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How Fast Can a Golden Retriever Run? Breed Characteristcs

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog running in the meadow

How Fast Can a Golden Retriever Run? Breed Characteristcs

Even though the Golden Retriever is more of a gundog1 than a racing dog, it’s still fun to see how fast this dog can move. The ability to move quickly is important for any dog, but this breed specifically needs to be able to catch game and retrieve it. However, Golden Retrievers are relatively bulky pups, so it’s hard to believe that they can reach impressive speeds.

But they do! In fact, Golden Retrievers have been known to reach speeds upward of 30 miles per hour (mph), which is better than the fastest human2 on earth, though still below a Greyhound’s top speed (45 mph3).

divider-dog paw

How Fast Is a Golden Retriever?

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the greatest speed recorded for a dog. In this case, the Greyhound holds the record: They can go up to 45 mph! Golden Retrievers aren’t quite that fast, but they’re still swift, reaching around 30 mph.

Most dogs can reach 20 mph for short distances, but lean, long-legged dogs like Greyhounds can run the fastest. Their slender legs and sleek build enable them to take long strides and reach speeds between 30 and 45 mph.

Considering that Golden Retrievers are much beefier than frail sighthounds, their top speed is all the more impressive.

golden retriever dog running at the beach
Image By: sharkolot, Pixabay

Fastest Recorded Speed for a Golden Retriever

The fastest speed recorded by a Golden Retriever was 35.52 mph. That’s fast for a retriever! A dog named Boomer achieved this speed during the Fastest Dog USA competition organized by the American Kennel Club. This annual competition is called the Fast CAT Invitational. (CAT is short for Coursing Ability Test.) About 250 dogs of 154 breeds must run a 100-yard dash.

Since this contest began in 2016, a Golden Retriever’s best time has been 35.52 mph, while the slowest was 9.57 mph. In 2022, a Golden named Romeo hit 27.72 mph.

Which dog won the 2022 contest overall? Reas, a male Whippet, beat all his competitors to win the contest for the second year in a row. He clocked in at 34.98 mph.

Are Golden Retrievers Lazy?

Golden Retrievers aren’t built for speed like sighthounds, but they can achieve an impressive speed over short distances. They also have energetic natures and will be perfectly happy to jog with you. So, they are not lazy, as long as you provide them with fun activities and exercises. If you have a frisbee, for example, your dog will sprint and jump to grab it and bring it back to you. If you take your Goldie to agility or obedience classes, they’ll be more than happy to run around and follow your commands.

However, Golden Retrievers may not be the kind of dogs that will happily run for the sake of running. If they feel like running is going to be more work than it’s worth, you’ll probably find your dog just standing there and refusing to move. But it all depends on your specific pup’s personality and temperament.

woman jogging with golden retriever dog
Image By: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

What Are the Factors That Can Affect the Speed of a Golden Retriever?

Several factors can affect a Golden Retriever’s speed. These include age, physical ability, weight, and overall health.

As with any breed, age is an important factor when it comes to speed. Dogs become less agile as they get older, making it harder for them to move quickly. Another problem is joint pain, which reduces their ability to move as fast as before. Dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other joint problems may also be at increased risk of injury.

A Golden Retriever’s weight also impacts their running speed. Dogs at a healthy weight and in good physical shape will be faster and more enduring than overweight dogs. The latter is more likely to tire quickly and take longer to recover from physical challenges.

Also, keep in mind that any health problem can greatly affect your dog’s physical capacity overall, not just their running speed. Therefore, it’s essential to make an appointment with your veterinarian if your Golden Retriever shows signs of health issues, including obesity.


Final Thoughts

Even though Golden Retrievers are big dogs, they’re surprisingly fast. The average Goldie can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, which is faster than Usain Bolt’s world record! However, these lovable and rambunctious dogs are no match for the fastest dogs in the world, Greyhounds.

Featured Image Credit: bililee, Pixabay

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