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How Fast Do German Shepherds Run? Average and Max Speed

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By Nicole Cosgrove

german shepherd running outside with tongue out

The German Shepherd is a popular dog breed due to its’ protective and loyal nature. German Shepherds were originally bred to be working dogs and they needed to be fast to herd and guard flocks of sheep. Just how fast can a German Shepherd run? On average, these pups can run 30 miles/hr.  Read on to find out more about their top speed and what can affect their speed.

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How Fast Can German Shepherds Run?

German Shepherd dogs can run up to 30 miles per hour (48.28 km/h), give or take a couple of miles. Their speed combined with intelligence and a loyal nature means they are often found in working roles, such as police or military positions, guard dogs, or as service animals. German Shepherds were bred to be fast to help protect the flocks and this means that they need to maintain a high level of activity to be healthy and happy.

How Quickly Can a German Shepherd Reach Top Speed?

German Shepherds are muscular dogs and have long limbs which allow them to hit their top speed in roughly 7 strides. Hitting 30 miles per hour is going to be difficult for a German Shepherd to hit each time they run, but they are likely to hit it when they are in pursuit. When they are after an intruder or a ball, they will narrow their focus and put on the speed, quickly outpacing the average top running speed of many humans.

german shepherd dog running in a competition
Image Credit: Vilve Roosioks, Pixabay

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 dog’s ability to exercise with you. Before you begin training, have your pet checked out by your veterinarian to make sure it’s 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.

Training German Shepherds for Exercise

Once your pet is declared physically fit, it’s best to start slowly so your pet can develop its speed naturally. If you want to jog with your pet, start slowly and jog for short distances so both you and your dog can learn to jog together and to build up endurance for longer runs. When running, avoid rough surfaces, such as concrete. If you want to take your dog on a bicycle ride with you, you should stick to trails if possible. It’s potentially dangerous to have your pet run next to you while on the road because it could get scared by a car and cause you both to get hurt.

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German Shepherds are one of the fastest breeds of dog due to their breeding history as herding animals. They can reach speeds up to 30 miles per hour when they are in pursuit, or they are playing in the yard. German Shepherds can develop health issues that can affect their ability to run, so it’s important to get your pet checked out by a veterinarian to make sure it’s healthy. You can train your pet to jog or ride a bicycle with you but remember to take it slowly at first so you can exercise together safely.  Make sure your German Shepherd has plenty of space to run and play every day to help its’ physical health.

Featured Image Credit: Vilve Roosioks, Pixabay

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