18 Reasons to Go for a Run With a Dog

At 50 lbs (22.5 kg) and 3 years old, my furry companion is in his runner’s prime. After we established the rules of no pulling on the leash and no jumping, I started training him with shorter runs. His agility and strong build make him a great running partner. 

Before you take your dog out for a run, think about whether he or she is physically built for running. If you’re not sure, check with your vet. Running with your dog should be fun for you, but also a great time for your pooch.

As long as your dog is a happy, healthy runner, there are plenty of reasons for you two to enjoy a jog together:

Dog running

1. Run & have fun

Grab your dog’s leash and they’ll come running, delighted because they know what’s coming. Every dog owner knows those moments. Let your running buddy’s enthusiasm motivate you, too, when lacing up your running shoes.

2. Kill two birds with one stone

You need to walk your dog anyway, so why don’t you go for a run instead of walking and get your workout in at the same time? Use the time you save to prepare a yummy, healthy meal afterwards.

3. The most humble training buddy

Your lovely dog will always be faster than you. However, he/she won’t ever rub it in your face — unlike some human running partners…

4. Always motivated

If you’ve tried jogging with a dog, you know how motivated they are when it comes to running across fields & meadows. Have your four-legged friend accompany you, and your motivation will automatically get a boost from his/her enthusiasm while running side by side (or maybe chasing them?).

Good to know:

Never forget that dogs easily push their limits as long as their owners keep going. They’d rather drag themselves along than stop running, even if they might have already exceeded their limit. Pay attention to signs that your four-legged friend is tiring.

5. Good for your immune system

Dogs don’t care if it’s raining or snowing outside. They always want to run, even if the weather is bad.

6. Your dog will push your pace

Since your dog will most likely run a little bit ahead of you, they are the perfect company if you want to improve your pace. You’ll instinctively try to catch up, thereby running faster — so no worries, your pace won’t suffer.

7. You’ll choose healthier surroundings

We usually would rather take our four-legged friends to green areas, meadows, or into the woods so they can explore nature. The great thing is, these types of locations are ideal for your own lungs and mood too.

8. They watch out for you

Especially when running in dim or dark surroundings, it’s always nice and safer to run with a dog by your side. They automatically scare off possible threats, no matter how big (or small) they are. Plus, all owners of little dogs know that, more often than not, they can make a lot of noise (often without cause).

9. You’ll be more attractive

People who keep fit are more often perceived positively by others. If you love animals and work out with your dog, you’ll be considered even more attractive. We have seen this in action with men who workout with their dogs; they are a real magnet.

A woman with her dog

10. Live in the moment

When running over rough and smooth terrain, you need to stay attentive to other animals to make sure your buddy doesn’t start chasing them, for example. No time to ponder over your problems — but a great opportunity to be present in the moment!

11. Take a break

You can easily seize your dog’s pee breaks or greeting rituals with others to catch your breath again. Totally acceptable.

12. Both of you will feel great

When stepping into the shower and watching your dog sprawl out on the ground after your run, you’ll know you not only did your body some good, but also your loyal companions’.

13. Your most patient partner

Even though they might run a few steps in front of you, dogs usually adapt to your tempo — provided that the two of you have a good connection. Otherwise, they might run off sometimes.

14. Just like the owner

Dogs and their owners increasingly resemble each other with time. We’ve all heard that. Well, good for your dog if he/she has a fit and active owner, right?

15. Calm at home

Unchallenged dogs can get pretty hard to put up with at home. If you challenge your dog and keep it busy and active, you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet home.

16. Flirt it out

Studies(1, 2) showed that it’s a lot easier to start a conversation when out and about with a dog. People looking to meet someone might want to think about bringing along their dog when going for a run. You never know who’s out there (maybe even with a cute dog, too?)! You’ll definitely have something to talk about.

17. A strong relationship

In puppy school your dog learns to follow you. They quickly learn that when their owner starts running, they might “lose” them. Therefore, your dog will always try to stay close to you.

18. Save on vet bills

My dog, Mocca, has turned into a real athlete. Thanks to our regular running sessions he’s stayed healthy & in shape and we’ve hardly ever had to go to the veterinarian over the past few years.

Do you want to take your dog out for a run too?

Keep in mind it’s smart to start slow and choose short routes for the first few runs. With time, your four-legged friend’s endurance will improve. Just make sure you pay close attention to how he or she feels. Plus, see the veterinarian for a check-up before you start “training.”


Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger