Dogs aren’t just man’s best friend, they can be his best running companion too. Not only are our canine pals fast runners, but they also tend to have plenty of stamina to get them through long workouts. On top of that, dogs genuinely love to run and are almost always ready, willing, and able to get outside and hit the trail with us. It is difficult to find that kind of commitment and dedication from a human running partner, who will often leave you hanging when you need them most.
But not all breeds are well suited for running. Some are more naturally gifted than others, and as a result, they make better companions for those longer workouts. If you’re interested in getting a dog that can join you on a run, here the top breeds to consider.
Smart and agile with energy to burn, the Australian shepherd is an ideal runner over medium and longer distances. They have excellent stamina and generally like to stay very active and busy, which means when you reach for the leash, they’ll probably already be waiting for you at the door. If you’re looking for a breed to join you on daily workouts, this is a great choice.
The marathon runners of the canine world, Siberian huskies were built for running over longer distances. Everyone knows that they were bred to pull sleds through the snow, but in reality, they simply like to run, no matter what the circumstances. As a high-energy breed, they also enjoy daily exercise, and chances are you’ll be ready to call it quits long before they are. Just keep an eye on them in warm weather, as huskies are happiest in the cold.
Labs are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the entire world, which means you just might have the perfect running partner living right under your nose without realizing it. Lean and strong, Labs are versatile runners capable of quick sprints or a more moderate pace over longer distances. They are also very eager to please, which means that they’ll probably be down for whatever type of workout you throw their way.
With long legs and a lean body, the Weimaraner is a natural runner as well. Very smart and athletic, their short-haired coat makes them better suited for running in warmer environments where dogs with thicker fur might quickly overheat. Blessed with plenty of energy, this is a dog that will benefit from regular exercise routines.
Originally bred to be water retrievers, standard poodles are smart, eager to please, and extremely athletic. Their lean bodies make them adept at running medium and longer distances, with enough endurance to keep them moving for hours on end. And since their coats are made of hair rather than fur, they are a great choice for someone who might be allergic to other types of dogs.
Jack Russell Terrier
They may be diminutive, but Jack Russell terriers are nevertheless great runners, thanks in no small part to their boundless energy. Quick, agile, and clever, this is a breed that is built for shorter, more intense workouts, such as a fast-paced 5K. Since they don’t take up a lot of room, they’re good for runners who live in an apartment or a small house.
If Siberian huskies are the marathon runners of the dog world, the Vizsla just might be the decathlete. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more athletic breed than this one, which can run fast over long distances, navigate obstacles with surprising agility, and jump much higher than you would expect from a dog this size. Once a Vizsla becomes accustomed to running regularly, he’ll more than likely be the one begging you to go.
Big and strong, malamutes are known for their exceptional endurance. While they aren’t nearly as fast as some of the other breeds on this list, they are capable of running great distances, often pulling a heavy sled behind them as they go. Powerful and good-natured, these gentle giants can become overly anxious if they don’t get enough exercise on a regular basis.
You’ll be hard pressed to find another breed that is as loyal, friendly, and protective as a German shepherd. They are also eager to please, have plenty of endurance, and are incredibly strong too. That combination of qualities makes them great running companions, and the fact that they love kids means they’ll fit into a family unit quite nicely.
Perhaps the smartest breed of them all, the border collie loves to stay active and have a job to do. They are fast, agile runners who can turn on a dime without missing a step. With incredible bursts of speed they are able to cover short distances in a flash, but with proper pacing they can also run for miles, and since they are so good natured, you won’t hear them complain one bit.
Which of these breeds is right for you? That depends on your particular running style and lifestyle. But honestly, just about any one of these breeds would make a great running partner—not to mention a great addition to the family.