I have had a golden retriever for two years now. I walk her every day and everything is great and I was wondering for some time now how fast she could run. I mean like real running, not just dragging me in the streets when she sees something interesting.
For the last week, I took her every morning for a run to find out the answer to that question plus some research.
How fast can golden retrievers run? Golden retrievers can run up to 35 miles per hour or 56 km/h. Just like us, It depends on age, health, and training. Golden Retrievers can also run long distances without getting tired out if they are trained to run early on their lives.
So, as I’m starting to train her on running with me, I have learned some valuable insights from my research and my experience.
To learn how to train your own golden retriever to run with you and how you can actually build their stamina so they could run faster for longer, keep on reading…
How to Train Your Golden Retriever to Run with you
If you want the short version here it is; keep them running on one side, stick with it, train them on a cue, and keep it consistent.
Now for the long version.
It’s really important to keep your golden retriever on one side.
If he starts to run randomly like in front of you and from one side to another he will end up tripping you or tangling your legs on the leash.
No matter which side you choose, make sure that your dog sticks with it. Take your dog to your running/ walking space to train him, if you want your dog to run on your right side always give your golden retriever his treats at your right leg.
How to train your dog to run on a leash?
Start by normally walking with your dog. Once they are used to walking by your side without getting distracted by small animals or other dogs, now it’s time to speed things up.
Before you start turning your walks into runs, you need to have a cue like “let’s go”, “move it”, or anything that you want. This teaches them that they have to go faster once they hear this cue.
To teach your dog the running cue; start your walking normally and before you increase your speed give your dog the cue and when your dog hurries up to catch you give him his treat as a reward. You can also have a slow down cue like “slow down” or “whoa”.
How to train your dog to run without a leash?
1. Train them on a leash first
First of all, you need to train your dog to walk without a leash, because running without a leash before mastering walking without a leash would put your dog in danger.
2. Designate a safe area for practice
You need a safe area like your house. Leave your dog without his leash in your living room or your kitchen.
3. Move outside
When he is happily and easily moving in the house without the leash, take the training to the backyard.
4. Start Running
Start running with your dog in the fenced yard and when he is an expert in running without the leash in your yard move his training again to a bigger place like a fenced park.
Your dog will be more and more reliable without the leash then you can start taking him to an open area and your dog will find it easier to respond to you.
How to train my dog to run faster?
Before we get into that I want to warn you that making your dog run faster depends on your dog’s age and health. You shouldn’t make your young puppy or your elderly dog run really fast. Actually it’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet to make sure he’s healthy enough for that kind of speed.
Now let’s get into the details.
- Bring their favorite toy.
- Keep your sessions short & sweet.
- Be their #1 Supporter.
- Never Ever punish them
- Get Fit with Them
- Keep it casual natural.
Bring their favorite toy.
Bringing your dog’s favorite toy will encourage him and will make running more fun. You can find the toys Golden Retrievers love the most here.
He will soon understand that running is like playing. As long as you have his favorite toy he will follow wherever you go.
Your dog will make sure to get his favorite toy so you can increase your speed and he will just follow your steps.
But if your dog doesn’t have a favorite toy you can use snacks instead. Just make sure to always reward him for his good behavior and then you will have made a perfect connection with your dog.
Keep your sessions short and sweet
It’s really easy for our dogs to get confused. So it’s really needed whenever you are teaching your dog something new to keep your session short and on the point. Otherwise, he will get all confused and will forget what’s the point of the training.
You can start by running speed trials in a park. Nothing overly long but long enough to make him realize that this is not a casual run through a park.
Be their #1 Supporter
Our dogs love nothing more than making us happy with their actions. Their instinct knows when you are happy with them or not.
So, when they are doing what you want them to do – i.e, run faster – then you should reward them to let them know they have done good. You can start by giving them treats, and as they get used to running with speed, you can start replacing it with belly rubs, pets on the head, and verbal praise.
Soon, he will connect running fast with the good things (treats), and he will start to be excited by the action itself – the running – even if the treats come as verbal praise.
Don’t forget that your golden retriever wants nothing but to see you happy, so keep your body language positive and show them you are very happy with them and what they are doing.
Never Ever Punish them
You should never ever punish your dog for doing something wrong or to push them harder. Punishing your dog by the form of yelling or even hitting them is unacceptable and will only lead them to fearing you and trying to find ways to get away from you.
Punishment also leads dogs to developing behavioral problems like destructive chewing and aggression.
Get Fit with Them
Just like us, dogs need to get in good shape before they can run fast. If you are not in good shape either that would be the perfect time to make fitness your goal.
Because his favorite person being his partner would be the best motivation for him.
Keep it casual and natural
We’ve all tried to run and stay active but after an amount of time, we got tired or bored so we stopped. Well, just like us, our dogs do that, too. The trick is to find a reason to keep going for the both of you to run in your favorite natural place with a beautiful view that you can’t wait to reach and maybe change that view every now and then so you wouldn’t get bored.
Soon enough your dog will be healthier and faster than ever. What most people don’t know is that when you’re training your dog, you’re developing a better and closer relationship with them.
9 Tips for a fun run with your golden retriever
- Allow your golden retriever to run off-leash (in places where it’s safe and legal). But only if your dog is trained to run off-leash and you know that when you call him in the middle of all the destruction he will come back to you.
- Ensure that your dog is warmed up before you begin your run and after you’re done, cool him down by walking for a few minutes.
- Carry water and allow your golden retriever to drink regularly throughout the run.
- Be careful of the weather conditions. Dogs do not handle heat and humidity very well.
- Make sure that your dog takes breaks so that he can rest and relieve himself, recharge, eat his treats, and enjoy the things around him.
- Watch for signs such as suddenly slowing down or if he is out of breath. That means that your golden retriever has had enough.
- Take a break, you and your golden retriever can do something fun like playing your dog’s favorite game.
- Check the surface before you run. Remember, unlike you, your dog is not wearing any shoes so if you are running in the summer the surface would be very hot if he starts to limp you need to stop immediately and check his paws for any marks. If you are running in the snow after your run, wash your dog’s paws because he will lick his paw which now has salt and chemicals that were used on the road.
- Before running, start with some walks to give your dog time to adapt.
When Can I start running with my golden retriever?
You can start running with your golden retriever when he is 12 to 18 months old, which is when they are considered fully grown.
If you start running with him before that it could cause him multiple diseases such as joint disorders like hip dysplasia and bone diseases. Running with your dog before their bones and joints are fully developed can easily cause damage.
Puppies are vulnerable to tissue damage and any injuries that happen during that time could become a lifelong injury, and quite a painful one at that.
You should also know that female and male golden retrievers mature at different rates, which you can learn more about in my female vs male golden retriever comparison here.
Is My Golden Retriever Too old to run?
If your golden retriever is younger than 12 years old, they are probably not too young to run if they are in good shape and have already been running or walking all their lives. Golden Retrievers are considered seniors by the age of 10 and it becomes difficult for them to do physically-demanding activities like running.
Golden retrievers are considered seniors at the age of 8-10 years old and that’s when you’re gonna start noticing the age-related issues like he will get tired easily.
So if your dog is 7.5 or 8 you can walk him every day and maybe run with him every once in a while to keep him active.
But it’s better if you took your dog to the vet to see if he is healthy enough and ready for this kind of activity at his age.
When to stop your golden retriever from running?
You should stop your golden retriever from running if one or more of the following happens:
- If he suddenly slows down.
- When he is out of breath.
- If your dog is getting tired easily.
- If your golden retriever is overweight. Running could cause your dog multiple issues.
Annual checks and regular vet visits can help you and your vet catch any health issues before they turn into serious problems. So, make sure not to skip them.
Can Golden Retrievers run long distances?
Golden retrievers can run very long distances. They have an exceptional ability to run long distances. They were known as working dogs both golden retrievers and labradors because they can run fields and swim all day.
You can learn how far can golden retrievers run here.
Can a Golden Retriever Run a Marathon?
Just like us, your golden retriever will need plenty of training before the marathon. But you should keep in my mind things like your dog’s age, health, and weight. Before training him take him to his vet to see if he is in a condition that will allow him to run a marathon or not.