Skip to main content Skip to footer
Post header Skip post header

The best dog breeds to go running with

Ever wondered if your dog might be the next Mo Farah? Well, it’s time to find out. Lots of dogs love to run, but which ones are the best to go running with?

What are the benefits of running with my dog?

Before we jump into looking at which dog breeds make the best running companions, you might be thinking, why go running with your dog at all? Well, the truth is just like running can be beneficial to a human’s health and fitness, there are lots of similar benefits for your dog too.

For starters, it will positively impact their cardiovascular health, improve their muscle tone and help them maintain their weight. But the benefits aren’t just physical; getting out and about with your dog in this way will strengthen your bond with them and provide them with plenty of mental enrichment too.

What makes a good running dog?

You might think that when it comes to a good running dog, it’s all about the breed, but it’s more about certain traits that specific dogs have. 

Leg length. It won’t surprise you that the shorter a dog’s legs, the harder it is for them to run any great distance. As spirited as they are, Dachshunds are never going to be marathon runners. So you need to look for a dog with the leg length to match your stride easily.

Body size. When it comes to body size, a medium-sized dog is often the best option, as if a dog is too large their weight could cause stress on their joints, especially if running with you is a weekly occurrence. But if a dog is too small, they’re going to struggle to keep up with you.

Coat thickness and texture. If a dog has a luscious thick coat then they will struggle to keep themselves cool when running in warmer weather, so it’s best to find a dog with a short coat that is not super warm.

Bone structure. Some dogs are more prone to bone issues such as hip dysplasia or back issues, and running could exacerbate these, so it’s always best to talk to your vet about your dog’s bone structure before taking them out with you.

Snout length. If you run, you know how important managing your breath is, which is why dogs with a flat snout, such as Bulldogs or Pugs, will find that this prevents them from breathing or panting properly. So you want to make sure your dog’s snout is long enough to enable them to manage their breathing, just like you do.

Energy level. Some dogs have the energy to run for a long time, and others prefer shorter sprints, so always consider your dog’s energy level when it comes to deciding on your run.

How far is too far to run with my dog?

There isn’t a set answer to this question, as it will depend on your dog’s stature and athleticism. The best thing to do is start with shorter distances and build them up over time. As you do this, pay attention to your dog’s body language, particularly keeping an eye out for overheating, and ensuring you’re taking plenty of water breaks. You could even think about joining a Canicross group, as they’ll be able to give you plenty of advice about how to build up your dog’s stamina, and you’ll have other people to help keep you motivated.

If you’re worried about getting the exercise balance right for your pup, then pop a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker or a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor on their collar. It will give you an exercise goal tailored to your dog and then track all of their running, walking and playing, so you’ll know when it’s time to take a breather.

What are the best dog breeds to run with?

While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the most popular dog breeds to go on a run with.

1. Weimaraner

Weimaraners have lots of energy, and they love to run. They’re great at both long distances and shorter bursts at a faster pace. Paired with their athletic physique and short coat, this makes them a great fit for any runner.

2. Dalmatian

Dalmatian and owner getting ready for a walk with the Dalmatian wearing a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

Dalmatians are able to keep pace with horses, so you can bet they’ll be able to keep pace with you. These pups are great for long-distance runs, although try to stick to softer trails as asphalt and concrete can be hard on their joints.

3. Vizsla

Vizsla looking through a fence wearing a green PitPat GPS

The Vizsla’s sleek coat makes them perfect for running in warmer climates, and boy, do they love to run. These affectionate dogs are happy to run fast, so if you’re a competitive runner who likes to push the pace, this could be the breed for you. But if you prefer to take things on the slower side, they have plenty of stamina which makes them a great jogging companion too.

4. German Short-Haired Pointer

This is another dog who is built for speed but can also tackle higher mileage runs too, with some dogs able to go as long as 10 miles. Their endurance is due to their lean build and muscular hindquarters, so they can even keep up with cyclists. 

German Short-Haired Pointers are hunting dogs which means they can have a high prey drive, but if you’re worried about them speeding off without you, then make sure you have a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker – that way you’ll be able to find them in no time.

5. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred to hunt lions in Africa, so it’s no surprise that they do well running in warmer climates. They love to run, and their efficient gait makes them great for those long-distance adventures.

6. Labrador Retriever

Golden Labrador in a forest

This happy-go-lucky breed loves being outside with their owners whether they’re running or not. They have lots of energy, so are content running in short bursts or over longer distances, and their coats are perfect for cold or warm weather.

7. German Shepherd

German Shepherd out on a walk wearing a PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

The German Shepherd is a strong breed that is built for endurance and is fine running in the cold. However, they can be prone to hip dysplasia, so it’s important to check with your vet before taking them on a long run.

If you’re desperate to start pounding those trails and can’t wait for an appointment, then why not join PitPat LIFE™? That way, you have access to FirstVet 24/7, any time of the day or night.

8. Border Collie

Border Collie running in a field wearing a red PitPat GPS Dog Activity Monitor

Border Collies are incredible athletes and love having a job to do, so they’ll be more than happy if their job is keeping you company on a run. It’s worth noting that even though their coats mean they can run in cold conditions, snow should be avoided as it can get trapped in their fur, making them chilly.

9. Siberian Husky

Husky running through woods

Huskies were bred to be sledge dogs, so they will run and run and then run some more. It will also be no surprise that they are well suited to snow and all manner of cold conditions, so if you like running in the freezing cold, this is the running partner for you.

10. Standard Poodle

Poodles have lots of energy and are easy to train, making them a great choice to go running with. Just make sure you’re running with a Standard Poodle as a Toy or Mini Poodle may be too small to keep up.

Ultimately most dogs can be trained to run with you, just make sure you’re considering their combination of physical and mental traits, and whether they’re a good match for where and how you like to run. After all, every dog is different, even within breeds, and most will have preferences when it comes to weather conditions, terrain and distance.

Before you grab your trainers and head out the door though, make sure your dog is kitted out with a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker. It’s the perfect way to ensure that they get the right amount of exercise, while also giving you the off-lead confidence to explore all the trails have to offer.

You might also like