The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog

If you’re a fitness enthusiast and a dog owner, why not combine your passion for running with your love for your furry friend? Running with your dog not only provides an excellent exercise opportunity for both of you but also strengthens the bond between you and your pet. To make the most out of your runs together, it’s essential to invest in suitable dog running gear, including harnesses and leashes that are comfortable and safe for your canine companion.

Finding the Perfect Dog Running Leash and Harness

While you can use your dog’s regular leash for running, investing in a dedicated running leash can enhance your experience, allowing you to run hands-free. These leashes are typically bungee-style, enabling you to attach them around your waist and connect them to a dog running harness. Running harnesses are designed to provide comfort and stability to your dog while ensuring their safety during your runs.

To help you choose the best gear for running with your dog, we’ve compiled a list of top-rated running leashes and harnesses, along with informative reviews. From versatile hands-free leashes to lightweight options, we have you covered. Let’s explore some of the best gear for running with dogs:

Best All-Round Dog Running Leash and Harness

1. Ruffwear Roamer Leash and Front Range Harness

The Ruffwear Roamer Leash is a popular choice among both road and trail runners. Its hands-free design allows you to convert it from a handheld leash to a waist attachment, providing you with the freedom to run comfortably with your dog. This leash features a secure clip style, minimizing the chance of accidental openings, even during intense runs. Pair it with the Ruffwear Front Range Harness, which offers excellent comfort and adjustability, making it suitable for both running and hiking adventures. With its reflective details and padded construction, this harness ensures your dog’s safety and comfort.

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Most Versatile Hands-Free Dog Leash for Running

2. Kurgo Quantum 6 in 1 Leash

The Kurgo Quantum 6 in 1 Leash is a versatile option that you can use for both walking and running with your dog. Its robust design and adjustable length make it highly durable and suitable for various activities. You can wear it hands-free around your waist or over your shoulder for added convenience. This leash also offers the option of walking or running with two dogs simultaneously, making it perfect for multi-pet households.

Lightweight Dog Running Leash and Waist Belt

3. NATHAN Sports K9 Series Dog Running Gear

If you prefer a lightweight setup for smaller dogs or those that don’t pull excessively, NATHAN Sports offers a range of running gear designed specifically for dogs. Their breathable and lightweight dog harness pairs with a waist belt and bungee leash, allowing you to run hands-free while ensuring your dog’s comfort. The padded waist belt provides additional storage for essentials such as your phone, keys, and even a collapsible water bowl.

Best Hands-Free Dog Bungee Leash for Running

4. Hands Free Bungee Dog Running Leash

For runners seeking a bungee leash with exceptional elasticity to absorb shocks during their runs, the Hands Free Bungee Dog Running Leash by Stunt Puppy is an excellent choice. With its adjustable length and quick-release clip, this leash offers both comfort and control. The grab-handle on the non-bungee section provides added security when you need to bring your dog close to you promptly.

Dog Harness x Backpack Hybrid with Pocket Storage

5. Ruffwear Switchbak Harness

For those who prefer a harness that also allows their dog to carry some of their belongings, the Ruffwear Switchbak Harness is a perfect choice. This harness features padded construction, two leash attachment points, and a unique addition: two zip-up pockets on the dog’s back. These pockets offer ample storage space for essentials such as snacks, water bowls, and even waste bags. Pair this harness with your favorite leash, such as the Ruffwear Roamer Leash, for a comfortable and convenient running or hiking setup.

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Best Leashes and Harnesses for Dogs that Pull

6. Nonstop Dogwear or Ruffwear Canicross Gear

If you have a large or athletic dog that loves to pull, Canicross gear might be the perfect solution. Canicross setups include a specialized running harness, a waistbelt, and a bungee leash. This setup allows your dog to pull while you run behind, giving commands for direction and speed. Nonstop Dogwear and Ruffwear offer a range of professional dog running gear for Canicross enthusiasts. Running with this setup not only provides an exciting workout but also strengthens the bond between you and your energetic pup.

Choosing the Right Gear – Buyer’s Guide

To ensure you make the best decision when it comes to selecting a dog leash and harness for running, it’s essential to consider a few key factors. Let’s explore some of these considerations:

Should You Use a Dog Harness for Running?

Deciding whether to use a specific dog harness for running or stick to a leash attached to your dog’s collar depends on your personal preference and your dog’s behavior. Some dogs have a tendency to pull more when attached to a harness. In situations where control is crucial, using a leash attached to their collar might be the better option. However, for added comfort and reduced strain on your dog’s neck, a bungee leash can be beneficial, even when attached to their collar.

Choosing the Right Dog Running Harness

When selecting a dog harness for running, several features should be considered. Look for a harness that provides ample range of motion without causing discomfort or rubbing on your dog’s legs or shoulders. Adjustable sizing ensures a secure fit, preventing your dog from slipping out of the harness. Leash attachment points, both on the chest and back, offer versatility and control. Reflective details are essential for visibility, especially in low-light conditions. Durability is another crucial factor, as your dog will be wearing the harness during intensive activities such as hiking and trail running.

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Selecting the Perfect Dog Running Leash

Dog leashes come in various styles and lengths, so it’s important to choose one that suits your running preferences and environment. Bungee leashes are ideal for use with running harnesses, as they absorb shocks and provide comfort on uneven terrain. Hands-free leashes offer convenience, but ensure you have complete control over your dog before opting for this type of leash. Leash length is also a crucial consideration, with a 6-foot leash being a popular choice for running. Shorter leashes are suitable for urban runs, while longer leashes may be better for off-road adventures.

Canicross Gear for Dogs that Pull

For dog owners with energetic and strong dogs, Canicross gear provides an exciting running experience. This setup includes a specialized running harness, a waistbelt, and a bungee leash. With this gear, your dog can pull while you maintain balance and control. However, keep in mind that your dog will be further away from you, so it’s essential to train them to respond to commands and be aware of potential distractions.


Running with your dog is a fantastic way to stay fit, bond, and have fun together. By investing in suitable dog running gear, such as harnesses and leashes, you can ensure a comfortable and safe experience for both you and your furry companion. Choose the gear that fits your needs and preferences, and enjoy the incredible adventures that come with running alongside your loyal running buddy.

Karen’s Kollars offers a wide range of dog running gear, including top-quality harnesses and leashes. Visit their website for more information and to explore their products.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when running with your dog. Stay hydrated, pay attention to your dog’s behavior, and enjoy the journey together!