Best Dogs for Runners – 20 Dog Breeds That Are Perfect for Running

Pit Bulls

Best for: Brisk, short runs

Usually intelligent and often misunderstood, the Pit Bull can be a pleasure once it knows not to pull when on the leash. (Pit Bull is common name for breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, pictured, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.) They are low to the ground and really excel at the shorter distance. One of the rare breeds that look like they are working as hard as you when running.

English Setters

Best for: Brisk, short runs

The American Kennel Club calls the English setter a “symmetrical gun dog suggesting the ideal blend of strength, (and) stamina.” It’s also a fairly active breed and enjoys playing.

Golden and Labrador Retrievers

Best for: Brisk, short runs; long, slow runs

Yes, we know they are different breeds, but they generally have similar running personalities. These friendly dogs usually get along with everybody and have big bodies that can go the distance. Easy to train and extremely loyal, the retrievers will make a great running partner at just about any distance.


Best for: Brisk, short runs

Don’t assume these dogs are like Snoopy chilling on a doghouse roof. This breed often has a mind for sprinting over slogging. They are very active, quick, and require plenty of exercise. Some with a hunter’s mentality have the ability to go a little longer.


Best for: Long, steady runs

Dalmatians are some of the best long-distance dogs, and they love their exercise. You should be mindful of how they run. They kind of pound the pavement due to their size, so if possible, stick to the soft trails.

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