Great Danes are a very loyal, family-friendly dog breed that are incredibly graceful despite their large size and to strangers, can come across as very intimidating dogs, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Danes have a history of hunting deers, wild boars, bears and other animals during the middle ages in Europe, however, are now considered very affectionate, family dogs.
Great Danes are brilliant at lots of things, but one area that they excel in is running very fast.
In fact, Great Danes are able to run so fast that they are considered one of the fastest dog breeds in the world, which makes them the perfect dog breed for anyone that loves to run short distances in their spare time.
But how fast can a Great Dane run, for how long and what can be expected from this magnificent breed?
Let’s get into the details of everything you need to know about a Great Dane’s running speed.
How fast can a Great Dane run?
Here’s everything you need to know and you may be shocked, Great Danes are very fast!
Great Danes are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world and can easily hit speeds of 25 miles per hour, however, Danes who are specifically trained for sprinting can hit speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.Miniature Friends
This running speed makes them a very fast breed and can only outpaced by other faster dogs, such as a Greyhound and Whippet, so they will certainly have no problem out racing most other dog breeds.
Video of a Great Dane running incredibly fast!
Below is a video from skimoriver01 on YouTube, showing their Great Dane running 30 mph – very impressive! This just demonstrates the power and speed behind this extraordinary breed.
How long can a Great Dane run fast for?
Speed isn’t the only area where a dog needs to excel in order to run at incredible speeds for long periods, it’s also important for dogs to have exceptional endurance to maintain their speed for a good amount of time.
Even though Great Danes are considered very fast runners, they aren’t made to run long distances at high speeds, so you can expect them to accelerate quickly but shortly after, lose momentum and slow down. Their maximum running speed can only be maintained for a short amount of time (50-60 seconds).
Despite this, when compared to other dog breeds, like the Bulldog, Dachshund or Chihuahua, Great Danes can cover longer distances than them due to their sheer size. As they are one of the tallest dog breeds, they have long legs that help them cover impressive distances in a short amount of time.
What makes the Great Dane so fast?
If you have seen a Great Dane run before, whether that’s in a public field, a beach, or on a race track, you’ll know that it’s a sight worth seeing and is a truly impressive breed. This often makes dog lovers wonder what makes this breed run so fast.
Well, the answer to that question is hidden in their massive size. Being one of the largest dog breeds, Great Danes naturally have very long and strong legs. These marvels of nature produce all the required energy and momentum that make Great Danes one of the fastest dog breeds.
But having long and strong legs is not the only factor that makes Great Danes so fast. Their impressive muscle structure also plays a prominent role as these muscles provide the required concentration and relaxation of legs that push them forward at high speeds.
As well as this, Great Danes possess very sleek bodies and narrow noses that make them highly aerodynamic. This serves to reduce air drag during their sprints which further helps them reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
How to help your Great Dane run as fast as they can
If you want to help your Great Dan unleash their full apotential on the race track, or in a countryside field, there’s a few things that you can do to help keep them in shape.
Keep them in good health
Just like human athletes, if you want your Great Dane to perform their best, then you will have to provide them with special, top-notch quality dog foods (1).
Great Danes require extra amounts of proteins and other nutrients to maintain their bodies, and any generic dog food is not a great fit for meeting all those nutritional needs. Moreover, owners should keep treats and table scraps far away from their Great Danes so that they don’t end up eating too many carbohydrates and fats.
It’s also important, as with any dog, to exercise them regularly to maintain healthy bones, stamina, mental health and fitness levels.
Check them regularly for any abnormalities
Give your Great Dane a check-over every once in a while, this could be while they are asleep, or while you are giving them a hug. It’s important to give any dog a good thorough look over every once in a while, and as eager as you may be to take them for a run, it’s vital to give them a check to make sure they are all well.
This could be a quick check of their bones or skin at home, or a more comprehensive look into their blood work at a local veterinarian practice. This will help give you a full and complete picture of their health and how they are doing before exhausting them on the race track, or in the local park.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary or are concerned about something you have spotted, it’s worth taking them to a veterinarian for a check to be on the safe side. If there is an issue present, you should not expect your Great Dane to run, as this could cause pain and longer-term complications, especially if it’s bone related. If they are all well and good, then they can safely start their training.
Take them for regular runs to maximise their potential
As with any athlete, training takes time and consistency is key, therefore, if you are looking to improve your Great Danes running speed, or are looking to make sure they are as athletic as they can be, you should be taking them for regular running sessions.
At a minimum, a Great Dane should be walked for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day, but instead, this could be a running session for your Dane.
This should be in a safe environment away from any danger, such as an open field away from roads or a local park, so they can focus on their running.
Have a consistent schedule
Great Danes can be very stubborn dogs, so it’s important to have a consistent exercise schedule. We recommend creating an exercise plan for your Dane and sticking to this. As an example, Monday to Friday could be walking days, however, Saturday could be the day you both go for a running session.
Having a schedule will help you stick to the routine, as you know what you need to do on what days, but also, your dog will be expecting it as well. As with anything in life, having a schedule will help you feel more inclined to do the activity. If you don’t have one, you risk letting motivation and other life decisions get in the way, and this can quite easily eat into precious running time with your Great Dane!
Provide them with the right diet
Given their large bodies and aerodynamic build, Danes require additional amounts of proteins in their body to maintain their strength, so it’s important to feed them the correct diet, even if it means spending an extra few pennies at the shop.
Great Danes can weigh more than 100 pounds as they are very large dogs, and when one is seen in public by someone for the first time, they are often surprised at how big they really are. Sometimes pictures don’t do them justice. Given their weight, it’s super important to feed them the correct meal every day, as they are very heavy eaters.
Veterinarians recommend feeding your Great Dane with foods that have at least 12% of fat and 23% of protein, and as a result, may incur additional costs, as premium dog foods tend to have higher protein and fat content. We suggest spending extra to buy a good, reputable brand that has good reviews, and produce quality dog food.
Do Great Danes make good running partners?
Yes, Great Danes make excellent running partners, given their high levels of energy and physical physique. They are able to achieve a very fast running speed and can quite easily go for short runs with you. Great Danes are very big dogs but it’s important to note that even though they are built very well, they are unable to achieve their top speed for very long, so you should keep the runs short, to begin with.
As a starting point, we suggest taking your Great Dane on a short run with you if they are at least one year of age, this could be around a local field, or park. If they handle it well, you could look to increase the distance, but don’t force them to run or put pressure on them, as they may not be able to keep up. This will help your dog build the stamina required for longer runs.
Are Great Danes able to run long distances?
Yes, Great Danes are able to run long distances. In fact, they are one of the most athletic dog breeds and known to be brilliant runners. Great Danes excel in many different types of exercise, including running. If you are thinking about adopting a Great Dane, be prepared to provide them with plenty of opportunities to stay active and burn off energy.
If you’re someone that likes to frequently run and stay active, then a Great Dane could be the perfect choice for your lifestyle. Great Danes are very gentle and loving dogs, despite their large size. So don’t be afraid to give them a big hug after your next run – they’ll appreciate it just as much as you will.
When can I start training a Great Dane?
You can start training a Great Dane as soon as you adopt them from 8 weeks of age. It’s important to socialize and train your Great Dane early on, so they can learn how to behave properly around people and other animals. Once they reach adulthood, Great Danes are relatively easy to train since they are intelligent and eager to please their owners.
Given their big and intimidating size, it’s super important to ensure they are well behaved around strangers and other dogs. The last thing you want is for your Great Dane to accidentally knock someone over or cause a scene when you’re out and about. With proper training, your Great Dane can be the perfect companion for all of your adventures – big or small.
Are Great Danes easy to train?
Great Danes are relatively easy to train since they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. However, given their size, it is important to start training early on so they learn how to behave properly around people and other animals. A great place to start is teaching them their name, and how to sit and lie down. These are simple yet effective commands that will help your Great Dane understand what you expect of them. From there, you can move on to more advanced commands and tricks.
Great Danes need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, so be sure to provide them with lots of opportunities to release their energy and stay active. A garden isn’t enough to keep a Great Dane happy – they need to be taken on regular walks, runs, and hikes.
Remember, patience is key when training any dog breed – including a Great Dane. They may not always catch on as quickly as you’d like, but with time and consistency, they will get there.
What health conditions can affect a Great Danes running speed?
There are various health conditions that can affect a Great Danes running speed, including hip dysplasia, joint problems, and obesity. If you notice that your Great Dane isn’t running as fast as it used to, or is struggling to keep up with you on walks, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check.
Hip Dysplasia in Great Danes
Hip dysplasia is a common health problem in Great Danes that can affect their running speed. This condition occurs when the hip joint doesn’t fit properly, causing pain and lameness. Hip dysplasia is usually diagnosed with an X-ray, and can be treated with medication, weight management, exercise, and physiotherapy (2)
Joint problems in Great Danes
Joint problems, such as arthritis, are another common health issue in Great Danes that can make it difficult for them to run. If you notice your Great Dane is having trouble getting up from a lying-down position or seems to be in pain when walking, it’s important to take them to the vet for an assessment. This will be uncomfortable for your dog and will make it difficult for them to run, so it’s worth getting them checked, even if they seem OK (3, 4).
Obesity in Great Danes
Great Danes are prone to obesity, which can put a lot of strain on their joints and muscles, making it hard for them to run. If your Great Dane looks overweight or you feel like they are carrying extra weight, it’s important to speak to your vet about how you can help them lose weight safely (5).
What can I do to help keep my Great Dane in good health?
There are a few things you can do to help keep your Great Dane in good health, including:
- Provide them with plenty of exercise
- Give them lots of mental stimulation when inside and outside the home
- Feeding them a healthy diet
- Taking them to the vet for regular check-ups
- Allowing them to frequently release their energy
- Socialisation and letting them engage with other dogs and people
- Medication to avoid extra weight gain
By doing these simple little things, you can help your Great Dane stay fit and healthy, and avoid future health problems that could affect their running speed.
How can I tell if my Great Dane is in pain from running?
If you’re frequently running and exercising with your dog, you will need to look for symptoms of pain and discomfort. Great Danes are very good at hiding their aches and pain, but there are a few signs you can look for, such as:
- Limping or favouring one leg
- Unwillingness to move or run
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
- Change in appetite
- Decreased energy levels
It’s also important to let them rest often, so you shouldn’t max out their exercise routine every day, you need to give them breaks in between. If you think your dog is in pain or are showing any of the signs above, it’s best to take them to the vet to get a professional opinion.
Conclusion: How fast can a Great Dane run?
Great Danes are able to run up to speeds of 30 mph, with the average speed being 25 mph, and this makes them very fast runners. They also make excellent running partners for short distances.
However, despite the Great Danes’ fast running speeds, it’s important to note that they are unable to run at their maximum speed for very long, as they lack endurance and therefore, are only able to reach their top speeds for a short period of time.
Given their big size and physical physique, they require a diet high in protein and fat, and excellent sources of this come from chicken, lamb, beef and fish, so it’s important that they receive a combination of nutritious meats as part of every meal.
But don’t underestimate the Great Dane, they can run very fast and will certainly outrun you (and most other breeds) on the beach!
Have fun and good luck!
- American Kennel Club - Great Dane Life Span & Health Issues
- National Library of Medicine - Diagnosis, prevention, and management of canine hip dysplasia
- National Library of Medicine - Overnutrition and skeletal disease. An experimental study in growing Great Dane dogs
- National Library of Medicine - MRI features of cervical articular process degenerative joint disease in Great Dane dogs with cervical spondylomyelopathy
- National Library of Medicine - Overweight dogs are more likely to display undesirable behaviours: results of a large online survey of dog owners in the UK
- American Kennel Club - Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
- The Kennel Club - Arthritis in dogs
- The Kennel Club - Obesity in Dogs