I’m a full-time freelance writer; hence, I spend most of my time seated down working. Sometimes it can be worrying since sitting for long hours without enough exercise can adversely affect our health. I thought running would help. Poor me! I couldn’t run for at least 300 meters.
With friends, though, I felt motivated and kept the pace for at least 200 meters. Unfortunately, my friends are only available over the weekend. I wanted to make running an everyday thing, at least for 30 minutes.
One of my friends advised me to get a German shepherd dog since they are good active breeds.
I needed to start small, so I wanted to know how far a German shepherd can run with me.
So, how far can a German shepherd run?
German shepherds, on average, can run up to 20 miles. With good exercise and professional training, German shepherds can easily hit 32 miles. Since German shepherds are good at running, they can run 32 miles in one hour. An adult German shepherd dog needs to exercise for at least 60 to 90 minutes a day to make this possible.
Best Age for Your German Shepherd to Start Running
At one to 11 months of age, your German shepherd pup is still growing. His joints and bones are swiftly growing. Consequently, if subjected to intense exercise such as running, their bones may fracture easily. Besides, he is also more exposed to hip dysplasia.
At 12 months, however, most of his bones will have grown, and his growth rate slowed down.
At this time, it’s safe to start training him how to run. Have short sessions and start off with short walks. Ensure he is leashed all the time.
If, however, you want to train him to be a racing German shepherd dog and want to start training him before 12 months, only allow him to do slow-pace jogs.
They should be short, and you should monitor him all the time to see if he is straining or uncomfortable.
How Many Miles Should a German Shepherd Run?
An average German shepherd can run 3 to 10 miles. Some can go up to 12 miles.
An athletic German shepherd, on the other hand, may go up to 30 miles. These, however, need intense exercise.
Besides, before running, they need a good time to rehearse, for example, 5-mile jogging.
How Many Miles Can a German Shepherd Run Per Hour?
German shepherds can run long distances in a short span. That’s why shepherds use them for herding, as they can catch up with a devourer fast and save herds. Military services also love German shepherd’s speed because they can quickly catch up with a culprit who won’t surrender.
A well-trained German shepherd can run 30 to 32 miles per hour. They are among the fastest running dogs.
Training Your German Shepherd to Run with You: Experts’ Tips
German shepherds can do anything with you as long as it within their ability just so as to keep you company. As long as their health is intact, they’re of age and have been given professional running training, German shepherds never frustrate.
How, therefore, do you train your German shepherd to run?
Allow Time To Rest and be Patient with Him
Both of you need a break when running. They’re essential. You refresh your body and regain strength to run the next phase during breaks.
Therefore, be patient with yourself as well as your dog. If both of you are just starting, starting off might not be fun. It might be tiring and draining. Don’t beat yourself; with time and enough practice, you’ll soon run as far as you have wanted, even beyond!
No one starts big when it comes to running. That could have detrimental consequences on your health. You might even collapse along the way. To avoid this, you need to start small. The same case applies to German shepherd dogs.
If your German shepherd is just starting out, start him off by walking short distances with him. Maintain the (slow or moderate) pace for a while before adjusting it. Alternatively, start off by jogging.
This gives him time to build his muscles as well as build enough strength for effective running. Consequently, it eliminates chances of your German shepherd getting injured or having muscle problems during the training.
If he is still behaving coolly after the short, moderate races, increase the distance.
Give him time to adjust to the new distance. With time, start running short distances. You can run with him for 10 minutes and increase the speed depending on how he responds to the running sessions.
Regardless of how much he is able to run, don’t make him run for more than 2 hours a day. Not safe.
Like the mind, your body needs to get ready for the pace.
How? By warming up before a race. You can jog, walk, or stretch your body before starting off.
Doing this prepares the body, especially the muscles, for a more intense exercise.
After running, repeat the same process (jogging, walking, or stretching, to give the body ample time to cool down. It’s best to do what your German shepherd can do alongside you. Co-working motivates each of you and keeps you going.
Increase the Distance
You started small! Now, comfortably increase the speed. At least, 10 minutes to the previous running time. That would be equivalent to half a mile. Maintain the distance for a couple of weeks as you closely watch the response of your German shepherd during the running session. Consider if his health is intact immediately after the race and the next few days.
If all is okay, increase the distance, again, by half a mile and watch his reaction. Keep doing this until he reaches the climax of his running ability. Be sure not to put pressure on him. That could cause muscle strain and mental torture. Consequently, his health deteriorates, hence making it possible to lose him soon.
Remember, though, he’ll be running with you, so you also need to consider how far you can go.
This is because you need to keep the leash in your hands. So, if your German shepherd outruns you, definitely, it will wear you out. Otherwise, you could ride a bike while he runs.
What to Keep in Mind When Running With your German Shepherd Dog
Simply because German shepherd dogs are active dogs that run long distances doesn’t mean all of them can do so. Also, it doesn’t mean that you should overlook warning signs that your German shepherd might show when he starts running.
There are various things to keep in mind when running with your German shepherd:
While German shepherds are gifted with tough paws than ours, rough terrains would also make it challenging for them to run on for more than 30 minutes. For example, running for 5 miles on ice or acid melt would make it cause injury to your buddy’s paws.
How do you know it is becoming unbearable?
Limping, slowing down, torn nails, bleeding, matted fur, discharge, and redness are all sure signs. Also, if you see objects between your German shepherd’s paws, he is likely in pain.
German shepherd dogs have the ability to withstand both hot and cold weather. However, extreme temperatures can be a pain to your German shepherd dog.
A temperature of 75 degrees would be too high for your German shepherd to withstand. Running even worsens the situation. So, how do you know when it’s safe to have your German shepherd running beside you?
If the humidity and heat exceed 150˚C, your German shepherd will be in danger. German shepherds are double-coated. While this is an added advantage for them during winter, it can be a great disadvantage during summer.
They’ll heat up faster than other breeds that have a single coat. Running, on the other hand, increases his body temperatures. Eventually, his health will be at risk.
So, you can run with your German shepherd during winter as their double coat will keep them warm for long. Plus, running will warm him up.
If, however, you must run with him during summer, ensure temperatures are at 65˚C or below. Otherwise, run in the morning or evening before the temperatures get too high.
Alternatively, cut your normal distance by half, take frequent breaks, and carry enough water for both of you.
Pushing your German shepherd too hard beyond how far he can run would definitely cause overexertion. This is likely to happen when you increase his running distance beyond what he can handle.
So, whenever you increase his speed, even with half a mile, keep an eye on him. If you notice any signs of overexertion, pace down or allow him to rest. Wondering what these signs are?
They include difficulty in breathing, high heart rate, weakness or collapsing, increased thirst, unwillingness to run, pacing down, or lagging behind you.
What’s the conclusion of the matter on how far can a German shepherd run? It all depends on the training and health of your German shepherd and his age, too.