The 15 Best Dogs For Street Runners
If you love nothing more than hitting the road to jog off your extra energy and you also love pups, then one of these dog breeds to run with might be just the fur baby you've been looking for. From Golden Retrievers to Pit Bulls, these pups make great running companions, according to experts.
But you definitely don't have to stick to a purebred pup to make sure you're getting the perfect running buddy. Mixed breeds that are 40 pounds or greater are also great partners, Dr. Joe Alcorn, MS, DVM, of Care Animal Hospital, tells Bustle. While physically your pup might have no problem keeping up with you, don't forget that they deal with heat differently than you do, which means that you need to be extra mindful of how they're reacting to the physical activity, he says.
"What is most important about jogging with your dog is choosing the right moment to go for a run," Dr. Alcorn says. "Dogs can only dissipate heat by panting, so if the dog is jogging, it is panting." Try your best to shoot for times of day when the temperature outdoors is below 80 degrees so you won't risk them being uncomfortable, especially since heat stroke can be deadly for dogs. Also, consider running on grassy areas whenever possible, as that's much softer on your pup's paw pads, which are vulnerable to pavement or asphalt burns.
Here are some dog breeds that make great running partners, according to experts.
1. Laborador Retriever
"The Laborador Retriever may very well be the best dog for an active person," Josh Kreinberg, chief dog officer at PuppySpot, tells Bustle. "These upbeat pups are playful and enjoy any activity as long as they get to do it alongside their loved ones," he says. Not only will your sweet Lab be delighted to go for a run with you, but they also take to training easily so you don't have to worry about your dog running off or barking at someone on the street.
2. Siberian Husky
"Siberian Huskies love to run, make great jogging partners, and are one of the best dogs for hiking due to their enviable endurance," Kreinberg says. "These mischievous pups are always up for an adventure and will seek one out on their own if presented with the opportunity." Not only are these cuties friendly enough to make them the perfect running companion, but they're also natural athletes, so you won't have to worry about needing to stop and give them breaks.
3. Border Collie
With some dogs you have to worry about whether they'll be able to match your pace during a run, but the concern with owning a Border Collie won’t be whether they can keep up with you, but rather whether you can keep up with them, Kreinberg says. "Her uncapped energy levels are what make her one of the very best dogs for running," he says. "If you’re considering training for a marathon, your Border Collie will support you every step of the way." If you're thinking about taking your run to the forest or to a mountain trail, this dog is perfect for adapting to all kinds of terrains with no problem.
Boxer pups are super bouncy and springy because they love to jump and leap to catch a ball. They're also a great option for steadier physical activity like running though. "A Boxer dog makes an excellent running and hiking buddy, but she can easily overheat in high-temperature climates," Kreinberg says. "Always pack plenty of water for your Boxer!"
5. Doberman Pinscher
"The vivacious Doberman makes a loyal and seemingly tireless exercise companion," Kreinberg says. While they're happy to go for a regular run with you, they also love other kinds of physical activities. As a very intelligent breed, Dobermans really enjoy obedience or agility training, he says, so if you want to experiment with other types of workouts, this is a great dog for you, because they love exercising their minds and their bodies.
You might not be as familiar with Vizslas as you are with more well-known breeds like Golden Retrievers or Collies, but these reddish-brown pups are great candidates for a running partner as they are fast, energetic, and athletic hunting dogs with good stamina. "These dogs make great companions and are loving and affectionate," Chewy pet behaviorist Dr. Wailani Sung, tells Bustle. In addition to plenty of physical activity, Vizslas benefit from mental stimulation, so don't be afraid to teach them lots of tricks.
Weimaraners are active, energetic dogs with good endurance, Dr. Sung says. "[They're] bred to be a hunting dog, so should have good stamina for running," she says, so no need to worry if you want to take advantage of the good weather and run around the neighborhood as long as your legs will let you.
8. German Shepherd
Bred to be working dogs, German Sheperds are intelligent, loyal, energetic dogs, Dr. Sung says. Make sure to give them lots of exercise and positive behavioral training to keep their muscles and their mind strong. An extra perk is that this breed can be aloof toward strangers, which means they won't tug at a leash to try to say hello to everyone you pass on your run.
9. Jack Russell Terrier
You might assume that dogs who can keep up with you on a long run are generally big dogs, but some smaller pups fit this lifestyle too. For example, the Jack Russell Terrier is small enough to be a great fit for people living in tiny apartments, but is also energetic enough to want to run with you. "A Jack Russell Terrier is a high energy, intelligent dog," Dr. Sung says. "Taking them on long runs is a good way to provide them with exercise."
10. Pit Bull
Pretty much any dog can be trained to be a running partner, but some dogs are more active than most and really enjoy going for a long run, Sara Ochoa, DVM, a veterinarian and a veterinary consultant for DogLab, tells Bustle. Pit Bulls are naturally very active and love to run and play, which makes them a perfect running companion, she says.
The Malinois, a strongly built herding dog, is another breed that's active enough to not only keep up with your love of putting mile after mile behind you, but need that kind of exercise to stay happy. "If you're outdoorsy, a bigger dog will have a better chance of keeping up with you," Nicole Ellis, a professional dog trainer for Rover, tells Bustle, and this pup definitely fits the bill.
Not every person who likes to jog wants to run marathons, so for folks who need a quick run around the block, smaller breeds like Terriers make great companions. "If you jog one mile, a smaller breed dog would be fine, weighing possibly 25 pounds or more," Dr. Alcorn says. With plenty of energy, this pup will be glad to run alongside you as long as you keep things relatively short.
13. German Shorthair Pointer
"Dog breeds that make good street running companions tend to be moderate in size and not too heavily furred," Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, veterinarian and Pup Life Today advisor, tells Bustle. "These traits allow dogs to keep up with their people while reducing the risk that they overheat," she says. While a German Shorthair Pointer is perfect for just this, be sure to work your pup up to extended exercise slowly, and keep your vet in the loop, Dr. Coates says.
14. Springer Spaniel
Adorably soft Springer Spaniels are also good running partners, Dr. Coates says, as they're big enough to keep up with you but not too big as to pull you along behind them. As easy-to-train people pleasers, this breed will be sure to stay behaved even when the two of you begin encountering distractions on the street.
15. Golden Retriever
Although Golden Retrievers might win over hearts for being such incredibly loyal companions, they also make great running buddies. They're smart, loyal, easy to train, and stay by your side, Dr. Aaron Bivens, a veterinarian at South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital, tells Bustle. Just make sure that you're giving your Golden a proper haircut during summer months so that they don't quickly overheat.
No matter what breed you welcome into your life, they're sure to bring you a great deal of joy. Since dogs love so deeply, they'll really appreciate spending time with you on your runs together.