How fast can a Pug run?

Picture of a Pug
Photo by Betti Kozma on Unsplash

Pugs are loved by dog owners all across the world, due to their goofy personalities, loving nature and very funny habits, they make excellent family dogs. They love to play, hide, lick and be near their humans at all times, so if you’re someone that is looking for a cuddly and welcoming companion, then a Pug could be an excellent choice.

However, a very popular question that many dog owners tend to ask is whether Pugs make great running partners, and what running speeds can be expected from this breed. It may come as a surprise but Pugs can run pretty fast for their small size, so if you’re searching for an answer to the questions above, then you have come to the right place!

Here’s everything you need to know about how fast a Pug can run and what can be expected from this breed.

Pugs running speed

The maximum speed at which any dog breed can run will significantly depend on several factors, including:

  • Health and any underlying medical problems
  • Body structure; a muscular and lean body will likely perform to a higher standard
  • Diet and what foods they are consuming to stay in healthy weight
  • Muscular density
  • Long legs
  • Running style

These factors will greatly influence the running speed of a dog and in the case of a Pug, due to their short legs and bodies, as well as the risk of developing Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) from their squished noses, will impact their ability to run fast and for long-distances.

All of these factors will play a role in determining the top speeds at which Pugs can run.

How fast can a Pug run?

An average member of the Pug breed can easily hit speeds of 5 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour. Now, this might not seem like a lot, but at their best, it’s actually faster than most humans.

The average male human running speed is 8 mph and 6.5mph for females, so if you’re hoping to out run a Pug on the beach or in a field, you better hope that they aren’t a high performer!

A Pug can run up to speeds of 5 mph – 10 mph, making them one of the slower dog breeds, but they are certainly fast when compared to the average human!

Miniature Friends
A Pug can run up to speeds of 5 mph – 10 mph, making them one of the slower dog breeds, but they are certainly fast when compared to the average human!
Infographic of How fast a Pug can run by Miniature Friends

Here’s a video of Bella the Pug running on the beach, to give you an idea of their running speed, posted by Jeff Goldberg on YouTube.

Pugs may be small but certainly have a nice stride that allows them to run up to 10 miles per hour! It’s worth noting that only very few Pugs reach the top speed, the average runs at around 5 miles per hour.

Why are Pugs slower than other dog breeds?

Dogs require special physical adaptations to have high endurance and top speeds. Dogs that are blessed with all of these adaptations can be considered track-worthy or have the ability to run very fast.

Unfortunately, Pugs are not one of those dogs as they don’t have the required characteristics to be good at running. Pugs were not bred to run marathons; instead, their job is to be excellent companion dogs to love their owners, make them laugh and to be very friendly. 

Dog breeds that are known to be very fast runners, like the Great Dane, Greyhound and German Shepherd, tend to have one thing in common: that being long legs. Having long legs is a must when it comes to sprinting quickly as these long legs provide dogs enough ground clearance force to push them forward, and are also helpful in maintaining balance. As you can guess, Pugs definitely don’t have long legs, and therefore they can’t compete with other dog breeds on the race track.

Having an aerodynamic body is also a must when it comes to being able to hit astonishing speeds. Dogs that have slender bodies, long and narrow noses, and broad foreheads are deemed to have aerodynamic bodies. Pugs also don’t do well in this department as their chubby bodies and round faces make them highly adorable and not aerodynamic.  

Do Pugs struggle to run long distances?

Pugs are considered a brachycephalic breed, meaning that they have shortened faces that appear flat, and this causes difficulty breathing as they have smaller airways. This will contribute to Pugs not being the fastest dogs on the planet and their ability to run long distances.

Pugs have smashed faces which makes breathing hard during strenuous exercises. Their short snouts can easily make the process of breathing hard, and therefore dog owners should never force their Pugs to run.

If your Pug does decide to run on a walk, it’s worth keeping an eye on them to see if they show any signs of difficulty. If they seem like they are struggling to breathe and are very exhausted, let them rest, or carry them home.

Who is the fastest running Pug?

The fastest Pug is Emma, who won the title “Usain Bolt of Pugs” at the 2018 International Pug meeting in Berlin, as she was able to run 50 metres in under six seconds. This is pretty impressive for a small sized breed, so well done to Emma!

Emma competed against 60-70 other Pugs in the 50-metre race.

Below is a video of the Pugs racing it out for the title, you can also see Emma sprint down the track in under 6 seconds! Pugs can be very fast runners!

Can a Pug be trained to run faster?

Yes, a Pug can be trained to run faster (surprisingly!) – with a little bit of effort, you can have your Pug running like the wind in no time. But it’s important to manage expectations, as a Pug is a brachycephalic breed, according to the RSPCA. This means that they have shortened faces and can get into breathing troubles if they exercise too much.

We can improve a Pug’s running speed, but they certainly aren’t going to run as fast as Usain Bolt! You shouldn’t over exercise or force your Pug to run distances outside of their comfort zone.

First, Pugs are short-distance runners – they’re not built for long-distance running and can overheat quickly. Second, because of their short legs and barrel-shaped bodies, Pugs aren’t the fastest dogs on the block to begin with. And lastly, Pugs can be stubborn, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with your training. However, in time, as with most stubborn dog breeds, they can be trained, this includes running a little faster than usual! 

The first step is to gradually increase the amount of time you spend running with your Pug. The more they run, the more they get used to the activity and this helps build confidence, thus empowering them to use more of their stamina and strength. Start with just a few minutes at a time and slowly work up to longer periods. It’s also important to make sure you’re running in a cool, shaded area – Pugs can overheat quickly, so it’s important to avoid hot and humid conditions.

Once you’ve increased the amount of time you’re spending running with your Pug, you can start working on their running speed. They may be slow little runners, but they have potential. Again, start slowly and gradually increase the pace. And be sure to praise your Pug when they do well – this will help keep them motivated! Reward them with plenty of treats.

With a little bit of time and effort, you can have your Pug running faster than you ever thought possible. Just remember to be patient, consistent, and always take breaks in a cool, shaded area. You don’t want to overheat your little one! Make sure it’s safe and fun.

Conclusion: How fast can a Pug run?

Pugs can run up to a speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour, however, they aren’t considered running dogs, due to their brachycephalic nature, so care should be considered when taking your Pug for a run, or encouraging this kind of exercise.

Allow them to have plenty of rest and don’t force them to run unnecessarily. 

Pugs are very homely dogs, they like to play with their humans and seek comfort in their homes, so if you are looking for a dog breed that you could welcome into your life and exercise regularly with, then you should look towards another breed, like a Whippet. They love to sprint and run long distances.

How fast can a Pug run?
How fast can a Pug run by Miniature Friends
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