The Best Dogs for Running

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The Best Dogs for Running

The best dogs for running may surprise you!  This list has some of the fastest pups on the pavement.

Rhett and Reina running pin

I wish I had a dog to run with.  Don’t get me wrong, I love these two looney toons dogs, but they are not built for running with me.

Rhett has three inch legs.  In his younger days I think he would seriously attempt to keep up with me, because he loved me that much.  But it would never be good for him.

Reina has a bum knee and even before that her complete and utter lack of concentration (OH-Squirrel!) made it very difficult to go more than a quarter of a mile. I tried.

So I love these two, but sadly they will have to settle for walks instead of being my running buddy.

If you are looking for the best dog to run with, here are some of my top picks for best dogs for running.  And remember, you can always rescue any type of dog!  I am not promoting buying a certain breed 🙂

Best Dogs for Running

Running can be even more fun with your furry best friend by your side. In fact, they just might be the perfect training buddy: they don’t complain, they can always run your schedule and they always love to be with you, even early in the morning or when the weather is not ideal.

Not all dogs make the best dog to run with though. Before you decide on what type to get, you want to consider the climate you run in, plus how far and how fast you run. Here are some of the best dogs for running:


Vizslas are known for their lean physic and natural love of running. They are high energy dogs who excel at running fast and are easily trained. They are known as “Velcro” dogs because of their loyalty, affection and desire to stay very close to their owner. This trait also makes them great running buddies.


Weimaraners are tall dogs with muscular physic. They are known for their high endurance and stamina, making them perfect distance runners. They are energetic and intelligent dogs that will also make a great family pet.


Greyhounds are probably one of the most famous breeds of doggy runners. They are fast and can reach speeds of 40-45 miles per hour. They have sweet, mild temperaments and would love to curl up with you on the couch after your run.

Labrador retriever

This popular dog breed has just enough energy to go for shorter runs with you. Labs are “working” dogs who like to get as much exercise as we do.

Jack Russell

These little dogs may have short legs, but they are full of energy to burn. They are great for shorter runs and will love every minute of your time out on the trails.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs who love to work. They will do just about anything to make you happy, including running with you! They are good dogs for security and running in colder climates.

Mixed Breeds

Mixed Breeds can be ideal for running because they tend to have less joint and hip issues than full bred dogs. Mutts with pointer, retriever or shepherd are good bets. You can also look for a dog with a muscular physique and energy.


Remember, you do not need to buy any of these types of dogs from a breeder. There are many available at your local animal shelters for just a small adoption fee. Some shelters will even let you work with the dog before you adopt to see if he/she is exactly what you need. There are also breed rescue groups for each specific type of dog, if you don’t find what you are looking for at the shelter.

Also remember you have to train your dog just like you would train yourself. Start out slow and short and build to long and fast over time. Spending extra time to train your pup correctly leads to many years of happy running for both of you!

This article was also published on RunHaven!

Your turn!

Do you run with your dog?

Any types of dogs to add to the list?

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:19-04:00 January 7th, 2015|Fitness, Newbie Running, Rhett, Running|27 Comments


  1. Michael Cod September 16, 2017 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I’ve had 1 boxer that could easily run a 7 miler with me. Hydration is so important!’

    • Jane October 2, 2018 at 6:49 am - Reply

      It is cool. These inspire me a lot. I think I will use your tips to apply for my dog. My friends should know this also. Thanks.

  2. Bradley June 8, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    I have a german shepherd. And he is love to run with me. I suggest to use dog leash when you are running to have control over your dog. I always use a leash for safety. Thanks

  3. Kevin Davies May 16, 2017 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Dogs make running more fun. My Weimaraner like to run with me!

  4. Julia January 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I would actually put Boxers on the list as well. They can’t handle weather extremes, but many of my friends run with their Boxers. They are a very athletic breed and like being out with their people. I’m hoping to start the “pooch to 5K” this spring with my younger girl, who will be 3 years old by then.

  5. Emily January 11, 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I’d probably add Siberian huskies. They’re really good at not running all out and measuring their energy more than other breeds that I’ve run with. They work well for endurance.

  6. Nikol Murphy (Mom Complicated) January 10, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

    When my husband and I were newly married we adopted a German Shepherd / Mastiff mix. My husband was so happy to have a running companion. Turns out he was completely pathetic when it came to running and cold weather. He would run for about a block and then lay down. His paws would get freezer burn in the winter (we lived in Colorado) and he would hold “it” for days if it was under 15 degrees outside. Still was the best dog ever.

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hahahahaaaaa!!!! So funny. Dogs have a mind of their own. If they don’t want to run , they don’t want to run!! It seems like a little bit of luck too to get a running buddy.

  7. Jaime January 8, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

    My mom has a dog, Sophie, who is mostly collie. She isn’t a good running pal (she likes to take her time, and stop in the road just to take a rest.) Our old dog, Oliver, was part Greyhound and Yellow Lab. BEST RUNNER EVER.

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

      That sounds like the perfect combo for a running dog. I bet he was so cool!

  8. [email protected] January 7, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Dogs make running more fun. My Weimaraner like to run with me!

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Awesome! Can I borrow him? j/k! Sounds like a lot of fun!

  9. I am so not a dog person but if I was I would certainly get a dog that I could run with. Nice post

  10. Nicole @ Fitful Focus January 7, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    I’m so torn here because I REALLY want a bulldog, but I also really want a dog I can run with (which is so not a bulldog). Maybe the solution is get two dogs?

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Haha! Sounds like a great plan. I have two though and they get in 4 times as much trouble together. They are pretty funny.

  11. Gerald REiser January 7, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    The fastest Dogs live in North Dakota — because the trees are so far apart.

  12. Tracy January 7, 2015 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Ha! You can add my dog to that picture. I’ve tried running with him…he’s good sometimes, but he’s a little too focused on squirrels, other dogs, people, etc. I don’t think he’ll ever be my running buddy, but I’ve started taking him for about a mile run/walk after I finish my regular runs. I wish he were able to run with me the whole time, but this way he gets to run a little bit and I get to cool down, so it works out for both of us 🙂

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

      The squirrel thing really gets us!
      You’ve ben working so hard with your dog, I’m curious to see if he will come around!

  13. Lori L. Clark January 7, 2015 at 9:26 am - Reply

    I have a min pin, and although he be tiny, he’s a bundle of energy and keeps right up with me. We trained together for my first ever 1/2 marathon, and he was a trooper. He does have luxating patella now, and doesn’t enjoy the runs so much anymore. But that’s okay. I still love him to the moon and back. 🙂

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Oh cool! It would be so cool to have a buddy to train with.
      My dogs are getting older too, so I totally understand. They can’t do everything they used too… but I love them just the same.

  14. Shelley January 7, 2015 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I work with a sanctuary who takes in the senior and special needs companion animals. Just want to say thank you for your shout out to folks about adopting from a shelter. Also for considering a mixed breed. So many great animals out there needing homes. Some will be able to run…others will be too old or have some sort of special need….but all will give you the greatest gift of all, LOVE!

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

      They do Shelly! There are so many amazing animals ready to make your life so much better, especially at the Forever Farm.

  15. Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie January 7, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

    I have been debating on getting a dog for awhile now! I really want one, but just don’t think it’s very practical for me right now. That being said, I used to run with my ex’s mixed breed dog and she was such a great little runner!

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

      It is definitely hard work and commitment to have dogs. I love them to death, but vet bills and paying for someone to watch them when we leave town is probably the most challenging.
      That being said, I can’t imagine life without them and we always figure it out.

  16. Blane Sherer January 7, 2015 at 6:53 am - Reply

    Have you considered getting another dog yourself to be your running dog ?

    • JulieWunder January 11, 2015 at 9:08 am - Reply

      Not right now! It is all I can do to keep up with the two of them! I joke all the time about wanting a puppy, but two is really more than enough.

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