The 20 Best Dog Breeds for Runners

Dogs may be the the perfect running partners: They’re always ready to go, they eagerly keep pace, and they never complain about being tired. But not every dog is built for running. The ideal jogging companion is low-maintenance and obedient, with energy and endurance. These 20 breeds are a great place to start.

20. American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier has enough energy to join you on a quick run. (Photo: Aly Tyler/Thinkstock)

The stocky and squat American Staffordshire terrier doesn’t look like a running dog, but it has plenty of energy, agility, and muscle to join you on a quick, few-mile jog. Vigorous daily exercise will make this dog—and you—happier. The Am Staff, as it’s sometimes called, loves having a job to do, such as pushing you one more time around the block.

19. Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian cattle dog is an athletic, agile breed with a hard work ethic. (Photo: Carmelka/Thinkstock)

A natural herder, the Australian cattle dog (also known as a Queensland, Blue, or Red Heeler) is an athletic, agile breed weighing in at around 35 pounds. Their instinctual hard work ethic means they love having a job or a task at hand, so they make perfect running partners to push you out the door and to the finish line.

18. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers have enough energy to keep pace with a sprint workout or go the distance on a 10K. (Photo: PhilStev/Thinkstock)

Labs are used to being on these types of lists (you’ll also find them in our Best Family Dogs and Best Active Dogs galleries), so it’s no surprise that they’re included here, too. Labrador retrievers are lean but sturdy and have enough energy to keep pace with a sprint workout or go the distance on a 10K. Like all gun dog breeds, Labs can be extremely obedient and willing to work ’round the clock, making them the perfect adventure companion.

17. Boxer

Boxers were once used as couriers during wartime and to chase down large game, such as wild bison. (Photo: taviphoto/Thinkstock)

Ever seen a “boxer burn” or a “Nascar Lap?” Often, boxers will get a burst of energy and zip around the yard or living room as fast as they can until they plop down, completely spent. This explosion of energy makes sense, as boxers have running in their blood—they were once used as couriers during wartime and to chase down large game, such as wild boar and bison.

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