The Golden Retriever is an athletic dog breed, and it is not uncommon to see them zooming around at top speed. This might make you wonder, “How fast can Golden Retrievers run?”
The answer to that depends on several factors. Still, we can provide an average figure and explain how these factors will affect a Golden Retriever’s speed. We’ll also talk about running with your Golden Retriever and much more – so keep reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 How Fast Can A Golden Retriever Run?
- 2 Factors That Determine A Golden Retriever’s Speed
- 3 Why Are Golden Retrievers Good Runners?
- 4 Are Golden Retrievers Good At Long-Distance Running?
- 5 Are Golden Retrievers Good Running Partners?
- 6 How Do You Train Your Golden Retriever To Run With You?
- 7 When Should You Stop Taking Your Golden Retriever On Runs?
- 8 Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Running With Your Golden Retriever
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Final Thoughts
How Fast Can A Golden Retriever Run?
Golden Retrievers aren’t the fastest dogs around, but they are still much faster than the average human. Younger Golden Retrievers can reach speeds between 20 and 25 miles per hour, which isn’t bad at all.
An adult Golden Retriever’s top speed is even more impressive, as they will reach 35 miles per hour when going flat out. Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, only reached a top speed of 27.79 miles per hour when he broke the 100m sprint record.
Factors That Determine A Golden Retriever’s Speed
35 miles per hour is an impressive top speed for these athletic dogs, but not every Golden Retriever can reach this pace. There are a few factors that could affect the maximum speed of your Golden Retriever that Barksinthepark will discuss below.
A healthy Golden Retriever in good physical condition will always be faster than one with health issues. Obesity can affect how fast Golden Retrievers can run, as they will be carrying extra weight.
It can also put pressure on their joints and cause problems, so you should only let your Golden Retriever run for short periods if they are overweight.
There are some health issues that can prevent your Golden Retriever from running altogether. These conditions include heart disease, hip dysplasia, and arthritis. If your Golden Retriever is struggling to run or suffers from any of these conditions, you should take it to your local vet.
The age of your Golden Retriever will also affect its speed. An adult Golden Retriever in its prime can reach a top speed of 35 miles per hour. Yet, younger Golden Retrievers will only reach a running speed of 25 miles per hour. A Golden Retriever puppy won’t even get close to these speeds due to its short legs.
When Golden Retrievers and other dogs get old, they start to slow down; aging affects their energy levels and their joint health, which will slow them down. Eventually, it will be better for your dog not to run at all, as it will cause more harm than good.
Like humans, Golden Retrievers need exercise to reach peak physical condition. It would be strange to expect your Golden Retriever to achieve a good running speed if they are not fit – their muscles simply wouldn’t be strong enough.
Exercise can help your dog improve its top speed over short distances and give it the endurance to run long distances. The exercises for improving long-distance running and top speed will differ.
Why Are Golden Retrievers Good Runners?
Now that we know these dogs are good runners, you might wonder what characteristics make a Golden Retriever so athletic.
Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be hunting dogs. Hunting dogs need to be able to trek long distances with their owners to find game, so the breed has been “designed” with this in mind.
They were also bred to be agile, as they needed to navigate the rough terrain of the Scottish countryside – their place of origin.
If you look underneath all the fluff, you’ll find that most Golden Retrievers have muscular builds. A male adult Golden Retriever normally weighs around 70 lbs, and if your dog is healthy, this will consist mainly of muscle.
These muscles allow Retrievers to run long distances and reach impressive speeds over short distances.
They enjoy it
Golden Retrievers are very high energy due to the breed’s hunting pedigree. They love making use of their energy and often love to play games that involve running and agility. The breed’s love for running means they will do it at every opportunity they get, which keeps them fit.
If you’ve ever taken your Golden Retriever on a run with you, you will know that it’s one of their favorite activities!
Are Golden Retrievers Good At Long-Distance Running?
The Golden Retriever’s hunting pedigree doesn’t only give it a remarkable top speed; the breed also has great endurance. Golden Retrievers can run fairly long distances, as they were bred to do so when hunting. Your Golden Retriever should be able to keep up with you when it comes to long-distance running.
Your dog should be able to run comfortably for around five miles, but you should always check to see if your dog is becoming fatigued – do your best not to overexert your furry running buddy.
These dogs are also excellent swimmers over longer distances. This is because hunters used the breed to retrieve waterfowl from lakes and dams.
Golden Retrievers will also benefit from long-distance running, as it will help get rid of their excess energy and improve their physique and cardiovascular health.
Are Golden Retrievers Good Running Partners?
Now that we have answered “how fast can a Golden Retriever run”, what about taking them on longer runs with you?
While some breeds shouldn’t be made to run long distances, this does not apply to the athletic Golden Retriever. These dogs make excellent running partners and may even be better than you at running!
The fact that these dogs are easy to train and obedient makes them ideal for jogging. You can even train your Golden to run alongside you off-leash – if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Running with your Golden will help them get their daily exercise. This will stimulate them, stopping them from picking up bad habits like barking and digging.
How Do You Train Your Golden Retriever To Run With You?
While Golden Retrievers are good athletes, you will need to train your dog if you want it to run with you. This will ensure their safety and allow them to build endurance over time.
Start training your golden retriever at the correct age
You should always start training as soon as possible. However, if you are training your dog for long-distance running, wait until they are old enough to manage these distances.
In most cases, you can start training your dog to run long distances when they are 12 months old, but this won’t be the same for all Golden Retrievers. Some dogs develop more slowly than others. If your dog doesn’t seem capable of long-distance running, it might be too young or simply not be built for it.
If you are unsure when you should start training your dog to run, consult your vet, who will look at your Golden’s physical condition.
How should you go about training?
To train your Golden to run with you, there are some steps you will need to follow (pardon the pun).
Loose leash walking
For this part of the training, you will need a leash at least six feet long, a collar, and some treats. You can start by getting your Golden to follow you around an open space by calling it in an encouraging voice. Once they are following you, you can stop talking.
When they return to what they were doing, call them again and reward them with a treat when they continue following you without you calling them.
Once you and your dog have got the hang of it, you can start using a leash. When they are walking on a leash and begin pulling forward, stop, take a few steps back, and then call them to you. When they come to you, reward them with a treat.
Repeat this process until your dog starts walking next to you calmly. You can reward them with a treat every five to ten steps if they don’t pull on the leash.
As your dog learns to walk calmly, start loosening the leash a little more every time. If they keep walking correctly, reward them with a treat as you see fit.
Walk, jog, run
Once you’ve taught your dog to walk on a leash without pulling, start walking them with your leash hanging loosely in a “J” shape. Reward them with a treat if they continue walking like that consistently. You should also reward them if they ignore distractions like small animals or loud noises.
Once your dog understands how to walk correctly, move on to jogging. You can slowly pick up speed, and when your dog speeds up and slows down in time with you, reward it with a treat. The goal is to teach them to keep up with you while keeping the leash loose.
Give your dog a cue right before you pick up the pace. You should use different cues for different speeds, such as “let’s jog” or “let’s run.”
The best time to teach them this will be while you are on a walk. Repeat the cue to your dog, and start running or jogging. You can reward them with a treat when they follow these cues properly.
When you and your dog start running together, they likely won’t have much endurance – just like you when you first started. Start slowly and offer your dog frequent breaks, so they don’t get overtired.
It will take a few weeks’ worths of running consistently for your dog to build endurance. However, it won’t take long for them to surpass you, especially if you are new to running.
When Should You Stop Taking Your Golden Retriever On Runs?
Golden Retrievers are great running partners, but there will come a point when your furry pace setter will need to retire. When your dog gets older and starts to tire more easily during a run, it might be time to give it up.
When Golden Retrievers and other dogs get older, their health will decline. They could end up with arthritis or other joint problems, which will affect their running capabilities and cause them pain if they run for too long.
Generally, you will know when it’s time to stop taking your dog on runs with you, but you can always consult a vet if you are unsure.
Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Running With Your Golden Retriever
Always do a warm-up
Most runners warm up before they start running to prevent injuries. This also applies to Golden Retrievers (and other dogs), so make sure to warm up with your dog before heading out the door.
Just like you, your dog will get thirsty during and after exercising. Make sure to bring enough water along for both you and your dog to drink along the way, and make sure to offer it to them regularly.
Take frequent breaks
It will take some time for your dog to build up endurance. Until then, you should stop and let them rest every so often. If you’re unfit, this can also help you improve your stamina.
Use the right leash
Running with a jogging leash can be a hassle, but it will be necessary until your dog is well-trained enough to run off-leash. You’ll know when they’re ready if they respond when you call them, regardless of the distractions around you.
Keep an eye on the weather
Always be mindful of how hot it is before you go for a run. Golden Retrievers are fluffy and won’t do well if it’s hot. If you live in a hot climate, it might be best to run with your dog early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
How much exercise do Golden Retrievers need?
Golden Retrievers need at least two hours of exercise every day. So, running with your dog is a great way to get this exercise in (or some of it).
Is it okay to take your dog running every day?
Yes, so long as you don’t take them running for too long and they are fit and healthy enough to do so.
At Barks In The Park, we are crazy about all dog breeds, which is why you can find more information on Golden Retrievers and other breeds on our website.
You’ll also be able to find answers to questions like “Why does my Golden Retriever have a bump on its head?” If you’re a “pawrent,” you’ll want to know how to keep your dog happy and healthy, and Barks In The Park has all the information you need to do just that.