Are Rough Collies Good Running Partners

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Rough Collies are a dog breed known for their agility, intelligence, and stamina. They have a strong work ethic and were originally bred to assist shepherds in herding sheep. 

Due to their herding instincts, Rough Collies, like Border Collies and other herding dog breeds, have a natural desire to work and remain active. This makes them excellent candidates for various dog sports, such as agility and obedience competitions.

Their lean, muscular build and medium size make them well-suited for running. They possess a light-footed gait, allowing them to cover ground with ease and grace. 

Their double coat, consisting of a dense undercoat and a straight, harsh outer coat, provides them with protection against harsh weather conditions.

Are Rough Collies good running partners? Yes, their loyalty and eagerness to please their humans makes them perfect partners for activities that involve teamwork, such as running together.

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Understanding the Exercise Needs of Rough Collies

To be certain your Collie is happy, it’s important to provide them an appropriate amount of stimulation. As a herding dog breed, they have relatively high energy levels and require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health.

A typical adult Rough or Smooth Collie requires at least one hour of moderate to heavy exercise daily (a Border Collie may need more). This includes activities like brisk walks, games of fetch, or off-leash play in a secure area. Without proper exercise, Rough Collies may become bored, anxious, or exhibit destructive behaviors.

It’s important to remember that puppies and senior dogs have different exercise requirements. Rough Collie puppies should not engage in intense physical activities like long runs, as it can put stress on their developing joints and bones. 

Similarly, older dogs may have joint issues or mobility limitations that can prevent them from running long distances. It’s always best to consult your veterinarian for advice on your dog’s specific exercise needs.

Rough Collie agility course

Assessing Your Rough Collie's Running Potential

Before taking your Collie running, it’s important to assess their running potential. As mentioned above, puppies and senior dogs may not be the best candidates for running companions. 

To determine if your Collie is a possible running companion, observe their current exercise routine and stamina. Do they seem to enjoy extended periods of physical activity, like long walks or play sessions? Are they easily distracted, or do they remain focused on the task at hand? 

Discuss your intentions of running with your Collie with your veterinarian. They can provide valuable advice as to whether or not this activity is appropriate for your dog, taking into account factors such as age, weight, and overall health. While Rough and Smooth Collies are not very at-risk for hip dysplasia, it doesn’t hurt to have your dog evaluated just incase.

rough collie guarding owner

Benefits of Running with a Rough Collie

Running with a Rough Collie can offer numerous benefits for both you and your furry friend. Here are some advantages to consider:

Improved Health and Fitness

Regular running can help provide daily exercise, strengthen the cardiovascular system, build muscle, and maintain a healthy weight for both you and your Collie.

Enhanced Bonding

Sharing physical activities like running can strengthen the bond between you and your dog, improving trust and communication.

Mental Stimulation

Running provides stimulation for Rough Collies, offering an engaging way to explore new environments and satisfy their natural instincts.


Running with your Rough Collie can expose them to new people, dogs, and environments, helping to build their confidence and social skills.
Blue Merle Rough Collie at a woman's feet

Training Tips for Running with Your Rough Collie

Introducing your Collie to running should be a gradual process that focuses on building endurance and establishing a strong foundation of obedience and communication. Here are some dog training tips to help you get started:

How to Choose the Right Running Gear for Your Rough Collie

Selecting the appropriate gear can enhance the safety and comfort of your running sessions with your Rough Collie. Here are some essential items to consider:

No-Pull Dog Harness

no pull dog harness

Hands-Free Dog Leash

hands free dog running leash

LED Running Lights

led running lights

LED Running Vest

reflective running vest

Dog Running Shoes

dog running shoes

Dog Paw Wax

paw wax for dogs

Collapsible Water Bowl

collapsible water bowl for dogs

Safety Precautions for Running with a Rough Collie

Running tricolor Rough Collie in autumn
To ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience for both you and your Rough Collie, consider the following precautions:

Alternative Exercise Options for Rough Collies

If running isn’t the ideal activity for your Rough Collie, there are plenty of other ways to keep them physically and mentally engaged. Here are some alternative exercise options to consider:


Collies can make excellent hiking partners, offering a challenging and engaging activity that allows them to explore new environments.

Dog sports

Participating in dog sports, such as agility, flyball, or herding trials, can provide great stimulation for Collies.


Many Rough Collies enjoy swimming, which offers a low-impact form of exercise that’s easy on their joints.

Training and enrichment activities

Teaching your Rough Collie new tricks or engaging them in puzzle toys can provide plenty of stimulation and help keep them entertained.

Pretty Rough Collie laying on floor


Do Rough Collies make great running companions? Yes, but the answer ultimately depends on the individual dog and their specific needs, abilities, and interests. 

While their athletic nature, intelligence, and stamina make them good candidates for running, it’s still important to assess your dog’s running potential, exercise needs, and overall health before embarking on this fitness journey together.

With proper training, the right gear, and a commitment to safety, running with a Collie can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your fluff butt. 

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking for a new training partner or a Collie owner seeking a fun and engaging way to bond with your dog, running together can offer numerous benefits for both your health and your relationship.

*This article was written with the help of Chatsonic.