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How Fast Can a Dalmatian Run? Breed Facts & Exercise Tips

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

Dalmatian running

Dalmatians have a distinct physique, with lean and athletic bodies that give them the ability to run in quick bursts of speed. The top speed recorded for a Dalmatian is 37 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest breeds in the world. To better understand just how impressive the Dalmatian’s speed is, we will compare the Dalmatian’s abilities with that of humans, other animals, and other dogs.

Divider 2Comparing the Dalmatian’s Speed to Other Animals

Even considering the top speeds a human can reach, the Dalmatian far exceeds them. Even if you could run as fast as Usain Bolt, who is currently the fastest runner in the world, the Dalmatian would be faster by 10 miles per hour.

For an even better comparison, look at the table below, where we compare the Dalmatian’s speed to the speed of other animals.

Animal Maximum Recorded Speed
Dalmatians 37 miles per hour
Humans 27.78 miles per hour
Horses 54 miles per hour
Domestic cats 30 miles per hour
Domestic pigs 11 miles per hour
Cheetahs 75 miles per hour

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How Does the Dalmatian’s Speed Compare to the Average Dog Breed?

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, which makes the running speeds between different breeds vary drastically. The average dog runs up to 20 miles per hour, but different physical features can make this number go up or down.

For instance, Dogs with deep chests have a higher lung capacity, which helps them reach greater speeds. In addition, lean, long-legged dogs tend to be quicker. On the other hand, brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs have more difficulty breathing, making them slower runners. Similarly, smaller breeds tend to run slower because of their shorter legs.

A dog’s physical condition will also determine how fast it can run. A healthy, active dog will generally be quicker than a sickly or overweight dog, just like younger pups will be sprier than geriatric canines.

Running dalmatian
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

What Is the Fastest Dog Breed in the World?

The fastest dog breed in the world is the Greyhound, which can run up to 45 miles per hour. They are sleek, powerful, and muscular, making them capable of reaching their top speed in a mere six strides!

While a Dalmatian will almost certainly never be able to match the Greyhound’s speed, the fact that its top speed is only 7 miles per hour slower than the world’s fastest dog is impressive.

Do Dalmatians Have Good Endurance?

Dalmatians are fast, but are they resilient? When an animal excels in speed, it often lacks endurance. However, the Dalmatian doesn’t suffer from that issue.

The Dalmatian was bred initially with athleticism in mind. It was used predominantly as a carriage dog, where it would be expected to run alongside the horses as they pulled carriages transporting people across long distances. The Dalmatian’s role in this journey was to protect the horses and the passengers from threats on the road. This role required the Dalmatian to be nimble while still being resilient.

Later, the Dalmatian’s ability to keep up with fast-moving carriages made it an ideal canine firefighter. When a fire broke out, a horse-drawn fire engine might struggle to maneuver through crowded streets. Thus, the Dalmatian would travel alongside the firemen and alert pedestrians to move out of the way.

Beyond following carriages, the Dalmatian’s unique combination of speed and endurance has made it suitable for all sorts of work. They have been used as hunting dogs, guard dogs, shepherds, and performance dogs in the circus.

dalmatian dog running in the grass
Image Credit: Michael J Magee, Shutterstock

How to Exercise with Your Dalmatian

Since the Dalmatian was bred for rigorous activity, it requires a lot of physical activity to prevent it from bouncing off the walls. If a Dalmatian’s pent-up energy isn’t adequately burned off, destructive behaviors may occur. They are high-energy dogs, and it is recommended that they live with active families.

Regular exercise will give your Dalmatian’s energy a more productive outlet.

Some examples of activities you could do with a Dalmatian include:
  • Taking brisk walks
  • Jogging
  • Diving off docks
  • Playing fetch
  • Swimming
  • Tossing Frisbees
  • Playing tug-of-war
  • Participating in agility training

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Final Thoughts

Dalmatians are quick dogs with an impressive amount of endurance. This makes them exceptionally suitable for active families, as they can participate in various adventurous activities. Although they are not the fastest dog breed in the world, they rank high on the list and are skilled athletes.


Featured Image Credit: SnottyBoggins, Pixabay

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