A German shepherd is a high energy dog that loves running as a form of exercise. Additionally, its fast speeds and exceptional tracking skills make this canine an ideal guard dog.
At full speed, he is ranked as one of the fastest dog breeds.
With that said, how fast a German shepherd can run or what is the maximum speed of this fun-loving dog?
With proper conditioning and training, your German shepherd can hit fast speeds.
However, the overall fitness, diet, and age can determine how fast your German shepherd can run (more to that later).
That said, continue reading on, and you will understand more about running of a German shepherd.
How Fast Can a German Shepherd Run?
Running or jogging with your dog is the best form of exercise you can both mutually benefit. Additionally, with the right training, this speed star can hit speeds of up to 30mph.
However, for your German shepherd to hit fast speed, he needs to be physically and mentally healthy.
More so, you can visit a dog trainer who will teach your dog how to run at high speed.
Where does the German shepherd rank among other elite runners in dogs?
Below is a table showing which other breeds of dogs can give your German shepherd a run for its “money” when it comes to speed.
|Dog breed||rank||Speed in Miles per hour(MPH)|
|Afghan hound||3||40 mph|
|Jack Russell terrier||5||38 mph|
|Doberman pinscher||9||32 mph|
|Border collie||10||30 mph|
|German shepherd||12||30 mph|
|Scottish hound||13||28 mph|
|Giant schnauzer||14||28 mph|
|Italian greyhound||15||25 mph|
Table showing how various dogs rank in terms of speed.
Why Is a German shepherd Fast?
A GSD body composition plays a massive role in enhancing the speed of this hound.
Such features include:
Long flexible legs; they give the dog a powerful upfront thrust.
Flexible spine, a spine that freely contracts and expands when your GSD is in motion.
The paws’ structure has a large surface area with curved craws to enhance the grip.
The shape of the head, a GSD, has a wedge-shaped head, hence more able to break the air’s resistance while running.
Another feature that makes a GSD run fast is its high metabolism rate compared to human beings.
And galloping nature of the Shepherd dog.
What Determines How Fast a German shepherd Can Run?
A German shepherd can be an excellent exercise or running companion. More so, it’s more of a motivation when you run beside your dog.
However, various variables can determine how fast your German shepherd can hit top speeds.
Overall Fitness of Your Shepherd Dog
Only a healthy German shepherd dog can hit speeds of 30 mph. Hip dysplasia common in GSD can make your dog slower or even refuse to run.
Additionally, a fat German shepherd dog will struggle to run because of the excess weight.
What’s more, an obese dog will quickly get fatigued and winded out while running.
Age is another variable that can determine whether your GSD will achieve speeds of 30 mph. For example, an aged dog has a less energy of hitting 30 mph than a trained two-year dog.
Also, German shepherds below the age of 18 months can struggle to run at high speeds.
Puppies below this age are in the development stages of their bones. Thus, their bones are still weak; and they risk getting musculoskeletal injuries.
The type of diet you are giving your GSD will determine how fast he runs. So, check up on the food you are feeding your dog.
To add on that, a poorly fed GSD won’t run as fast as you desire.
That said, for a German shepherd to run fast, feed him on high-fat content food. However, even with the right diet and no exercise, you risk making your Shepherd dog obese.
Best sources of fat include Omega 3, coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed seeds oil.
Exercise and relevant training can determine whether a German shepherd can run 30 mph. Consequently, it will be hard for an inactive dog to hit 30 mph on the first day.
So, how can you train your German shepherd to run fast?
How to Train a German shepherd Run Fast
For you to ensure that your GSD achieves its full potential, exercise and training are essential. Give your dog high endurance training without overexerting it.
Like we humans, prior exercise and training before a race help to reduce the risk of injuries.
Teach the Dog Some Basic Commands
The German shepherd is an intelligent dog; thus, teaching it commands won’t be hard for you.
That said, teach your dog on some basic cues and commands. Commands such as come, sit and go, will come handy while running with your GSD.
While training your dog, these commands, be patient and consistent. Remember to use high rewards while training your shepherd dog.
Such commands make the dog understand that you are the pack leader, and he should behave appropriately.
You want a dog who will stay calm in a busy public place. No one wants a running companion who will go chasing squirrels or attacking other people.
Give Your Vet a Visit
Make it a priority of visiting a vet before you run with your dog. A veterinary will do a health check-up to determine whether your Shepherd dog is ready to run.
A vet will advise you whether your hound is of age to run fast. As earlier stated, don’t involve your puppy in heavy exerting exercises.
Take Short Walks before Running
Like every other top athlete, your dog will need lots of exercise before hitting the road. Do short walks for like 15 minutes every morning and evening. You can top up with some mild jogging.
You can follow the above routine for four days. For the next four days, walk for 20 minutes and do 10 minutes of jogging.
These short exercises help strengthen the stamina of your dog gradually without exerting or pressurizing him.
Safety Tips to Note as Your Run with a German shepherd
Check On the Age
Don’t take a six months old puppy on 5 miles high intensity running. You will be doing more harm than good to the pup.
As earlier stated, at this age, puppies are far much prone to injuries.
However, at this stage, teach your puppy commands like sit, come, and go.
Leash Your German Shepherd Dog
A leash will be essential for you to train a German shepherd to run fast. However, first, teach your GSD on how to walk on a leash.
A harness or a leash plays a vital role in controlling the dog and puts you on the command.
Don’t run with a leashed German shepherd on a busy highway; your dog risks getting injured.
When running with your German shepherd having breaks is essential.
Even if you are an expert runner, be considerate of your dog. Short breaks will help reduce the stress on the joints and ensure the dog is not winded up.
Let your dog have some time to rehydrate or even relieve itself.
It’s unhealthy for you and your dog to go long distances without a break.
Carry Water and a Collapsible Water Bowl
Like every other dog breed, your German shepherd may become dehydrated.
Carry a poop bag
You don’t want your German god to leave traces of its excrement everywhere. That said, as a responsible pet owner, collecting and proper disposal of waste is essential.
Watch Out For Heat Strokes
Don’t run with your German shepherd when temperatures are above 70 degrees. The reason being, your German shepherd is at risk of getting heatstroke.
Signs of a Heat Stroke
- Difficult breathing
- Excessive panting
If you note such signs, quickly take your GSD in a cool place. Next, give the dog enough water for hydration. Finally, contact your vet.
If you insist on running during a hot day. Make the runs shorter than possible. Also, you can shorten the distance you usually cover.
Arm yourself with cold water for frequent rehydration.
Avoid exerting your dog
Don’t overexert your dog. Overexerting your dog will and can cause severe joint injuries and lead to health deterioration.
Signs that your German shepherd dog is tired.
- Panting heavily
- Poor interpretation of commands
- Excess thirst
- Total refusal to doing anything
- Running behind you
If you note that your German shepherd is acting abnormally, you better take a break. Take a break of 2-3 days to rejuvenate your dog.
Check On the Terrain
Let your dog run in a friendly place. Hard surfaces, especially when it is hot, can be tough on the paws of your dog.
Also, avoid icy surfaces as they may cause joint problems on your dog.
Let Your Dog Run Beside You
Don’t let your dog run anywhere he wants. Also, use high rewards when your GSD runs beside you.
Commanding your dog to run on one side will prevent injuries like tangling you with the leash.
FAQ: Why Is Running Important For Your Dog
Running is one of the best exercises to help your dog use up its pent up energy and reduce boredom.
A dog that is not physically stimulated will end up having behavioral issues. It’s not appropriate to have a bored dog as he will transfer his energy to other destructive behaviors.
Additionally, running will help keep your pooch healthy. That said, dogs that run frequently are less prone to obesity and diabetes.
FAQ: Is It Possible to run with a German shepherd When I Am Riding a Bicycle?
Yes, you can, but due diligence is needed. First, let the walk, run beside you as you hold the leash. Next, ensure the leash is short enough for you to hold. And not too long as it can become tangled on the bicycle.
Maintain a constant pace to avoid overexerting your dog.
Last and essential, do not tie the leash to the bicycle handle. The dog may jump off when you least expect it and cause an injury.
Is It Possible to Outrun a German shepherd?
The answer to this question can vary. The answer can either be yes or no. it can be impossible to outrun a German shepherd when running short distances.
Reason being that they have an athletic and energetic body.
Another answer to the aforementioned can be yes. You can outrun a German shepherd when covering long distances.
Humans are excellent distance runners, with exceptional stamina of covering long distances.
Are you wondering whether you can outrun a charging German shepherd dog? The answer is no.
Practically it’s impossible to outrun a charging shepherd dog. Hence to avoid injuries, you will need to outwit the dog.
First, don’t think of running. Even though your adrenaline levels are high, keep your calm.
Next up, keep a close eye on the jaws. Pound to pound, the German shepherd has one of the strongest jaws than other breeds of dogs.
Additionally, as much as you want to escape its claws, don’t lose sight of the jaws.
Next, try as much to get out of his way.
Avoid being aggressive as it can call for the dog to attack you.
Can I Outrun A Pack Of German Shepherds?
I hope such a scenario never happens to you, as it would be impractical to outrun a pack of charging dogs.
Why Is Speed Valuable to a German shepherd dog?
Speed is not one of the definitive characters of the German shepherd. However, as a versatile breed, there comes a time when speed is valuable.
Some people opt to use the services of this breed when it comes to herding. Remember, this hound was bred for its exceptional herding skills, and speed can be a perfect add on.
Speed will be necessary when it comes to pursuing criminals. However, it’s rare.
It’s now common to see German shepherd participate in agility championships. In such a tournament, speed is of the essence.
FAQ: Can A German shepherd run on a Long Distance?
With proper training and conditioning, a German shepherd can run far. However, as earlier elaborated, the distance covered will depend on various factors. The terrain, the age, and health status can determine whether your shepherd dog will clock high speeds or even go far.
FAQ: How Often Should You Exercise or Run With Your Shepherd Dog
As you may be aware, a shepherd is a fun-loving dog that thrives on frequent exercise.
At least have sessions between 30 to 60 minutes of play.
General Overview: Tips of Having a Safe Run with Your Dog
- Let your dog be off age before running dog distances
- Communication is vital as you run with your dog
- A harness or a leash will help control your German shepherd dog
- Always have breaks in between your runs
- Always run with your German shepherd when the weathers are cool
- Arm yourself with fresh water for yourself and the dog
- Training and exercising before a long run will be helpful
- Always run on a terrain that is not harsh on your German shepherd paws
As noted, a German shepherd can run speeds of up to 30 mph; however, they need proper training and guidance.
Also, understand your dog’s limit and energy levels so that it can clock such speeds.