6 Best Dog Breeds For Trail Runners

by Kaitlyn Wylde
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If hiking/running trails are your happy place and you're thinking about rescuing a dog, you're likely hoping that said dog will be your new running partner. And while there's no way to know for sure whether or not your furry friend will love the trails as much as you do (as all dogs are different), some breeds are more suited for that kind of activity than others. The best dog breeds for trail runners are not just high energy or high endurance breeds, they're agile, they're smart, and most importantly, they're less likely to get injured than other breeds.

While most dogs might like to run, (at least for a little bit) not all dogs are built for trail running. When you're running on a trail, you have to be flexible, quick, and light on your feet. With inclines, declines, slippery or low-traction conditions, and the risk of obstacles, you're going to want to make sure that your pup has incredible paw-eye-coordination and is going to love the trails as much as you do.

Breeds with shorter legs and less agility might be incredibly stressed out by all that they need to do to keep up with you, whereas other breeds will totally thrive out in the unpredictable great outdoors. Here are the breeds that are literally built for trail running to increase your chances of pairing up with a running partner who actually likes it as much as you do:

Labrador Retriever

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Labs are usually down for anything. If your lab is in great shape, they'll enjoy the trails just as much as you do. The only circumstance in which a Lab would't be excited about a long and strenuous hike would be if it were overweight, as Labs have a tendency to put on weight that can make it hard for them to keep up. If this is the case, work up to a big hike and wait until your Lab is fit enough to enjoy it without over doing it.

Jack Russell Terrier

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Jack Russells have an unquenchable thirst for activity. Trail running is a piece of cake for this terrier breed, as they're swift, fast, and great companions on the trails. Though you might need to pick them up in certain parts of your run, especially if the terrain is incredibly rocky or steep, they'll be able to handle a long hike, no problem.

Border Collie

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Good luck keeping up with your Border Collie. This breed is one the most agile, quick and energetic dog breeds, ever. Border Collies love to run, they love to jump, and they love to be challenged. That makes them perfectly suited for the trails, as a stick in the way or a muddle patch is only going to excite them, not stress them out.


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The Goldendoodle might look like an indoor dog, but this breed is incredibly athletic and agile. But what makes this breed so well fit for trail running is not so much their energy, though they do have tons of that, it's their love of getting dirty. If there's water, if there's mud, if there's dense wood, your Goldendoodle is going to bound right into it. For this reason you might also want to keep them on a leash to ensure they don't get into trouble.


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The Vizsla is a working dog. This breed is happiest when it's accomplishing complicated tasks for its owner. If you're running on the trails, your Vizsla is going to be running right beside you, proudly. Their long legs and elegant shape makes them incredibly agile and perfect for long distance romps.


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The Weimaraner dog loves challenging exercise and is best behaved when exercised daily, as they are natural born hunters and love a high energy excursion. This breed will be able to keep up with you on the trails, and what's more, they'll be in cuddle mode by the time you get home which really gives you the best of both temperaments.