Best Dog Breeds for Running

Published: 02/04/2021
If there’s a better running companion than a dog, we’re yet to meet them. When you pound the pavement with your dog by your side, you don’t need to worry about making conversation or being judged for being unfit — your pooch is just thrilled to be by your side, exploring the world with their absolute favorite person.

But just like some people, not every dog is made to run for mile after mile. So if you’re looking for an energetic and athletic four-legged running buddy, here are 10 of the best dog breeds for running.

1. German Shorthaired Pointer

Built for endurance as well as speed, the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a super versatile running mate. With a lean and muscular build, the GSP truly thrives when given lots of regular exercise.

Originally bred as bird dogs, GSPs are intelligent and always eager to please their humans. They also have a seemingly endless supply of energy, so they’re dogs that will happily trot along beside you for mile after mile.

Oh, and the GSP’s close relative, the German Wirehaired Pointer, is also an excellent running companion if you’re looking for a dog that’s a little more shaggy.

2. Weimaraner

Next on our list of the best dog breeds for running is the magnificent Weimaraner. The so-called “gray ghost” is not just friendly, intelligent, and undeniably beautiful, but also one of the best canine running buddies you’re ever likely to meet.

With an energetic nature and a zest for life, the Weimaraner will tackle just about anything life puts in their way. The breed also moves gracefully and quite simply loves to run, making this gorgeous German the ideal exercise companion. Whether you’re out for a short and sweet sprint around the block or a long-distance slog, the Weimaraner will feel right at home.

3. Border Collie

Border Collies are well known as one of the world’s most intelligent dog breeds, but they’re also one of the most energetic. If you welcome a Border Collie into your family, you need to be willing to provide your fur-baby with a whole lot of daily exercise to keep them happy and content.

Agile and athletic, the Border Collie is as high-energy as dogs come. This breed excels at a wide range of doggy sports, but will also be right at home on regular runs. Just make sure you’re fit enough to keep up! 

4. Vizsla

This handsome Hungarian is becoming increasingly popular in the United States for many reasons. The breed’s affectionate nature and love of human company are two of its headlining characteristics, but potential owners will also be happy to learn that the Vizsla is a keen runner.

These lean and muscular dogs are more than capable of tackling long-distance adventures with you. In fact, there’s a good chance your Vizsla will still be ready for more when you’re lying on the ground in a sweaty, exhausted heap, so this breed is best suited to pet parents who relish an active lifestyle.

5. Dalmatian

Dalmatians aren’t just some of the most eye-catchingly beautiful dogs you’re ever likely to meet; they’re also full of energy. Combine that with an athletic build and an easy gait and you’ve got a dog that was born to run.

If you’re a long-distance runner, a Dalmatian might just be your best friend. Not only will regular runs help them stay fit and healthy, but they’ll also stop your energetic pooch from getting up to all manner of mischief!

6. Siberian Husky

The gorgeous Siberian Husky is one of the most famous athletes in dogdom, known for its remarkable feats of endurance. And these lean and lithe dogs, which are noticeably smaller than the more muscular Alaskan Malamutes, can also put their stamina to use as jogging companions.

Huskies are capable of running very long distances and are agile and effortless movers. However, with their thick coats, it’s best for these beautiful dogs to exercise in colder weather to reduce the risk of overheating.

7. Labrador Retriever

There are many reasons why Labradors always feature on lists of the most popular dog breeds. The fact that they make great running buddies is just another good excuse to welcome one of these pups into your family.

And while Labs may be best known for their love of food, these dogs also love regular exercise. In fact, they need a whole lot of it to prevent them from resorting to destructive behavior, and they'll have ample energy to tackle a daily jog. 

But the main highlight of running for any Lab will be getting to spend a whole lot of quality time with you, all of which makes these dogs wonderful training buddies.

8. English Springer Spaniel

Bred as a hunting buddy, the English Springer Spaniel simply loves being around people. But this is no lazy lapdog; the playful and energetic Springer is always ready for action.

These dogs are known for their impressive stamina and a smooth and effortless gait, so they’re more than capable of eating up the miles with you. They’re also great hiking buddies, so the English Springer Spaniel is a good choice for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle.

9. Poodle

We can hear the snorts of derision coming from some of you already, but hear us out. While Poodles are often seen as the pampered pooches of the dog world, look past those catwalk-ready curls and you’ll find that they’re actually quite athletic animals.

Poodles are energetic, quick movers, and boast impressive stamina, so your dog will love nothing more than joining you for a long jog. Just make sure to provide plenty of mental stimulation to complement your pup’s physical exercise, as these intelligent dogs thrive when put to work.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

Last but not least on our list of the best dog breeds for running is this hard-working Aussie. Also known as the Blue Heeler or Red Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is a loyal and intelligent breed. These dogs will also happily work all day long — they were bred for the rigors of life on the farm after all — and be ready for the next task as soon as you ask.

Unsurprisingly, this seemingly endless supply of energy makes them wonderful running companions. And because regular exercise is a must to keep your Australian Cattle Dog happy and healthy, your pooch will love every second of your adventures together.

Of course, this is far from a comprehensive list. There are many other dog breeds not listed here that can also make excellent running companions or buddies for brisk dog walks. Research your chosen breed carefully, and ask your breeder or veterinarian for advice, to find out whether the dog you’re considering has got what it takes to be your new jogging buddy.