How fast can a Chihuahua run?

How fast can a Chihuahua run?
Photo by Rafael Guajardo from Pexels

The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds around making it a perfect addition to small families with children or those that don’t have a garden space in their living area, as Chihuahua’s require very little exercise given their size.

This breed is famous for its aggressive yet cute behaviour and very goofy personalities, however, they are sometimes mistaken, as Chihuahua’s can be very athletic and super fast dogs when they need to be – making them very difficult to catch!

Before you welcome a Chihuahua into your home or consider one as part of your lifestyle, you may have wondered how fast this little breed is and how long they can run for, so, in this article, we cover everything you need to know about how fast a Chihuahua can run.

How fast are Chihuahuas?

The maximum speed at which a dog can run will significantly depend on several different factors. These factors include the dog’s health, physical composition and breed. It also depends greatly on the diet of the dog and whether they have the required muscular density for being able to hit high running speeds (1).

The same goes for Chihuahuas, all of these factors play a role in determining the top speeds at which Chihuahuas can run.

The average Chihuahua can run up to a speed of between 8 miles per hour to 21 miles per hour. When compared to humans, this is very fast, as the average human can run up to 5.5 mph.

Miniature Friends
The average Chihuahua can run up to a speed of between 8 miles per hour to 21 miles per hour. When compared to humans, this is very fast, as the average human can run up to 5.5 mph.
Infographic of how fast can a Chihuahua run by Miniature Friends

Now, this might not seem like a lot, but it’s actually faster than most humans. Just to put things into perspective, the average man can run up to 5.9 mph and the average woman up to 5 mph, so this little breed can certainly run and would be a nightmare to chase in the park! 

Video of a Chihuahua running fast!

Below is a video of a Chihuahua running at high speeds on the beach, posted by BigBlu3Life on YouTube. The little fella sure can run!

Video of a Chihuahua running on the beach

What is the fastest a Chihuahua can run?

Chihuahuas have very little legs, so their maximum speed isn’t as fast as other dogs, like the Boxer, or Beagle, however, Chihuahuas can run up to a speed of 21 miles per hour.

This is still relatively fast when compared to humans, given that males, on average, run at speeds of 5.9 mph, and females, 5 mph.

So, if you are thinking of chasing your Chihuahua or competing against them in a run – you should think twice!

Do Chihuahuas enjoy running?

Chihuahuas may be small and have tiny legs, but they love to run around and release their energy, hence why you may see them have bursts of energetic episodes at home. This, however, could also be a sign that you aren’t walking them enough.

Chihuahua running
Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash

Even though Chihuahuas enjoy running, this doesn’t mean that you can run long distances with them, or expect them to keep up with your running pace. They are very small after all. We wouldn’t suggest taking them on a run with you, as most of their running is from exploring at their own pace and releasing their energy in a fun and energetic manner.

A run around the local park or field would be sufficient and enough time for them to release their energy and do what they do best – run around and be super goofy.

Do Chihuahuas make good running partners?

Generally speaking, dog breeds that were bred to be good at hunting have the required stamina, endurance, and muscle structure to be good runners, and therefore they tend to make excellent running partners. 

Chihuahua running with someone
Photo by Aneta Voborilova on Unsplash

Chihuahuas are not the best at running since they were not bred to hunt. They are unable to develop the required endurance to go for long runs. That’s why if you are someone who loves running and are looking for a dog to accompany you on your runs, then we suggest that you look at other breeds to welcome into your life.

The job of a Chihuahua is to welcome you when you get home, give you lots of cuddles and love, and make you laugh a tonne – not be a reliable running partner. If you are looking for a dog that is able to run with you, we suggest considering a Boxer, as they are an excellent choice for long-distance runners who like to get out and about.

Are Chihuahuas good at long distance running?

Chihuahuas are not blessed with exceptional endurance and stamina. This means that Chihuahuas are not suitable for going on runs or long walks with their owners. Chihuahuas belong to the toy group of dogs, which means that they are meant to enjoy the indoors and do goofy things to make their owners laugh instead of running a marathon.

It’s also important to note that Chihuahuas are known to be fairly aggressive towards other dogs and despite them being very small, very barky too. They sure do like to make themselves known in public. This could cause worry for you, as they may start barking at other dogs during your running sessions, and could be a good reason for not wanting to take your Chihuahua on a run. 

How does the Chihuahua compare to the fastest dog breeds?

The average Chihuahua can run up to a speed of 21 mph but how does this compare to other breeds?

In the general scheme of things, this is relatively fast when we compare to humans, but when we compare to the fastest dog breeds in the world, they are way behind.

How fast a Chihuahua can run compared to other breeds
BreedFastest Speed
Greyhound45 mph
Saluki33-40 mph
Afghan Hound34-40 mph
Vizsla40 mph
Jack Russell Terrier38 mph
Dalmatian37 mph
Whippet35 mph
Doberman Pinscher32 mph
Poodle30 mph
German Shepherd30 mph
Siberian Husky28 mph
Rat Terrier28 mph
Chihuahua21 mph
The running speed of a Chihuahua vs the fastest dog breeds in the world

When the running speed of a Chihuahua is compared to some of the fastest dog breeds in the world, they don’t come close, however, for a little toy breed, they are certainly fast little runners that shouldn’t be underestimated. 

Chihuahuas’ Ability To Run

Can a Chihuahua run a mile?

Sure, a Chihuahua can run a mile – but it probably won’t be very fast! Chihuahuas are tiny dogs, and while they are full of energy, they just don’t have the size or endurance to run long distances at high speeds. So if you’re looking for a running partner, you might want to choose a different breed of dog, like a Whippet or German Shepherd But if you’re just out for a leisurely jog with your dog, then a Chihuahua is certainly up for the task!

Can a Chihuahua run faster than a human?

No, but they sure can try! Actually, Chihuahuas are one of the breeds of dog that are most likely to be able to run faster than their human counterparts. This is because they have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres, which allow them to generate more power for a short period of time. However, even the fastest Chihuahua would not be able to outrun a human over long distances.

They have the initial advantage, but due to their low endurance, they’ll lose steam and us humans will catch up and eventually pass them.

Can you take a Chihuahua hiking?

Well, of course you can! They might not be the best at it, but they are more than capable of going for a hike. 

Some things to keep in mind if you’re planning on taking your Chihuahua hiking. Due to their small size, they can get cold easily in colder weather, so you’ll need to make sure they wear a sweater or a coat to keep them nice and cool. And because they’re small, their nails haven’t had as much contact with the ground as larger dogs’ nails do. This means they are likely to be softer and easier to break, so be careful on the trails and make sure to give them plenty of rest and water!

Can you teach a Chihuahua to run faster?

Yes! All you need is a lot of patience, plenty of treats, and a healthy dose of determination. 🙂 Just kidding – while it is possible to train a Chihuahua to run faster, it’s not easy. In fact, it can be quite challenging. But with a lot of hard work and dedication, you can definitely get your pooch moving at a much brisker pace.

Here’s some of our best tips and tricks to getting your Chihuahua to run that little bit faster!

Make sure they are in good physical shape

One of the best ways to help your Chihuahua run faster is to make sure they are in good physical shape. Just like with humans, a dog’s ability to run fast and far is directly related to his or her overall health and fitness level. If your dog is carrying around extra weight, this will undoubtedly slow them down, just like a pack of doughnuts would with us humans!

Feed them high-quality foods

Make sure you are feeding your dog high-quality food that is appropriate for his or her age, breed, and activity level. If you’re not sure which type of food to choose, talk to your veterinarian about what would be best for your Chihuahua. Once you have the right food, be sure to feed your dog the recommended amount each day to maintain a healthy weight. No extra treats regardless of their cute puppy eyes..

Give them plenty of exercise

In addition to eating the right food, your Chihuahua will also need plenty of exercise to stay in shape. A good rule of thumb is that your dog should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, but more is always better of course. If you’re not sure how to fit this much exercise into your day, consider hiring a dog walker or taking your pup to doggy day-care a few times a week. This will give them a chance to run around with other doggo’s and enhance their social skills too.

Challenge them to frequent races

If you want your Chihuahua to run faster, you should challenge them to a race every so often. This will help keep their muscles moving and keep them pushing themselves forward to reach better speeds each time.

Why does my Chihuahua run slow?

There could be a few reasons why your Chihuahua isn’t able to run as fast, these include:

  • They might be too old
  • They might be carrying too much weight
  • Their legs might be too short
  • They have an underlying health condition

If you’re concerned about your Chihuahua’s running speed, then take them to the vet for a check-up. But it’s uncommon for Chihuahua’s to be particularly speedy, so don’t worry too much if they’re not the quickest dog on the block!

If your dog is old, carrying extra weight, or has short legs, then it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be a speed demon. But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a good game of fetch or a leisurely walk around the block. Just because they’re not the fastest dog on the planet doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of having a lot of fun!

What health conditions could impact my Chihuahua’s running speed?

There’s a few health conditions that can make it difficult for your Chihuahua to run, these include:

Arthritis in Chihuahua’s

This is a common condition in older dogs, and can make it painful for them to move around. If your Chihuahua is slowing down and seems to be in pain, then it’s worth taking them to the vet to see if they have arthritis.

Cushing’s Disease in Chihuahuas

This is a condition that affects the adrenal glands and can cause your Chihuahua to gain weight and feel tired all the time (2).

Hypothyroidism in Chihuahua’s

This condition occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, and can make your Chihuahua feel tired and sluggish. Dogs that have this tend to experience weight gain, hair loss, and cold intolerance (3).

Obesity in Chihuahua’s

If your Chihuahua is carrying too much weight, it can be hard for them to move quickly. Try putting them on a diet and increasing their exercise if they’re overweight. You can always consult with a vet about the best approach to helping them lose weight and create a weight loss plan for them (4, 5).

Lung disease in Chihuahua’s

If your Chihuahua has lung disease, it might be hard for them to breathe when they run, which can make it difficult to keep up a fast pace (6).

Heart conditions in Chihuahua’s

Some heart conditions can make it difficult for your Chihuahua to pump blood around their body quickly, which can make running difficult.

If you’re concerned that your Chihuahua’s running speed might be impacted by a health condition, then take them to the vet for a check-up. You shouldn’t want your dog to be in pain or struggling when they run, so it’s always best to get a professional opinion.

Conclusion: How fast can a Chihuahua run?

And that’s it, that’s everything you need to know about how fast a Chihuahua can run, and why they could be running slower than usual. Chihuahuas are able to reach a running speed of up to 21 miles per hour! But, keep in mind that the average Chihuahua speed is only around 6-10 miles per hour. If your Chihuahua is running a little slower than that, there’s no need to worry.

If you’re concerned about their health, then take them to the vet for a check-up.

Professional References:

Below are the references used in this content to professional academic research institutions and medical associations, that have been used to help inform the content in this article. To learn more about our process of creating content, please see our about page.

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