Are Akitas Good Running Dogs? Discover the Benefits and Considerations

Akitas are considered a large breed, with males typically weighing between 100 to 130 pounds and females weighing between 70 to 100 pounds. Their strong, compact bodies and robust bone structure make them well-suited for endurance activities like running.

The Natural Stamina of Akitas

Akitas have a natural stamina that allows them to keep up with their owners during exercise. While they may not excel in speed, they have impressive endurance and can maintain a steady pace for longer distances.

The Unique Running Style of Akitas

One fascinating aspect of Akitas is their unique running style. They have a distinctive, almost cat-like gait, characterized by a light and agile movement. This running style, combined with their powerful strides, enables them to navigate various terrains with ease.

The Benefits of Running with Akitas

Running with your Akita can offer numerous benefits, both for you and your furry companion. Let’s explore some of these benefits in more detail.

Improved Physical Fitness

Regular running sessions with your Akita can help improve their overall physical fitness. Running is a great cardiovascular exercise that strengthens their heart, lungs, and muscles. It can also help maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity, which is essential for their overall well-being.

Mental Stimulation and Enrichment

Akitas are intelligent and highly trainable dogs. Running provides them with mental stimulation and enrichment, as they have to focus on following commands, staying by your side, and navigating the surroundings. It can help prevent boredom and contribute to their overall mental well-being.

Bonding and Quality Time

Running with your Akita can strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. It’s a shared activity that allows you to spend quality time together, reinforcing the bond of trust and companionship. The time spent running can also be an opportunity for training and reinforcing obedience commands.

Enhanced Socialization

Running with your Akita provides opportunities for socialization. As you encounter other runners, cyclists, or dog walkers, your Akita gets exposed to different people and animals, helping them become more comfortable and well-socialized. It can contribute to their overall behavior and make them more confident in various situations.

Considerations for Running with Akitas

While Akitas can make great running partners, there are certain considerations to keep in mind to ensure their safety and well-being.

Age and Health Factors

Before starting a running routine with your Akita, it’s important to consider their age and overall health. Puppies and senior Akitas may not have the same stamina or physical capabilities as young adults. It’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian to assess whether running is suitable for your Akita based on their individual health needs.

Training and Obedience

Proper training and obedience are essential when running with Akitas. They should have a solid foundation in basic commands and leash manners. It’s important to ensure they understand and respond to cues such as “heel” or “stop” to prevent any accidents or injuries during your runs.

Environmental Considerations

Consider the weather conditions and terrain when running with your Akita. Akitas have a thick double coat that makes them more susceptible to overheating in hot weather. Ensure you run during cooler times of the day, provide access to water, and monitor your Akita for signs of heat exhaustion. Additionally, be mindful of running on hard surfaces that could cause joint stress or injury.

Proper Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Just like humans, Akitas benefit from a proper warm-up and cool-down routine before and after running. Start with a brisk walk and some stretching to prepare their muscles for exercise. After the run, gradually decrease the intensity and end with a cool-down walk to allow their body temperature and heart rate to return to normal.

Tips for Running Safely with Akitas

To ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience with your Akita, here are some additional tips to consider:

Choosing the Right Equipment

Invest in a sturdy and comfortable leash and harness for your Akita. A well-fitted harness can provide better control and distribute their pulling force more evenly. Consider using a hands-free leash or a waist belt to keep your hands free and maintain balance during the run.

Creating a Running Routine

Establish a consistent running routine with your Akita. Gradually increase the distance and intensity over time to allow their muscles to adapt and build endurance. Start with shorter runs and gradually work your way up to longer distances, always monitoring your Akita’s comfort level and overall health.

Hydration and Nutrition

Ensure your Akita stays hydrated during and after the run. Bring water and a collapsible bowl for them to drink from during breaks. Additionally, pay attention to their nutrition and provide a balanced diet that supports their energy needs as active dogs.

Monitoring Your Akita’s Condition

While running, keep a close eye on your Akita’s behavior and physical condition. Watch for signs of fatigue, discomfort, or injury. If you notice any limping, excessive panting, or reluctance to continue running, stop and seek veterinary advice if necessary.

Alternative Exercises for Akitas

Running is not the only activity that Akitas can enjoy. Here are some alternative exercises that can provide variety and mental stimulation for your furry friend:

Swimming as a Low-Impact Exercise

Akitas are natural swimmers with webbed feet, making swimming an excellent low-impact exercise for them. Swimming provides a full-body workout and is gentle on their joints, making it a great alternative to running, especially during hot weather.

Agility Training for Mental and Physical Stimulation

Agility training is a fantastic way to engage your Akita’s mind and body. It involves navigating through obstacle courses, which helps improve their coordination, balance, and problem-solving skills. It can be a fun and challenging activity for both of you.

Hiking and Trail Running for Varied Terrain

Exploring nature through hiking or trail running can be an exciting adventure for Akitas. The varied terrain, scents, and sights stimulate their senses and provide a more challenging workout. Just ensure you choose trails that are suitable for dogs and follow the local regulations.

Canicross and Skijoring for a Different Experience

If you’re looking for a unique activity, consider canicross or skijoring with your Akita. Canicross involves running with your dog while attached to a waist belt, while skijoring is running or skiing with your dog pulling you on cross-country skis. These activities can be a thrilling experience for both you and your Akita.


In conclusion, Akitas can indeed be great running dogs, given their physical abilities and unique characteristics. Running with your Akita offers numerous benefits, including improved fitness, mental stimulation, bonding time, and enhanced socialization. However, it’s crucial to consider their age, health, and training before embarking on a running routine. Implementing safety measures and exploring alternative exercises can provide a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for you and your Akita. So, lace up your shoes, leash up your furry friend, and embark on new running adventures together!

ThePetFaq Team