Running. Some Pugs love it, others hate it.
Most of the time when someone asks me ‘how fast can a Pug run?’, I simply say, however fast they want to run.
Pugs can be a stubborn bunch and if they’re not in the mood for a sprint, you’re not going to see them running track.
In this article, we’ll be diving into the world of Pugs who run. Why are some dogs faster than others, and how can we help our Pugs run safely?
Shall we begin?
Can Pugs Run Fast? Why Can’t Pugs Run Too Fast?
Pugs are not natural-born runners. And here’s why.
1. They are brachycephalic dogs
Due to their physiology, running can be difficult for brachycephalic dogs like Pugs. They’ll often become short of breath.
In fact, excessive exercise should be avoided. Even a long or over strenuous walk could be too tiring for your little pal, let alone a run!
2. They have short legs
Pugs have short legs and short strides. They are part of the ‘toy dog’ club after all. They have been bred over hundreds of years for cuteness, not physical prowess. Their short, stumpy legs are designed for heart melting, not running. And that means Pugs cannot travel great distances at speed – but, rest assured, that won’t stop them zooming around the yard.
If your Pug enjoys a sprint from time to time, and is in otherwise good health, there’s nothing wrong with a run or jog now and then. After all, it’s a lovely excuse to get some fresh air or visit your local park and meet the other doggos.
If you’re thinking of taking your Pug for regular runs, we advise taking them to the vet for a full physical beforehand.
Once you know that they are fighting fit, start some gradual fitness training and see how they progress. You never know, you might have the next Pug champion in the making.
How Fast Do Pugs Run?
Small breeds like Pugs and Chihuahuas cannot run very fast.
Pugs have an estimated running speed of just 5-10 mph. This may be relatively slow in the dog world, but it’s actually faster than most of us humans.
But no dog is the same. When it comes to running speed, a lot depends on physical fitness and body composition. Not to mention inclination – many Pugs prefer the leisurely life.
The fastest canine runners have aerodynamic bodies, long legs,
and strong abdominal muscles.
That doesn’t quite fit the image of a Pug, does it？
Why Do Some Dogs Run Faster Than Others?
A dog’s speed will depend on many factors relating to its body composition, stamina, and health.
The average dog should be able to reach speeds of approximately 15-20 mph. However, smaller breeds will inevitably be much slower than that.
The fastest dogs have some physical assets that make them perfect for running. These include:
- Feet with excellent grip
- Lots of muscle power
- Large lung capacity
- Wide reach
- Deep chest
- Lean body
- Long legs
Deerhounds, for example, have been known to reach heights of 40 mph. It’s safe to say that our Pugs aren’t going to reach these speeds.
But some Pugs still like to run around on the grass from time to time. And, at the end of the day, as long as they’re having fun (and keeping fit) in the process that’s all that really matters.
BONUS- The Fastest Pug
Here’s a fun fact for you.
Did you know that Emma (otherwise known as the Usain Bolt of Pugs) holds the title for the world’s fastest Pug after winning against 60 dogs competing in the International Pug Race?
This speedy pooch ran 50 meters in under 6 seconds.
Check out the full article here.
Is Running Fast Healthy For My Pug?
Brachycephalic dogs aren’t built for running, but that doesn’t mean they can’t join in from time to time. Their short legs just won’t take them as far.
Whilst long-distance running should be avoided at all costs, running or jogging in moderation is perfectly healthy as long as you don’t overexert your Pug.
If they’re getting tired, slow down and continue monitoring their behavior and breathing regularly. Pugs have a narrowed respiratory tract making them prone to overheating and breathing difficulties.
If your Pug is having difficulty breathing, stop running immediately, offer them some water, and return to some more subdued activities.
Signs of respiratory distress include:
- Panting uncontrollably
- Drooling or salivating
- Very fast heart rate
- Red or pale gums
- Bright red tongue
If the breathing difficulties persist, visit your vet immediately.
How To Keep Your Pug Safe On A Run
If your Pug has a penchant for running, here are some top tips that will keep them healthy, happy, and safe, as they exercise to their heart’s content.
1. Start with a check-up
First thing’s first, take your Pug to the vet for an all-round health check and physical.
Your vet will be able to let you know whether your Pug is healthy and fit enough to endure some gentle running in their routine.
If you’re planning on increasing their level of physical activity you might also need to make some dietary adjustments.
2. Use a harness
If your Pug is new to running, you might want to keep them on the leash at first. At least until you know they won’t run away.
Remember Pugs should always be walked (or run) with a harness. Pugs and other brachycephalic dogs need extra protection if they pull on the leash. A harness won’t inhibit their breathing.
3. Walk your way up
Begin with some baby steps. Start with some daily walks to ensure that your Pugs fitness is top-notch.
If your Pug breathes heavily just when walking, running is probably not a good idea for them. Remember you can check this with your vet.
If your Pug is doing well on their daily walks, it’s time to take things up a notch. Start to increase your walking speed gradually until you reach a gentle running pace.
Let your Pug guide you and stop as soon as they get tired.
4. Avoid hot and cold weather
Pugs do not have very effective temperature control. They overheat very quickly and are also extremely sensitive to cold weather.
Take your Pug out for their walks and runs when temperatures are at their mildest. Usually, that’s early morning or dusk.
If temperatures are too extreme, hold off for another day when your Pug can exercise in comfort.
5. Bring water and treats
Make sure you leave the house with the right supplies. That means water and some tasty treats to get the energy up (for you and your Pug).
After you run you’ll both want a little treat to reward your efforts.
6. Be prepared to carry
And finally. Remember your Pug is only little. And they’re not known for their stamina. Go easy on the little fella. If they get too tired, you might just have to carry them home.
Fast or Slow Running Pugs We Still Love Them
At the end of the day, your Pug is not going to be the next Forrest Gump.
How fast can a pug run? But does it really matter?
I don’t think so.
Pugs may not be the most athletic pooches out there, but what they lack in speed, they certainly make up for in love.