterward, you can bet the Golden Retriever will want to curl up on the couch (if that is allowed) with you for some well-needed downtime and rest.

Keep your Retriever’s energy up with this list of the top dog foods for Golden Retrievers.

7. Pitbull

This alternative running buddy is one you might have forgotten to consider, but the Pitbull is a stubborn little muscle machine full of energy and determination, that might surprise you when taken along for a run! A Pitbull won’t get tired too easily, as they have plenty of muscle and an agile body to put to the test even for longer runs. They belong to a type of dog that simply won’t quit, and that has energy that is likely to last a lot longer than your energy will! The Pitbull does have a habit of getting a little overenthusiastic, so they might need some training in order not to pull when out running, but they are also very intelligent dogs with the potential to be quick learners.

The breed is focused, goal-oriented, strong and dynamic, and there isn’t much that can stop them from enjoying an outdoor adventure! Pitbulls are not discouraged by bad weather, tough terrain or other challenging factors, and they won’t stop running until you do (which will be long before they run out of energy). Keep their energy up with these foods for Pitbull’s.

Tips for Running with Your Dog

There are a few things to think about if you plan to start running with your dog because you don’t want to take an untrained dog out for a 10-mile mini marathon the first time. A dog needs to be eased into it, just like a human would, or they could end up feeling sore and pained the next day. The smartest thing to do is to go for short runs, to begin with, or to take regular walks and run for a minute or two every now and then. Take it slow and work up to being able to take your dog with you on your regular running route.

You also need to give your dog time to learn that while running – it is not a great idea to stop and sniff. You will always have to make a few pauses here and there though for your dog to do his business though, but with time your dog will learn to wait until you tell him or her that it is okay to stop for a bathroom break.


Talk to your vet before you start running with your dog. It is always a good idea to keep a trusted veterinarian in the loop regarding new exercise regimes, and they can tell you if your dog is fit enough to engage in running, and what you need to think about. You should avoid running with puppies until they are done growing, since their growing bones and joints are still in a sensitive phase, and you might also want to think twice before taking a senior dog for a run. Bone- and joint disease is common in senior dogs, so always talk to a veterinarian first, and consider setting up an appointment for a general health check.

Most importantly – once you do start running with your dog – have fun with it! Enjoy the outdoor time spend together with your pup, and experience the amazing sensation of having it turn you into a dynamic team of exercise enthusiasts – ready to take on the world!

We Think You’ll Like It: How Fast Can a Labrador Run

Similar Posts