Dogs are known for being man’s best friend. They’re affectionate, loyal and if you pick the right breed, they can even motivate you to work out more! Some dogs have high energy levels that require significant exercise. Try to harness that energy and use it to your advantage by bringing your pup along for a walk or run. Think about it as a win-win situation: your dog will be grateful and you may end up in better shape.
The idea that Greyhounds will readily run long distances is a common misconception. Greyhounds are actually very laid-back, lazy animals that will run at an extremely fast pace for 2 to 3 miles and then lay around and lounge for the rest of the day. These dogs make excellent sprinters or short distance runners (they can run up to 45 mph) but they are most definitely not up for a 10 miler.
Whippets are friendly dogs with a gentle nature. They aesthetically resemble Greyhounds but they are a bit slower. Like Greyhounds, they enjoy quick runs, short sprints, or leisurely jogs, but a 5-mile run is probably their max.
Boxers are considered to be one of the best running dogs due to their size and short coat. They are friendly and loyal. Steer clear of squirrels because they were bred to hunt small animals. The only disadvantage is their short muzzle, which can cause some breathing issues in the heat.
The superior intelligence of the Border Collie makes them alert, capable runners. Border Collies have a high energy level that calls for frequent exercise, which makes them great motivators. Exceptional agility and a tendency for boredom gives these dogs a perfect personality and athleticism for trail-running.
Originating in Germany, Doberman Pinschers were originally bred as guard dogs and were frequently used by police. Today these dogs are known as energetic, loyal and intelligent. If they are well trained and socialized, these dogs make great companions on a run. However, they are prone to hip dysplasia and joint disease due to their larger size, so take it easy on them as they age!
Dalmatians have a history as coach dogs that ran alongside horses during their travels. They have high energy and a tendency to get anxious if they are not regularly exercised so activity is a must. Dalmatians are easily-trained and very friendly, making them great family dogs. However, they are prone to deafness so you may need to brush up on your sign language.
Small but mighty, Jack Russell Terriers have a history as fox-hunters. This natural affinity for hunting and chasing, combined with their muscular build, makes Jack Russell Terriers great running companions!
Although Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred to hunt lions in South Africa, they are actually quite docile. They love to lounge around and be lazy but they also have a high level of endurance that makes them perfect for long distance running. A hound dog with a warm temperament and an energetic spirit- what’s not to love?
Bet you didn’t expect to see a pampered pooch like this on a list for great running dogs! While Standard Poodles are commonly associated with fluff and fashion, these dogs are highly intelligent and highly energetic. Because they are natural people-pleasers, they will be ready and willing to run or hike on flat land or trails. Poodles also love the water so a post-run swim will be much appreciated by your doting pup.
The Viszla, a Hungarian breed, boasts the perfect size and coat length for running. These medium-sized dogs are easy to train. Energetic, loyal, and gentle-mannered, Viszlas will love exercise almost as much as they love you.
Tall, dark and handsome, the Weimaraner is gentle and loyal, making it a great watchdog and an even better family dog. High endurance, exceptional stamina, and a toned, muscular physique give this dog a much-deserved spot on this list.
American Pit Bull Terriers get a bad rap but they ‘re actually wonderful dogs as long as they’re raised in a healthy environment. Pit Bulls are strong, with high endurance and high energy so they make great running companions, especially when not raised to be aggressive.
They best place to find your new running partner is your local animal shelter. Not only will you be saving a life by adopting a dog, it is more affordable and mixed breed dogs are often healthier than purebred dogs. If you are in the eastern Massachusetts area, the Animal Rescue League of Boston is a great resource. Be careful when starting to run with your dog. Start out with short distances and check their paws for cuts and wear. Bring plenty of water with you, and try to schedule your runs for early morning or late evening when it is cooler. Check with your vet if you have any concerns.
To keep you and Fido motivated, consider signing up for a race that you can run together. The 3rd annual Doggy 5K, organized by RACE Run Against Cancer Events, takes place on November 10th. Sign up today!