Which breed of dog to run with?

I know many members run regularly with their dog(s) and I was hoping to find strengths and weaknesses with differing breeds. Obviously there are so many factors to consider when getting a dog and these will indeed be taken into condieration.

My wifes choice would be a Gordon Setter, although mine would be more towards a shorter haired dog - perhaps a labrador. I run regularly any distance from a short 3 - 5 miles to a longer 12+.

Most of my running would be off road with some lovely runs along the Thames and into the hills.



  • Believe it or not but I run with my little Staffordshire cross. Becuase he's a cross he's not quite so broad and is abit taller than your average staffy.

    I run any where up to around 10 miles and he manages it no problem.

    My friend runs with his lakeland terrier so I guess many breeds are suitable. An ideal breed would be a border collie, they need loads of exercise and love running.
  • Don't recommend Whippets.
  • Why not? - can they outrun you!
  • just about!
  • Get a mongrel from the dogs home. They need homing more desperately than pedigrees from a breeder. I had one and he was great for running with. He was the size and shape (although slightly thinner) of a bordie collie and I used to take him running on the beach, sand dunes and pine woods at Formby near Southport. In an hours run,I would see him maybe 2/3 times but he always knew when I would heading back to the car. Occassionally, he would present me with a dead rabbit, which was nice.
  • Golden retrievers love running - and sleeping all day!
    I agree with Fat Face on principle about a mongrel however. We had a lovely mongrel about the size that Fat Face mention and he used to outrun greyhounds!
  • I have got four dogs in total, three of which are rescue dogs.

    One is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who loves to come for short distances - up to 1.5 miles. She is approximately 10/11 years old but still very active.

    The terrier refuses to run and goes "draggies" on her bottom so never accompanies me.

    The labrador comes out with me on a regular basis. He is a very large dog (7 1/2 stone)so does not go too quickly (until he is off the lead) but he is great company and thoroughly enjoys himself. I would add that even at his trot he can out run me any day. He has also brought back "presents" for me, one duck and a squirrel among others.

    I find that the rescue dogs are so grateful and happy to have a nice home that they are even more loyal and loving than dogs you have had from a puppy.

    Good luck with your search - let us know what you decide on.

  • It has to be said that I was going to go for a mongrel. It would be the first dog I have owned (although we had black labs. throughout my childhood) and those rescue dogs do need a good home.

    I would not be getting one until after Christmas but I will be sure to let you know what I get. Still deciding what breed(s)!...

  • Staffies can be good for running with but some can be a bit naughty! so I'd get an adult from a rescue - I know a guy that helps with Stafford Rescue - they always need homes - if you do want one - I know they are not everyone's cup of tea!

    I would probably rehome an adult if I got another dog - that way you can tell their temperament - and make it clear that you are taking it for a week before committing to it - it might sound harsh but you'll regret giving a home to a problem dog. Most breeds have rescues so if you want a particular breed you can usually still get the satisfaction of rehoming a dog in need.

    Gordon Setters are lovely looking dogs aren't they - but if they are anything like Red Setters then I think you'll be lucky if you get one to make a good running companion. If you do a lot of running a collie might be suitable - they seem to be trainable anyway. Other alternatives might be some of the more trainable gun dogs - maybe something like one of the pointers or something - I know a guy with a Wire haired pointer that is a great well behaved dog but like people they can all differ. Good luck.
  • I've had German Shepherds for years and they make great long-distance companions. A friend runs with his red setter, another takes his 2 labs. My first running companion was a dalmation, they will go all day, so will a dobermann. Don't get a husky though - they need to go much farther than you can. Most all dogs like to run, but if you're going any distance don't get a very small one, a heavy breed, or one with lots of hair, and don't run in the heat unless you have some handy water the dog can cool off in. Good luck and years of fun!
  • When I started running with my English Setter, my wife insisted that we take regular breaks to "give him a chance to rest". Now we have regular breaks so that I get the chance to rest instead. I'm not sure about Gordons, but the lighter breeds of setters seem ideal for running: although I can confirm that their reputation for being scatter-brained is justified!
  • I've found Weimeraners, Dalmatians, Gordon Setters and mongrels all excellent running companions. Absolutely agree about giving good homes to unwanteds but remember its not just the dogs' homes, there are also rescue organisations for almost all the breeds if that is what you want. They are just as desperate for a good home!
  • Bully Beef,

    One thing to remember when you do get your dog, don't throw sticks for them to retrieve, throw a doggie toy.

    We would love to have a dog, but working hours and the cat would not allow it.
  • And another thing to remember if you buy a puppy - they are just like any other youngster and you should consider their developing joints before you go for too many long runs/walks.

    I have a collie-cross, he loves a run....well its a fast walk for him!!
  • I looked on the internet to find out the temperment of breeds of dog - I wanted one that could run, but would be good with children. I had a collie and a Labx before, but the collie breed needs lots of work to keep them occupied and I found they could be a bit unpredictable with children. The Labx was fine, but they do get hip problems. I decided to go for a pointer and got one from a rescue organisation for that breed. He was great to run with, apart from a tendancy to dash into bushes and maybe ran a bit too fast for me to keep a good eye on him. But he had other problems and basically ate my kitchen when I left him alone even for 10 minutes. In the end I decided on a cocker spaniel, being a working breed, they can run and are more managable. I got an 8 month one who was a reject from a show ring and he has been really good. I had to start slowly, as he had never been off his lead. The vet said start him at 12 months, although I confess to taking him before then as he spent all his time running anyway, even if I was walking. I run off road. The vet said that from 18 months he could do anything. Now he is able to run for an hour easily and has done 1 3/4 without a problem. He also comes with me if I go on the bike, although I make sure he is in front of me, or slow down until he catches up. He does have a tendancy to go into rivers and also to look for rabbits.
  • I'm about to start taking my Standard Poodle on runs; I'll let you know if it works! Previous dog was a Border Collie - ideal breed for running with.
  • I have recently (3 weeks) got a rescue dog, collie cross and he loves running for miles. As collies are so willing to learn and are generally good off the lead they make ideal running partners. He has run through the New Forest with me for miles.
  • I take my Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Charlie trots along happily, in fact I think his trotting is a more natural pace for him than when he has to walk. The only problem is that he likes to stop and sniff things - but he is a dog so I have to let him. If I want to go without stopping, I leave him at home and walk him later. I never let him off the lead when we are out for a run and keep an awareness of what is going on around us at all times. And I always stop to clear up any presents he deposits on the pavement!
  • What in heaeven's name has happened to the Forumites?
    You don't need to take a dog with you, you have all on to keep dogs away from you!!!!!!! Have you not read the threads?????? Dogs are at runners' heels etcetera all the doggon time (pun intended). It's not a case of which kind of dog should I take with me but, how few can I get away with on today's/tonight's run. C'mon "Get Real".
  • JC, it's only ever other people's dogs who are a pain. BTW, poodle was a good boy on his first run.
  • And what's wrong with us whippets, exactly? ;-)
  • JC - look at it from the other side for once. I run 99% of the time in a forest. When doing marathon training I can be out there for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and far from home and civilization. With my 'wolf pack' in attendance I'm never worried, and my husband doesn't bother about me being out on my own in lonely woods.
  • I agree that other peoples dogs are the problem, even the friendly ones. My lab is a bit young yet (10 months), but we've done some short off road runs. I have to say that its enjoyable, although not ideal from the training point of view. He stops to sniff and once decided that the quickest route to a point of interest was between my legs, so I had an unscheduled lie down.

    He is a frim believer in picking up snacks, usually to eat later - so far the tally is three voles, one wood pigeon, one squirrel and a nest of pheasant eggs.
  • As I've wrote before on a previous thread, I take my german shepherd with me. He is still young (2 yrs) but has learnt basic commands so he will heel when I say so (the lead is on when we are near roads). He is good company, has made me laugh when he falls in water (he hates water) and makes me run that bit faster to keep up with him. As for other dogs, they are more interested in him than me so I'm off the menu then!
  • I got Daisy before I started running but she is an excellent running companion. She is a Beagle and just seems to understand about running, and running and running. She always runs forward. I asked the vet how far could she safely run for and he said that I didn't need to worry about it - I would never outrun a Beagle.

    Beagles are very friendly and tolerant, excellent with children, small to medium so more containable than a Lab. They are rather characterful so Daisy was rather lively as a puppy but now that she's two she's become a very biddable dog.

    Good luck with your search
  • Awww... all this doggy talk makes me miss my Ben so much! I never went running with him though, even though he was a greyhound! Greyhounds are not made for stamina, just speed - short, bursts of speed. Hope you do decide on a rescue dog - there are so many dogs absolutely desperate for good homes.. Good luck and let us know how you get on.
  • Yes, do let us know what you decide on and how you get on. I've had hours and hours of fun running with mine.
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