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Is it OK, Good or Bad to Take Your Dog Running?

Have you ever seen a happy dog jogging with their owner? You are probably wondering if it’s OK to run with your dog. I recently question myself if it’s bad or good to take my dog running. I found some very interesting information that you should know about running with your buddy! 

Running With a Dog

Going for a run with your dog can be very good for both yourself and your pet. Running is a great way to keep your dog healthy, active and happy. It’s a very interesting way for you to exercise and spend more time with your companion. However, running can be very bad for your dog depending on various aspects. Accordingly, running can is fundamentally good for dogs, but it can be bad for some exceptions! 

So, running is good or bad for your companion?

Unfortunately, there’s no universal answer to this question. I was really disappointed after noticing that it depends on so many characteristics of your dog. That’s why I created this article to share with you what you need to know if you want to run safely with your dog!

Have you ever heard things like « If your dog is fat you should start running with him »? Or people say « Small dogs aren’t made for running »? These statements can be true and totally false depending on the dog’s situation. If I had one piece of advice for you, just make sure to adapt to any sport you do for your dog. You need to know the limits of your pet. Any dog has different needs and desires, so you have to know your animal personality!

What are the risks of running with your companion?

Even if jogging with your dog is good, there are some risks to this physical activity. Here are some risks you should be aware of before running with your dog!

Heart problems.

Dog owners that don’t adapt their run could cause serious health problems to their dog! It’s not good for your buddy to get over-exercised. Respect the limits of your dog to don’t cause him serious damage such as heart issues!

Respiratory issues.

Some dogs can’t breathe very well or have difficulty regulating their temperature. These dogs aren’t suitable for running. Make sure to not get your dog hurt with intense or long runs. Lower energy activity could be a better option for them!

These are other risks related to this active sport. Some dogs could suffer from:

  • Muscle injuries.
  • Joint issues.
  • Bone injuries.

As you can see you need to be very secure to start running with your dog. Now, let’s start talking about how you can know if your dog is suitable or not for running!

Is it OK to run with your dog?

Now, you probably want to have a clearer answer. Here’s what you need to look at to know if it’s safe for your dog to run!

Respect your dog’s breed!

Depending on the type of dog you have, you need to find the right kind of exercise for him. For example, Pit Bulls can run, but not on for a long time. Therefore, you have to be careful if you’re a good runner. These dogs will follow you if you push them a little bit, but that’s very dangerous! Every dog breed is different, some are better for distance and with endurance others are built for speed and short distance. Let see what’s the difference between the breeds!

Not every dog breed is made for running. Even good dogs for runners have different characteristics. You need to do some research (I did it for you.) to understand what type of run is better for your jogging partner!

For example, some dog breeds like long runs. This is normally because of their good endurance. Here are some dogs you should jog with for long distances! Weimaraners, Vizslas, Labrador and Golden Retriever, German Shepherds, Border Collies, German Shorthaired Pointers, Dalmatian, Siberian Huskies, etc. These dog breeds are very good companions for your long jogs or runs!

Normally, medium or large dogs with long legs are better for endurance running partners. There are some exceptions such as the Jack Russell Terrier. I will share with you what characteristics make a dog safer to run later!

Otherwise, there are also some sprinter dogs that are better for short sprints or runs. If you do an intense sprint training these dog breeds could be very interesting. Here are some dogs you should run a brisk and short trail with! Greyhounds, Pit Bulls, English Setters, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Belgian Sheepdogs, etc. If you’re looking for a High Intense Interval Training (HIIT) partner, these dogs are very interesting!

Small dogs are better for short and fast runs. 

Jogging with a your small buddy!

What is a short run for a dog?

Your short dog should be able to run at least 2 miles (~3 km) and be okay with 5 miles (~8 km) maximum. Running more than that could be bad for your dog. This minimum and maximum will vary a lot, and you will see it when your buddy can’t run anymore, don’t push him!

Short-nosed dogs aren’t suitable for running. Brachycephalic dogs (with short noses) have respiratory issues. They can’t breathe very well, and they have problems with regulating their temperature. These dog breeds are Pugs, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Boxers, etc. Dogs with short noses can quickly overheat or have difficulty breathing well. I know that you can run with Boxers of Pit Bulls can run, but make sure to adapt very carefully your runs for their issue!

Start and stop running with your dog at the right time! 


It’s very important to not run with your puppy. This type of exercise is too intense for them. Running is bad for puppies because their bones are still growing. Please wait until your buddy is fully grown before enjoying jogging with them!

Senior dogs.

Yes, your dog can be too old for running. With age, your senior dog could have difficulties doing physical activity. That could also hurt them even if they enjoy it! Some very healthy dogs can jog with their owner for a long time. Just make sure to look for signs to find a lower activity at the golden age of your buddy!

Be careful with the health of your dog!

Even if your dog looks fine, you should go to see a professional before starting to run. Many health problems such as respiratory or heart issues can be very dangerous if your dog starts to run. There are also other issues that could cause injuries or just become worse. (Muscle, bone, joint or structure issues) A visit to the vet is the best idea to know if it’s OK to run with your dog!

Overweight dogs.

Running is very good for exercising your dog and making him healthy. However, that’s not the best activity to begin if your dog isn’t in good shape. Running with too heavy dogs could hurt their joints and increase the risks of injuries. What are better alternatives to running to get your dog healthier? Walking could be easier, safer and funnier for an obese dog. Any lower energy activity is a better way to start exercising your dog!

Make sure your dog is alright before, during and after running!

A lot of runners don’t pay attention to their dogs. That’s very bad because your dog will show you when he needs something. Before you start a quick check-up of your buddy could be an awesome idea! You’re maybe not at the same level of health as your dog, so look at him regularly. If he wants anything (some water, a pause, etc.), you will be able to give him!

What are the things you should know before running with your companion?

Even if your dog is very healthy, there are always risks to running. I really want to help you know how you can run safely with your companion. Here’s important information you should follow to enjoy running with your buddy safely!

Preparation is very important.

Like any sport, training and preparation is the key. To begin with, you can start walking regularly with your dog. After a couple of weeks or even months, you can start jogging slowly and short distances with your companion. If you want, you can also alternate running and walking to start the more intense effort for your dog. If your dog can follow you without any issue, you can gradually increase the intensity and the distance of your runs!

Warm-up and cool down.

Like any human, dogs need to warm up before exercising. This can be very simple as a few minutes of walking. This can prevent you and your dog from many risks of running! It’s the same thing after this effort, and your dog could need to cool down. Doing a lower energy activity could be a great way to finish your runs!

Give breaks to your dog!

Your buddy is probably not at your level of fitness. Dogs need several breaks. They will need to stop for water, take their breath, simply rest or many other reasons. For their safety give your dog some breaks during your runs!

Voice cues could be a good idea for your jogs or runs!

You’re afraid to lose control of your dog? Voice cues are very useful for any kind of dog sports such as running!

Don’t run when it’s too hot or too cold!

Dogs have fur coats and they can’t sweat. That makes them overheat more easily than humans. You need to be extremely careful with double-coated dog breeds like Huskies, Malamutes, Collies, German Shepherds, etc. 

Give some water to your dog before, during and after your run!

These dogs can be very interesting for cold climates. Other dogs aren’t suitable to run when it’s too cold like Greyhounds, American Staffordshire Terriers, Weimaraners, etc. You need to be aware of the temperature to run with your companion safely!

Have fun!

The last thing you need to have is fun. Don’t run with your buddy if you or he doesn’t have fun. I really like running with my lab and she loves it too! You should make sure both the dog and the runner enjoy this activity to do it regularly. Going outside for jogs or runs is an awesome activity, I’m sure you will be able to have a lot of fun with your dog!

Last thoughts about running safely with your dog!

In conclusion, running can be very good for you and your pet. The only thing you should remember is to know your dog and adapt your runs for both yourself and him. I really like to challenge my readers. I have something to help you take a step further to your health goals. My challenge is simply to start walking at least 5 days a week. What if you already take these walks? Another challenge could be to start alternating running and walking during your rides! Let’s see if you are the type of dog owner that takes action. I wish you to have fun while running with your new doggie partner!