It might surprise you how fast can a poodle run and that poodles are some of the fastest dog breeds in the world. With an athletic and muscular body built for speed, poodles are alert, intuitive, and intelligent dogs that enjoy running.
Although the American Kennel Association identifies Standard Poodles as “non-sporting” dogs, they famously competed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Despite their French-style look, poodle breeding originally started in the region that is modern-day Germany. As hunting dogs, they needed strength, stamina, and speed to run, retrieve birds, work their way through dense and tangled forest underbrush, or race out into the cold water of lakes or ponds to fetch ducks for their owners.
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Poodles aren’t just bred for show. In fact, they conceal a hard, athletic body under their signature curly hair.
The standard poodle, with its long legs and streamlined body, is the fastest kind of poodle, but miniature and toy poodles also make fantastic runners.
What Will I Learn? 👇
Are Standard Poodles Fast Runners?
With their high-class look, Standard Poodles can look more like show dogs than show-stopping runners.
But standard poodles are also incredible athletes that can run flat out, reaching top speeds of 30 miles per hour with a burst of speed.
A standard poodle can run fast and with high intensity. This means a standard poodle can keep pace with you if you’re sprinting.
How Fast Can a Miniature Poodle Run?
Despite their small size, miniature poodles can reach surprising speeds. Athletic and enthusiastic despite their tiny bodies, miniature poodles originally ran as duck hunting dogs.
Anecdotal evidence reveals that miniature poodles have also reached speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
Miniature poodles can run at an average intensity. This makes them more suitable for jogs than full-out runs.
How Fast Can a Toy Poodle Run?
According to the American Kennel Association, even these adorable handfuls are “elegant athletes” that run at very low intensity.
Topping out at 10 inches and weighing only 6-10 pounds, toy poodles can trot up to 10 miles per hour.
Considering their size, it’s a pretty good speed.
The Iditarod Poodles
Most people don’t realize that poodles can compete in races and obstacle courses. According to the Poodle Club of America, poodles excel at athletic endeavors.
Poodles even ran in the famous Iditarod sled dog race.
Today, only certain types of dog breeds, such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, are approved to run in the legendary race that covers a remote region from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.
But back in 1989-1991, American sled race driver John Suter and his Standard Poodle teams completed the 1,157-mile trek through untamed wilderness. One year, the musher and his tough and intrepid poodles beat twelve teams of huskies.
The only problem occurred when the poodles’ coats didn’t have the layers necessary to withstand long periods of extreme cold weather. Ice balls also formed on the poodles’ footpads. Although this might have caused issues, Suter fixed the problem by placing booties on his dogs’ feet.
Despite the poodles’ record, concerns about the poodle’s insufficiently insulated coats and paws not designed for icy conditions caused the Iditarod race organizes to ban poodles from competing and restricting the iconic race to northern dog breeds in the future.
How To Start Running with Your Poodle
If you love to run, it’s a great idea to run with your poodle. Regular exercise will help your bouncy pet burn off excess energy and help keep him or her fit and healthy. Keep in mind that poodles are fast and enjoy escaping, so it’s best to proof your yard and home.
If you want to start running with your poodle, they’re great canine companions for a nice, long, easy jog. When fully grown and properly trained, a poodle can easily cover a good distance of ground.
Before setting out for a run with your poodle, here are a few things to consider:
- Ensure that your poodle puppy has finished growing before taking a long jog. It’s not recommended to start running with your pup till they’re at least 2. Puppies that exercise too much too soon can experience joint issues or irreparable bone damage.
- Start slow. It’s a good idea to start with a ¼ or ½ mile jog to build endurance.
- Poodles can safely run up to 3 miles, so it’s best to save those 5ks and 10ks for solo running.
- Take breaks if your poodle seems tired, cold, or overheated.
- Reduce speed, time, and distance based on your poodle’s size. For instance, a toy poodle can run flat out for 10 miles per hour. That’s the equivalent of a six-minute mile for a human.
Standard poodles make the best running partners due to their size, speed, and endurance capacities. The good news is that a standard poodle who has received training to cover longer distances can follow you steadily for hours.
Miniature poodles won’t be able to run as fast as standard poodles. They can cover the same distance, but keep in mind that their pace will be slower due to their shorter legs. An evening jog rather than a morning run is more suitable for miniature poodles since they will have to move their legs extra fast to keep up with you.
Toy poodles are cute little things, but their tiny legs are even shorter than miniature poodles’ legs, and they aren’t too good of a running partner.
Toy poodles really aren’t built for running. It’s better to take them for a brisk walk since they tire easily from trying to keep up on a faster or longer jog. If you prefer a long-haul canine running partner, it’s best to skip toy poodles.
At the same time, toy poodles enjoy and need exercise, so there are still plenty of activities that you can do with your toy poodle. These include running, jumping, playing fetch, or other outdoor games.
If you have a puppy, teenage, or elderly poodle, they won’t be able to run for very long. If your poodle seems sick or tired, it’s best to avoid taking them along on a run and let them recover.
It’s also harder for poodles to run in difficult or extreme weather conditions. While a poodle has a good hair to fend off normal chills, it won’t keep your poodle warm in snow, wind, or rain.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to road conditions since salted roads or paths can injure poodle paws. If you want to go over salted or rough terrain, you can always coat your poodle’s feet in paw wax for protection.
Since poodles can run out into traffic, make sure that your poodle is trained to come on command to prevent any accidents.
During hot or humid weather runs, check regularly to see if your poodle is getting overheated. Since poodles have thick coats that help keep them warm, they also tend to overheat easily.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke include glassy eyes, extreme panting, vomiting, excessive drooling, or racing heart. Take breaks, get them someplace cool, and take a bottle of clean water along with you to keep your poodle hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
Know your poodle’s limits. That way, you’ll protect your running buddy and ensure that both of you have a good and healthy exercise experience.
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.