How Fast Can A Golden Retriever Run?

How Fast Is a Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are a continually active and playful breed of dog. They seem to have endless energy and, for the most part, are very physically fit dogs. Because of their breeding background, they have a natural joy for running. 

How Fast Are Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers can run up to 35 mph at its top speed. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they can maintain their top speed for long periods of time. In comparison, the fastest human ever can run 28 mph at top speed.

If you own a Golden Retriever, be sure to allow them plenty of time for exercise. They love to run and be active and it helps improve their health. Jogging, running, or just playing outside with your Golden is a great way to avoid the many health risks that are common with the breed.

Why are Golden Retrievers Fast Runners?

Why are Golden Retrievers Fast Runners

There are a few reasons why Golden Retrievers like to run:

  1. They were bred to run. 
  2. They are physically strong.
  3. They love running.

Below we will look at the way these three areas effect a Golden Retrievers speed. Just remember, each dog is different. Pay close attention to the non verbal communication that your dog is giving you when running and exercising.

Breeding Matters

Golden Retrievers are a breed that was bred to run. Originally, they were used as working dogs that would retrieve waterfowl after being shot down by a hunter. They were accustomed to running over rough terrain in their country of origin, Scotland. This has made them very agile and able to keep up their speed even over the toughest of obstacles on the ground.

Over the years, Goldens have kept their ability to be dexterous while running. While on walks and playing outside with my Golden, I have noticed him jumping and winding around obstructions effortlessly. For example, when throwing a tennis ball for him, he ran as fast as he could and came to a complete stop to fetch the ball before going headfirst into a tree. 

Their Physical Build

Golden Retrievers are an extraordinarily strong breed of dog. They especially have strong leg muscles. Because of their strong muscle build, it makes it easier for them to run. They need regular exercise to keep them physically fit and build the muscles even stronger.

Check out our article How Much Exercise Does A Golden Retriever Need? for ideas to provide your Golden with great exercise activities.

They Love to Run

Golden Retrievers love to run. There is almost nothing they would rather do, except maybe eat treats. Because of their love for running, they will go anytime under just about any conditions.

All I have to say is the word “go” and my Golden is running and jumping toward the cupboard where we keep his leash. He gets so excited that it often becomes hard to put on the leash. He usually pounces and pulls the leash on our way out the door because of his overwhelming excitement. 

Anytime that you can provide running time for your Golden is going to make them happy and calm. It is a time for them to get their energy out as to not become anxious or bored.

Golden Retriever’s Speed Compared to Other Animals

The chart below shows the Golden Retriever’s top speed compared to other animals to help understand just how fast they run. As you can see, Goldens run about the same speed as a rabbit. You can see why they make such great hunting dogs.

AnimalTop Speed
Cheetah75 mph
Horse55 mph
Lion50 mph
Golden Retriever35 mph
Rabbit35 mph
House Cat30 mph
Human28 mph
Squirrel20 mph
Raccoon 15 mph

How Long Can A Golden Retriever Run?

How Long Can A Golden Retriever Run

Golden Retrievers are a very athletic dog, so they can run quite a long way. Because they enjoy running, they are excited to run anytime they can. 

A Golden will usually run 4 to 5 miles in a session very easily with not much training. With a little training, a Golden can run up to 10 miles in one session. With more training, a Golden can get to the point where they are running a marathon (26 miles). 

To know the kind of running your Golden Retriever is ready for depends on a few factors. These factors are age, training habits, and physique. 


A Golden Retriever puppy will only be able to run short distances. If they run for a long period time, joint disorders such as hip dysplasia can begin to develop. Your Golden Retriever will be ready to run to its fullest when they reach about 12-18 months. This is when their muscles and bones have matured to withstand the pressure and stress of running.

Training Habits

You can start training your Golden Retriever to run as a puppy, but remember to take it nice and slow until they become at least a year old. As your Golden becomes older, keep a consistent schedule of exercise to build up their stamina if your goal is longer distances. 


Golden Retrievers naturally have strong leg muscles for running if they stay fit. If your Golden Retriever has been doing the proper training needed for running, then their muscles will be ready to run longer periods of time. If they have not been training, do not expect them to run long distances. Just because they are an athletic breed does not mean they do not need training to run.

Regular exercise is a good way to keep your Golden Retriever healthy. It is a good way to prevent joint disorders such as hip dysplasia. If you notice any problems with your Golden Retriever’s joints, a consultation with a veterinarian may be needed. 


Golden Retrievers love to run, and they do it well. Providing them with regular exercise will keep their muscles strong and help them become physically fit for a healthy lifestyle. Even though their bodies were made to be highly active, be sure to know your dog’s limits and expectations as each dog is different. 

Golden’s are susceptible to health issues in their hips and joints. It is a good idea to include supplements into their diet to help with prevention. Be sure to view our article on the Best Supplements for Golden Retrievers to find one that will work best for your dog.

Always consult your veterinarian with any questions regarding their specific physical capabilities or with any health concerns.

Corey Rawlins

Corey Rawlins has loved Golden Retrievers since he was a boy. His current Golden Retriever, Brady, was his inspiration to create Golden Retriever Society. He and his wife have three children who are always keeping Brady entertained. They love spending time together, traveling, and meeting other dog families.

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