As a dog owner, your pet most likely needs to get out and spend some energy. This can be walks and even runs. But how far can a dog run without injuring itself?
Most medium-sized untrained dogs can run anywhere from 2-8 miles a day with proper hydration. With more training, they can run longer distances and faster times, and some dogs like huskies can run up to 100 miles a day after being trained.
Have you ever taken a dog out for a run and noticed that they seemed really exhausted after only running for 20 minutes? They may have seemed super enthusiastic at the start, and then you both stop so that you can tie your shoelace that’s come undone and you notice that the dog seems super spent like they were just turned off.
How Do Dogs Exercise vs. Their Owners?
The answer is that most healthy dogs can handle a lot of exercise. They were built to run and hunt and dig and play. Sometimes dogs that spend too much time inside will be overzealous to get outside and work themselves too hard because they don’t get to run very often. It’s sort of sad to dog-sit someone’s pet for a week and notice how they are so starved for regular exercise that they will exhaust themselves trying to get it all in while they can.
Dogs normally love running a lot, but you may have to pace them to make sure that they don’t overdo it and that they have plenty of water. They’re different from people in the way that they cool down. It’s been said that dogs don’t sweat, because they pant which cools them down internally, but they also sweat on their bodies to cool down.
They sweat the most where they have no fur like on their noses and their paws. The sweating that happens under their fur wouldn’t do that much to cool them down, but it does prevent burns from occurring on their skin that can happen with too much heat. (Source)
It Really Depends on The Dog
I talked to a vet technician named Linda at a pet hospital in Texas to get an idea of how long and how far a dog should be run. She said that it depends on a lot of things. Whoever you asked would have to give you an option on it, because each dog will have different limits based on their health, physical conditioning, and age. She has a friend who runs about 2, maybe even 5 miles with her terrier, Lola, every day and she said that Lola still looks great, and she’s already 10 years old.
Linda said it really depends on the dog and how well they’re accustomed to the activity. She used the example of someone going into the gym and trying to start off doing a hard training routine like lifting heavy weights before they’ve worked up to that physical level of endurance. Like people, dogs also need to be on healthy diets, and good supplements and healthy food make a big impact as well.
Which Breeds are Better at Running?
While Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed other breeds like German Shepherds and some Retrievers are better at distance and endurance.
Just to give you an idea of how fast certain breeds can run and what they’re good at doing, here are a few of them:
Vizslas – long-distance, endurance, 40 miles an hour
Weimaraners- Good for speed and stamina, can run 2 or more miles regularly and comfortably, 35 miles per hour
Dalmatians – Bred specifically to run, can handle distance, 37 mph
Border Collies – Endurance, high energy, long-distance runners, when trained one can run 90 miles/week or 30 miles/daily.
Below is an example of distances that untrained but healthy pet dogs should be able to run.
|German Shepherd||30 miles or 48 km|
|Pointer||10-20 miles or 16-32 km|
|Border Collie||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Golden Retriever||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Blue Heeler||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Australian Shephard||7-10 miles or 11-16 km|
|Labrador Retriever||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Husky||10-20 miles or 16-32 km|
|Vizsla||8-15 miles or 13-24 km|
|Rottweiler||3-6 miles or 3-10 km|
|Dalmatian||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Doberman||7 miles or 11 km|
|Greyhound||2-3 miles or 3-5 km|
|Whippet||2-3 miles or 3-5 miles|
|Weimaraner||10-15 miles or 16-24 km|
|Beagle||2-4 miles or 3-6.5 km|
|Jack Russell||10 miles or 16 km|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||5-10 miles or 8-16 km|
|Boxer||2-3 miles 3-5 km|
|Pitbull||3-7 miles 5-11 km|
Signs Your Dog is Overworked
If you’re running or biking with your dog, you’ll want to check on them and make sure that they’re okay every so often. When you’re running, make sure that you look for excessive panting or drooling, glazed eyes, differences in their focus, and more serious signs like vomiting, fainting, or the gums and tongue turning bright red. They could have other signs as well such as muscle stiffness, excessive exhaustion, and the inability to keep up with you while running. (Source)
Dogs love to run, and while it is true that they can be overworked, exhausted, or even die from too much running without training, they are very capable of adapting and being trained to run long distances. Some can even run marathons with their owners. Dogs should be given healthy amounts of exercise daily. Just like with humans, it helps their physical and mental well-being.
This is especially true with working dogs. German Shepherds, Dobermans, and other hunting or working dogs need to be exercised as they are bred to be active and accomplish tasks. Nothing would be more tragic than having a beautiful pure-bred hound that has to stay cooped in an apartment all week. Maybe if you live in a city, you can take your dog out for regular exercises to keep them and yourself in shape.