Running is great exercise for a dog. The faster and further your dog is running the more energy they burn. However, not all dogs are suitable to run long distances. We will look at the different breeds and their suitability for running.
Running with your dog is also a great way to exercise yourself. This not only is limited to you running with them. You can also cycle or skate along side them.
So how many miles can a dog run? There are many factors to take into consideration. With the right training and conditioning many dogs can run 5 to 8 miles (8 to 13 km) clocking up 25 to 40 miles weekly. Some highly athletic and conditioned dogs can run 15 to 20 miles or in excess of 100 miles (160 km) a week.
If you are considering starting to run with your dog the first thing you need to do is to consult with your vet. Have them do a complete checkup to ensure that your dog is healthy and suitable for this type of exercise.
It is important to condition your dog for running and gradually increase the distance and intensity over a period of time. For tips on conditioning your dog for running see here.
Some dogs may not be suitable for running such as shortnose breeds like bulldogs as they can overheat easily and their respiratory function isn’t suitable. Dogs that have back or joint are also not suitable for running. The high impact nature of running will make these issues worse.
Factors affecting how many miles a dog can run
Dogs are more natural at running short fast bursts and not so much continuous running over longer distances. However, their are certain breeds and individual dogs that have a good level of endurance and make a great running partner.
Certain breeds and even individual dogs are simply not suitable to take running. There are many factors to consider when deciding if you should take your dog running. These factors include: –
Some breeds are more suited for running while others are simply not suitable. The sporting and working breeds are the most likely to make good running partners. Even smaller dogs such as terriers can also be excellent for running with. Some of the best breeds for running are
- Pointers – German and English
- Hungarian Vizsla
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Fox Terrier
- Retrievers – Labrador, Golden, Chesapeake, Curly and Flat coat
- Rhodesian Ridge back
- Shepherds – German, Belgian, Australian
- Cattle dogs – Blue Heeler, Kelpie
- Collies – Border and Rough
- Standard Poodle
Breeds that are not suitable for running include the brachycephalic breeds like the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, and Pug. In addition, the giant breeds and dogs that have a heavy muscular build are not good for longer distances. This includes the Mastiff type breeds and gentle giants like Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands.
Running is best suited for a healthy adult dog. It is not suitable for a puppy (see below for more). As a dog gets older and enters their senior years they require less exercise. Depending on the breed, a dog is considered a senior when they reach around 7 or 8 years old.
Just because your 6-year-old dog could run 10 miles comfortably last year, doesn’t mean they will be capable or even interested in running that far as they get older. Many dogs develop issues hip or elbow dysplasia or arthritis as they age. For more on exercising an older senior dog see here.
Running is not a good exercise for an overweight or obese dog. Being a high impact activity it can put severe stress on their joints and tendons. The best exercise for an overweight dog trying to lose weight is probably swimming. This is low impact but is still burns a lot of energy. For more on swimming exercise for dogs see here.
Dogs that have a heavy muscular frame are generally not suited for running longer distances. This includes many of the large Mastiffs. Breeds like this generally aren’t that keen to run anyway.
Any dog with any sort of health issue are best to avoid running. This can include back and joint issues, heart or breathing issues, or any illness such as diabetes.
Before commencing a running program with any dog, it is important to have your vet do a full health check up.
The surface your dog is running on will have an affect on how far they can run. Running on concrete can do damage to their feet and jolt their joints. It is best to run on a softer surface like grass.
Running on sand is a great way to increase the resistance tiring them quicker while giving them a soft surface to run on. If your run includes lots of uphill running it will also tire them quicker reducing the distance they can run.
The weather and temperature can also affect how far a dog can run. Dogs don’t sweat like we do and are less efficient at cooling themselves down. It is important to be aware of the potential for overheating and heatstroke in dogs.
If the temperature is too hot running or exercising your dog should be left to a time when it is cooler. For more on what temperature is too hot to walk or exercise a dog see here.
How many miles can a puppy run
The short answer is zero. Running is not a suitable activity or exercise for a puppy. Distance running is not suitable for puppies and should only be done with adult dogs that are fully developed.
Puppies muscles and tendons are still forming and they have less bone density making them more prone to injury. The high impact nature of running can cause permanent damage to their growth plates.
For a guide to exercise for a puppy see here.
Can a dog run a marathon
Can dogs run marathons? Yes, technically the right type of dog with the right training and conditioning can run a marathon. Events where you can run with your dog are becoming popular. This includes the 26.2-mile marathon distance.
However, should a dog run a marathon is another question? Having trained and run five marathons myself, I know just how hard and grueling the marathon is. It leaves you sore and drained for weeks after.
I did train with my German Shepherd but limited that to training runs under 15 miles. If you wanted to run a marathon with your dog it is crucial to ensure they did the required training and conditioning. This would require clocking up a weekly mileage of 80 to 100 miles.
How many miles can a dog run by breed
The main factor to take into account when knowing how far to run with a dog or if running is even suitable for them is breed. The other factors are their age, overall health, and conditioning.
We will look at various breeds to examine what distance they would be able to run. The distances given are a guide only. Some dogs of that breed could run further with the right training and conditioning. Other dogs of that breed may not be ready to run that far at their current fitness level.
If your breed of dog is not listed or you have a mixed breed, see here for a list of dog breed exercise guides.
How many miles can a Border Collie run
How far can a Border Collie run? There are examples of Border Collies that can run for 25 to 30 miles (40 to 48 km). However, this is at the extreme. A recommended distance for a well-conditioned Border Collie to run on a regular basis is 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km).
The Border Collie is a high energy working dog and can work all day long. They have a high level of endurance. They are also highly intelligent and need plenty of mental stimulation as well. For a guide to Border Collie exercise see here.
How fast can a Border Collie run? Border Collies can run at 20 to 30 mph (32 to 48 km). They can turn on a dime and maintain speed. A skill ideal for herding.
How many miles can a Pitbull run
How far can a Pitbull run? Pitbulls are a strong athletic breed. They can make excellent running companions. They are probably not ideal for super long distance running due to their heavy muscular build. However, with training and conditioning they could run 3 to 7 miles ( 5 to 11 km) with relative ease.
Pitbulls require at least an hour of exercise daily burn pent up energy and maintain good health. For a guide to Pitbull exercise see here.
How fast can a Pitbull run? Their powerful musclular frames can help them reach speeds of 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 kph).
How many miles can a Labrador Retriever run
How far can I run with my Labrador? Labrador Retrievers were bred to be working dogs and to retrieve birds or other prey and return them to the hunter without damage. This involved hiking long distances.
Even though they are commonly pets these days they still have the genetic makeup of a working dog and were bred to be high energy and very active.
A well-conditioned and fit Labrador is capable of running 25 miles plus (40km). A recommended distance at the top end would be 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km).
A lot depends on the individual Labrador. Labradors that have come from working stock tend to be more athletic. Many Labradors are also prone to being overweight due to their love of food. It is best not to run too much with an overweight Labrador as it puts stress on their joints.
For a guide to Labrador exercise see here.
How fast can a Labrador run? A highly athletic Labrador is capable of reaching speeds of 30 to 35 mph (48 to 56 kph).
How many miles can a Golden Retriever run
How far can a Golden Retriever run? Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever is a sporting dog that is bred to hike long distances over difficult terrain.
A well-conditioned and fit Golden Retriever is capable of running 25 miles plus (40km). A recommended distance at the top end would be 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km).
Daily exercise is required for a Golden Retriever to burn pent up energy, prevent boredom, and keep them in good health. For a guide to Golden Retriever exercise see here.
How fast can a Golden Retriever run? Golden Retrievers are relatively quick and can reach speeds of 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 kph) or even 35 mph.
How many miles can an Australian Shepherd run
How far can an Australian Shepherd run? The Australian Shepherd is another high energy herding dog with a high level of endurance. With training and conditioning they can run 7 to 10 miles (11 to 16 km) with relative ease.
The Australian Shepherd requires at least an hour a day of energy-burning activity. They are also highly intelligent and require plenty of mental stimulation. For a guide to Australian Shepherd exercise see here.
How fast can an Australian Shepherd run? An Australian Shepherd can reach speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph). They are very sure footed and can change direction with ease.
How many miles can a Blue Heeler or cattle dog run
How far can an Blue Heeler or cattle dog run? The Blue Heeler and other Cattle Herding dogs were bred to work and work hard. They are high energy and highly intelligent dog. This also includes breeds like the Kelpie.
The Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler, Red Heeler) and other cattle dog breeds like the Kelpie that are well conditioned can run 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km).
This type of dog requires one to two hours a day of energy burning activity. They are also hihgly intelligent and require mental challenges also. For a guide to Blue Heeler and cattle dog exercise see here.
How fast can a Blue Heeler run? The speed a Blue Heeler can run will vary depending upon the individual dog. However, most Blue Heelers can easily reach a top speed of 30 mph (48 kph) at a full sprint. Watch this video to see a Blue Heeler in full flight.
How many miles can a German Shepherd run
How far can a German Shepherd run? The German Shepherd is an athletic working and true utility dog. They have high levels of stamina and can run up to 30 miles (48 km) with conditioning.
If you are wanting to run with your German Shepherd regularly, distances of anything between 5 to 20 miles (8 to 32 km) are possible.
To keep your German Shepherd in good health and prevent boredom, daily exercise is crucial. For a guide to German Shepherd exercise see here.
How fast can a German Shepherd run? German Shepherds can run at 38 mph (61 kph) or a little quicker. If you are a criminal running away from a German Shepherd police dog you would have no chance.
How many miles can a Belgian Shepherd run
How far can a Belgian Shepherd run? The Belgian Sheepdog or Shepherd comes in 4 varieties. They all originate from Belgium and are named after the areas in Belgium from which they came: Malines (Malinois), Tervuren, Groenendael, and Laeken. They are all similar in type with the main difference being the coat.
A Belgian Shepherd type breed can run anywhere from 5 miles for a healthy dog up to 20 miles for a highly conditioned fit Belgian Shepherd.
All these varieties of Belgian Shepherds are an extremely active high energy dog and require at least 60 to 90 minutes a day of energy-burning activity, but more is preferred. They were bred to work hard and all day long. For a guide to Belgian Shepherd exercise see here.
How fast can a Belgian Shepherd run? A highly trained Belgian Shepherd (including a Belgian Malinois or Belgian Tervuren) can run up to 35 mph (56 kph) or even 40 mph (64kph).
How many miles can a Husky run
How far can a Husky run? Huskies are a sled dog and a well-conditioned and trained Husky can run in excess of 100 miles (160 km) in a day. In addition, they can do this at an average speed of 10 to 11 mph.
For a pet Husky, they can run 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) a day with training. Being a breed designed for cold temperatures it is important to not run with your Husky if the weather is too hot.
Huskies can easily overheat. It is best to run a Husky below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcius). You should not run a Husky when the temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celcius).
Being a breed with lots of energy and endurance, Huskies require daily exercise. For a guide to Husky exercise see here.
How fast can a Husky run? Huskies can reached speeds of 28 to 30 mph (45 to 48 kph). However, with their extreme endurance they can maintain this speed for much longer than other breeds.
How many miles can a Rhodesian Ridgeback run
How far can a Rhodesian Ridgeback run? The lion hunting Ridgeback is a good running companion and has a good level of endurance. Due to their muscle mass they are probably not ideal for ultra long runs.
However, with training and conditioning, a run of 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km) is well within their ability.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are an active dog and require at least an hour of energy-burning exercise daily. For a guide to Rhodesian Ridgeback exercise see here.
How fast can a Rhodesian Ridgeback run? The Rhodesian Ridgeback can reach speeds of up to 20 mph (32 kph).
How many miles can a Vizsla run
How far can a Hungarian Vizsla run? The Vizsla is a very active dog and has a high level of stamina. They make an excellent long distance running partner. A well conditioned Vizsla can run up to 30 miles in a single run. However, a run of 8 to 15 miles maxium is recommended for a well trained Vizsla.
Hungarian Vizslas require at least one to two hours a day of energy-burning activity, but more is preferred. If they don’t receive the exercise they need to release their pent-up energy they can become quite destructive or develop behavior issues. For a guide to Vizsla exercise see here.
How fast can a Vizsla run? Not only does the Vizsla have great stamina. They are quite quick in a sprint also. They can reach speeds of 40 miles an hour (64 kph).
How many miles can a Weimaraner run
The Weimaraner commonly referred to as “the Grey Ghost” is an all-purpose gun dog. They were originally bred for hunting large game such as Boers, Bears, and Deer. They were later used for hunting smaller game such as fowl, rabbits, and foxes.
This sporting background blesses them with an extremely high amount of stamina. With the right training and conditioning, a Weimaraner could run up to 30 miles (48 km). For regular exercise, a distance between 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km) is recommended.
Weimaraners require at least one to two hours a day of energy-burning activity, but more is preferred. For a guide to Weimaraner exercise see here.
How fast can a Weimaraner run? The Weimaraner can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour (56 kph).
How many miles can a Dalmatian run
How far can a Dalmatian run? The Dalmatian was originally bred to accompany and guard horse-drawn coaches on long journeys. As a result, they are muscular and have endless stamina.
With the right training and conditioning, a Dalmatian could run up to 30 miles (48 km) in a single session. For regular exercise, a distance between 10 to 15 miles (16 to 24 km) is recommended.
Dalmatians require at least one to two hours of exercise and activity daily but they wouldn’t say no to more. They are also a very smart and intelligent dog that requires challenges for their mind. For a guide to Dalmatian exercise see here.
How fast can a Dalmatian run? Bred to be able to accompany carriages over long distances, they are no slouch in the speed stakes either. Dalmatians can sprint up to 37 miles and hour (59 kph).
How many miles can a Pointer dog run
How far can a Pointer dog run? The Pointer breeds includes the German Short Hair Pointer (also known as GSP), Long hair and wire coat German Pointers, and the English Pointer.
A well conditioned and fit Pointer can run 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) in one session. They would be capable of running 100 miles (160 km) in a week. This means a daily run of 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) is achievable.
As the Pointer dog breeds were bred to assist hunters they are very active dogs and how a high level of stamina. They can hike for long distances over difficult terrain.
Pointers require at least one to two hours a day of energy burning activity, but more is preferred. If they don’t receive the exercise they need to release their pent-up energy they can become quite destructive or develop behavior issues. For a guide to Pointer breed exercise see here.
How fast can a Pointer dog run? With their compact muscular bodies, Pointers can run fairly fast. A Pointer can reach speeds of up to 35 miles an hour (48 kph).
How many miles can a Beagle run
How far can a Beagle run? The Beagle is a scent hound bred to track prey in a pack. over long distances. This means they are fairly energetic and have reasonable stamina.
They are best suited for running medium distances. Recommended length of run would be 2 to 4 miles (3 to 6.5 km approx).
Exercise is important for Beagles to burn up their pent up energy and manage their weight. Due to their love of food they can be prone to being overweight. For a guide to Beagle exercise see here.
How fast can a Beagle run? Although Beagles are a super fast sprinting dog they can still reach a reasonable speed. Beagles can run up to about 20 miles an hour ( 32 kph).
How many miles can a Boxer dog run
Boxer dogs are energetic active dogs, but due to their muscle bulk, they are best suited to shorter distances. With training and conditioning, they can run long distances. However, it is best to start with a shorter distance of 2 to 3 miles (3 to 5 km).
Boxers require at least an hour of physical activity and exercise. If they don’t receive the exercise they need to release their pent-up energy they can become quite destructive or develop behavior issues. For a guide to Boxer dog exercise see here.
How fast can a Boxer dog run?Being built more like a sprinter than a marathon runner the Boxer can fly. A Boxer dog can reach speeds of 38 to 45 miles an hour (61 to 72 kph).
How many miles can a Rottweiler run
Rottweilers are big powerful dogs and like similar dogs are not really made for long-distance running. Many Rottweilers are not that keen on going for long runs. If you do want to run with your Rottweiler, a distance of 3 to 6 miles (3 to 10 km) would be more than enough.
Despite many Rottweilers not being up for long runs, they are an active and energetic dog. They require daily exercise of up to an hour including some muscle-strengthening activities to maintain peak condition. For a guide to Rottweiler exercise see here.
How fast can a Rottweiler run? Despite their big bulk, Rottweilers can reach speeds up to 25 miles an hour (40 kph). They generally can’t maintain that speed for too long.
How many miles can a Doberman run
The Doberman is an athletic and muscular dog. They can make excellent running partners and are best suited to medium distances rather than really long distance. With conditioning, runs up to around 7 miles (11 km) would be suitable.
The Doberman is an intelligent, well-muscled, and a high energy large breed dog. They require between 1 to 2 hours of exercise daily to maintain good health and to prevent boredom and too much pent up energy. For a guide to Doberman exercise see here.
How fast can a Doberman run? Being powerful and well muscled, yet lean, the Doberman can reach speeds of 35 miles an hour ( 56 kph).
How many miles can a Staffy run
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, known as the Staffy, is an energetic dog with a muscular physique and has a lot of stamina. Despite their shorter legs, they can keep up on runs with relative ease. With training, they can go for a run of 5 to 10miles (8 to 16 km).
The Staffy needs a lot of exercise and activity, both physical and mental. They require at least 1 hour of exercise a day, but will never say no to more. For a guide to Staffy exercise see here.
How fast can a Staffy run? A Staffordshire Terrier can reach speeds of up to 25 miles an hour (40 kph) for short distances.
How many miles can a Greyhound run
The Greyhound was bred to run fast, not a long way. Most Greyhounds would be happier going for a brisk walk rather than a run. If you do want to run with your Greyhound, 2 or 3 miles (3 to 5 km) would be more than sufficient.
Despite their lean muscular bodies and great athletic ability, the Greyhound has modest exercise needs. They don’t need the amount of exercise you might expect of such an athletic breed. Short on endurance, they require less exercise time than most dogs and are often content to spend their day sleeping. For a guide to Greyhound exercise see here.
How fast can a Greyhound run? Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog and can reach a speed of over 45 miles per hour (72 kph).
How many miles can a Lurcher run
Lurchers are a sighthound such as a Greyhound, Saluki, Whippet, or Wolfhound crossed with a working breed, usually a collie or terrier. However, because Lurchers are a working breed mix they have much more stamina than a sighthound like a Greyhound. With training a 6 to 8 mile (10 to 13 km) run is well within their ability.
Due to their working breed mix, a Lurcher requires far more daily exercise than a sighthound. For a guide to Lurcher exercise see here.
How fast can a Lurcher run? How fast a particular Lurcher can run is dependent of what breeds they are made up off. However, as a rough guide they are capable of speeds of up to 40 miles an hour (64 kph).
How many miles can a Whippet run
The Whippet is a smaller descendant of the Greyhound. Like the Greyhound, they are built for speed and do not have a high level of stamina. If you do want to run with your Whippet, 2 or 3 miles (3 to 5 km) would be more than sufficient.
Despite being an athletic racing dog, the Whippet does need sufficient exercise, but probably not as much as you may think. For a guide to Whippet exercise see here.
How fast can a Whippet run? Being smaller than the Greyhound they are not quite as fast. However, they can still rocket reaching speeds of up to 35 miles an hour (56 kph).
How many miles can a Jack Russell run
The Jack Russell Terrier is the adrenaline junkie of the dog world. They have endless energy and despite their short legs can be good running partners. Once they are conditioned to running they can run 10 miles (16 km) a day with ease.
The Jack Russell needs a lot of exercise and activity, both physical and mental. Without the opportunity to release all that pent up energy and to challenge their minds they can develop behavior problems. For a guide to Jack Russell exercise see here.
How fast can a Jack Russell run? Bred to chase rodents the Jack Russell can turn on a dime and reached speeds of up to 25 miles an hour (40 kph).
How many miles can a Fox Terrier run
The Fox Terrier, as the name suggests, was originally bred to flush out foxes on fox hunts. In this pursuit, they could run for long distances. With training, they can run for 10 to 15 miles ( 16 to 24 km) in a session.
Fox Terriers are extremely energetic and smart and require at least an hour of exercise daily, but will not say no to more. For a guide to Fox Terrier exercise see here.
How fast can a Fox Terrier run? On fox hunts, Fox Terriers needed to be able to chase down the prey and keep ahead of the horses. Having longer legs than the Jack Russell enables them to reach speeds of up to 38 miles an hour ( 61 kph).
How many miles can a Miniature Schnauzer run
Miniature Schnauzers are an active dog and can make good running partners for medium distances of 2 to 4 miles (3 to 6.5 km). I have a friend that has a Miniature Schnauzer that runs 6 to 9 miles (10 to 14 km) with them.
The Miniature Schnauzer is similar to a terrier in many ways and needs a good amount of exercise and activity, both physical and mental. For a guide to Miniature Schnauzer exercise see here.
How fast can a Miniature Schnauzer run? The Miniature Schnauzer is fairly quick for a small breed dog. They can reach speeds of up to 25 miles an hour (40 kph) when going for it.
Conclusion – how many miles can a dog run
How many miles a dog can run or whether they are even suitable to run with is dependent on many factors. The main factor is the breed of dog. In addition, age, weight, and overall fitness and health need to be taken into consideration.
The climate also has an effect on how far a dog can run. Dogs are not as efficient at cooling themselves as we are. It is important to be aware of the potential for overheating and heatstroke in dogs.
If you are wanting to recruit your dog as a running partner it is important to condition them for running. The distance and intensity of the runs should be increased gradually over time. For more on conditioning a dog for running see here.