If you enjoy running and you’re looking for a dog that would like to tag along, there are some breeds that would be more suited for this than others. I encourage you to check local animal rescues and shelters for a dog that matches your needs. The best dogs to run with have lots of energy and are very social.
You can often find a breed specific rescue (for almost all breeds) within 200 miles of your home; less if you live near a large metropolitan area. You may also find a mixed breed in a shelter that has a lot of the same qualities as the best dogs to run with.
The first thing you want to remember is that different dogs are good for different types of runners. A dog that is good for fast, short distances may not be the best for slower paced, longer runs. That’s why this list includes a variety.
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Top 10 Best Dogs To Run With
Weimaraners were originally bred as hunting dogs. They are large, athletic canines, and they have high energy. They are good for running fast, as they were bred to run down deer and other animals.
Their powerful muscles mean that the Weimaraner can also run long distances, which is why they are popular hunting dogs. These dogs need exercise. This means they would not be suitable for the casual runner. They require lots of socialization, so this is an excellent dog for families with a yard.
These dogs are very intelligent, making them easy to train. Since they are hunting dogs, they may chase prey while you’re out and about. Weimaraners need a firm hand to keep them from killing cats, squirrels, and other little furry animals.
Another friendly, family dog is the Vizslas. This dog was bred to be a hunting dog. It’s primary job when hunting is as a retriever. They are a social breed and do not do well being left alone very often.
This dog is extremely friendly with people, other dogs, and other animal types. Although he is a hunting dog, he doesn’t have as much of a prey drive as the Weimaraner. This is another active dog that needs to be exercised.
You either need to be an avid runner, or have a large yard for play if you’re thinking about adopting a Vizslas. This dog is good for long, steady runs. He is also good for short, fast runs.
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3. Labrador Retrievers
They could be trained to fetch nets, ropes, and many other items. They are mainly used now to retrieve water fowl for their hunters.
Labrador Retrievers are very friendly. They usually will not make good watch dogs because of their extremely friendly nature. However, this makes them excellent family dogs.
They have high energy and need to be walked frequently, or have access to a nice yard to play in. They are intelligent and easy to train. Labs are good for long distance, slower runs. They are equally as good in shorter, faster runs.
Whippets are friendly and social. They do not like being left alone. This breed is intelligent and easy to train. They were originally bred to hunt rabbits, so they need to be trained to not chase and kill small, furry animals.
This breed is one of the best dogs to run with, as they are commonly used as racing dogs. I don’t know if you need any more convincing than this that they are great companions for runners.
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Jack Russel Terriers are great for runners that are looking for a smaller breed. Jack Russels are very powerful dogs, making them great for longer, slower runs. They can be a handful, though.
This breed needs an experienced dog owner to instill the best training in them. They are very active and energetic. A large yard, or frequent walks, are a must. These dogs are a little more independent, meaning they can be left alone for greater amount of times than some of the other best dogs to run with.
Just make sure your Jack Russel has a chew toy to fight boredom. While the Jack Russel is not as kid friendly as some other dogs on our list, they are still very family oriented. They should do fine around kids, especially if purchased as a puppy.
Greyhounds are the most popular racing breed in the United States, which makes it only fitting they would end up on the list of the best dogs to run with. They are retired at a fairly young age, so one can adopt a young dog that already has significant training.
Greyhounds are very fast, but only good for short distance runs. Surprisingly, these dogs can adapt to living in an apartment as long as they are exercised daily.
They are very friendly, and are great for families with kids. They must have a strong hand when on a leash, as they do have a large prey instinct. These dogs were bred to race from the beginning, giving them an excellent reputation as a runner’s companion.
The Beagle is also a good dog for a runner looking for a small pet. This breed is the best on this list for apartment living. They were originally bred to hunt small animals, such as rabbits, foxes, etc.
Beagles are intelligent, but can be a little harder to train. Like most hounds, they can be stubborn. They are very friendly and great for families. This dog is good for people who take short, brisk runs.
Due to their stubborn nature, an experienced dog owner will work best, but with all the training guides out there, it is not impossible for a determined, novice dog owner to have a great pet with a beagle. While not quite as active as other dogs on this list, they still need regular exercise or play.
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Dalmatians were originally bred as coach dogs. They were bred to be strong and have excellent stamina. Dalmatians were also used as war dogs.
They can be trained to make excellent guard dogs. Despite this, Dalmatians are friendly dogs and great for families. Given that they were bred as war dogs, they can be a little un-easy around strangers.
They are good companions for long distance and cross-country runners. Like most dogs that are good for running, they have lots of energy and need to be exercised often.
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Despite their regal reputation, this breed is one of the best dogs to run with. The poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl. Their coat keeps them warm and protected from water, so grooming will be quite a chore.
They are intelligent and easy to train. Their prey instinct is not very strong, so they train well on a leash without wanting to chase other animals. They are excellent family dogs, which also means they do not like to be alone.
Poodles do well with long, slow running. They are a great breed for the distance runner. Like other dogs on this list, they are high energy and need to be exercised regularly.
10. Catahoula Cur
This dog was bred to hunt in the swamps and forests of Louisiana. This makes them agile and great runners for cross-country. The Catahoula does good for long, slow runs. They have excellent endurance.
These dogs are affectionate with family and they do not like being alone. They are usually not very good with children. Kids would need to understand how to treat and respect a dog if you were to choose this breed.
Catahoula Cur dogs are a little harder to train, and will need a dedicated owner. They make up for all this in their unique appearance. If you want a dog that stands out form the others, this is the dog for you. They are usually multi-colored, even having different color eyes.