Best running dogs: Which breeds are the best dogs to run with?

20 April 2021

Dogs can make the best running companions. But are all dogs suited to running? Definitely not! Discover which breeds make the best running dogs, below!

border collie running

All dogs are awesome – but not made the same. Some dogs are more likely to have health issues that limit their movement, while others are natural athletes that can easily get sporty and take on challenging physical activities. Before you learn how to run with your dog, find out if it’s actually safe to run with your furry friend. You may be better off finding another running partner (and a new hobby to enjoy with your dog). Can you guess which breeds make the best running dogs? Read on to find out the answer.

Considering going running with your dog? 👉 Check out the device that might save your dog’s life.

Discover Tractive GPS

What are the best dogs to run with?

First things first. Before you learn how to run with your dog safely, you’ll want to make sure your dog is well-suited to your new hobby. Not all dogs are cut out for long runs. There are several factors that go into determining if a dog is well-suited for running. These include:

  • breed
  • age
  • health condition

For some breeds, running may actually be bad for their well-being, so before you hit the road, consider your dog’s health, build, and breed. Pugs and bulldogs, for example, are likely to suffer from respiratory and overheating issues. Older dogs may have joint problems that can make running uncomfortable. So, before you make a running schedule for you and your pup, get a health check from your vet. Just like humans need a doctor to clear them for exercise, our four-legged friends do too.

Let’s now look at these factors which can affect a dog’s running ability in more detail.

Best running dogs by breed

One of the main indicators you can use to determine if a dog is capable of running safely with you or not is their breed. Some dog breeds find it easy and natural to run, while others simply can’t keep up. Breed typically determines if a dog’s body is suited for running or not.

In general, large breeds with long legs make the best running dogs.

Considering their size, bone structure, and overall physical disposition, these dog breeds make the best dogs to run with:

  • Huskies
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Greyhounds
  • Labradors
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Dalmatians
  • Poodles
  • Border Collies
  • Weimaraners

If you have one of these dog breeds, grab your shoes – its most likely safe to go running with your dog.

Australian Shepherd dog in field
Australian Shepherd – this dog breed typically makes for an ideal running companion.

These dog breeds don’t make good runners

On the other hand, dogs with shorter legs and a smaller nose are not well suited to running or jogging. Due to their “smushed” face, they will experience problems breathing while running. Among those are:

  • Pugs
  • Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Pekingese
  • Shih Tzus
  • Corgi
  • Dachshund

If you have one of these breeds, accept the fact that your dog may not be a runner. Instead, try walking or slunning – aka slow running (one of our favorite sports here at the office) – at a speed and distance that is comfortable for you both.

infographic - best running dogs by breed and dog breeds not suited to running
Infographic: the best running dogs and their less athletic counterparts (breed chart).

Running with a dog: Age matters

Besides breed, it’s also important to take age into account before running together with a furry friend. Both very young and old dogs may find it challenging to jog. Puppies, for example, will need to be allowed to grow to their full size before they start jogging, to ensure that they can run safely and their joints are protected. On the other end of the spectrum, senior dogs may suffer from health issues that prevent them from running.

Find out how old your dog really is here.

In general, puppies under one year should also not go for long walks or runs.

Medical condition & health issues

Finally, you’ll want to consider a dog’s health condition and medical record before taking them out with you on your daily run. Does your dog have a disability which would prevent them from running? Or could a more subtle disease like dog dementia be affecting them? If you’re not sure about your dog’s health condition, then there’s only one thing to do:

Consult your vet

Even if you think your dog might be capable of running with you, it’s a good idea ask your vet first before you get started. In addition to breed, age, health condition, and personality of your dog all play a role in determining if they are fit to be your running buddy.

Once you get the green light from your vet, it’s time to get ready, set, go!

Conclusion: Best dogs to run with

Before running with your dog, take their breed, age, and health condition into consideration. Not all dogs are suitable for running, but you might just find the perfect running partner in your furry best friend.

Please also keep in mind that it does matter how fit your dog buddy is. Active dogs will find it easy to pick up a regular running routine. On the other hand, sick or older dogs who struggle with daily exercise will likely not make the best running partners. Consider that some dog breeds are more inclined to develop various diseases, and make sure to check your four-legged friend’s health condition before every dog jog. A complete check-up will determine whether your dog is ready to start running with you or not.

You can always track your dog’s physical activity (and location in real time) using a Tractive GPS dog tracker and activity monitor. This way, you can ensure your beloved canine pal is not being over (or under) challenged, while making sure they stay out of harm’s way at all times.

Want some more tips and info about the best dogs for runners? Check out this video:


Did you like this post? Share it with a fellow dog-loving runner today!

Never lose my dog again

You may also like...

More articles