10 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Can your dog go the distance? Sure, most fit canines could thump us in a 5-K, but anyone who has ever watched leashed runners at a local park knows that some animals are better athletes than others. But how does your dog rate? Or if you're searching for a perfect running partner, what kind should you pick?

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Not surprisingly, it depends. There's no perfect running breed for all conditions, and a dog's personality and temperament are as important as its pedigree, says Susan Dicks, D.V.M., an Albuquerque-based veterinarian and marathoner. Mongrels can make fine runners, especially if they're medium-sized, alert, and eager.

Some breeds, such as huskies and greyhounds, were bred to run, and most working dogs are naturally suited to running. By contrast, squishy-nosed dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs, don't make good distance athletes, because they're prone to overheating. That's not to say your pug can't run, but he probably shouldn't join you for a late-summer 15-miler. If you want to go long, run in the snow, or hit technical trails, some breeds definitely rise to the top. So say Liz Devitt and professional dog trainer JT Clough, who co-wrote a book about training dogs to run. Here are their top running breeds in eight categories.

PLUS: Is Your Dog Running in the Right Gear?

Graphic by the editors of Runner's World magazine.


By Christie Aschwanden, Runner's World

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