7 Dog Breeds for Short Distance Runners

Are you a runner that likes to go on a 3-mile (5k) run a few times a week? Are you in need of a running companion to keep you motivated? Well, in case you didn’t know, dogs make great running partners! Most dogs love being outside and getting some good old exercise in. But, not all dogs are built for running, such as short-nosed breeds (i.e. the pug and bulldog). And some dogs are built for endurance while others are better for shorter distances. Therefore, if you are looking at adding a dog to your family and want that doggie to be your loyal running partner, you need to do your research! Enjoy this list of dog breeds for short distance runners and joggers (less than 3 miles/5k).

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier running

These little guys love to run short distances! Photo Source

Despite their small size, these dogs are little balls of energy. Due to their energetic nature, they make great running companions for short distance runners.

Tenterfield Terrier

Tenterfield Terriers love to run

Please! Take me for a quick run!! Photo Source

Like the Jack Rusell, the Tenterfield Terrier has been bred as a working dog. That means it too has a lot of energy to burn up. Don’t let its small size fool you! This dog is great for short distance runners!

Shetland Sheepdog


Come on! Let’s run! Photo Source

These small herding dogs need regular exercise. Although they love to run, they are more suited for shorter distances under 3 miles (5k). Also, they do have a longer coat, so they are prone to overheating.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

I’m ready. Let’s do this run. Photo Source

This medium-size terrier is agile and muscular. It is an active dog and enjoys going on shorter distance runs.

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Did someone say run?! Photo Source

Like most terrier breeds, the Airedale Terrier is full of energy and loves to run. However, this is a larger breed of terrier. For those of you who enjoy a bigger dog that likes shorter distances of running, this doggie may be right for you!

Labrador Retriever

lab running

Check out my mad running and weaving skills! Photo Source

Just like its name suggests, this active dog loves to run and retrieve! The Labrador Retriever was originally bred to help fisherman retrieve nets and fish. Nowadays, these happy dogs make great running partners—especially for active families!

English Setter

English Setter

Oh boy! Time for a run! Photo Source

Originally bred as a gun dog to hunt birds, this dog breed has a lot of endurance and athleticism. But, they don’t need too long of run. They’re happy with running short distances!

Remember, just like yourself, you need to train dogs up to the desired running distance in incremental steps. Also, be aware of the temperature outside. Make sure it’s not too cold or too hot. Finally, before attempting to run with a dog, check with your vet to make sure your dog is physically able to run. Puppies are not fully developed, while older dogs may have health problems that could be made worse by vigorous running—even short distances.

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