Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

20 Best Dogs for Running Companions (With Pictures)

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

woman running with her pet dog at the park

If you’re a runner in search of the perfect canine companion, you’ve likely already figured out that some dogs simply aren’t cut out to be running companions. Choosing the right dog breed to keep up with your running routine is necessary for both of you to end up happy. If you choose a low-energy dog breed, you may end up with a pup that sits down on runs and refuses to move. On the other hand, if you only run a mile or two per day, your routine may not provide enough exercise for high-energy breeds. Here are some of the top runners to keep you company.

Divider-Dog bone- New

The 20 Best Dogs for Running Companions

1. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois in the forest
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

The Belgian Malinois is an incredibly athletic, high-energy dog that needs lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re a long-distance runner, you can count on a Belgian Malinois to keep up with you the whole time. They may even ask you for more after the run is finished! This breed is not for the faint of heart or beginner dog owner, though, so make sure you fully know what you’re getting into before bringing this wild child home as your running companion.

2. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Oldiefan, Pixabay

If you’re looking for a pocket-sized running companion, look no further than the Jack Russell Terrier. These small terriers are high-energy dogs that benefit from lots of daily exercise. They have a high prey drive and providing them with plenty of exercise can help reduce the desire to chase smaller animals. They’re fun-loving companions that will have a blast running with you, and even though they are small dogs with short legs, you won’t have to take it easy on this breed.

3. Border Collie

Border Collie outdoors
Image Credit: ForeverNaturalPhotography, Shutterstock

The Border Collie was bred to be a herding dog, and many of them retain strong herding instincts, even if they’ve never laid eyes on livestock. Because of their instincts, they are high-energy dogs that tend to become anxious, destructive, and even nippy when not provided with enough exercise. Border Collies make excellent running companions, and their high intelligence and trainability make them a great companion for just about any activity you might want to participate in.

4. Australian Shepherd

short-haired australian shepherd dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: VKarlov, Shutterstock

The Australian Shepherd, colloquially known as the Aussie, is another herding dog with strong herding instincts and a high energy level. Although they tend to be a little less high-strung than Border Collies, Aussies can still become problematic if not provided with enough physical and mental stimulation. These smart pups will happily go on runs with you, seemingly never getting tired.

5. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky standing outdoor
Image Credit: BARBARA808, Pixabay

If there’s any dog that should have a desire to run long distances, it’s the Siberian Husky. These dogs were bred to be sled-pulling dogs, and they require far more exercise than many people are able to give them. Huskies make excellent long-distance running companions, and they will happily continue on, even if they’re tired. These dogs are built for running in extremely cold weather, though, so use caution if you live in a warmer climate.

6. Weimaraner

weimaraner dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: MylosArtworks, Pixabay

The Weimaraner is a large dog that has a propensity for obesity, but if kept active, they can be quite fit and healthy. They love to participate in activities with their people, including running, and a Weimaraner will definitely keep up with you on your run. They are intelligent dogs that love to do jobs, as well as play for long periods, making them ideal running companions.

7. Vizsla

Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

The Vizsla is an extremely sweet, loving dog that was bred for hunting. Vizslas are fast runners, and they have enough stamina to keep up on long runs. They have lean, athletic bodies that are perfect for running and a high level of intelligence that makes them good candidates for dog sports and training.

8. German Shorthair Pointer

German Shorthair Pointer
Image Credit: Burry van den Brink, Shutterstock

German Shorthair Pointers, or GSPs, are high-energy hunting dogs that can become anxious and stressed without an outlet for their excessive energy. GSPs are excellent running companions because of this, and their athletic bodies are built for physical activity. They do have strong pointing instincts, though, so it may take some training to keep your GSP from stopping to point at birds and small animals on your runs.

9. English Setter

black and white English setter in a field and sunshine
Image Credit: zoyas2222, Shitterstock

The English Setter is another hunting breed that makes an excellent running companion. They were bred to have the stamina to move across long distances in search of game, so you can count on your English Setter to keep up on runs. They are also loyal dogs that love spending time with their people, so your English Setter will be happy to join you on your daily run.

10. Saluki

Saluki outside
Image Credit: elisabettabellomi, Pixabay

One look at the Saluki and you can tell they’re built for speed. These sighthounds are beautiful dogs that would love nothing more than to join you on a run. They are elegant and agile while running, and because they were bred for speed and stamina, you can expect your Saluki to keep up with even the fastest runner for extended periods.

11. Azawakh

Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

The Azawakh is an uncommon dog breed that can be surprising at first glance. These dogs are extremely lean, with the breed standard calling for multiple bones to show on the body. However, this African breed was bred to be a sturdy dog for hunting in harsh climates. They can keep up with some of the fastest animals in Africa for long periods, so you can definitely count on an Azawakh to keep up with your runs.

12. Dalmatian

dalmatian dog playing on the beach
Image Credit: Iren Key, Shutterstock

Dalmatians may be known for being firehouse dogs, but they are actually very athletic, active dogs that can do far more than ride on a fire engine. They are enthusiastic dogs that love spending time with their people, and their athleticism seemingly knows no bounds. Not only are Dalmatians energetic but they are also protective dogs, making them great running companions, especially if you spend a lot of time running in more secluded areas.

13. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog
Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

The Australian Cattle Dog is a herding dog that was bred for the harsh climate of Australia. Like most other herding breeds, Australian Cattle Dogs can become quite anxious and destructive if not provided with enough exercise. While this makes them not an ideal pet for the average dog owner, active homes should have no fear. An Australian Cattle Dog will happily keep up with you on your runs.

14. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback on Sand
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Although many people have heard of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, most people have never seen one in person since it is a relatively uncommon breed. These large dogs were bred to hunt dangerous game, like lions, while thriving in the harsh climates in Africa. They are built with stamina and energy, making them great running companions. Without exercise, they are prone to obesity, so make it a point to keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback active every day to maintain a healthy body weight.

15. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever standing on green meadow
Image Credit: Franz P. Sauerteig, Pixabay

As America’s favorite dog for over 30 years and recently moving into second place, the Labrador Retriever is an extremely common breed that many people have. Because of how many there are, their activity levels and temperaments can vary significantly, based on breeding and socialization. Most Labs are ready to play and run, but many of them are also content to lay on the couch with you all day. They are prone to obesity, so make sure to keep your Lab active with daily runs.

16. Golden Retriever

canadian golden retriever standing by the cliff
Image Credit: EB Adventure Photography, Shutterstock

The Golden Retriever is a sweet, loyal dog that has long been loved as a family companion. While they aren’t the highest-energy dogs out there, they do still require quite a bit of daily exercise. By keeping your Golden Retriever active with daily runs, you’ll help them maintain a healthy body weight. They aren’t an ideal breed for long-distance running, but a few miles a day is nothing to a Golden Retriever.

17. Shetland Sheepdog

shetland sheepdog standing
Image Credit: Sarah Böhm, Pixabay

One of the smaller dogs on the list, the Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is a herding dog that makes a good running companion. They enjoy having a job or task to do, and running can meet this need. Without enough exercise, you can expect your Sheltie to become overweight and anxious. If you are a daily runner who keeps your runs to only a few miles per day, the Sheltie might be the perfect dog for you.

18. Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhound standing on the river bank
Image Credit: Crystal Alba, Shutterstock

Like many hunting dogs, the Redbone Coonhound is a great running companion, thanks to its stamina and athleticism. This long-legged breed can run fast and far, and they’ll be happy to keep up with you on long runs. This is a surefooted breed, making them a suitable running companion for flat surfaces, like sidewalks, or rough terrain, like hiking trails.

19. Brittany

Image Credit: TanyaCPhotography, Shutterstock

The Brittany is a high-energy spaniel that is loyal and enjoys spending time with its people. You can count on a Brittany to remind you to take them on a daily run, and they’ll keep up for as long as you’d like to go. This hunting breed has stamina and drive, so long runs are no issue for a Brittany. They are also fun-loving pups that will likely keep you entertained with their antics.

20. American Foxhound

American Foxhound
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

Yet another hunting dog to make the list, the American Foxhound is a long-legged dog that can run for miles. They love running and have the stamina to keep up across long distances, and you can count on an American Foxhound to have fun every step of the way. Even though they’re a short-haired breed, their coat is built to keep them comfortable in cold and hot weather, making them adaptable running buddies.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 5


There are lots of great breeds to choose from when it comes to running companions, and while these are some of the best, there are tons of dog breeds that have the stamina and desire to keep up with you on runs. Just remember to thoroughly research any breed before settling on it. You should be aware of the training and behavioral issues that may arise, especially if the dog isn’t getting enough exercise.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database