How Fast Can a German Shepherd Run?

It’s no secret that the German Shepherd is a very fast animal. In fact, they are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world! What most people don’t know, and what I’ll be talking about in this article, is just how fast can a German Shepherd run a mile? Let’s find out!

How Fast Can a German Shepherd Run a Mile?

The average German Shepherd can reach a top speed of 30 miles per hour, on average. To put this in other terms, the average German Shepherd can run a mile within 5 minutes. That’s pretty fast, isn’t it?

German Shepherds running

What Makes German Shepherd Dogs Run So Fast?

If you think about it, the German Shepherd dog is already pretty fast, so what exactly makes them run so fast? Some people claim that it’s all in the genes of these dogs, but that’s not the only thing. Here are a few factors that contribute to the natural speed of most German Shepherds:

1. German Shepherds were originally bred to herd sheep and other livestock, so it’s a must that they can run pretty fast.

Originally bred as herding dogs, the German Shepherd is a natural runner. The main reason for this was because they needed to keep up with the livestock that they were shepherding.

So, in order to be a good herding dog, it’s pretty much mandatory that a German Shepherd can run fast at all times. Over time, this trait became more and more apparent in the German Shepherd breed, which explains why they are now one of the fastest dogs around.

2. German Shepherds have very long legs, which gives them an edge over other dogs when it comes to speed.

If you look at the picture of the German Shepherd above, you’ll notice that their legs are incredibly long.

Not only do these long legs make them faster, but they also give them more power and endurance. If a German Shepherd has to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, then this is perfect for them.

3. Most German Shepherd Dogs are well-muscled, which allows them to run a lot faster.

Another reason why a German Shepherd dog runs so fast is that they have well-muscled bodies. This is the result of selective breeding, which was done to make them better and more efficient at herding.

4. German Shepherds have awesome stamina and endurance that help them with running fast for long periods of time.

If you have a German Shepherd, or if you’ve met one in person, then you probably know that they are really tiring to run with. This is because they don’t get tired easily and can keep running for a long time. This is a natural trait of a working dog, and it’s something that has been bred into the German Shepherd breed.

5. German Shepherd Dogs have an intense focus and attention span, which helps them get to their destination pretty fast.

German Shepherd Dogs are very intelligent dogs that have an intense focus and attention span. This allows them to be concentrated on what they’re doing at all times.

This intelligence is also reflected in their ability to run fast very naturally. Even if they are stopped or distracted, they can get back on track easily without losing speed. This is one of the reasons why they’re top runners!

What Factors May Decrease a German Shepherd’s Top Speed?

Age

As a dog ages, they lose muscle mass and joint flexibility. Larger dogs tend to live longer than smaller dogs do, but this alone doesn’t necessarily mean the larger dog will have an active old age. Just because you’re a senior citizen doesn’t mean you can keep running marathons at your former pace; when a big dog slows down, their top speed will go down as well.

There are also many health conditions that are associated with old age. These can include arthritis, eye problems (such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy), heart and lung conditions, liver problems, and more. Some of these can be treated with medication or surgery, but others often require an elderly dog to retire from strenuous exercise.

Weight Gain

Carrying extra weight can slow a dog down. Aside from the added stress on joints and muscles, extra weight produces more energy to maintain and burns more calories per mile than an athlete with just a fighting chance of keeping their speed up.

A healthy diet and plenty of exercises are key factors in maintaining an ideal weight for any size dog, but if their weight is already unhealthy, there are ways to help them slim down.

Weight loss programs for dogs usually involve a combination of a low-calorie diet and moderate exercise (for instance, 30 minutes of jogging every day). A healthy diet for a German Shepherd should consist of whole grains, lean meats and fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Pain or Discomfort

If a dog is in pain, their reaction time will be slowed down. They may also have trouble running at top speed because of general discomfort. In addition to its effect on the body itself, chronic pain can lead to depression and high-stress levels that themselves can affect any athletic performance.

Pain or discomfort from an injury such as a sprain or strain, joint problems (such as osteoarthritis), hip dysplasia, or achy muscles can all affect a dog’s top speed. If your German Shepherd is in pain and there isn’t a way to relieve their symptoms, they may have to retire from exercising until the cause of their discomfort can be identified and treated.

Health Risks

Runners and athletes of all kinds take great care to monitor their health for a good reason; it can affect their ability to compete. Both younger and older dogs can suffer from health issues that hamper their performance and, if left untreated, are likely to cause permanent damage.

If you’re suspicious that your dog is suffering from a medical condition, the first thing that you can do is to check your dog’s behavior and way of moving. Do they move around normally? Is their behavior normal? A veterinarian can also do an evaluation for any possible health concerns and develop a treatment plan so that your dog can get back to their healthy, energetic self.

Training Routines

As any athlete will tell you, consistency is key to maintaining their form and fitness. If your dog doesn’t receive at least some amount of exercise every day, it will be more difficult for them to maintain a top speed.

Successful training sessions are about more than just running; exercises should incorporate things like sprinting, jogging and walking, learning agility skills, jumping over obstacles, and other activities that build muscle mass. Training should also incorporate stretching and warm-up exercises to prepare the dog for exercise.

Tips for Training Your Dog to Run Fast

Give Them Good Diet

Getting good nutrition is essential for all dogs who are involved in strenuous physical activities. A dog’s diet should consist of a lot of natural food. Give your German shepherd high-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, and fish at least twice each day. Dogs also need lots of fresh vegetables and fruits to stay healthy.

Check with your veterinarian to make sure you give your German shepherd the right amount of nutrients through their food. You may find that increasing (or decreasing) your dog’s calorie intake will improve their running speed.

Make Sure They Get Enough Rest

German shepherds need plenty of rest to maintain their running fitness.

A dog who gets the right amount of sleep will be able to run faster and longer than a dog who is not getting enough rest. Most dogs need about 8 to 13.5 hours of sleep each night and even more if they are involved in strenuous activities such as running.

If you notice your German shepherd seems to be having trouble with their training or just seems tired more often, you may need to check if there is a problem with their sleep schedule.

Be Consistent with Training

Like all athletic dogs, German shepherds need to consistently practice their sports to maintain a high level of fitness. If you do not give your German shepherd at least some time for running each day, it will be more difficult for them to run fast when they are in competition. Ideally, you should couple your dog’s running schedule with other athletic activities, like swimming, jogging, and hiking.

All of these exercises will help give your German shepherd the strength and endurance they need to run faster.

Run Them Over Different Terrain

Running on different terrains will help improve your German shepherd’s running performance. This is because it strengthens different muscles and helps improve your dog’s balance. Therefore, you should take your German shepherd out on runs that include climbing uphill and downhill at least once a week.

Spending time on steep terrain can be difficult, so make sure to give them plenty of water to drink and take rests in the shade if needed.

How Fast are German Shepherds Speed Compared to Other Breeds

If you’re wondering how fast are German Shepherds compared to other breeds, here’s a comparison of German Shepherds and other fastest dogs on the planet:

  • German Shepherds: 30 miles per hour
  • Greyhounds: 45 miles per hour
  • Jack Russell Terriers: 30 miles per hour
  • Border Collies: 30 miles per hour
  • Borzoi: 35 miles per hour
  • Dalmatian: 37 miles per hour
  • Sloughi: 42 miles per hour
  • Vizla: 40 miles per hour
  • Saluki: 42 miles per hour
  • Afghan Hound: 40 miles per hour

What Is a German Shepherd’s Speed Good For?

German Shepherds have breed characteristics that make them ideal for a variety of tasks.

As Police Dogs

One of the reasons German Shepherds are so popular among law enforcement officials is because of their incredible speed. Whether you are looking for a police dog to chase down a criminal, search areas for drugs, or protect the president, German Shepherds have the speed and endurance to do it.

As Guard Dogs

German Shepherds are also well known for their guarding abilities. They can be sent to guard an area or home while the owner is away, and they will run fast enough to intercept anyone who may attempt to break in.

As Sport Dogs

German Shepherds are also known for running incredibly fast in competitions like a race track, agility, and obedience. If you want a pet, who can go with you on long runs through the woods or even just enjoy watching them run faster than other dogs at competitions, German Shepherds are an excellent choice.

As Herding Dogs

One of the original purposes for German Shepherds was to herd sheep and other animals. Due to their size and speed, it’s hard for any farm animal to get away from a German Shepherd that is trying to herd them. They also have the stamina and endurance needed to run at a fast speed and over different types of terrain for long periods of time.

Final Thoughts

The good news is that there are lots of ways you can help your dog stay in shape and maintain strong muscles for years to come: regular exercise, large bones with high-quality protein to build muscle tissue (not small toys), frequent walks on varied terrain, opportunities for playtime with other dogs if possible…and of course plenty of love and affection.

To stay healthy, it’s also crucial that your German Shepherd gets routine veterinary checkups so you can catch any health problems early before they turn into chronic issues and affect a dog’s top speed.

With these habits in place, most active dogs can maintain their ‘prime running years’ for a long time.

Also read: How to Train My German Shepherd to Run with Me