The 10 Best Dogs for Runners: Top Running Dogs to Adopt and Breeds to Avoid

April 19, 2021

The 10 Best Dogs for Runners: Top Running Dogs to Adopt and Breeds to Avoid

Some dog breeds are well-known to be lazier dogs and not up to extensive exercise. And there's nothing wrong with bringing home an adorable pug to cuddle with. But if you're an active person that wants your new dog to jog alongside you, you'll want to select a breed that is naturally predisposed to intense exercise.  

But which breeds are the best dogs for runners? There are so many types of dogs out there of all different sizes, shapes, and demeanors. It can seem like a gargantuan task to sort out the running dogs from the rest of the pack.

Don't worry! We've already done the hard part for you. Read on below for a complete runner dogs guide. We'll tell you our list of the top 10 dogs for runners and which breeds are likely to clash with your active lifestyle.

Which Breeds Are Not Suited for Running?

Dogs with short snouts, such as pugs and bulldogs, are easily susceptible to heat exhaustion and breathing problems, so we do not recommend taking them on runs for long distances. Dogs with short legs, such as Corgis, will also tire out easily and struggle to keep pace with their owner on runs.

While pit bulls and boxers may have plenty of energy for short-distance runs, they don't typically have the stamina required to run frequently or for long distances. Large dogs, such as Mastiffs, are prone to joint problems, which can be exacerbated by running too often.  

Finally, puppies of any breed under six months of age should not be required to run either regularly or for significant distances. This can negatively affect their skeletal and muscular growth.

Top 10 Runner Dogs

Now that you know which dogs aren't the best choice for a frequent runner, let's take a look at the other end of the spectrum. Here are our top picks for the best breeds of dogs for runners. 

1. Border Collie

As running dogs go, the Border Collie is hard to beat. Not only do Border Collies demonstrate above-average agility and stamina, they actually get easily frustrated from a lack of physical activity. If you're looking for a dog that can keep up with your regular long-distance running routine, this is the breed for you.

While Border Collies can handle running in moderate heat, cooler climates allow them to really show what they're capable of. These dogs might also appreciate the challenge of running over difficult terrain or along winding trails.

2. Australian Shepherd

Like the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is another breed that is well-equipped for long-distance runs over challenging terrain. They need to engage in a lot of physical activity to keep themselves happy and satisfied, so they're a great choice for active dog owners.  

Aussies aren't well suited to intense heat, however, as they have long, thick coats. This breed will be best for runners that live in mild or cool climates or who prefer to run during seasons when the weather is more palatable. 

3. Weimaraner

Weimaraners are runner dogs by their very nature. With their superior speed and stamina, these born athletes can withstand frequent high-speed runs of both long and short distances. In fact, Weimaraners require an above-average amount of physical activity to keep themselves healthy and happy.

This breed is also known for being exceptionally heat tolerant, so Weimaraners make great running partners no matter the climate, season, or time of day. Their strong bodies and heightened agility will give them the boost they need to keep up with you on your daily run.

4. Dalmatian

The Dalmatian is another breed that is known for its ability to run at high speeds. Before the advent of modern technology, these dogs were trained to run in advance of horse-drawn carriages as a sort of primitive siren for fire rescue operations. What better running dogs could you ask for?

Dalmatians need to get a lot of exercises to keep from getting restless, frustrated, or unhealthy. They'll be delighted to be adopted by an owner who wants to take them out for runs on a regular basis.

5. Vizsla

A Hungarian breed, the Vizsla is a member of the American Kennel Club's sporting group, meaning that these dogs are naturally predisposed to certain kinds of physical activity. It's no wonder the Vizsla found a spot on this list of the top 10 best dogs for runners.

These dogs are well-known for their ability to run at impressively high speeds as well as continue running for surprisingly long amounts of time. They are also well suited to performing physical activity in excessive heat, so prospective owners living in warmer climates need not worry.

6. Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a unique breed that was bred for physical labor, primarily for the task of pulling sleds through the snow. This process earned the Siberian Huskies their spot in the American Kennel Club's working group, as well as their infamously high energy levels.

Siberian Huskies make excellent runner dogs, and you'll find they'll happily keep up with your runs regardless of frequency or distance. Temperature, however, is a concern for this breed. Huskies have thick coats, so they are not suited to live in warm climates.

7. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies aren't recommended as running partners, but once they've reached full size at two years of age, they make excellent running dogs. Originally bred as accessories to lions and big game hunting in Africa, they are accustomed to exerting lots of energy over long periods of time.

An ideal breed for tolerating warmer temperatures, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the most athletic members of the Hound group, known for its above-average speed and reliable endurance.

8. Pointer

The Pointers are a group of dog breeds, including but not limited to the German wirehaired pointer and the german shorthaired pointer.

These dogs have a reputation for having high levels of energy and needing a lot of exercise. With their combined speed, stamina, and agility, they make excellent running partners for both short and long distances.

Pointer breeds tend to have short hair, so hot temperatures rarely present a problem for them. They perform just as well in cool climates.

9. Borzoi

The Borzoi, originally bred in Siberia and popular all over Russia and Belarus is a member of the Sighthound family of breeds. These dogs are excellent sprinters. If you're looking for a canine partner to accompany you on fast-paced runs over short distances, this is the breed for you.

Borzois don't typically have the endurance required for long-distance runs and prefer to exercise intermittently rather than on a regular basis. They also prefer warmer climates, as they are easily susceptible to cold.

10. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are known for being highly energetic as well as having impressive levels of stamina. Anyone looking for a smaller breed of dog as a running partner would be wise to adopt one of these speedy, active dogs.

Originally trained to assist with fox hunting, Jack Russell Terriers are accustomed to performing physical labor for long periods of time. These talents can easily transfer over to long-distance running.


If you're a frequent runner looking to adopt a new furry friend, you can't go wrong with runner dogs from this list. Whether you choose a Siberian Husky or a Jack Russell Terrier, you're sure to have plenty of exciting running adventures with these eclectic and energetic running dogs. 

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