How Fast Can A Dachshund’s Little Legs Run?

The speed at which your dachshund can run will be influenced by factors including age, health, and whether they are a standard or miniature dog. Healthy, fit, full-size adult dachshunds may be able to run at 15-20 miles per hour (24-32 kilometers per hour) for short bursts but not over longer distances. There are expert health concerns about dachshunds taking part in dog racing events

You will probably already be aware that a full-size adult dachshund needs a minimum of one hour of exercise every day. Your own dog may enjoy far more exercise than minimum recommendations and short periods of running could be part of their exercise time.

Whether on or off the lead, it could be fun for you and your dachshund to include some running in their normal exercise. Our quick and simple guide below sets out and explains relevant information around how fast a dachshund can run. 

how fast can dachshunds run

How Fast Can A Full-Size Adult Dachshund Run?

Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers. As hunting dogs, they are high-energy animals, and their breeding has shaped them to run in shorter explosive bursts at 15-20 miles per hour in order to chase their prey. 

This ancestry means that your dachshund is naturally likely to enjoy running and immediate pursuit behaviors. The actual speed of your adult dachshund will depend largely on your health and fitness level. Dogs who are accustomed to regular high-speed exercise will have muscles and joints better adapted to running and may reach higher speeds.  

Do note that dachshunds are unlikely to be able to sustain their maximum pace over longer distances. Running too fast for too long could also be unhealthy for them, straining muscles in their long backs. Always allow your dog to slow down or rest when needed. 

How Fast Can A Dachshund Puppy Run?

Puppies are smaller than adult dachshunds and have softer still-developing bones. They are unlikely to be able to run as fast as adult dogs, and owners must consider the immaturity of their puppies’ bodies and brains when undertaking any exercise including running. (Dachshunds are not considered adults until they reach around one year of age.)

As a general guide, dachshund puppies should exercise for a minimum of approximately five minutes for each month of life. So, 10 minutes for a two-month-old puppy, 30 minutes for a six-month-old puppy, and so on. Formal exercise is unnecessary for young dachshund puppies. 

Until your puppy has received their inoculations, simply playing in a garden or yard should be sufficient exercise to support healthy dachshund physical development and keep them fit. After your puppy has been fully inoculated you can gradually introduce them to walking and running outside. 

Over-exercising your puppy in any way can be dangerous before they are fully grown and the growth plates have closed in their bones. Forcing a puppy to run or walk too fast, or to cover overly long distances, could cause permanent damage in their spine, feet, and other bones and muscles. 

Under-exercising is also a concern in puppies. Insufficient exercised could result in unhealthy body weight, weakened muscles, and poor general health. 

How Fast Can An Older Dachshund Run?

Dachshunds generally remain active to some extent during the full course of their life. After around seven years of age, energy levels and the need for exercise will gradually decrease, as will muscle strength and flexibility. All of these factors may decrease running speed compared to younger dogs.  

Regular exercise in older dachshunds will help your dog maintain a healthy weight and keep their bodies strong and supple. Pay attention to how well your dog copes with faster walks or more strenuous play and this will help you to set a sensible pace with your older dachshund. 

How Fast Can A Miniature Dachshund Run?

The average height of a standard adult dachshund is 20-27cm, while miniature dachshunds only reach an average of 13-18cm. This reduced size, and their proportionally shorter legs, mean that miniature dachshunds will probably not reach the same running speeds as regular dachshunds. 

Dachshund Health Issues

Having short legs and long backs, dachshunds are vulnerable to a number of health complaints that could affect the ability to run at speed. Not all forms of exercise are suitable for dachshunds. You should bear the health risks in mind when considering how fast your dog can or should run. 

Dachshunds are at particular risk of back issues. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), an abnormality of the cushioning discs that sit between vertebrae in the spine, is 10-12 times more common in dachshunds than other dog breeds. Heart disease or the sight condition Progressive Retinal Atrophy are also often found in miniature dachshunds. 

When running, walking, or playing at any speed, don’t encourage or allow your dachshund to jump. Nor should they run or walk up and downstairs. Regardless of speed, either of these activities could cause damage to their spines. 

Can My Dachshund Race With Other Dogs?

Although dachshunds have not been bred as racing dogs, dachshund racing has become an increasingly popular and controversial sport in the last few decades, especially in North America. Race distances are typically 25 or 50 yards (23 or 46 meters) and may be run on a variety of surfaces. 

As a responsible owner, you should be aware that some experts, including the Dachshund Club of America and other kennel clubs, are firmly opposed to racing with dachshunds due to the risk of back strain and permanent spinal damage.  

The Final Word… 

Dachshunds are energetic dogs who love to exercise, including short bursts of running, which may reach speeds of 15-20 miles per hour. They are not well adapted for long-distance running. Dog racing with dachshunds may be a dangerous sport. Consider your dachshund’s health, size, and age if encouraging them to run, and consult your vet if you have particular concerns. 

If you’re still wondering how fast your dachshund can run, why not get out the stopwatch and lead and take your pet outside to find out?

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