If you're having trouble finding the perfect running partner, consider a four-legged friend. Most dog breeds make excellent running partners, but some excel more than others. What are the best dog breeds for runners? Certain breeds with pushed-in snouts can have trouble breathing so think carefully before choosing your next workout buddy. Dogs, like humans, need time and training for their bodies to adjust to running, so remember to take it slow to prevent injury to either you or your dog. The ideal running companion is easy to care for and obedient, but able to keep up with you over longer distances no matter the terrain. These ten dog breeds can do just that.
1. Australian Cattle Dog -- These hardy medium-sized dogs, also known as heelers, were bred to work cattle, so they have the endurance and work ethic to keep up with most runners. Averaging from 30 to 35 pounds, they are an excellent choice for someone who doesn't want the upkeep of a bigger breed. Their endless energy means they need the exercise if you don't want them to take it out on your furniture. Luckily, they are an incredibly intelligent breed, so training will be a breeze.
2. Labrador Retriever -- One of the most popular family dogs, the lab also makes a great running companion. Their boundless energy and loyalty will keep them by your side no matter where your runs take you. Labs usually weigh between 55 to 80 pounds with females weighing slightly less than males. Bred to hunt all day, they have the endurance and obedience to help you stay focused on your goals. With their friendly personalities, it's no wonder that labs are one of the most popular breeds.
3. Brittany Spaniel -- The Brittany is a medium-sized spaniel bred for bird hunting. They are smart, athletic, and sure-footed, making them excellent trail running dogs. They love to please and are happiest when they are with their people. Weighing in at 30 to 40 pounds they are a suitable choice for the runner looking for a companion that can keep up with them on the trail, but not take up the whole couch at home.
4. German Shorthaired Pointer -- German shorthaired pointers, also known as GSPs, are lean, athletic bird dogs with incredible endurance and agility. They thrive on adventure and make ideal long-distance running partners. They weigh about 55 to 80 pounds and have the work ethic of a faithful hunting dog. GSPs aren't just athletes though, they make great family dogs and are smart enough to tackle any challenge.
5. Australian Shepherd -- This breed is often referred to as the Aussie and is as smart as it is athletic. Despite the name, they were bred in the United States to be farm and ranch dogs. They're one of the most popular breeds in agility competitions because of their speed and agility. These traits also make them great running companions. Averaging around 40 to 65 pounds, Aussies are intelligent and affectionate family dogs. Their thick coat also means they don't mind running when the temperature drops.
6. German Shepherd -- This athletic and hardworking breed is one of the most popular dog breeds. They are sturdy and durable, weighing 75 to 95 pounds. With their long stride and eagerness to please, they make ideal running partners. German Shepherds love long distances and have a thick coat, so they don't mind running in cooler temperatures. Their protective nature also means they'll keep you safe on the trail and at home.
7. Standard Poodle -- With their luxurious coat and often extravagant haircuts, this breed often gets overlooked as an athlete. Originally bred as a water dog, they are quick and agile enough for any terrain. They weigh 45 to 70 pounds and are considered the second smartest dog breed. Poodles are easy to train but require plenty of stimulation to keep their mind and body busy. If you don't mind a little more grooming maintenance, the poodle is a great choice for any distance runner.
8. Weimaraner -- The Weimaraner is a large breed initially bred for hunting wild game. Weighing in at 55 to 85 pounds, they are the perfect mix of courage and athleticism. Often referred to as the "gray ghost," their coloring will make them stand out in any crowd. These dogs make excellent companions for any runner. They are intelligent and agile, and their endurance will push you to train harder. Their friendly demeanor means they might make you some new friends too.
9. Border Collie -- Border collies are considered the smartest breed of dog and they excel in almost any sport. Weighing in at 30 to 45 pounds, they are fast and sure-footed, so they'll keep up with you on any terrain. This breed needs a job, so the more you run, the happier they are. The border collie's limitless energy and stamina will challenge you to beat your personal records day after day.
10. Rhodesian Ridgeback -- These courageous and athletic dogs were once used to hunt lions in their homeland of Africa. They are hardy and heat tolerant, making them great long-distance runners. Don't let their tenacious reputation fool you; they also make excellent family dogs. Their short coat is low-maintenance, but they might need a jacket in colder weather. The Rhodesian ridgeback weighs 70 to 90 pounds, so if you're looking for a large, athletic breed, the Rhodesian ridgeback might be just the dog for you.
So if you're looking for a new running companion, consider checking out your local animal shelter or rescue. You might just find your perfect partner.