A responsible dog owner knows that their pet needs exercise to live a long and healthy life. The amount, type, and intensity of exercise depends on a number of factors, such as breed, age, living environment, and climate, among others. Yet, many dogs do not have those needs satisfied on a consistent basis, leading to health risks and destructive behavior. This is especially true in cities, where the work day is long, apartments are cramped, and outdoor space is limited.
In this post, we examine which dog breeds are best suited to be our loyal running buddies. In our analysis, we compiled and aggregated existing lists across 5 different sources: Runner’s World, Outside Online, Active, Runner’s Tribe, and AKC. Remember to always consult your veterinarian before starting a running routine with your dog. They can advise if there are any red flags and what activities are safe and healthy.
*Photo credit: http://www.akc.org
The Top 10
Belonging to the Working Group, Malamutes are extremely strong, but also affectionate and loyal dogs. They are best suited for long, slow runs and do well in the cold.
A member of the Herding Group, the Australian Shepherd has grown very popular, including in cities. They are a lean, energetic dog that does well on long, steady runs and enjoys obstacles.
Also part of the Herding Group, Border Collies are loving and exceptionally intelligent. That also means it takes a dedicated owner to keep them satisfied. One way to help is by taking them on long, steady runs.
Don’t let the Non-Sporting Group classification fool you. Dalmatians are smart, outgoing dogs that enjoy having a job to do. They are happy to accompany you on a long, steady run.
German Shorthaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointers, or “GSPs”, are part of the Sporting Group and love to please their owners. They excel at all kinds of physical activity, like long, fast trail runs, swimming, and agility training.
The “velcro” dog rates highly as both a gifted athlete as well as a loving family member. They also belong to the Sporting Group and have consistently gained popularity in America. They do well on long, fast runs and enjoy trail running.
Another famous member of the Sporting Group, the Labrador Retriever places at the top as America’s favorite dog. And for good reason. They are friendly, sporty, and wonderful with families. Keep yours fit with a mix of short, brisk runs and long, slow runs.
Identifiable by the strip of hair growing in the opposite direction along their spine, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are an imposing, yet affectionate member of the Hound Group. Strong, but quick they do well on long, steady runs and in the heat.
Similar in appearance to the Malamute, this member of the Working Group is friendly, outgoing, and intelligent. Naturals at working in packs, the Husky has excellent endurance suited for long, slow runs in the cold.
This all-around member of the Sporting Group is yet another example of a dog that loves to be put to work outside, but is also a loyal family member. They do need their exercise, so long, fast runs, including trails are a great option.
More Great Companions
Though just outside the top 10, the following dogs were all mentioned on several lists as wonderful exercise companions. We categorized them according to the types of runs they do best with.
Long, steady runs
Australian Cattle Dog, Belgian Sheepdog, English Setter, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Poodle.
Short, brisk runs
Airedale Terrier, Greyhound, Whippet, Parson “Jack” Russell Terrier, and Pit Bull.
Others Receiving Votes
The below breeds received at least one vote as great running and/or brisk walking partners.
Beagle, Boxer, Brittany Spaniel, Catahoula, Fox Terrier, Ibizan Hound, Kelpie, Pharaoh Hound, Portuguese Water Dog, Shetland Sheepdog, Swiss Mountain Dog, and Tenterfield Terrier.
Please do keep in mind that all dogs require at least some daily exercise, so don’t fret if you do not see your pet here. Talk to your vet and message a DogGo Dasher to establish a plan tailored to your furry friend’s individual needs.