How Fast Can a Golden Retriever Run? (Hint: It’s FAST!)

Golden retrievers were originally trained to retrieve downed waterfowl during hunting. Due to their hunting pedigree, Golden Retrievers were bred to run fast. So, exactly how fast is a Golden Retriever?

Golden retrievers are very fast. Based on their age and build, a golden retriever, in a full sprint, can run up to 35 mph (miles per hour). In comparison, the fastest a human has ever been recorded running is 27.8 mph. In addition to running fast, a golden retriever can maintain a running pace for many miles.

Golden Retriever running

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If you ever wondered how running affected your golden retriever, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you about the importance of running for golden retrievers, how fast and how long they can run, and when you should start running with your favorite furry friend. So, keep reading to find out more!

How Fast Can a Golden Retriever Run?

They might not look it, with their easy going dispositions, but golden retrievers are fast runners. People who’ve played fetch with a golden retriever probably know they’re fast, but most people are surprised when they learn just how fast a golden retriever actually is.

Younger golden retrievers can run up to 20 or 25 miles per hour, which is an impressive number, and they haven’t even reached their full potential yet. Faster goldens can regularly reach speeds up to 30 miles per hour, while a particularly athletic golden retriever can reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour, which is pretty amazing!

To put things into perspective – so you can see just how fast your retriever can be – Usain Bolt, currently, the world’s fastest man, ran an average 23.35 miles per hour when he broke the world record, running the 100-meter race in just 9.58 seconds. His top speed during the race was 27.79 miles per hour, but he couldn’t maintain that pace for the duration of the race; had he been able to do that, the record would be 8.05 seconds.

Wow, this golden retriever is FAST!

So, compared to the fastest man alive and his top speed during a record-setting race, a golden retriever is still faster, and it’s actually a significant difference, so next time – bet on the retriever, not on Bolt!

Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Running Partners?

Some kinds of dogs are better runners than others. Some breeds like to run and are good running partners, while some aren’t really built for running and should be treated to walks instead of jogging sessions.

Hunting dogs are generally good runners because they’re bred to hunt or retrieve caught prey. Speed is essential when hunting. It’s vital to be faster than the prey and to recover a downed specimen quickly. Since golden retrievers historically are primarily hunting dogs, they’re quite good runners, and they have an absolute joy for running!

So, if you like running and do it regularly, a golden retriever is a great pick. Goldens love to run and they should run regularly as part of their daily exercise, since it’s good for their overall health and physique. It’s better for hunting dogs, even if they’re kept as household pets, to be in good shape, and more so for golden retrievers, who need constant exercise.

Can Golden Retrievers Run Long Distances?

After what we just learned, it should not be a surprise that golden retrievers are capable of running fairly long distances, and not just that – they’re great at it! This is also due to their breeding. Namely, as hunting dogs, golden retrievers have been bred and trained to be durable and to be able to travel long distances – not only by running, they’re also great swimmers – looking for birds or other downed prey.

Golden retrievers are very sociable, and taking them for long runs is certainly something they will enjoy because they like spending time with you. In fact, Golden Retrievers tend to get depressed when not
with their owners, so it’s only logical that they would relish long runs with you, even motivating you to go further and further, pushing your own personal limits.

It’s also good for their health; it will relieve their stress, improve their physique and cardiovascular system, and will generally make
them healthier, meaning that they’re going to have a longer life and more time to spend with you.

Anatomically, golden retrievers are excellent running dogs, and you should certainly give them the chance to do so. You’ll probably need something like a jogging leash to keep them in place, as they tend to be playful and enjoy their runs, so it’s better to have them running by your side rather than pulling you down the road.

How Far Can a Golden Retriever Run?

There is no exact answer to this question, simply because it depends on a lot of factors. It depends on you and your stamina, but also on your furry friend’s training habits, his age, and physique.

As we’ve said, golden retrievers can run long distances, but there is no rule on how long these distances are, and it varies from dog to dog, and from owner to owner. The amount of time you spend running with your golden is also important since it’s not the same if you run 10 miles in one go, or 5 miles twice a week, despite the total distance being the same.

Couple jogging with golden retriever

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Most golden retrievers should have no problems running about 4 or 5 miles in one running session. This probably won’t even require much training, as it’s a relatively normal distance for a dog as athletic as a golden retriever.

With some training, you can easily get up to 10 miles in one session, which is somewhere around the length of a half-marathon (a marathon is 26 miles in length).

When we’re talking about marathons, you might ask yourselves whether a golden retriever can run a marathon? Although there are no canine marathon events that I know of, maybe there should be!

With enough proper training, a golden retriever would be capable of running the full 26-mile marathon race. This is fascinating information to know since it tells you just how athletic this breed is and how well-trained they can be. It also tells you of the importance of running for golden retrievers, since a breed that can run a marathon is certainly going to adore running, especially with someone it loves.

When Can You Start Running with a Golden Retriever?

If you want a good running mate, you should start preparing your retriever when he’s just a pup. But be careful to do it slowly. When they’re little, you should give them enough time and space to run around on their own, to get used to running itself, and the external conditions they’re going to be exposed to (especially other people, dogs, and noises).

You shouldn’t force your pup to run long distances, since their bodies are growing and need time to adapt to running, but as they grow older – you should start training with them. Be careful to do it gradually, though.

The typical age for starting long-distance training is around 12 to 18 months, but it all depends on the dog; some might start earlier, and some may need more time to do so. Observe your dog and consult a veterinarian if you’re not certain before you do anything.

When Should You Stop Running with Your Golden Retriever?

Related to this is the question of when you should stop with the long-distance running? As your golden retriever ages, he will begin to slow down and will reach a point where jogging with your golden will begin to do more harm than good.

There are three things you need to watch out for when determining whether your golden retriever can still run long distances or not.

The first is their age (older golden retrievers shouldn’t run long-distances because it strains their bodies too much), the second is their health (certain health conditions, especially accompanied by aging, might hinder them from long-distance running), and the third is their physique
(although running reduces weight, if your golden retriever is obese, long-distance running might not be the best option for him).


As you can see, golden retrievers are a very fast breed of dog, built not only for speed but also for long-distance running. So be prepared to either do a lot of running yourself or a lot of ball throwing if you have a golden in the family 🙂

They’re very athletic and have been – historically – bred for the purpose of running and gathering prey, so it’s obvious why they’re such good runners.

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Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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