The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

If you are looking for a canine racing companion, here is an extensive list of the dog breeds most suitable for running with them both in the city and the mountains.

Running with your dog is an art; it even brings great benefits to sports performance, according to science. Canicross is a sport that is gaining more and more followers in Spain. Most dogs love to run, some more than others, and not all can do it over long distances. But sometimes you are surprised when you find a running dog who loves sports as much as you do because not all of them are ready to go running because of their body shape and organism. Because just like running is individualized for humans, it can also be individualized for your dog. However, if you know which are the best dog breeds for canicross, you choose the most suitable training, have some patience, and follow the advice of experts, you will also succeed.

How to start running with a dog

It isn’t easy to start running with your dog for the first time. You want to start at a comfortable pace where you can communicate with him because if you’re out of breath, you’ll have difficulty slowing down a dog bursting with energy during a run. The distance is also important, do not overdo it; he starts doing three to 5 kilometers. Once you’ve been running at that easy pace for a week, add 0.5 kilometers or 10 minutes to your weekly workouts. If the dog can tolerate those paces and miles, you can try doing the same with the pace or add an extra run that’s a bit longer on the weekends. After a whole month of preparation work and seeing that the dog manages easily to finish a 6 or 8-kilometer race, of course, you must bear in mind that the rest of the days are equally important for both you and your dog, so at least one or two days are recommended.

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

What are the best dogs to run?

Surely you have ever asked yourself this question. You should know that some breeds, such as the Siberian husky or greyhounds, have both skeletal and muscular genetics that allow them to run long distances. Conversely, soft-nosed dogs, such as pugs or bulldogs, will be less good athletes because they are prone to tire much sooner. The mixed breeds you can find and adopt in your city’s thousands of animal shelters can also be the best racing companions you can ever find.

Even so, we present you with the best breeds of dogs to run with them. While there will always be variations within breeds and individual dogs, this list can help you find your ideal training partner.

1 Weimaraners

This dog breed is ideal for long and constant runs, to run fast, even on trails. Their medium, muscular build often makes this energetic breed a great racing partner. “They need an extraordinary amount of exercise and mental stimulation,” says JT Clough, a dog trainer.

2 German Shorthaired Pointers

This other dog breed is perfect for doing long and constant runs, running fast, even up the mountain. Due to its high energy percentage, this medium-sized hunting dog is intelligent and willing to accompany you on almost any run. “They are fast, durable runners who have a good top speed but also have the structure to endure great distances,” says Bryan Barrera, founder of Dog Runner.

3 vizslas

The Vizslas are dogs that can adapt to long and constant runs, to run fast, even in the mountains. I hope you like going for a run because Clough says this breed is usually a ball of energy that should get an hour of exercise every day. “I would say he is one of the best dogs to run any race,” Barrera adds. “They are so versatile; They can run on autopilot for as long as you want.”

4 Parson Russell Terriers

The Parson Russell Terriers are an ideal dog to run with for long, steady runs. This smaller dog, formerly known as a Jack Russell, loves to play and tends to be very eager and active. “They’re also hunters, so make sure you spend some time training him to run alongside you to prevent him from wandering off in search of prey,” says Clough.

5 English greyhound

Greyhounds are known for their impeccable performances on the race track, but they are independent and friendly in normal life. They will love to run with you, but not long distances, rather short and fast. “Some are just sprinters, so don’t expect all greyhounds to go a long way with you,” says Karen London, a certified animal behavior expert who trains and races dogs in Flagstaff, Arizona.

6 pitbulls

Generally, an intelligent and often misunderstood dog, running with a Pit Bull can be a joy once he learns not to pull on the leash. “They’re low to the ground and excel at running shorter, faster distances,” says Barrera.

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7 English setter

The English setter is a “symmetrical hunting dog noted for having acquired an ideal combination of strength and endurance.” He is also quite an active breed and likes to play a lot. Therefore, it becomes the perfect partner for short and fast runs.

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

8 Labrador and Golden Retriever

We know they are different breeds but usually have similar running personalities. These friendly dogs generally get along with everyone and have large bodies that can run from long, slow runs to shorter, faster runs. “Easy to train and extremely loyal, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers make great running partners for almost any distance,” says Clough.

9 beagles

Don’t assume these dogs will be like Snoopy, who will hang out all day on the roof of a doghouse. This breed has a mind to run overexertion. They are very active, fast, and require a lot of exercises. So they will be ideal for running a few kilometers and at a fast pace. According to London, some even have a hunter mentality and can go a little further.

10 dalmatian

London says that Dalmatians are some of the best long-distance dogs and love to exercise. Barrera adds that you should take into account how they work. “They do hit the pavement due to their size, so if possible, go for smooth dirt roads during long, steady runs.”

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

11 Rhodesian ridgeback

It is a strong dog breed, so it needs to exercise. “This breed makes a good running partner in hot climates,” says Clough. Barrera adds that they have a natural stride and an internal motor that makes them perfect for going a little further at a steady pace.

12 Fox terrier

This breed stands out above all for being friendly, energetic, and lively. The American Kennel Club suggests running with them early, as Fox Terriers “can run eagerly to follow any adventure” if they’re not on a leash.

13 Alaskan malamute

Their thick coat and stocky build make this a perfect breed for cold-weather runners. Built to be a sled dogs, these dogs crave work and love regular exercise.

14 german shepherd

Barrera has run with three German Shepherds, all with different personalities and all the love of running. “Enthusiasm, intelligence, and a need for vigorous exercise make this breed the perfect running partner,” adds Clough.

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

15 great swiss mountain dog

These types of large-temperament dogs are often great family dogs. Mild at home, but they were built to work on farms, so they enjoy a short jog for some exercise, even in low temperatures.

16 Siberian husky

Fast and agile, this dog often enjoys running. “They are very athletic dogs that do better in the colder air but can also hold their own in the spring and fall,” says Barerra.

17 border collie

They are incredible athletes and very energetic, according to Barerra. “Border collies are a joy to run with because if they are competent and well trained, they can dash, crouch and move with great agility,” London adds that their long fur helps them run in cold conditions, but in heavy snow, they can get stuck.

18 Belgian shepherd dog

This breed generally has a lot of energy to burn in many types of races, especially short and fast. “Highly trainable, but make sure he doesn’t bite early on as that’s a byproduct of his innate herding,” says Clough.

The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

19 pharaonic hound

While they don’t need to run several miles a day, the Pharaoh Hound requires the right amount of exercise, and a weekly run fits right into their training. “They’re great,” London says. “You can’t let them set the pace because they always want to run faster.” He is a hunting dog, so be aware that they may want to chase small animals.

20 Portuguese water dog

The American Kennel Club says they are generally affectionate, adventurous, and energetic. “They are working dogs and treat running like work by putting your head down and going for thousands,” says Barrera. As the name suggests, they also don’t mind a little moisture under their feet or mud for a long time.

21 Australian sheepdog

“The one I run with is the fastest, most agile, and confident runner I have in my running stable,” says Barrera. These dogs are energetic, so they could run around all day if you let them.

22 catahoula leopard

The Catahoula Leopard is a dog that has strong working energy. Once he gets the right amount of exercise, and long steady runs, he becomes a fairly easy-going companion.

23 poodle

Clough says they have a game attitude in their genetics, so it may give you quite a bit of energy by running for miles at a steady pace. “If you’re looking to have fun while running, the attitude of a standard poodle will do the trick,” he says. Leash training is a must, but they’re also good in dirty environments, like crossing a shallow stream, London says.

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The 23 Best Dog Breeds for Running and Canicross

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