These Dog Breeds Make Fantastic Running Companions

Many dogs are bursting with energy, but that doesn’t mean that they are all suited to be running companions. The best breeds for runners are those that have the stamina and physique to go the distance and keep up with their owner. Some dogs are an obvious pick, like the mighty Doberman. But others have an athletic ability that may take you by surprise, like the English Springer Spaniel or the Airedale Terrier. Read on to discover some of the best breeds to take with you on a run.

Vizslas Are Natural Athletes

vizsla
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Vizslas are revered in Hungary for their impeccable athletic skills. It isn’t difficult to see why, judging by their extraordinary gait. These nimble-footed canines were hailed throughout history as the trusted companion of hunters.

Vizslas are both eager and full of stamina, making them ideal runners for short and long distances. They are happiest when they have the opportunity to run to their fullest extent, and need an owner who can either keep up with them or let them off-leash.

English Springer Spaniels Are More Muscular Than They Look

springer-spaniel
TheOtherKev/Pixabay
TheOtherKev/Pixabay

English Springer Spaniels may not look like the most athletic of dogs, but don’t let their long locks and sweet faces fool you. These graceful canines are full of stamina and have a history of working alongside sport hunters.

Beneath their double coat is a muscular build that gives them the endurance they need for a hard workday. Springers have a deep desire to please their owner, and love being around people. Their social attitude and fit build make them ideal running companions.

Try And Keep Up With A Weimaraner

zuzanu/Pixabay
zuzanu/Pixabay

Weimaraners are medium-sized, gray canines with muscular builds and fearless attitudes. Though they are courageous, they are also obedient, making them wonderful companions who will stick by your side through any activity.

Weimaraners have loving dispositions and long to please their owners. Additionally, they are best behaved when they are physically and mentally challenged on a regular basis. They are full of energy and would much rather go for a run than a walk.

Dalmatians Are Spotted Sprinters

Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Dalmations are medium-sized dogs that typically don’t weight more than 70 pounds. Their lean but strong physique contributes to their excellent stamina and elegant gait. Since Dalmatians are naturally energetic, being sure that they have a way to expend their energy helps to keep them out of trouble.

The spotted canines are sensitive and loyal, so spending quality time with them will go a long way. Whether it’s a long run or a challenging hike, Dalmations will be by your side the whole way.

Don’t Doubt A Doberman’s Athletic Abilities

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Cuveland/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Weighing upwards of 100 pounds, Doberman Pinschers have compact builds that makes them powerhouses. The fast and powerful canine has a reputation for being both fearless and alert. These dogs will take on any challenge without hesitation.

Dobermans are not only full of muscle, but also energy. Built to exercise for long periods of time, these sleek dogs are happiest when they can exert themselves physically. Making a Doberman your running companion is an excellent way to bond with the noble canine.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks Used To Track Lions

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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are named for the strip of backward growing hair on their backs, but they’re known for their power and speed. These canines have a history of tracking down lions in Africa, so fierce running is in their genes.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren’t as energetic as some dogs and only need moderate exercise, but they love running instinctively. This means that the hounds are capable of adapting to different living circumstances so long as their daily dose of exercise includes a renewing run.

German Shorthaired Pointers Are Keen Runners

Tim Golder/Unsplash
Tim Golder/Unsplash

German Shorthaired Pointers are either solid-colored or have a distinctive coat pattern that makes them impossible to miss. The medium-sized canines are packed with both speed and agility, enabling them to zoom past whatever obstacles they may encounter.

These althetic companions bond deeply with their owner and are game for all things physical. These joined traits make German Shorthaired Pointers wonderful workout buddies, especially when it comes to high endurance training like running.

The Belgian Malinois Is A Graceful Runner

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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Belgian Malinois is a sturdy dog, weighing in at as much as 80 pounds. They are squarely built but also long and lean, making them both brawny and graceful. These canines live to work hard and are committed to their owner, making them wonderful running partners.

The American Kennel Club sums it up when they state, “To deny a Mal activity and the pleasure of your company is to deprive him of his very reasons for being.”

You’ll Find An Agile Sprinter In A Saluki

popovicmjeljica/Pixabay
popovicmjeljica/Pixabay

Salukis are strong, lean dogs that stand at as much as 28 inches to the shoulder, but don’t typically weigh more than 65 pounds. Their lean but defined muscles look like that of a long-distance runner.

Indeed, the agile sprinters love running and do best when they can push themselves to the full extent. They are natural adapters who can do well in a variety of climates, so feel free to take these dogs on runs all year round.

American Foxhounds Need To Exercise

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

At first glance, the American Foxhound looks like an elongated Beagle on account of its tricolored coat pattern. The strongly built canines do love to howl, especially when they are not having their exercise needs met.

The American Foxhound has a strong work ethic and prey drive that makes them desperate for physical activity. If they are too idle they can become destructive, so long runs with these active canines can help bring out their easygoing, sweet nature.

Airedales Are “The Kings Of Terriers”

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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The largest of all terrier breeds, Airedale Terriers stand at 23 inches to the shoulder and weigh up to 70 pounds. These courageous canines are nicknamed “The King of Terriers” for their size and impressive athletic ability.

While small dogs have to exert much more energy to keep up with humans, medium-sized dogs have the advantage of long strides that aid their endurance. The Airedale’s long and muscular legs make it well-suited for long runs with their owner.

Brittany Dogs Can Go The Distance

brittany-spaniel
contagionpseudomonas/Pixabay
contagionpseudomonas/Pixabay

Brittany Dogs are one of the smaller canines on this list, standing at no more than 21 inches to the shoulder and only weighing 30-40 pounds. Still, they are well-balanced, athletic dogs that have the energy to go the distance with their runner owner.

Brittany dogs love all things outdoors and live to exercise. Known for their versatility, these dogs will be your companion for any number of activities, not just running. If you’re looking for a dog that will be up for anything sports-related, a Brittany may be for you.

Australian Cattle Dogs Are Hard Workers

Kenney Badboy/Unsplash
Kenney Badboy/Unsplash

Australian Cattle Dogs are adorable, friendly canines related to the famous Dingo. The medium-sized dogs aren’t terribly tall, but are compact, weighing in at upwards of 50 pounds. Their brawn is matched by their intelligence, making them wonderful workers.

As such, Australian Cattle Dogs need to be challenged or they tend to misbehave. They are bursting with energy, and running makes for a perfect outlet. Especially if they live in an apartment, frequent runs with their owner are a must.

English Setters Can Handle Any Physical Activity

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Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

English Setters are distinguishable by their uniquely speckled coat that looks like it’s freckled. Beneath this shaggy coat is a muscular physique that can weigh upwards of 80 pounds. These skillful canines have a history of working in different terrains and are prepared to handle whatever physical activity comes their way.

Though the English Setter has a friendly and mild temperament, they are spirited athletes. Owners can expect their Setter to erupt with energy on runs, and melt back into the couch once they’ve had their fix of activity.

Border Collies Are Workaholics

border-collie
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Border Collies are sometimes described as workaholics on account of their incessant desire to get moving. For this reason, they need an active owner who can keep up with them, rather than the other way around.

The Border Collie is off-the-charts energetic, and has a build that can handle physical stress for long periods of time. They are agile and highly intelligent, so feel free to mix up runs with your Border Collie by throwing in some obstacle training and mental challenges.

A German Shepherd Will Be A Focused Running Partner

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Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

German Shepherds are one of the brawnier dogs on this list, weighing in at upwards of 90 pounds. These loyal canines are well-known for being highly trainable and courageous. When their guard is down, they are loving and friendly, but once they are on high alert, watch out.

German Shepherds have a strong endurance, but are not so peppy that they are easily distracted. Focused and steady, these dogs are wonderful at staying on-task, even if that just means committing to a long-distance run.

Australian Shepherds, Born To Herd

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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Known as the cowboy’s dog, Australian Shepherds were bred as masterful herders. These gorgeous worker canines are both intelligent and tireless, making them ideal dogs to train alongside.

Aussies need hours of exercise each day to be happy, so an owner who frequently runs is a great match for the eager pooch. They also love being given a job to do, so it’s worth putting in some time giving them a mental challenge in addition to their daily runs.

Siberian Huskies Are Superb Running Companions

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Being that Siberian Huskies are well-known sled dogs, it should come as no surprise that they make superb running companions. They are used to working in packs, so learning to stick with their owner on runs should come naturally.

Since they are used to working with others, running with your Siberian Husky is a great way to bond with the pack dog. Especially for owners who have multiple dog breeds at once, doing a group run can be an excellent shared experience for the whole dog family.

Alaskan Malamutes Are Powerful Pups

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Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images

Alaskan Malamutes can be easy to confuse with their Siberian Husky cousins since they are both sled dogs and have a strikingly similar look. An easy way to tell is judging by the size since Alaskan Malamutes tend to run about 20 pounds heavier than Siberian Huskies.

Mals have a sweet face and endearing eyes that make their compact physique a little less intimidating. These canines are powerful and they know it, so asserting your dominance in a way that isn’t threatening, like guiding them on long runs, is an ideal way to keep them happy and submissive.

Labrador Retrievers Are Enthusiastic Workout Partners

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Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Labrador Retrievers have become a popular choice in America on account of their social and fun-loving demeanor. They typically love dogs and humans alike, so you won’t have to worry about an aggressive outburst deterring your run.

Labs are bursting with energy and need plenty of exercise to stay on their best behavior. These loving canines make for enthusiastic workout partners that will keep you motivated to get out and exercise even on lazy days.