Pomeranians are known to have bundles of energy throughout the day in spite of their small size. Poms will love to run around the backyard and play games indoors that keep them amused – on top of this, they will still crave a long walk each day to run off remaining steam. Though this breed is active, you must take care not to over-exercise your Pomeranian and consider his limits when it comes to high intensity exercise like jogging and running.
So can Pomeranians run long distances? Poms will enjoy a brief running session at their own pace, but never at a human running pace. Put yourself in their paws and consider that what is considered a ‘long distance run’ to a Pomeranian will be the equivalent speed to a human brisk walking pace. They are a toy breed dog and over-exerting them can cause stunted growth plates as puppies and cause over-heating, joint injuries, and other health complications in adulthood.
Pomeranians are certainly capable of running, but this type of exercise will be most appropriate in short bursts, and like anything, running long distance is something that must be worked up to in baby steps. Your Pom will benefit most from a balanced workout each day consisting of moderate exercise such as 20 minute walks and games of fetch. Here’s a guide to what a Pom is capable of in terms of fitness and how to look out for their health during exercise.
Pomeranians’ Running History
It may be hard to believe looking at their small bodies, but Pomeranians used to be sled dogs! That’s right – Poms once weighed around 30 pounds and were similar in size to Akitas and Alaskan Malamutes, and were used often to pull sleds and herd animals. By the 19th century, however, Poms were bred down to be the compact 5 – 7 lb companion dogs we recognize today.
Despite their drastic reduction in size, contemporary Pomeranians are still members of the ‘Spitz’ breed of dogs (working dogs with wolf characteristics like the Akita and Samoyed), which may account for their fiercely energetic nature.
How Fast Can A Pomeranian Run?
At top running speed, Pomeranians can up to 12 mph or 18 to 19 kph.
How Far Can A Pomeranian Run?
It is really dependent on the individual Pomeranian’s health and ability. You could train your Pomeranian to eventually run 2 to 3 miles with you (with breaks and hydration in between) but this is generally not recommended on a regular basis.
How Long Can a Pomeranian Run at One Time?
A healthy, fit Pomeranian may be able to run for a total of 20 to 30 minutes without stopping, but this is assuming that their owner has built them up to this level gradually with endurance training.
As puppies, Poms can endure short walks of no more than 15 mins at a time. On walks longer than this, owners are encouraged to let their puppy Pom rest in a doggy stroller – this will also keep them shaded from the heat on summer walks too.
As adults (around 12 months old), your Pomeranian will have bundles of energy and be ready for longer walks, so they can endure two walks per day lasting around 20 minutes or more.
Not the Body Type for Long Distance Running
Unlike their ancestors, modern Pomeranians do not possess the body type to be able to run for long distances. They have short stubby legs that will not allow them to keep up with even a slow human jogging pace for long periods, and in addition, their joints are quite susceptible to injury.
Should You Run Long Distance With Your Pomeranian?
Pomeranians are better suited to brisk walks and jogs with their owner rather than running long distances. If you’re the type of owner who loves to exercise with their canine companion, leave the running for larger more capable dog breeds. Instead, your Pom will always be a perfect buddy on long walks, so long as you have the equipment (water, stroller etc) to let them rest in between.
Is it Possible to Turn My Pomeranian into a Long-Distance Runner?
Generally, Pomeranians weren’t designed to run long distances, so it isn’t appropriate to help them become permanent running companions. However, if you simply want them to join you on short runs then you can absolutely train them to build up endurance so that they can comfortably run alongside you for short periods.
A good rule of thumb is to start them on long walks of around 30 to 40 minutes and introduce brief 2 – 3 minute runs throughout the walk. For example, during a 40 minute walk, pick up the pace and encourage them to run for 3 minutes and then go back to walking for 5 minutes and repeat. Repeat this as often as your Pom appears comfortable with (i.e. showing no signs of fatigue), and gradually increase the running times with each walk.
Things to Watch Out Before Run Long Distances
A few key things to be mindful of before building your Pomeranian up for extended walks or runs:
- Don’t feed them less than an hour before or after exercise – this can cause them bloat and discomfort.
- Make sure they are used to running on hard surfaces – if your Pom’s paw pads have only ever been on soft grass then they will need to acclimatize to harsher surfaces like concrete gradually with walks. Running on concrete and gravel can tear their paw pads and can even cause burns in the summer.
- Don’t take them out for runs until they are adults – Before 12 months, a Pomeranian’s bones are still developing, and regular pounding exercise on hard surfaces can cause early joint damage.
Keeping Your Pomeranian Safe on the Run
Hydrate, hydrate! – make sure your Pom gets plenty of water before any high intensity exercise and that they have access to water throughout. Take a portable doggy bowl out with you so they can stay hydrated, and do this every 15 to 20 minutes.
Protect their paws – the summer and winter months can play havoc with your Pom’s paw pads. Hot asphalt can cause burns and blistering whereas icy weather can cause tiny wedges of snow and dirt to get stuck between their toes, causing discomfort and potential infections. Before each run, use a gentle protective wax on their paw pads to add a protective barrier.
Cool in the shade – break up jogs and runs on warm days with plenty of breaks in the shade to help them rest and recharge. Take along some treats for an extra energy boost too.
Time summer runs just right – on hot summer days, make sure you go out for runs and jogs before 10 am and after 2 pm to avoid being out during the hottest times of the day.
Avoid Lots of Intense Exercise at One Time
Poms have lots of energy to burn off each day, but this should be spread out – never follow up a long, 40 minute walk through the woods with a whole afternoon of fetch in the park.
Get to know and recognize your Pom’s limits by checking for signs of exhaustion (more on the health concerns linked to over-exercising below) and stick to two a minimum of two walks per day with play time counting as ‘extra’ exercise.
How Much Exercise Should My Pomeranian Get?
Generally, adult Pomeranians should be getting at least 30-40 minutes of exercise per day, which can consist of two 20 minute walks or one extended 40 minute walk with some moderate play at home or similar low-intensity movement.
Puppies should be getting a maximum of two 15-20 minute walks per day to avoid straining and injury to vulnerable growth plates.
Health Problems Associated with Running Long Distances
Over-exerting your Pomeranian with frequent high-intensity exercise such as running can risk aggravating predisposed conditions, such as PDA, as well as bring on additional health concerns as listed below:
- Muscle strains and tears
- Luxating patella (kneecaps that slip out of place)
- Heart failure (common in older Pomeranians)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus or PDA – Poms are susceptible to this condition, which is essentially a defect that causes a small blood vessel near the heart to not close properly after birth.
- Hip Dysplasia – though uncommon in small dog breeds, some Pomeranians can suffer from this condition in which the hind leg bones don’t develop properly. Obesity and excessive exercise can greatly increase the severity of HD symptoms.
- Collapsed trachea – if your Pom ever has a dry, harsh cough that has a honking-like sound, get them checked over by your vet immediately. This is a sign of a collapsed trachea, a condition that causes obstruction of a dog’s airways, and over-exertion and over-excitement through exercise can often be a contributing factor to CT.