Can Poodles Run Long Distances? Everything you need to know

Have you just planned to take your poodle in the long run? Are you sure he/she can go all the way long?

You are not the only one who wants to know “Can poodle run long distances?” Don’t worry; we have got all covered. When it comes to the running capabilities of your furry friend, most can easily cover a long run of at least three miles, without any problem and most can run much further than this as long as they are well trained, fit, and healthy.

Most poodles can run very long distances comfortably and happily once they reach adulthood. The standard poodle can run furthest and fastest, with the miniature coming second and toy coming third.

If you’re looking for extra proof that poodles make great runners, you should know that there was even a team of standard poodles who competed in the Iatrad, the Alaskan sled race which is over 1000 miles long.  This is an impressive feat and surely gives poodles the street cred of a super runner!

The poodle breed consists of three sizes; Standard, Miniature, and Toy poodles and while all three are capable of running long distances, thanks to their long legs, the standard poodle is able to run the furthest. Just like any other breed, poodles need training sessions to exhibit this agility trait and develop their speed, stamina, fitness, and endurance. Trainers are recommended to take special care of the external factors that might affect your poodle’s ability to run long distances such as humidity level and temperature- as hot humid weather is likely to make your poodle overheat on a long run.

Poodles Running Long Distances

Hollywood movies or cartoons have always portrayed poodles as pampered, docile lap dogs. They are a popular breed among the wealthy and do love a long cuddle, but they don’t need to stay in the laps and have great stamina and endurance. Poodles are remarkably active, agile, and athletic dogs. They have a strong ability to run miles in the right conditions and need regular vigorous exercise to maintain their fitness and stamina.

Historical Background of Poodles Running

Historically poodles were bred in Germany to catch waterfowl and act as water retrievers- in fact they are still used as hunting dogs today and have been in lots of jobs- you can read more about jobs done by poodles here. The hunters used to take them in the forests, where they would trek for days and fetch hunted waterfowl in watery grassland and forests. This history is not enough to render them runners, but it shows the temperament of poodles as well as their stamina and ability to act as working dogs.

Poodle Traits that Help Running

A poodle’s main personality and physical traits are obedience, athleticism, stamina, and energy – all things that help poodles be great runners. Like swimming, which poodles were bred for, running is something that only dogs with good energy and athleticism will excel at. A dog needs long-lasting energy to run long distances, and luckily poodles have these characteristics, especially when trained to run given they are fit and healthy.

Why is running good for poodles?

Once your poodle is fully grown, it is recommended to take your poodles for long walks or running sessions daily. This will not only burn their excess energy, keep them fit and healthy and stimulate their mind as they learn about the outside world. Walks and running are important but it is crucial that you have trained your poodle to follow a return command before you let them off lead anywhere near traffic or other dangers, as otherwise they could get carried away and get lost or run into traffic.

Unlike other pooches, poodles do not hesitate to walk in crowded places or even cross a river or swim in the ocean. Making them a good running companion as they will not be put off running in difficult situations.

Owners need to be very careful while going outside with furry companions. Poodles are so energetic that they might run unnecessarily and if they run off you might have to spend hours searching for them.

This is the down side of poodles being good runners. They run even if it is not required or they have run too far. Poodles themselves do not care for their bodies while running and even if they are very tired they will keep following the owners for hours and hours. The bitter reality about these faithful creatures is they will keep running behind you, no matter if they have anything left in them. Therefore, it is your responsibility as an owner to keep a close eye on your poodle for signs of fatigue and allow your poodle to rest if they are becoming tired.

There is no hard and fast rule when we talk about poodles and running, as discussed earlier poodles generally have excellent stamina and agility. A good owner is one who can judge when the canine is exhausted. You should feel when he starts slowing down in pace or breathes heavily due to continuing the struggle. Take care of your pals, and they will continue to accompany you on runs for years.

Running According to Poodle Type

In the above section, I have discussed poodles running in general. But if we dive deep, we discover different running behaviors for all three different sizes.

• Standard Poodle

• Miniature Poodle

• Toy Poodle

If you are lucky enough to own all three types and allow them to run through the same distance, you will be surprised to witness clear differences in the running ability. The possible reason for these differences is the size of each dog. The standard poodle being the biggest of all, with the mini taking the second spot, and the toy poodle is the smallest. They might look similar, but their running capabilities differ a great deal.

Running Skills of a Standard Poodle

• High intensity with a long duration.

Running Skills of a Mini Poodle

• An average intensity with a long duration.

Running Skills of a Standard Poodle

• A low intensity with an average duration.

All poodles are good runners, but the difference comes with their stamina. The intensity of exercise for each must be different. If your poodle runs keeping the same pace as you sprininting, he is running at a high intensity. If your poodles run is more like a slow jog, then it is considered as low intensity.

Standard Poodles

Standard Poodles serve as the best running partners for long distances. They are the original breeds that have the stamina to run fast and long. They can follow you at a steady rate for hours. However, this will likely need to be gradually built up over time, and puppies and teenage dogs will not be able to do this at first. Similarly older dogs may not be able to do this, so its important to know what your poodle’s limita are when it comes to running and always keep and eye on them to ensure they are not becoming exhausted.

Miniature Poodles

Mini poodles can’t match the distances as the standard poodles, but they are still good running partners. They can likewise go for the same stretch, but the only difference is their speed. They have a relatively slower pace in comparison to the largest type of poodles as their legs are shorter.

Experts will guide you to take them for jogging or regular walks, but avoid taking them for a full sprint. The reason is that they have small legs and they have to move them quickly to meet your pace while running. Long distances at full speed can tire them completely. Therefore, take them for an evening jog, and they will be happy to accompany you but don’t think of running a marathon with them!

Toy Poodles

Toy poodles are cute little types of poodles with even shorter legs than the miniatures. You can imagine if Toy poodles can run long and that too with pace. Their running is not running, but you may call it a quick walk. Due to their small legs, they are unable to move as quickly, making them suitable for trails but not long runs or jogs. It’s not that they can’t jog or run with you; their only problem is their small legs. So, if you are searching for a long distance running partner, skip the toy poodles. Having said that, toy poodles still benefit from running, so playing fetch or other running games with your toy poodle will help keep them fit and healthy.

Weather and running long distances with poodles

Poodles, like us, will find it more difficult to run in extreme conditions. A poodle’s coat is great for keeping them warm, but not if it is extremely cold, windy, or wet. So if the weather is extremely cold you should try putting your poodle in a coat or something waterproof to protect them.  Also, check your poodle regularly to make sure they are still comfortable, if they are shivering or slowing down, you need to stop running and take your poodle somewhere they can warm up.

Salt put in the road in cold weather could also hurt your poodle’s paws, so be sure to check them after running that they have not been hurt by this, or avoid paths that have been salted. Alternatively, you can use paw wax to protect their feet- see my favorite paw wax kits here.

In the heat poodles can really struggle, as their coat keeps them warm and stops them from losing heat. It’s very important to ensure your poodle does not become exhausted or get heat stroke running in warm weather and that they do not get dehydrated. Ensure your poodle gets enough to drink and if going for a longer run stop to give them water regularly. Take a bottle of clean water with you for this, as drinking from dirty puddles or streams can upset poodle stomachs. If your poodle shows signs of overheating such as glazed eyes, excessive panting, drooling, vomiting or fast heartbeat stop immediately and take them somewhere cooler and give them a drink.

Final Word

I hope we have covered all the questions regarding poodles and running. Now you know which type of poodle can be suitable for long distances. Take them jogging and running as long as you know their limits, and don’t forget that poodles can run long distances when trained and exercised properly.

It’s also worth knowing that puppies should not be running long distances as they will tire easily. You should gradually build up stamina and fitness in your poodle before making them run a long distance. 

If your poodle is in any way injured or unwell do not take them running. Like humans, poodles need the opportunity to rest and recover if they have something wrong, so do not mistreat your poodle by forcing them to run.

Older poodles may also not be able to run long distances or at all, especially if they have arthritis or their eyesight is not what it once was.

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