Three Reasons to Run With Your Dog

Woman running in the mountains with her dog

When professional trail ultrarunner Krissy Moehl, of Bellingham, Washington, came home with her adventure dog, Piedra, it was after 10 years of careful consideration, regular world traveling and a whirlwind of moving from place to place. In short, it was not a life well-suited to raising a pup.

So, when she moved back to her hometown in the Pacific Northwest and bought a house with door-to-trail access, she finally brought home the adventure buddy she’d for so long dreamed about.

For runner, photographer and coach Blair Speed, who lives and trains with her pup, Charlotte Ray, in Bozeman, Montana, running with dogs is second nature. In fact, she says she often misses Charlotte when she's not out there exploring at her side.

We chatted with Moehl and Speed, and did a bit of dog running and adventuring on our own to come up with these three stand-out reasons to run with your dog.

Woman running in the mountains with her dog


Dogs are good at building habits. If you’re trying to build up a regular walking or running regiment, especially during this time of social distancing, a canine companion will most certainly help you build and maintain daily miles.

Workouts are more fun

Yeah, ever run with a dog on a leash around your waist and feel like you’re being dragged about a minute per mile faster than you’d normally run? Probably because you are. In fact, the fastest 5K in the world was run with a dog. It doesn’t count, of course, because it was assisted (every time the runner was between foot strikes, the dog pulled him just a little bit more forward than he would have gone on his own).


While your running friends very well may be the most reliable people on the planet, during a period of social distancing, it's nice to have you canine companion around (to hug as much as you want!). Plus, your dog will likely be the most eager running partner you’ll ever have in your life.

"I owe a lot of my miles to my hound dog, Charlotte," says Speed. "Fortunately, she doesn’t see the adventures as a debt owed; she simply asks for more miles shared. She’s given me more courage, joy and companionship to run farther than I ever have before her. And, she adds, to simply enjoy more trail time.

(Always heed veterinary advice, and wait till your dog is over a year and a half before you introduce running.)