How Fast Can A German Shepherd Run [6 Basic Training Tips]

Quiz you know “Which dog breed is usually known to work with the police?”  

These are the second most popular dogs in the USA recognized by the AKC. These furry friends are incredibly SMART, versatile, LOVING companions. 

And if you are a RUNNING lover and will get a furry running partner soon, these dogs are AMAZING athletic animals. 

German Shepherds (GSD), of course, they are!

So, what a great running companion GSD is! How fast can a German Shepherd run?

Let’s dig into the topic!

How Fast Can A German Shepherd Run?

A well-prepared German Shepherd (not overweight) and in good medical condition probably running at speeds of about 30 to 32 mph. While an unprofessional human only can run between 12 and 15 mph. The speed of GSD is basically twice the average of humans. And…

FASTER than the FASTEST human on the planet. 

“Usain Bolt clocked a whopping 27.78 mph between meter 60 and meter 80 of the 100-meter sprint in 2009 at the IAAF World Championships.”

How fast can German Shepherd run

In comparison to the fastest dog breed is Greyhound which can speed up to 45 mph at a sprint. Although the speed of GSD is lower than Greyhound, they are endurance runners. 

GSDs with endurance are capable of moving consistently over long distances. These talented dogs can RUN and RUN and KEEP RUNNING for miles on end. 

The ideal running distance for a GSD should be between 3 and 10 miles, and the range could INCREASE with some frequent practice!

Now you can wonder… 

How are their bodies designed to run faster?

Let’s move down!

Body Composition That Will Help the GSD Run Faster

There are several physical compositions that help GSDs enhance their general speed. Which include:

  • Flexible spine - one of the key determinants of speed is supple spinal which allows the back to extend and contract freely like a coil. 
  • Long legs increase the distance they make per stride. 
  • Lean Bodies (standard length/height ratio of 10:8.5)German Shepherds are generally thinner than other dogs of the same size. 
  • Muscular strength – besides being a talented athletic GSD also known as a mouthy breed. German Shepherds have a bite power that can go up to 238 pounds per square inch (PSI). GSD definitely is one of the strongest dog breeds out there.
  • Aerodynamic head shape (slight arch to the forehead, long narrow muzzle) – helps german shepherds move through the air more smoothly, reaching their targets faster. 
  • Ideal angulation of shoulders and hind legs – This allows them to move smoothly and without resistance to air movement, thus covering a greater distance in a short time.

Are GSDs good running partners?


Anyone who ambitions to live an ATHLETIC LIFESTYLE would be interested in a German Shepherd as a companion. No matter which level you are? They can keep pace with experienced runners or beginners.

Can GSD be a good running partner

There are more aspects that make German Shepherds become great running partners. Which include: 

  • High energy level – Just like other herding dogs, German Shepherds are usually full of energy. They need at least 1 or 2 hours of daily exercise. They are always ready for action and ready to engage in physical activity. Running is an excellent source of exercise.
  • Intelligent, obedient companions – which make German Shepherds easy to train to perform highly complex tasks. They can thief attack with their powerful mouth, but quickly STOP when getting the police’s command, save lives in the police or military force, sniff for bombs, and do many other interesting things. These dogs are good at almost everything, running is something they are good at, too.
  • Excellent Stamina – A 5-mile run should be fairly easy if they are the proper age and have been trained well. German Shepherds with adequate exercise on a consistent basis can run up to 20 miles. 

6 Tips For Running With Your GSD

Running with GSD

If you plan to run with your furry German Shepherd companion, there are some things to do before your jump into that running trip.

  • Don’t start too youngYou should wait until he reaches his FULL HEIGHT. GSDs normally take an average of 18 months to reach their full growth. It’s unsafe to run your dog if he is at a young age because their bones are still growing. All intense activities will probably damage your pup’s bones or joints.
  • Extreme weather conditions –  Although German Shepherds tolerate the heat and cold relatively well! Be very careful when running on sunny days to avoid your dog to overheat or heatstroke. Avoid running over 80°F or 27°C. For the humidity, if it’s over 70% with a high temperature, it’s too hot to run for your dog!
  • Start slowAn ideal GSD running partner will need to train and build up endurance. Let’s start slowly by first taking it out for walks and slow jogs. When your dog gets more and more used to jogging, you might increase both pace and distance until it eventually becomes comfortable running. 
  • Always warm up and cool down. Take the dog for a walk and move for a few minutes before and after the run. Doing so will keep your German Shepherd from injuring joints and muscles.
  • Use “Walk”, “Jog”, “Run” and “Stop” CommandsDo obedient training using these basic commands will allow you to control your dog’s speed more. Your dog also keeps up with you better, and easier for them to adjust their speed to your cues or commands.
  • Pay Attention To Your Companion! Always keep a lookout for signs of overexertion. Some potential signs your dog is exceeding include panting, lagging, and being lethargic. If you notice warning signs, stop running to let your dog rest. Provide him with water and snacks as needed.


In the end, German Shepherds are amazing running partners who have excellent endurance, are super-fast, and are very agile. 

If you have an active lifestyle and love to run, don’t hesitate to try to RUN WITH GSD. Just make sure his health conditions and the dog is well-trained. One thing again, memo our  6 tips for running with GSD, these will be a good guide for you!

Finally, I wish you a lot of fun running with your German Shepherd. And I'd love to hear from you about your running experience. 

Are you planning to join your dog in a half marathon? What have you prepared for the upcoming running event? Let’s leave a comment below!

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