The Best Dog Breeds For Runners

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 11/13/20 •  11 min read
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Are you an active outdoor person who enjoys jogging, hiking and more? Are you looking for the right canine companion to accompany you on jaunts in the great outdoors? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together a guide to help you find the right dog to help you enjoy outdoor time together.

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Benefits of Staying Active with Your Dog

There are many benefits for you and your dog when spending time together exercising and being active. Not only will you both experience the health benefits of an active lifestyle, but the bond you share will also grow and deepen. What could be better than taking your best bud out on the trail with you or the two of you jogging together?

Canines, in their natural setting, are very active. They work to get their food every day, sometimes hunting for prey over extensive territories. Domesticated dogs share the same need for activity with their wild cousins and ancestors. For thousands of years, dogs have been used to herd, hunt, and more. Not only that, all breeds of dogs need to have some exercise on a regular basis in order to stay healthy. Dogs also need the mental challenge that comes with being active, too. It’s in their genes.

Here are some of the major benefits of an active lifestyle for you and your dog:

1). Stay in shape: both of you will stay in shape and be able to maintain a healthy weight with regular physical activities such as running, walking, hiking, etc.

2). Strengthen the bond: taking your dog out for walks and other types of exercise not only keeps you both healthy, but it also strengthens the bond of your relationship. You’ll both have activities to enjoy together. You’ll become pals who grow more attuned to one another. Not only will you better understand your dog, but he’ll understand you, too. When a dog has a strong bond with their pet parent, they’re ready to give support and love any time.

3). Mental stimulation: you’ll both enjoy the mental stimulation and relaxation from regular outdoor activities. What grabs your dog’s attention? What does he enjoy watching, doing, etc.? You’ll both also be able to release stress on your outings together.

4). Behavior issues “fixed”: if your pup suffers from a behavior issue, such as separation anxiety, regular exercise with you can help release the tension. Not only does the exercise make your dog tired and release stress, the time spent together will assure your dog of the affection and care only you can provide.

5). Social time: when you’re both out walking, you may have some social time with other dogs and their pet parents! What a fun way to meet people and let your dog socialize at the same time! You’ll both enjoy these outings and the chance to meet new friends!

Regular exercise is great for you both; however, you’ll need to make sure your dog is up to the activities you enjoy. If you have an older or senior dog, for instance, you may not be able to jog or go on long hikes. Instead, short walks may be best for his achy joints. A trip to the vet for a checkup will help determine if your pup is up to your activity level or not.

It’s also important to make sure your pup can endure the cold or heat well, has no breathing problems and is physically able to enjoy these activities with you

Best Dog Breeds for Running and Hiking

Do you enjoy running and taking long hikes in the woods or mountains? Then here’s a list of dog breeds that might enjoy these activities with you!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

These dogs are full of muscle and get-go! These short, lively dogs were used for herding cattle in Medieval times and today, they still enjoy a good workout! A Corgi is best suited for a light jog and a good hike. They also make great companions and are known for being quite affectionate. You’ll have a loyal and fun companion in a Corgi.

Jack Russell Terrier

These dogs are full of energy and highly intelligent—that’s an understatement! These dogs are driven to work and stay active. To keep your Jack Russell happy, give him a job and he’ll be the happiest of canines! If a Jack Russel isn’t kept busy, you’ll soon find that he creates his own activities. This may include chewing your favorite shoes, the couch, etc. Be warned–this breed needs a pet parent with a firm hand and positive reinforcement training starting from puppyhood. You’ll have to train him to understand the boundaries. And make sure he gets plenty of exercise, and we do mean plenty. Exercise will keep him active, use up excess energy and give you a fun, entertaining canine companion. You’ll both have great fun walking, running and hiking—he may even keep going when you’re too tired to keep up!

Golden Retriever

This breed is known for being affectionate, fun, loyal and intelligent. They enjoy playing, running, swimming and more. You’ll have a dedicated friend when you go for walks, jog or hike. These outgoing dogs stay puppies for most of their lives—they never quite seem to grow up! They’re energetic and will keep stride with you for hours. Nothing makes a Golden Retriever happier than pleasing you. What a pal to take with on your outings!

Best Dog Breeds for Hiking Off Leash

Do you enjoy hiking or jogging, but don’t want the hassle of a leash? Then here are some dog breeds that are best for off leash hiking and other activities. Be aware that while these dogs do well off-leash, you’ll have to make sure they’re trained correctly do this. Some dogs automatically come when called, while others will continue their romp.

Make sure your dog’s trained to obey your call when they’re off the leash, and you won’t have to worry he’ll run away

Labrador Retriever

Like their Golden cousins, Labrador Retrievers are another friendly breed. They tend to bond with the pet parent(s), their family and neighbors! And these dogs are full of energy, in fact, they’re excellent when it comes to any type of athletics. Labs are obedient and reliable; when trained, they’re sure to come back!

Australian Shepherd

They love nothing more than to please you and enjoy time with you. Australian Shepherds are full of energy—you won’t have to worry about him wearing out on the trail. He’s sure to come back when called—you’ll both enjoy an outdoor adventure together.


You may not be as familiar with this breed, but Vizslas are wonderful dogs. Often used for hunting, they also make great companions for hiking and many other activities. These energetic pups are known for being both gentle and affectionate. They form strong bonds with their pet parent(s) and won’t have trouble keeping up with you on those long hikes. You may, however, have trouble keeping up with him!

Best Dog for Running Companion

Looking for an avid running companion? Then we’ve got you covered! Consider these breeds—they have the stamina and the will to enjoy a run with you!


Looking for a dog who can endure long jogs? The Weimaraner will be a good fit. These energetic dogs enjoy lots of physical activity and need the mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Weimaraners have been bred to hunt but make excellent canine companions for pet parents. Most of all, they enjoy spending time with you—no matter what you do together.


They make excellent companions on long runs, and they love to exercise. These muscular dogs can go the distance with their easy gait. While they’re often aloof to strangers, they’re always happy to spend time with their pet parent(s). Dalmatians are intelligent, loving dogs who would enjoy a long run with you!

Rhodesian Ridgeback

You’ll know this breed by the ridge or stripe of hair that grows down their spines. Originally from Africa, these dogs are often used for hunting; however, they do make wonderful fur babies for families. These dogs can be independent and have a strong prey drive. You’ll need a firm hand with this dog, but they’ll be your constant companion. They’ll also enjoy long runs with you.

Portuguese Water Dog

This is another breed that’s perfect if you enjoy a long run. You’ll find the Portuguese Water Dog is affectionate and loves nothing more than an adventure with you. Their energy levels are high—they’ll also enjoy a good swim with you, as they love water!

Best Small Dog Breed Running

Maybe you need a smaller dog to run with you, or maybe you enjoy shorter jogs and would like a little furry companion to come along. Then we’ve got you covered! These smaller breeds will love to run with you, but most of them are better for shorter jaunts, rather than a long-endurance run.


Known for their friendly, happy attitudes, these small dogs will enjoy taking a short run with you in hot or cold weather. They’re known for their excellent agility and love of sports, along with being smart and alert.

Miniature Poodle

This breed is just as athletic as their larger cousins, and they make a great companion if you enjoy running year-round. They’re also great for people who have allergies, as the Poodle’s coat is hypoallergenic, which means they don’t shed fur or dander as much as other dog breeds.

Miniature Pinscher

These small dogs are known for their big dog personality and for being quite intelligent. They’re quite athletic and will enjoy accompanying you on a shorter jog!


They’re known for their love of running, much like their larger Greyhound cousins. However, in the past they were sometimes crossed with terriers, making them both tenacious and tough. While these dogs will love running with you, they also like being couch potatoes. You’ll have a constant companion when you’re running or at rest, binging on your favorite programs.

Best Dog Breeds for Running Long Distances

Do you enjoy a long-distance run? Then you’ll need a companion who can keep up with you! Check out these breeds—maybe you’ll find your fur baby here!

Australian Shepherd

These working dogs have been used as herders, but they also make great canine companions. They’re very smart and great when it comes to sports, including agility competitions. Australian Shepherds are known for their long-distance running stamina and ability—you’ll have a canine pal who can definitely keep up with you on those long runs!

Siberian Husky

If you’ve seen sled dogs, chances are you’ve seen a beautiful Siberian Husky at work. They live to work and work hard. They will enjoy a long run with you; however, they don’t do well in the heat. Their heavy coats make hot, humid weather very uncomfortable for them.

Border Collies

Known for their intelligence and love of activities, these beautiful dogs will have no problem keep up with you on those long runs. Not only will he keep up with, but you’ll have a devoted, affectionate companion even when you’re not running together. They’ll be happy to cuddle up with you and binge watch movies to relax…you’ll find you have a nice “lap” dog who loves you dearly!

We hope you’ll find the perfect running companion in this list of dog breeds who thrive on affection and exercise! Don’t forget that mixed breeds, such as shelter dogs, may also be a great choice when it comes to finding your companion for outdoor activities!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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