Best Big Breed Dogs For Running

Going for a run with your dog can be a fun activity and keep you and your dog in shape. Just know that some breeds are better at sprinting, while other breeds are better at distance running.

When you are looking for big dogs you can run with, you want to take a look at the type of running that you do and buy the right breed to match that.

When you take the time to research the breed you are bringing home and match the breed to what you want out of a dog you are much more likely to be a successful dog parent.

Best Big Breed Dogs for Sprinting

These dogs are known for their ability to cover short distances fast. They can run quickly, but can also tire quickly (except for the Weimaraner). It’s important to pay attention to the energy levels of these breeds and stop when your dog is ready to stop.


Greyhounds make excellent dogs for sprinters. They are the zippiest dog breed in the world with the ability to reach a top speed of up to 45 miles per hour!

Greyhounds are good at matching your running pace (you don’t have to run as fast as they can) but they aren’t great at running distances.

When your greyhound isn’t running with you, they are likely to be a couch potato. They also make wonderful, gentle family pets and have easy-to-care-for coats.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs that need a job to do. They are often tasked with police and military work and make wonderful rescue dogs.

This breed is extremely trainable, are good sprinters, and need a lot of exercise. If you are a regular sprinter a German Shepherd will be a happy companion and will sprint right along with you.

Be sure to give German Shepherds plenty of stimulation and mental activities to do as well. They are wonderful family dogs and companions but can become destructive when bored.


These regal dogs are lively and need huge amounts of exercise. If you want to go on a quick, daily sprint your Weimaraner is going to give you a run for your money.

This breed has a lean and muscular build and your Weimaraner will be happy to run both short and long distances with you. You can even train a Weimaraner to run along a bike that you are riding!

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are quick dogs and are built for short bursts of energy, making them the perfect companion for sprinting.

Pit Bulls do not run well over long distances, but if you are looking for a dog that can run quickly for a mile or two then a Pit Bull will make a great running companion.

Because of their reputation as fighters, Pit Bulls are not allowed in every municipality and housing development. Check on your local regulations before bringing a Pit Bull home.

With proper socialization and training Pit Bulls can make great companion dogs.

Best Big Breed Dogs for Long Distance

While some dogs are better suited to sprinting, others will love running with you over a long distance. If you love to run for miles at a shot, check out one of these breeds.

Always make sure that you bring water for both yourself and your dog when you are going out for a run, particularly a long run.

Labrador Retrievers

This is the most popular breed in the United States and has been for many years. Labrador Retrievers don’t know any enemies and think that every person they meet is their friend. They have wonderful, endearing personalities that make people fall in love with them.

They also love to run and swim. If your run takes you by a river they might just want to jump in!

Labs are well known for their stamina and are highly trainable, so they will be happy to run with you for as long as you can go. Build up your run with your dog over time and you will have a good running companion for many years.


This stunning red dog is about as gentle as they come. They also require a great deal of exercise to thrive and be on their best behavior.

Vizslas love being outdoors and have long legs that let them run fast over many miles.

If you are working toward running distances with speed, then a Vizla can be a good companion on the trail or on the pavement.

Border Collies

Border Collies are herding dogs and are well suited to running long distances and can even navigate difficult trails.

Border Collies need a lot of exercise, so it’s important to be committed to your running routine if you get this breed. Make sure that you train your Border Collie well so that they stick with you and don’t try to herd the wildlife.


Dalmations are highly trainable and can run both on and off-leash. They have high stamina and high exercise needs and can run long distances with ease.

Because of their distinctive markings, Dalmations are also conversation starters. When running with this breed you can expect people to want to talk with you about your striking dog.

Australian Shepherds

Handsome and intelligent, Australian Shepherds can run for the duration. This is a particularly good breed to take with you on tough trails since they like to navigate obstacles and difficult terrain.

They will also gladly accompany you on road-running expeditions.

Aussies are smart dogs and need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy. They also have longer coats and need regular brushing.

German Shorthaired Pointers

Pointers are bred to be hunting companions and this breed excels at racking up the miles. If you are training for a marathon or other long-distance running, a German Shorthaired Pointer will be a companion that loves to run with you.

Belgian Malinois

This breed is well known for loving its human companions. They also love to finish tasks and thus need tasks to complete to be at their best.

A Belgian Malinois will gladly accompany you on long distances. They are tough dogs to wear out, so they make great companions for a distance runner.

Siberian Husky

We saved the best for last! The beautiful and friendly Siberian Husky is the undisputed champion runner of the dog world, which is why they have been used as sled dogs for over a hundred years.

A Siberian Husky is capable of running 150 miles in a day at an average speed of 9 to 10 miles per hour. For shorter distances – say, a marathon race! – they can go much faster.

Even if you are an experienced marathon runner, you will not tire out a Siberian Husky. 26 miles is a short jaunt for this hardy breed.

Although they can be hard to train, Siberian Huskies are one of the friendliest breeds and make wonderful family pets, assuming you can give them sufficient exercise and early training.

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