Do you want to recruit your family pet as a running partner or find a suitable dog for the job? Even though most dogs love to run, you should know how far they can run to determine if they are the best running partner for you.
How many miles can a dog run? According to Whole Dog Journal, with the proper training and conditioning, some dogs can run up to 25 to 35 miles (56.33 km) a week. There are even some super canine athletes who will actually log about 100 miles (160.93 km) a week running with their owners.
This article will be your go-to guide for knowing how many miles can a dog run by breed. We will cover the best dog for short distances as well as mid to long distances. There are some dog breeds that should not be your running companion, but rather your lap or couch companion! So we’ll talk about the worst dogs for running too.
How Many Miles Can a Dog Run?
What are good running dogs? That is, which dogs – given the proper conditioning and training (and the right climate) – make the best running companions? We’ve decided to break down our recommendations into long-distance, mid- to long-distance runs, short jogs, sprints and couch pup-tatoos.
The following is a closer look at some popular breeds and their qualifications (or lack thereof) for becoming your next running partner:
Are you looking for a dog that has tons of endurance and can train with you for many miles? Then check out these breeds that make great running partners for long-distance runners.
This beautiful, sleek breed from Hungary is often touted as the best dog for someone searching for a long-distance running partner. They were originally bred as swift and tough gun dogs and are known for having great endurance. The American Kennke Club even describes the Vizsla as the “ideal jogging or biking companion”.
How fast can Vizslas run? This fast breed can sprint up to about 40 miles (64.37 km) an hour.
The Weimaraner was originally bred in Germany to hunt large game, including bears and deer. They are gorgeous silver-gray dogs who are also athletic and have great stamina.
Not surprisingly many people consider these beautiful dogs, which have earned the nickname the Gray Ghost, excellent running partners. In fact, the Iowa Weimaraner Rescue in the United States calls them the “energizer bunny on steroids” and states that a “two-mile jog around the neighborhood may not be enough exercise.”
Because of their large size, Weimaraners are slow to mature. So, it’s important to start a young dog with short runs and long walks until it is fully mature and its growth plates have closed.
How fast can Weimaraners run? About 35 miles (56.33 km) an hour or more.
In 2016, a Weimaraner set a record for running a mile in 4 minutes and 13 seconds.
Want a dog who was originally bred to run for mile after mile? Then make sure to consider that spotted wonder, the Dalmatian. This beautiful dog was used to guard carriages and would jog behind them as they traveled long distances from one place to another. According to the AKC, these dogs are “built to go the distance”.
How fast can Dalmatians run? They can reach up to 37 miles (59.55 km) per hour and are considered one of the fastest dog breeds.
Are Border Collies good running dogs?
At first, you may not consider these stealthy herding dogs as an ideal running partner. But they actually should be high on your list.
Energetic, athletic and intelligent, the border collie thrives on having a job, and they also have the endurance to accompany you on even your longer runs.
How far can a Border Collie run? These dogs have a lot of endurance and can run long distances. A good example? Super Bee is a Border Collie who was the running partner for Emily Harrison, an Olympic marathon trials qualifier. This dog would regularly run about 90 miles per week. Super Bee could also run 30 miles in a day.
Fine canines for mid to long distance runs
Because Labradors were originally bred to spend many hours outdoors retrieving fallen birds and returning them to their hunting partner, these dogs are blessed with a lot of endurance. And a fit Labrador should be able to run several miles a day with their owner.
Labradors, with the proper training, have also been known to go for fairly long runs. A black Lab named Colt, for instance, would regularly accompany his owner on 10 to 25-mile runs.
How fast can Labs run? A well-conditioned Labrador has the potential to reach speeds of more than 35 miles (56.33 km) an hour.
Here is a case study of Elizabeth Morgan and her energetic black Labrador Retriever Bella. Elizabeth could run marathons but she was failing to reach her desired completion times. Running become a chore until she rescued Bella at six months old. Elizabeth is now engaged with running again. Her and Bella have gone on to complete 18 half and 2 full marathons.
Are Beagles good running dogs? Yes, they definitely are.
Although they’re relatively small compared to other dogs that are good runners, Beagles are hunting dogs that were bred to cover a lot of ground while chasing rabbits and other small game.
How fast can Beagles run? They can reach speeds of approximately 20 to 25 miles (40.23 km) an hour.
Australian Shepherds are hard-working, intelligent herding dogs. But are Australian Shepherds good running dogs? Yes. They have a lot of energy, enjoy being active, and also possess an effortless running gait.
How far can an Australian Shepherd run? A fit Aussie can typically run about four to five miles.
One word of caution — their long coat can sometimes cause them to overheat. So if you live in a hot or humid climate like Las Vegas or Florida, take note
Are boxers good running dogs? You might think so.
They are active, high-energy dogs, but because they’re heavily muscled, they are better suited for shorter sprints versus long runs.
Some veterinarians also warn against running with boxers because they are mildly brachycephalic (have short noses) and could have trouble breathing during a running session. How many miles can a boxer dog run? Because of their physical characteristics, it’s best to start your Boxer with short runs of two miles or fewer at first, and then try to build up from there. However, you will need to keep an eye on your dog for any signs of breathing distress.
How fast can boxers run? About 40 miles per hour.
Are Golden Retrievers good running dogs? Yes, they are.
Don’t let their beauty fool you. These golden pups were actually bred to spend long hours running through fields and swimming through bodies of water in search of downed birds.
How far can golden retrievers run? With proper training and conditioning, a golden retriever should be able to run between five and ten miles. In some cases, even more. Be cautious of running these long-haired dogs too far when the temperatures are high.
How fast can a golden retriever run? In short bursts, these beauties can reach a top speed of about 35 miles (56.33 km) an hour.
Are Pitbulls good running dogs? In general, this breed has a lot of energy and endurance and so, yes, they do make great running partners for mid- to long distances.
Here’s another plus about running with Pitbulls. Some people like running with Pitbulls because it gives them a sense of safety. Few people want to mess with a Pitbull or its owner, even if the Bully just happens to be the sweetest dog on earth. So if you want to run in Central Park, New York, after dark, then the Bully will make a great running partner.
How many miles can a Pitbull run? A Pitbull that is in good condition and trained properly can typically run two to seven-plus miles without too much trouble.
How fast can a Pitbull run? They can run approximately 25 to 30 miles (48.28 km) an hour.
If you want to know if Pitbulls make great hiking companions too, check out our article here.
They may be intelligent and loyal, but are German Shepherds good running dogs? Yes. Because they are also an energetic working breed that requires a lot of exercise, German Shepherds actually make excellent running partners. In fact, the Canine Journal’s description of this breed included this remark, “If you are looking for a running buddy, then this could be the right breed for you”.
How far can a German Shepherd run? A German Shepherd in good shape should be able to run approximately three to seven miles or more.
German Shepherds can also be great swimmers. Read more in this article.
It is believed that Rottweilers were originally bred to guard herds of animals. Today, they are strong, well-muscled dogs that are considered to be medium to high energy. So, are Rottweilers good running dogs? They can be, with proper training. But because of their relatively heavy body, some canine experts believe it is best not to run with them for long distances.
How fast can a Rottweiler run? They can reach speeds of up to 25 miles (40.23 km) an hour or more.
Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
The Labradoodle and the Goldendoodle are not AKC-recognized breeds. Instead, they are what some might call “designer dogs.
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador, while the Goldendoodle is a mixture of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
These two designer dogs come in a great range of sizes, from minis to standards. So, when someone asks if Goldendoodles are good running dogs or are Labradoodles good running dogs, it can be hard to answer these questions with any accuracy.
In general, both Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, though, should be decent running partners, as all three breeds — the Poodle, Labrador and Golden Retriever — tend to be athletic, energetic dogs that thrive on exercise.
How fast can Goldendoodles run? Because this dog can vary in size and appearance greatly, it is not possible to give a truly accurate average speed for this mix. However, as a measuring stick, a Standard Poodle can reach speeds of approximately 30 miles (48.28 km) an hour, while Labradors and Golden Retrievers can achieve bursts of 35 miles an hour. So, it’s probably safe to assume that a standard-sized Labradoodle or Goldendoodle should be able to reach speeds of between 30 and 35 miles (56.33 km) an hour.
Dogs for short jogs
You can take these dogs on shorter jogs, but long-distance running is probably not going to be their forte.
Corgis were originally bred to herd sheep and cattle. Though they are stout little dogs with short legs, they are actually quite fast. That is because they use their entire long body like a coil to propel themselves forward.
Their short legs do hamper their ability to run long distances, so they are typically not considered to be the best partner for long-distance runners.
How fast can Corgis run? If fit and in good shape, Corgis can actually reach speeds of up to 23 miles (37.01 km) per hour, which is actually faster than many dogs.
They’re huge and can cover a lot of ground. But are Great Danes good running dogs? Not really.
These gentle dogs are considered to have low to average exercise requirements and because of their large frame and body weight, they can also get tired faster than a nimble small breed.
These huge dogs also mature slowly. Experts on this breed caution against running with them before they reach 18 months of age. Unfortunately, running long distances with a Great Dane puppy before it has fully matured could damage your pup’s joints and cause lifelong orthopedic issues.
How far can a Great Dane run? One expert on the breed stated that while Great Danes probably could further, she does not run more than three miles with her dogs because of their size and the potential for stress on their joints.
The sprinters for fast and short distances
It’s probably no surprise that the greyhound is the fastest canine, since they are still used for racing. So, does that mean they make great running partners? Not always.
Greyhounds are actually built for all-out sprinting, not endurance. And here’s another concern with Greyhounds? Because they have very short hair and lack a layer of fat for insulation, Greyhounds are more prone to overheating than many other breeds. This means you must keep a careful eye on a greyhound while out running with one.
How fast can Greyhounds run? They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles (72.42 km) an hour.
The only land animal faster than a greyhound is the cheetah.
These little dogs resemble a mini Greyhound. And that’s because they were bred down from that larger breed by coal miners in England, who wanted a racing dog but did not have the room to properly house and feed a large dog, such as a Greyhound.
Whippets are the fastest of the small breeds and sprinters by nature, so they would make a good running partner if you enjoy short, fast runs.
How fast can a whippet run? The Whippet can reach speeds of up to 35 miles (56.33 km) an hour.
Couch pup-tatoes (aka worst dogs for running)
Dogs that are brachycephalic or have very short legs will have the hardest time accompanying you on runs.
Although Chihuahuas can be energetic little rascals, they generally don’t make great running partners because of their short legs.
How fast can Chihuahuas run? Because of their diminutive size, they are slower than the average dog. The top speed for a Chihuahua is about 10 to 15 miles an hour.
Of the three types of Bulldogs — French, English and American, the one that will be best suited to become a running partner would be the American Bulldog.
The English and French Bulldogs are both considered poor choices because of their physicality. Both can be prone to overheating.
In addition, all three Bulldog types are brachycephalic. So, they could develop problems with their breathing while out on a run.
How fast can a Bulldog run? On average, under 15 miles (24.14 km) per hour.
The Shih Tzu was bred to be a lap and companion dog for royal Chinese families. So, their little legs aren’t really suited to running long distances.
They are also a brachycephalic breed — meaning they have short noses — which can make it difficult for them to breathe, especially during strenuous exercise.
Training Your Dog for Running
So we’ve covered in great detail about how many miles can a dog run for specific dog breeds. The training of your dog to run with you will also impact your running experience.
When you first start on a running regiment with your dog, make sure to begin with slow, short jogs.
Then, as your dog becomes accustomed to these runs, you can gradually increase the distance.
It’s also important to vary your training schedule. For example, if you and your dog run a brisk eight miles one day, you should follow that up the next day with a slow three-mile jog or walk. And always keep an eye on your canine for signs of injury or distress while you are running. Dogs have been known to run with injuries, just because they wanted to keep up with their beloved partners.
For a detailed guide on training your dog for running, read our article here.
Puppies and Running
Veterinarians caution against running puppies or even walking them for long distances before their bones and muscles have fully matured.
The Kennel Club has provided the following general guideline for exercising puppies:
- Five minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day)
So, for example, if a pup is four months old, you should only take your pup on a twenty-minute walk twice a day.
As for running, some experts believe that you can start taking medium and smaller breeds out for an easy jog at about six months of age.
For large and giant breeds, you may need to wait until they’re well over one year old. That’s because large and giant breeds like the Great Dane, mature and develop more slowly than other dogs in terms of their bones, joints, and ligaments.
But please check with your own veterinarian before embarking on any type of running program with your puppy.
What is the average speed of a dog?
Dogs can generally run about 15 to 20 miles (32.19 km) an hour for short distances, according to Rover.com.
How far can a dog run without stopping?
So we have gone into great detail about how many miles can a dog run. What about running without stopping?
There are a number of factors that determine how far can your dog run with you without stopping, including its conditioning, size, and weather.
For instance, many dogs can easily go two to three miles without stopping, but if it’s a hot day, you MUST take frequent breaks to give your pup water and to check that it is not overheating.
Is climate a big factor in selecting the right dog breed to take as a running companion?
Yes, climate does impact how many miles can a dog run.
Take the husky as an example. This dog was bred to pull sleds over long distances. So, in theory, they should have the endurance to train alongside you for, say, a half-marathon. But if you live in Las Vegas, a husky would be a poor choice as a running partner, as its dense double coat would make it very vulnerable to overheating under the broiling desert sun.
How fast can puppies run?
Of course, how fast a puppy can run depends on its breed. But no matter how fast a puppy can run, it’s never a good idea to start jogging with your baby until they’re fully mature.
How fast can a dog run 100m?
Again, the answer to this question would vary by breed. But the fastest breed in the world, the Greyhound, can cover 100 meters in 5.33 seconds. In comparison, Usain Bolt set a world record at 100 meters with a 9.58-second run in 2009.
I already own a dog. Is there anything I should do before I start training my pup?
Yes. Have your canine checked over by a vet so you can determine what shape your canine is in and if it has any health issues that could prevent it from becoming your running partner.
What should I bring on my run?
Fresh water and a portable dog bowl are a must.
How many miles can a small dog run?
This article has compared all sorts of dog breeds to answer the question of how many miles can a dog run. But what about the running distance for small dogs specifically?
An average fit dog can be capable of running 25 to 35 miles in a week.
But a smaller dog, with a short stride, may only be able to run half or less of that amount.
Is there anything I should do during a long-distance run for my dog?
Make sure to keep an eye on its overall appearance. Some dogs will literally run themselves to death to stay with their owners.
It is especially important to keep an eye out for signs of hyperthermia on warm or hot days.
There is also a condition known as exercise-induced collapse, which affects some breeds, including Labrador Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels. Pups with this syndrome may suddenly collapse while engaged in strenuous activity.
How far can dogs run in the summer?
Humans sweat to cool their bodies down. Dogs can only pant and sweat a little from their paws. So, it’s important to avoid running long distances if the temperature is above 75 degrees.
What is the best surface to run on with dogs?
To keep your dog’s joints healthy, try to run on softer surfaces, such as grass or a dirt path, as much as possible