So you’re searching for a dog breed to fit your lifestyle? Slow 👏👏 for taking your time to make the right decision. I ❤️ you for that (your new pup and your family will too). But be careful! The best dogs for running vary. Some dogs like to sprint while others are built for long-distance. There are certain breeds that aren’t bred to run at all!
So which dogs make the best running partners? These are our 25 best dog breeds for running in 2024:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- English Setter
- Airedale Terrier
- Alaskan Malamute
- German Shepherd Dog
- Border Collie
- Australian Shepherd
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Belgian Shepherd
- Siberian Husky
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Brittany Spaniel
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Parson Russell Terrier
- Golden Retriever
Best Dog Breeds for Running 2024
We all know people that love to run long-distance races and marathons. Dogs are the same! There are specific breeds that tend to prefer going on jogging pace distance runs rather than sprints. Usually, these dogs are naturally born with a strong cardiovascular system as well as an endurance-oriented muscular system. Here are the best dogs for those that love to go distance running!
1. American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a great dog for you to run with! For those that are looking for long-distance running partners, this breed is resilient and surprisingly high in stamina.
Not the fastest runner?
Just because these dogs are great runners doesn’t mean that they are fast runners. The American Staffordshire Terrier can run at a nice, jog pace that most people like to move on. As you might be able to tell from pictures, the breed is also born to be very fit.
Inherently high levels of muscle mean the dog needs lots of exercise to maintain those muscles and its health. If you are looking to buy a Terrier, we recommend that you make sure you have enough time in your life for you to take these dogs on long walks.
2. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointers are definitely for those that are more into competitive running.
These dogs are capable of running for a long time while maintaining a sprinting pace for most humans! In fact, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a favorite for most marathoners.
But you better watch out when you are looking to raise these energetic companions in small, confined spaces!
The breed has significantly more energy than any other dog. This means you have to take them on frequent walks which are not the average walks you would take with, say, a Poodle.
It is important for dogs to exercise, but for the energetic Pointers, exercise is a must to keep them healthy and happy!
3. Airedale Terrier
Despite their fluffy looks, the Airedale Terrier is a great breed for you to look into when you are looking for slow, but long runners.
They are relatively small in size (compared to other running dogs), so a slow jogging pace for you might actually be a difficult workout for your dog!
If you do not mind running slow, maybe for a quick warm-up jog or a wake-up jog in the morning, Airedale Terriers are easier to maintain and can be kept in smaller areas.
This breed is definitely more fit for apartments and more confined spaces than the other breeds listed above.
4. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute, as you can tell by its name, belongs in the cold. Before we go on to explain how great this breed is for running long distances, you must remember that you should not take these breeds to long, hard workouts during the summer when it is really hot.
Because of how thick their fur is, these dogs are at the risk of overheating if they have a strenuous workout under the sun.
During winter is a whole different story!
While other dogs might struggle to run due to how cold the streets might be Alaskan Malamutes have paws that don’t slip and split in the cold!
5. German Shepherd Dog
Originally bred to be working dogs, German Shepherd Dogs are great for running long distances thanks to their stamina.
Historically, this breed was used to chase sheep into order, which means they are used to running a long duration at quite the pace.
Despite their large stature, these dogs are very light on feet and have powerful motor systems. They are intelligent, which means you won’t have to worry about it getting lost after running too far ahead (but they are also very loyal, so they won’t run ahead in the first place).
One downside about this dog is that it is accustomed to barking, so it might not be the quietest of all breeds. Nevertheless, as a running partner, the German Shepherd Dog is a brilliant option.
6. Border Collie
We don’t have to say anything more than this: Border Collies can run up to 30 miles or 50 kilometers in a day. This means the breed can easily run a marathon (42.8 kilometers) and have energy to spare. But…
Before you declare this is the breed for you, you have to remember that Border Collies have to be very, very active, and go through exercises that might be too strenuous for yourself. Make sure you have the time, the luxury, and the stamina to match the energy of Border Collies to ensure that your dog remains happy.
Historically, the Weimaraner was bred for hunting, which automatically gives them their intelligence and athleticism from birth. Today…
…they are sought after by runners because of how effectively they can run long distances. On top of that, they are very, very fast!
Running up to 35 miles per hour, the Weimaraner is definitely a breed for those that are looking for more serious, fast-paced runs rather than jogs. At the same time, the Weimaraner is a very affectionate breed, so it will understand if you can’t run too fast.
8. Jack Russell Terrier
Born to hunt foxes and vermins, Jack Russell Terriers are very athletic.
They are great for playing fetch with, but they make the best running partners because of their unparalleled stamina. As a breed that knows exactly how to pace itself in long-distance runs, marathoners love to train with this breed.
…but this breed might not be for you if you are more about running at a more casual pace.
9. Belgian Shepherd
Now, this dog is definitely not for you to raise in small, enclosed spaces where the walls are not very noise proof.
As a herding dog, the Belgian Shepherd is used to having to bark to communicate, so no matter how adorable looking the breed is, it would definitely be your cranky neighbor’s nemesis. But if you live in houses where your dog doesn’t have to stay super quiet, the Belgian Shepherd is a great option for you.
Not only can they run long distances, but they are also great at sports, so this breed is highly recommended for generally active owners.
10. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky, similar to the Alaskan Malamute, is great in the cold! If you live in regions where the winter season is quite cold and the summer is quite cool, you will be able to go on long runs with your Siberian Husky throughout the year.
Unlike the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky can survive better under the sun, but this doesn’t mean you should simply let it go through strenuous exercises during the summer!
As long as you watch out for days that are too hot, this breed is an adorable running companion.
11. Australian Cattle Dog
As dogs that were originally bred and used for herding large cattle across the rough Australian terrain, the Australian Cattle Dog is, without a doubt, very athletic. They are also known for their great work ethic! If they are given a task at hand, they will do everything to finish it. This means if you have them as running partners, they’ll be able to push you through the finish line. On top of its athleticism, the dog can offer you moral support! What better running partner is there than that?
12. Rhodesian Ridgeback
This breed is probably the most hardcore dog on this list so far. Originally from the South African region, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was usually used to hunt large game. This included apex predators such as lions! Luckily, they’ve been domesticated and are no longer as vicious (that would be very, very scary). Their track record goes to show just how athletic, intelligent, and powerful the breed is. As a running buddy, it won’t get lost, stay loyal to you, and maybe even be able to compete with you!
Now, Pitbulls do not have the longest legs, which means they can’t sprint as fast as other dogs on this list. They can, however, run for long durations of time at a slow, jogging pace. You can think of Pitbulls as bodybuilders. They are muscular, but they don’t have the right build to run fast and far. Instead, they have great muscular endurance! This also means they are great hiking partners in addition to every day jogging.
14. Golden Retriever
When it comes to moral support, Golden Retrievers are definitely the best breed. They have such a beautiful, adorable smile whenever they do anything! Believe it or not, we’ve seen plenty of cases where so many people found Golden Retrievers as great running partners not because they run fast or far (they do both very well), but because of their smile and how it keeps them going!
Dog Breeds for Sprinting Exercises
The previous 14 breeds are the best dogs for long-distance running.
The next 11?
Dogs that prefer to run shorter distances with speed!
These dogs tend to enjoy speed and are not exactly built for going on long-treks whether it be due to the size of the dog or its weight. Here are the best dogs for those that are looking to go on sprint workouts!
15. Labrador Retriever
Similar to Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers are great for running. Interestingly, however, they like to be a part of more agile and explosive activities! This is why you see more Golden Retrievers running while more Labs like to go to parks and play sports. If you are looking to run fast for a short amount of time, Labrador Retrievers are a great breed to look into. As a breed bred to retrieve hunting game, they are light on their feet and quick!
They’ve got one of the most brisk paces. They’ve got the power and the muscle for explosiveness. Boxers are great for fast-paced runners that enjoy running not for the scenic view or the nice morning breeze, but for the speed and the excitement that ensues as they whiz through the air. Not quite the jogger or the marathoner that so many dogs seem like they are? Then Boxers are just the right breed for you!
17. English Setter
The English Setter behaves just like a short-lived battery. They work in large spikes in energy, then go back to staying idle. This makes English Setters quite difficult to keep calm if they haven’t exercised in a while! But that’s the only downside. The breed is great for people that love to go on short-runs before it gets too hot or for owners that love to play sports like catch and frisbee. Either way, your English Setter will love spending time and exercising with you.
Poodles are not fast nor can they run far. But they still make great running companions for their large bursts of energy! Having a partner that is as energetic as Poodles automatically make the running experience ten times more pleasant. While there are many different types of Poodles, the Standard Poodle (in terms of size) is the best for running. Other types are either too big for its own good or have legs that are too short to be able to run long distances at a fast pace.
Dalmations are another great breed that is athletic but not exactly well-suited for people that like to run long distances. Their lean structure provides them with the agility necessary for fast-paced activities like sprinting and sports! Instead of taking them on marathons, Dalmations would much rather head to the dog park for a quick round of catch, frisbee, or simply sprint with its owner in the morning.
20. American Foxhound
The American Foxhounds are scent hounds, which means they are able to identify animals (foxes, to be more specific) just with their noses! You can already tell that these dogs are super intelligent. Historically, they also would go fox hunting except their strategy is to be quick and nimble, hence the agility and the intelligence it possesses today. There is no better breed for you to run with when you are looking to go on sprint workouts!
21. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds, just like other shepherds, were historically used and bred to herd animals. This dog would be an exception on this list! It knows how to run long distances and short distances at the same time. The only reason why the Australian Shepherd is in the sprinting category is because of how well it is able to sprint and show off its explosiveness. We believe that if you are looking for an overall athletic dog, the Australian Shepherd is the best choice for you!
These are race dogs! Greyhounds were usually used for coursing games and, you guessed it, sprints.
Needless to say, this dog is great for sprints; they are the descendants of professional sprinters!
Vizsla behaves very similarly to how Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers behave: they’re very positive, active, and full of energy!
They might not look the most intimidating or athletic, but it is the spirit that makes this breed a great for sprint exercises (or any other exercises for that matter). The dog is also great in confined spaces thanks to how quiet it can be compared to breeds like Shepherds.
24. Brittany Spaniel
This one is a special one on the list! Brittany Spaniels are gun dogs, which means they would usually go hunting birds.
Now, you could imagine what the breed would need in these situations! Not endurance, but the ability to use their muscles explosively. Dogs must sneak up, jump high, and be able to sprint! Thanks to its track record, Brittany Spaniels now make brilliant sprinting companions.
25. Parson Russell Terriers
It’s a Terrier! What else do we have to say? Terriers, like Jack Russel Terriers, are usually very active.
But the Parson Russell Terriers really love to play games due to its naturally playful personality. It enjoys running for its speed and loves to have fun, so for people that like high-paced, energetic exercising, Parson Russell Terriers is the breed just for you.
4 Dog Breeds That You Must Avoid Running With!
There are dog breeds that shouldn’t be looked at when you are looking for running partners! These dogs are simply bred for staying indoors, looking after their owner as they cuddle on the couch. They are not necessarily the best for going outdoors with them either. There might be a medical reason or they simply do not enjoy being outside! Either way, for the sake of these dog breeds’ happiness, we recommend that you do not go running with these breeds. Here are the breeds that you should avoid running with:
1. Chow Chow
It is quite obvious that Chow Chows are not the most dynamic, active breed, but it has its reasons. First of all, Chow Chows are naturally big-boned and have a thick layer of skin compared to their muscle mass. Yes, they are adorably round, but having them run for long durations of time can damage their joints and cause other structural issues.
2. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is the exact opposite of Chow Chows. They are tiny and short-legged! Having them run long distances even at a jogging pace can be a very strenuous exercise for this breed because of how short their legs are. They would have to waddle their way through every time you or the owner takes a stride.
3. Tibetan Spaniel
The Tibetan Spaniel is inherently quite lazy. It loves to stay at home, cuddle on the couch, and watch TV. Sort of like a dog version of a couch potato. If you have them go on long runs, like Shih Tzus, their short legs put them at a severe disadvantage and can lead to health problems without you even knowing that the exercise was difficult!
4. English Bulldogs
English Bulldogs, contrary to how they look, should not be running a lot. Their muscle mass is usually too much for how much their bones and joints can handle. If they run for a long time without proper training or breaks, it can cause serious physical damages.
You have to make sure that your dogs run the right distances. Some dogs are built for long distance running, while others are more accustomed to sprints. Some breeds should not be running at all! It is important that you do your research before taking your dog out for a nice exercise.
Absolutely, yes! Although little dogs have shorter legs, you can still run with them as long as you know how far your dog can run. Dogs are just like humans: if you train them, they will be able to run further without facing any nasty consequences.
It all depends on what breed your dog is. Generally speaking, it is safest for most dogs to run less than 10 miles a day. Any more than that, if the breed isn’t accustomed to running, can be dangerous for your dog’s health.
With a puppy, we recommend that you don’t necessarily go on long jogging sessions. A walk can suffice for puppies because depending on how old your puppy is, it is still developing its motor system.