Run with the Big Dogs: The Best Running Dogs

Your favorite new running partner has four legs. Here, the top dogs for your preferred distance.

Every runner has his or her favorite accessories, but maybe none so animate and encouraging as the right dog. As an expert on man’s furriest friend, certified master groomer (and Best of Philly 2010 winner) Jennifer Lavelle gave me a run-down of the top dogs for your preferred distance.

Best dogs for short distance, streets or a 5K:

Equipped with long, lean muscles and a deep chest, greyhounds are the perfect companion for sprints and short distances. Their hearts and lungs keep them from running too long without a break. You’ll find them best suited for streets or equally flat grounds.


A descendent of the greyhound, these dogs are natural sprinters with impressive speed. (I’m dying to say to my friends: “Have you guys met my whippet, Whippet?” Yes, I would name my whippet Whippet.)



Best dogs for mid-distance, trails or a 10K:

The vizsla was bred to spend its life outside with hunters, making these guys enviable running partners with stamina that just won’t quit. With bodies longer than they are tall and cat-like feet perfect for trail terrain, it’s in a vizsla’s nature to crave distance. A word of advice: Try to keep up.



Jack Russell Terrier
Don’t mistake their small physique for frailty; these high-energy rascals were bred to be working dogs. Keep them physically stimulated … or else. Trail-running approved.



Best dog for long distance, swimming or a half marathon:

Equally thrilled by a two-mile hike or a 10-mile run, weimaraners are energetic and evenly muscled with strong rear legs that help make long distance child’s play. A half marathon, followed by a dip in the water? That’s nothing. The real problem is settling them down. Woof.



Doberman Pinschers
Not only are Dobies great distance runners, they’re also famous for being awesome guard dogs. What this means: you can run really, really far and you won’t get mugged.




Best local resource if you can’t keep up with your dog (we don’t blame you):

Want to take the week off from racing Baxter around the block? Look no further. Route-dog, a local service that’ll run your dog for you, has you covered. There are no breed restrictions for the dog-running service, and you will be charged based on a monthly plan that’s best for you and your pup.


Photos: Shutterstock