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How Fast Does German Shepherds Run

What Age Can You Run A German Shepherd

How Fast Can German Shepherds Run? How they stack up against the fastest in the world

I know some of you are excited to take your furry sidekick running, but hold your horses!

Wait until your German Shepherd dog is 15-months-old to ensure doggos bones and muscles have fully developed.

Forcing a young pooch to engage in vigorous exercises may damage the growth plates of the long bones. While waiting, you will want to use this time to condition your pup and provide obedience training.

Equally important, you want to get your pooch a clean bill of health before you take him out running.

How Does The Double

One reason German Shepherd would never be able to race as effectively as Greyhounds is because of the double-suspended gallop.

All dogs perform a double-suspended gallop at full speed. This refers to the way the dogs body is suspended during both phases of gathering his limbs underneath himself, and the second phase of extending the front legs well forward and rear limbs all the way to the back.

This video shows a working type of black GSD running at speed. Notice the two suspended periods over the duration of each stride.

Sighthounds like Greyhounds and Salukis have remarkable spinal flexibility compared to other breeds. This makes their double-suspended gallop dramatically more effective, and enables these dogs to reach phenomenal speeds.

For example, a Whippet can run 35 miles per hour, a Scottish Deerhound 40 miles per hour, and a Greyhound a blistering 45 miles per hour. Retrievers, on the other hand, only run 20 to 25 miles per hour.

The flexibility of the spine enhances the double-suspended gallop because the back is able to contract and extend like a coil.

Comparatively, a horse has a rigid spine and usually a single-suspension gallop. Theyre significantly bigger than dogs, but interestingly enough, racehorses only reach speeds of 44 miles per hour.

Although the fastest recorded equine clocked in at 55 miles per hour, dogs are not as far behind as you might expect.

Why Does My German Shepherd Breathe So Fast

If your German Shepherd is breathing fast, it is probably quite concerning for you. This post will try to help you figure out why it might be doing it and what you should do about it.

So, why does my German Shepherd breathe so fast? German Shepherds tend to be large and active so it is normal for them to pant more than other breeds. However, it could also be that it isnt getting enough exercise, its ill or injured, it has just been running around, it has heatstroke or its a side effect of medication.

There are a number of things to consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd has been doing it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you should do about it.

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Health Issues That Affect German Shepherd Speed

German Shepherds are prone to several health issues that may make it difficult for them to exercise with you. Hip Dysplasia, heart issues, and vision loss as they get older are all issues that could affect your dogs ability to exercise with you. Before you begin training, have your pet checked out by your veterinarian to make sure its fit for physical activity. The German Shepherds need for speed makes these dogs great companions for joggers and cyclists because the dog can easily keep pace with you if you train it properly.

How Far Can A German Shepherd Run

How Fast Can A German Shepherd Run?

German Shepherds are a breed of dogs that are well-known for their strong bodies and adaptability. Usually, they can run for several miles however, this will highly depend upon several aspects, including training and health.

This means that when a German Shepherds has good health and perfect training, it will be able to build up endurance, and when the weather condition are good, they will be capable of running for many miles.

How far can a German Shepherd run? Most German Shepherds are capable of running from 5 to 20 miles, how far they will run will depend a lot upon their fitness, age and overall health.

In this article, we shall be discussing in depth how far can a German Shepherd run and what aspects can affect their running ability.

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Things To Watch Out For

There are several things to watch out for when it comes to running long distance with a German Shepherd, and not all of them have to do with the dog itself. Below are some of these things to be aware of.

Signs of Overexertion

There are signals to look for that can indicate a problem with overexertion. Some of these are your dog missing cues and commands, excessive panting or heavy breathing, extreme thirst, lagging behind, and a reluctance to run.

German Shepherds are also at risk for various muscle and joint injuries. If you are being careful and not pushing your dog too hard, this can help lessen the risk of injury, but it can still happen. Hip dysplasia is one of the more common injuries for German Shepherds, which is where the hip socket gets loose and causes damage.

Signs of hip dysplasia are limping or hooping, favoring one leg, hesitating when exercising or going up stairs, difficulty standing, and sensitivity or even aggression around the hip.

Typically this will develop if not taken care of in puppy-hood, but even adult dogs need to be careful. Developing safe running habits, with breaks and by being careful can go a long way in preventing this from occurring.

The Terrain

The Weather

German Shepherds are double-coated dogs. This means that they have two layers of fur that helps protect them and keep them insulated in the winter, but can make them prone to overheating in the summer.

When Trotting A German Shepherd Moves The Diagonal Pairs Of Legs Simultaneously They Can Trot 27 29 Kph

They trot because it is more efficient in the performance of their job. It enables them to move fast to establish boundaries for sheep and prevent strays.

Another reason why they wont be able to race effectively is the double-suspended gallop. Observe how a dog runs.

Youll notice 2 things:

  • When all the dogs limbs are underneath themselves.
  • When their front legs are extended in front of them and their rear legs all the way to the back.
  • German Shepherds can perform this double-suspended gallop at full speed. But they dont have the spinal flexibility that Greyhounds have.

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    A Short History Of The German Shepherd

    As the name of the breed suggests, the German Shepherd originates from Germany. The history of the breed dates back to the late 1800s. In the 1850s, German dog breeders were trying to standardize dog breeds to preserve the best traits that assisted their job of herding sheep. This was practiced within small communities of people in Germany where shepherds bred dogs.

    German breeders wanted to have a dog that had the necessary skills for herding sheep such as intelligence, strength, speed, endurance, and a strong sense of smell. The breeders got results but the ability and the appearance of dogs differed from one community to another. As a result, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the purpose of creating native dog breeds but it was disbanded in just a few of years due to internal disagreements on the traits of the dogs the organization should promote. Nevertheless, Germanys efforts to create a dog breed of the nations own continued.

    In 1899, Max von Stephanitz, an ex-member of the Phylax Society and a former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was shown a dog during one of his visits to a dog show named Hektor Linksrhein. The dog was agile, loyal, fast, intelligent, and appeared pleasing to the eye. The dog satisfied his beliefs of what a working dog should be, and he purchased him.

    Look Out For Warning Signs

    How fast can a German Shepherd Run?

    There are a number ofwarning signs that your dog might display while running that indicate thatsomething might be wrong and that your dog needs a rest.

    The main signs to lookout for include overexertion and dehydration. Make sure your dog is gettingenough to drink. Avoid going out for long runs on extremely hot days, becauseGerman Shepherds have thick coats that can cause them to heat up if theyoverexert themselves.

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    How Do They Reproduce

    Like most mammals, German Shepherds reproduce sexually. A male German Shepherd dog is sexually mature around the age of two years while the female experiences the first heat cycle when she is around six months. However, a female German Shepherd should have puppies only after she has experienced her second heat cycle. Though female German Shepherd dogs experience heat cycles every six months, breeding is advised only once a month to have healthy German Shepherd puppies.

    Why Do German Shepherds Lay Down To Eat

    Some people will say fatigue, aging, pain, and injury are reasons for this German Shepherd behavior. While these are valid, there is one reason that seems to be a more logical explanation of why your GSD lays down to eat.

    In their wild nature, before we domesticated them, dogs had to hunt their food and protect it from intruders. This meant that keeping sight of their prey from the hunting stage to when the prey was ready to eat was important. Hence, dogs lie down to eat so they can see who is approaching from the front while they enjoy the fruit of their labor.

    Below is a photo of my German Shepherd displaying this dog behavior.

    What is most interesting is that a dogs natural laying position while eating is better for his health.

    Feeding your German Shepherd from his usual bowl can affect your dogs oral and spinal health. This is because eating involves not only a dogs teeth but also other bones and muscles.

    Eating the unnatural way can cause misalignments in these bones and muscles and disrupt the bodys acidic pH, which explains the health risks to the spine and the tartar, gingivitis, and loose teeth.

    Next time your German Shepherd eats lying down, just smile and say, Well, my dog is being natural today!

    For a more in-depth article on this behavior, check out my article, 5 Reasons Why German Shepherds Lay Down to Eat.

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    What To Be Aware Of While Training Your German Shepherd

    All of the exercises I described in the previous section help improve your dogs speed, but there are some things you ought to be mindful of while putting him through his paces. Here are the most important:

    • German Shepherds new to a training regime need to build up their exercise levels slowly. Dont immediately start be letting him sprint. Begin by walking him more regularly , then build from there, both in speed and distance covered.
    • German Shepherds have very thick coats, so its important not to give him intense training sessions on hot days. Also, make sure hes hydrated at all times.
    • Running your dog on concrete will be uncomfortable for him. Similarly, hot surfaces in the warmer months will hurt his paws. Finding him a stretch of grass is ideal for your dog to get his exercise.
    • Ensuring your dog eats nutritious meals is essential in maintaining the energy levels he needs to run quickly. Avoid giving him fatty processed foods. Instead, a high-quality specialist dog food will have all the nutrients he needs.

    Can A Human Outrun A German Shepherd

    How Fast Can A German Shepherd Run?

    No, humans cannot outrun a German Shepherd. Of course, this will depend on the condition of the dog as well as the human.

    However, this is generally impossible, which is why police dogs are almost always able to apprehend fleeing suspects.

    Usain Bolt, the worlds fastest runner, completed the 100-meter sprint within 9.58 seconds. That puts his speed at 23.35 miles per hour, which is significantly slower than German Shepherds.

    Even his peak speed of 27 miles per hour wouldnt have been enough. The average person runs much more slowly than that, so outrunning a GSD just isnt likely.

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    How To Increase My German Shepherd Top Speed

    There are a few obvious exercises that will surely work on increasing your German Shepherd dogs top speed, these exercises are, walking, jogging, swimming, and sprinting with your GSD.

    Walking your GSD is the most standard exercise one can give their dog its also very important more than you may even think. Doing this will increase the dogs heart rate and muscle tone steadily.

    Jogging would be the upgraded training exercise to walking, this will be the next level from walking your German Shepherd dog. A goad and manageable paste would be anywhere from 3 to 7mhp, doing this will definitely increase your German Shepherd energy level as well as help with their cardiovascular health.

    Swimming, I personally give my dog swimming lessons at least three times per week, doing this will help your German Shepherd dog to build its muscles without damaging them. Swimming helps with the dogs agility and stamina at the same time.

    Sprinting helps with how quickly your GDS can pull off, this will also give you a first-hand sight of your GSD top speed. It is not healthy to train your GSD to just run at top speed without the warmup above that I have mentioned, doing this can lead to your dog being in a lot of muscle pains after the sprints.

    Will My German Shepherd Puppys Ears Stand Up On Their Own Or Should I Tape Them

    Most German Shepherd puppies ears stand erect naturally, after teething ends. But until then, a puppys ears may stand erect one day, droop down the next, and then stand erect again, for as many as six monthsits best not to do anything to your puppys ears during this period. Some people try to coax the ears to stand erect by taping them . Taping occasionally helps the GSD puppy develop erect ears, but many times fails, especially if taped incorrectly. And some Shepherds are born with genetically weak, or soft ears, that may never stand fully erect. Unless youre planning to show your dog, its best to make your peace with his ears, however imperfecta dog with one ear up and one down, or partially erect ears with floppy tips, will win you over with his loveable looks.

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    What Can Affect Your German Shepherds Growth

    There are a number of things that are going to affect your german shepherds growth. Some of them are going to be in your control, and some of them arent.

    Not only are they going to affect your german shepherds height, but some will also affect their weight. So its a good idea to keep them in mind, to make sure nothings wrong with your pup.


    As previously mentioned, nutrition is going to have a massive affect on whether your german shepherd will grow properly or not. When your german shepherd isnt getting enough food, you may notice the following problems.

    • A visible rib cage
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Always scavenging for food

    The best and easiest way to check if your german shepherd is overweight is to run your hands along their ribs. If you notice that theres a thin later of fat over their rib cage then theyre a healthy weight. However, if it just feels like skin and bone then take the to the vet. The chances are theyre underweight.


    Another determiner that you have no control of is their genetics. If your german shepherd has small parents, then the chances are theyre going to be small as well.

    So if you know the size of the parents youll get a pretty good idea about the size your pup should grow too.

    Getting Spayed/Neutered

    While its best to talk to your vet, its often recommended to spay or neuter your german shepherd when theyre around 1 year old.

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    How To Train A German Shepherd To Run With You

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    The first thing someone who is hoping to run longer distances with their dog should know is when to start. German Shepherds are youthful dogs that take a bit longer than other dogs to become fully grown. Its recommended to wait until your dog is about a year to a year-and-a-half years old before beginning a serious running program with them.

    The reason for this is that starting too early can be a risk for more injuries, such as various bone and muscle problems. Their bodies still need to grow, and its best to wait until their more fully developed so nothing goes wrong.

    Another reason for this is that your German Shepherd should be well trained before you take it for long runs with you. Your dog needs to obey your commands to stop, sit, start, or whatever else you may need it to do. This lessens the risk of it getting hurt while youre out and about on something unexpected.

    Luckily, German Shepherds are fairly easy to train, and so if you spend the year to year-and-a-half training your German Shepherd and helping it know you, obey commands, and become socialized to strangers, there should be no problems once you start running with it.

    Now, once your dog is old enough and youve decided you want to take it running with you, there are a few things that you should do.

    Start Off Slow

    The jog is the most natural gait, especially over long distances, which adds the least amount of strain on the dogs body.

    -German Shepherd 101

    Build Up Distance

    Be Patient and Take Breaks

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