Everyone loves a Corgi. Corgis are always smiling and always look like they’re having fun. Who wouldn’t want a running buddy with that disposition? And don’t let their short legs and small body fool you. The next thing you want to know is “how fast can a corgi run?”
A healthy, well-conditioned Corgi can run up to 25 miles per hour. They’re determined, energetic, and give 100%, but they do have their limits. A run with a corgi won’t be a marathon, at least not for you.
This article explains why Corgis would make good sprinters rather than endurance runners. We give you all the information you need to know to ensure your Corgi running companion remains happy and safe during this fun outing.
How Fast Can a Corgi Run?
How do short legs and a long body enable the humble Corgi to sprint so fast?
Here’s the biomechanics. The Corgi is like a coiled spring: a ball of energy.
The front legs reach forward and the back legs follow through with a push.
It’s easier to see the legs in action rather than describe it here. Look at the video below. See how the back legs catch up with the front legs, propelling these energetic pups forward?
Are Corgis Good Running Dogs?
There are several factors which address are corgis good for running:
- Corgis are bred for outdoor activity (working in the field day and night, good weather and bad)
- Corgis are amazing sprinters
- Corgis are energetic.
Being a herding dog, they were bred to run faster than the cattle or sheep in their charge. But they didn’t need to run for miles on end after stock. Just short spurts of activity. That’s why they are more adept at sprinting vs. running.
But as with people, each Corgi is unique which may or may not make them the ideal running companion. A full understanding of the breed and their specific health needs and considerations will help you determine if this is the right activity for your dog.
Every Corgi is Different
My 14-year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi loved to chase rabbits, go for long hikes, and spend time roughhousing with his brothers.
We built a track in our yard for him to race around with other dogs.
He loved to run.
How Far Can a Corgi Run?
Can a Corgi run long distances?
No. Corgis are sprinters and can’t run long distances.
How many miles can a Corgi run?
A well-conditoned Corgi can run up to 2 miles.
Conditioning your Corgi
You will need to start slow
Increase the distance over time.
Check your dog’s feet regularly, and watch for limping or signs of pain.
The terrain is important, too. A flat, even course is great, but rocks, inclines, and pavement can be tough on those Corgi feet, especially the knees.
You might wonder whether there’s a difference between Pembroke Welsh and Cardigan Welsh Corgis and their speed.
How fast can a Pemboke Corgi run? On average, 23 miles per hour.
Cardigan Corgis, on the other hand, are the larger of the two breeds. There is a related impact on speed. As a result, they run slower than Pembroke Corgis.
Herding Dogs = Active Outdoor Dogs
Corgis were bred to herd cattle.
They have a habit of nipping at heels to herd, thus are known as “heelers.”
Their low profile and natural agility keep them safe when they’re running with the herd and avoiding those sharp hooves.
They have water repellent double coats, that keep them warm in all kinds of nasty weather. That’s why they are a great dog for outdoors.
Cardigan corgis are slightly larger due to cross-breeding with Welsh Sheepdogs resulting when farmers in Cardiganshire switched from cattle to sheep farming. This resulted in the longer nose, larger head, and slightly longer body of the Cardigan.
Their Unique Running Style
As noted above, corgis were bred to herd cattle, and later sheep in the instance of Cardigans. When they run, their entire body gets involved.
With average dogs, it can be more a matter of long legs and speed, but corgis push their entire body off the ground, front legs, and back nearly touching with each stride, landing on the front and then kicking off with the rear immediately. It’s more leaping than running as shown in the previous video:
This way of running is clearly more strenuous than the average dog. So does that mean Corgis aren’t great for endurance running?
Can a Corgi Run Long Distance?
Corgis are sprinters rather than runners.
Their physical build, spine-to-height ratio, short legs, and thick coat mean long-distance or high-speed running can be tough on their bodies.
In fact, that unique style of running takes 2 – 5 times more effort just to keep up with you on a run.
Their spine doesn’t have as much support, and their short legs are under increased stress.
Plus, furry feet and a heavy coat result in overheating.
A better question to ask, “can corgis go jogging?” While a jog of a mile or two is fine, long-distance running just isn’t in their make up. Corgis are one of the breeds that made our shortlist for the best small dogs as running partners for their ability to keep you company on a jog.
If you’re after a running companion over long distances, this article identifies the best companion dogs for you.
When Should I Run (Jog) with My Corgi?
As noted above, Corgis have an extremely heavy coat that can make them overheat quickly.
Due to this, the best time of day to jog with your Corgi would be early morning or evening, when temps are no higher than 65 degrees F (18 degrees C). This data is based on The Tufts Animal Care and Condition (TACC) scales.
If your dog is elderly (8+ years of age) or a puppy <18 months, and so at higher risk, adjust those temperatures accordingly.
In winter, when it drops below freezing, you should also use caution. Ice can form on those furry feet, and those low-rider bellies are closer to the snow and ice.
What To Look Out for When Exercising With Your Corgi
My Corgi Tucker also suffered a few activity-related injuries that required special care. We learned what to look out for when exercising this amazing breed.
- Avoid long-distance runs.
- Avoid boredom by altering your jogging route.
- Avoid running on pavement. Corgi’s paws absorb a lot of stress. Booties can help, but Corgis don’t always like things on their feet.
- Carry water and a portable dish (that clips onto a leash/that you carry in your running utility belt) and take breaks.
- Do not push your Corgi. Spine problems are not uncommon. Pushing them too hard, or starting them too early can make these issues worse.
- Beware of heatstroke. Signs include excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, uncoordinated movement and collapse.
What Else Should You Watch For?
- Always keep an eye out for signs of pain or discomfort. A simple trip or stumble can result in a pulled muscle or a tweaked spine. If limping or favoring a leg lasts more than a day, get it checked.
- Consider starting your dog on natural joint-health supplements.
When is Running Inappropriate for Your Corgi?
- Puppies should avoid excessive exercise until their bones have finished growing. That means no continuous running/jogging until 18 months of age.
- Elderly Corgis, (>8 – 9 years) should be limited to shorter sprints. Daily short walks are best.
- Sick dogs should be given time to recuperate. If your dog has an injury, take a few weeks off from running.
Non-Running Activities to Try
The same jogging route over and over isn’t going to cut it. Combine jogging with these activities to try (some of which include jogging):
- Visiting local parks for new paths and scenery.
- An agility course/class.
- Treibball is a low impact fun dog sport that comes naturally to many dogs, especially herders.
- Swimming is a favorite for some Corgis, but due to their build, a life jacket is advisable.
What Happens if You Don’t Exercise Your Corgi?
How much exercise does a corgi need? An outing three to four times a day is best. Otherwise, this working breed will find “work” in your house and make more work for you. You don’t want a bored Corgi on your hands!
Create a routine with variety and watch their excitement when they see you pick up the leash.
Are Corgis Good Off-Leash?
Corgis are good off leash provided they are training properly.
Corgis train quickly.
Be consistent, teach a solid recall, and when it comes to running or jogging with them, take the time to train them well.
Many trails require leashes but don’t let your corgi off-leash unless you know their recall is unquestionable.
Running off-leash is great, but work up to it.
The American Kennel Club recommends loose leash walking first, then training on cues to speed up, and slow down, with lots of treats and reinforcement.
Best Running Gear
Here’s a list of the best running accessories to ensure your outdoor adventure with your Corgi is comfortable and safe.
|Item||Brand/Model||Check latest price on Amazon.com|
|Best hands-free leash with waist belt||Mighty Paws Running Leash||Check price|
|Best running/utility belt||Kurgo K9 Excursion Running Belt||Check price|
|Best non-hands free leash||Hurtta Jogging Leash||Check price|
|Best running harness for small dogs||Ruffwear Front Range harness||Check price|
|Best LED collar for jogging at night||Blazin’ Safety LED Collar||Check price|
|Best high visibility reflective vest for jogging at night||SafetyPUPXD||Check price|
Jogging is a better choice for a Corgi. A sudden quick sprint is fine, but when someone asks, “How fast do Corgis run?” Remember, long-distance running is just not in the Corgi makeup. They’re not built for it.
Want more information about Corgis?
- Hiking and Corgis: are you good to go?
- Is your dog a fluffy Corgi?
- Best small dogs to take running
- Need to leave your Corgi alone? Read our guide.
- Read our Corgi puppy buying guide
- The best ever guide to Corgi tails