Dogs aren’t just amazing pets; they can be fantastic training partners for runners, bringing enthusiasm and companionship to your training program. But with so many dogs to choose from what are the best dogs for runners?
What you’ll learn in this article:
✓ Why dogs make the best pets for runners
✓ What runners should look for in a dog
✓ The pros and cons of the best dog breeds for runners
✓ Where to go for advice about the best pets for runners
Dogs can be friendly and loyal training partners, bringing companionship and accountability to your running (can you say no to those big brown eyes).
Here are a few of the reasons that dogs are the perfect pets for runners:
- They are friendly making them easy to run with.
- They offer amazing companionship.
- You can control them using a leash so that they do not lose their way.
- They psyche you up on the road.
- Dogs challenge your speed making you a better runner.
- They make running enjoyable, fun and interesting.
Can you even imagine running with your cat?
The Best Dogs for Runners
Everyone has their preference, but some dog breeds are just naturally more suited to running. Here is a list of the best dogs for runners along with some pros and cons for each of them:
The German Shepherd is a quiet dog, but it will make you cover that extra mile. It has great muscular structure, which is good for running. At the end of a run, a German Shepherd will always be happy to play around with you.
– Well built
– It’s thick coat may be a disadvantage during hot weather
A Siberian Husky is perfect for those chilly mornings. It has well-structured fur to keep it warm, so do not worry about your pet freezing. Its great insulation is a big plus if you live in the cold parts of the world.
This breed has no issues with tough terrain and can run with you all year round thanks to it’s thick coat.
– Has no odor
– Bouncy thus enjoyable to run with
– Be careful with it; it has the tendency to escape
– Excessive shedding of fur
The Australian Shepherd never disappoints. It likes human companionship and can deal with whatever terrain you can. It has the energy to be very competitive when running. If you are looking for a dog who can challenge your strides, go for this breed.
The Australian Shepherd is easy to train and once it knows your running route it will never forget it. Being smart comes naturally to it.
– Require physical and mental stimulation
– Needs more exercise
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is attentive, smart and suitable for trails and roads. They appreciate it when you take them out regularly and exercise.
The German Shorthaired Pointer loves long runs. Their weight is appropriate for easy running. They are versatile thus do with them whatever you like as long as you do not go overboard.
– Fun to play with after running
– It is playful demanding more of your time
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier loves to run. It is fast and will enjoy challenging your every step. It won’t get tired of running with you each day.
– You may struggle to catch up with it
– Needs to exercise as much as you do; each day
A Dalmatian is perfect for those long runs. Have it along and enjoy your time on the roads. The breed is known to be big and at the same time has a lean body. The size scares people away while the lean body ensures speed.
– Needs lots of exercises
– Short hair unsuitable for cold weather
It is ideal for everything you do when running, taking obstacles in its stride. This breed is fast and intelligent enough to master your paths, so you do not have to carry a leash all the time.
Vizslas are great for trails thanks to its history in the forests. However, you can still run with it on regular roads. Do not worry about the terrain. They can manage almost anything.
– They are sensitive to noise
The Labrador Retriever is comfortable with anything from sprints through to a 10k. It has the energy you need and enjoys outdoor environment.
This likeable breed will ensure you enjoy your runs. It has the agility it needs to run with you.
– Likes Running
– Need biting toys as they are chewers
Jack Russell Terrier
A Jack Russell Terrier is a determined dog, so you can push them to help you complete the distance. This means they are energetic and thus great for long distances. You can never go wrong with this breed.
It is small but has the stamina to take you miles and miles away. It is great if you do not like big dogs.
– Energetic despite size
– Brave and daring to run
– Great for apartment dwellers due to the size
– Not a favorite for those who love big dogs
This breed is fast and light making it capable of going the distance with you. Brittney Spaniels have the agility required to take you through your sessions.
– Not for those living in apartments
A Belgian Shepherd enjoys slow runs and is capable of running long distances; this is great if you are the marathon runner.
These dogs look amazing, have great strides and run majestically. You may get carried away by its running that you forget about the distance you have to cover. It is a great companion.
– Has a great lean body
– It is easy maintaining its coat
– Requires extensive training
– Needs more exercise
The Rhodesian Ridgeback comes with amazing strides to take you through the long routes. It has an athletic body that never tires from running.
These dogs are adorable and sure to match your pace.
– Great endurance
– Requires time to train
The Border Collie’s originates in England and enjoys hilly terrain. If you love trails, then consider buying this breed. It looks fantastic and full of energy, making it a demanding training partner.
– Takes less time to train
– Stands harsh weather
– Aggressive at times
– Needs everyday training for consistency
This is an interesting name, and it is a great dog. The breed will accompany you wherever you go. It also stands the cold weather. It has amazing endurance capabilities on the terrain.
This also means it is better to run with it over longer distances rather than sprints.
– Hardy and tough
– Fluffy thus feels good to touch
– Has a great spirit
– Excessive shedding
– Eats a lot
The Greyhound is fast and great at running alongside you. You may have a hard time keeping up with its speed. Therefore, prepare in advance for a challenge on the road. The Greyhound is suitable for short distances but not great at distance.
– Require little exercise as it is suitable for short runs
– Sheds little hair
– Less noisy
– Can not exceed 2 miles
There is no one best dog for runners; each breed has strengths and weaknesses. The secret is to choose the dog that works for you and your running.
If you are a long-distance runner, go for breeds that can handle that. If you are a short distance runner, any of the above breeds will get the job done.
Dogs make fantastic companions for runners. Once you’ve selected the best dog for you, take some time to get to know your new running buddy testing out new routes and finding out what they are capable of doing.
With more than 300 breeds of dogs to choose from, you have plenty of options, but the dogs mentioned above are clear favourites amongst runners.
If you’re serious about getting a dog, we’d recommend that you do plenty of research, ask in running forums and speak with friends to determine which dog has the temperament and the running ability to best match your own.
Do you have a dog or a favourite breed? What do you think are the best dogs for runners?