Corgis are not distance runners. They can run one or two miles, and sometimes more if they’re healthy and fit. For hiking, a fit Corgi can manage 6 to 8 miles at a moderate speed.
To gain a better understanding of your Corgi’s physical limitations and alternatives that are better suited for your canine companion, read on. We will cover everything you need to know, from the specifics of why they cannot run long distances to ideas for activities that will stimulate your Corgi more.
- Corgis' Running History
- How Fast Can Corgis Run?
- How Long Can a Corgi Run at One Time?
- Not the Body Type for Long Distance Running
- Should You Run Long Distances with Your Corgi?
- Is It Possible to Turn My Corgi into a Long-Distance Runner?
- Health Problems Associated with Running Long Distances
- Keeping Your Corgi Safe on the Run
- What to Bring on Your Long Run?
Corgis’ Running History
Pembroke Welsh Corgis might not seem like natural runners at first. Despite their cute looks, Corgis are fast, enduring, and have worked hard as herding dogs in Wales for a long time.
Bred for Endurance and Driving Power
- Pembroke Welsh Corgis were initially bred as cattle herders. Their short height helped them dodge kicks while biting cows’ and bulls’ heels.
- Their short legs and long body gave them a low center of gravity. This body shape made them agile and fast around livestock.
- Corgis needed to be fast, hardy, and have excellent endurance to herd cattle across expansive fields day in and day out. Herding dogs often covered over 20 miles daily!
- The Corgi’s strong and muscular back gave them quick bursts of speed. This drove them forward as they ran and helped them sustain speed over uneven or hilly terrain.
- Corgis have large lungs and wide chests for stamina in long herding tasks.
Built for Speed and Nimbleness
- Corgis have a rectangular shape, with a long back close to the ground and short legs.
- Their shape provides a low center of gravity, perfect for quick changes in speed and direction while herding. They can swiftly sprint, stop, and turn.
- Their strong back legs enable them to quickly speed up from a standstill. This supports the fast bursts of speed needed to keep livestock in line.
- Corgis have tough, strong paws with thick pads. These help with grip and balance during fast, sharp turns.
- Their short legs help them move easily in small spaces and dodge obstacles in the field.
How Fast Can Corgis Run?
What surprises many people about Corgis is their ability to run quite fast. Corgis have been recorded as running as fast as 25 mph at top speed. Although the short legs and long back of the Corgi do not do well with long distance running, this physical makeup does not slow them down at all during sprints.
A big reason for their speed is the Corgi’s use of their core rather than their legs while running.
How Long Can a Corgi Run at One Time?
The farthest you should push your Corgi to run at one time is between one and two miles. Two miles may be pushing, especially as your Corgi gets older.
Running for too far can cause back and joint problems in your Corgi as they age. The distance they can run depends on their fitness level, of course. However, Corgis are more suited to short distance sprints and agility based activities.
Not the Body Type for Long Distance Running
The Corgi possesses rather short legs and a longer trunk. Their gait is close to the ground and uses more of their body and core than their legs. This makes the Corgi a surprisingly efficient and fast sprinter.
However, if used in this manner to run longer distances, the Corgi’s body would tire quickly and experience back and joint problems. Imagine trying to run a marathon on legs that have to support a torso five times longer than they are.
Should You Run Long Distances with Your Corgi?
In short, no, you should not run long distances with your Corgi. They are more suited to either long walks, they can go for seven or eight miles if in good enough shape, or sprint or agility based activities.
Corgis, being very obedient, are great dogs for learning tricks. However, teach them with caution. Their energy and willingness to obey leads them to attempt tricks that can be harmful to them.
Brisk walks in varying locations to keep your Corgi’s attention, obstacle courses, and a very fast-paced game of fetch are activities more suitable to give your Corgi the exercise and entertainment it needs.
Is It Possible to Turn My Corgi into a Long-Distance Runner?
This question can be a bit misleading. Although it is possible to get your Corgi into good enough shape to run as much as two miles or more, it is not a good idea to do so.
Running long distances can cause back and joint problems in your Corgi. These can get worse with age or increased long distance running. If you want to engage in long distance activities with your Corgi, try brisk walks of up to 6 or 8 miles.
To give your Corgi the exercise it needs, engage it in more sprint and agility based activities.
Health Problems Associated with Running Long Distances
As Corgis run longer and longer distances, their short-legged and long-backed bodies experience stress it is not equipped for. To start off, Corgis are prone to health problems such as hip dysplasia and back problems.
Straining their bodies in ways they were not built for will only exacerbate these injuries. Back, joint, and muscle injuries can all result from your Corgi running too far or too long.
Keeping Your Corgi Safe on the Run
To keep your Corgi safe on runs, limit them to less than two miles. Even if they are in great shape and seem willing to run longer and farther, do not let your Corgi push themselves. You know their limitations better than they do many times. Their energy and enthusiasm can get the better of them.
Make sure that the terrain you are running on is flat and even. Corgis have been known to injure their joints and hips from jumping off of high surfaces such as furniture and stairs. Throw in the unpredictability of nature and you could easily meet with disaster.
Finally, if you feel like the run is getting to be too much for your Corgi, stop right away and turn it into a walk. Even slowing it down to a brisk walk from a slow jog can do wonders to protect your Corgi’s health and increase the distance they can go.
What to Bring on Your Long Run?
If you decide that your Corgi is ready for a long run (remember, no more than two miles) and you are ready to face the risks if they happen, you should take some things with you just to be safe.
Water is a great thing to have, both for you and your Corgi. A leash is a useful way to rein your Corgi in when they are being pushed too hard.
Especially as your Corgi ages and back and joint problems become more of a risk, it is a good idea to bring a stroller with you on your runs. At the risk of being that dog owner pushing their pet around in a stroller, using one can allow you to go for long runs and still enjoy the company of your Corgi while giving it some fresh air and scenery.
Of course, the best thing to bring with you on that long run is a good idea of your Corgi’s limitations and a sense of awareness for any dangers or problems that may happen. Stay smart and stay safe.
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Mike is the Founder of Familylifeshare. Mike is well-knowledged in marriage, parenting, dogs, blogging and committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with his readers. Know more about Mike from here.