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How Fast Can a Bernese Mountain Dog Run? Average Speed & Determining Factors

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

bernese mountain dog running and playing outdoors

How Fast Can a Bernese Mountain Dog Run? Average Speed & Determining Factors

The Berner is not considered a super-fast dog. They are a high-energy, large breed, so you would expect them to be expert runners. However, the average speed for a Bernese Mountain Dog is 20.8 mph in the best of conditions. The average running speed for dogs is between 15 to 20 mph, making the Bernese Mountain Dog a slightly above-average runner.

For the Bernese Mountain Dog, things like age, health issues, and weather conditions can affect their energy level and, ultimately, their speed.

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Bernese Mountain Dog Fast CAT (Course Agility Test) Speeds

Since 2016, the AKC has been running Fast CAT Races for dogs. According to their analysis of 59 Bernese Mountain Dogs, the fastest speed on record is 25.51 mph, with an average speed of 20.8 mph1. The slowest speed on record is 11.95 mph.

The average speed of the female Berner is 20.5 mph, with the average speed of the male being slightly higher at 21.3 mph.

The record of 25.51 mph was achieved by Wagontale’s Exclusive Design CD BN RA OJP.

In terms of speed, the Bernese Mountain Dog ranks 159 out of 247 dog breeds. The Greyhound, of course, is the fastest breed, running an average of 33 mph. The slowest of the dog breeds is the Pekingese, running at an average speed of under 10 mph.

In comparison to some other breeds and animals, the Bernese Mountain Dog may be a hard-working and energetic animal, but it will not win any running races.

Bernese Mountain dog doing carting
Image Credit: Anke van Wyk, Shutterstock
Animal Average Top Speed
Bernese Mountain Dog 20.8 mph 25.51 mph
Lion 40 mph 50.3 mph
Cheetah 40 mph 70–75 mph
Pronghorn 61 mph 60 mph
Ostrich 31 mph 43 mph

Tips For Running With Your Bernese Mountain Dog

If you want to have your Bernese Mountain Dog be a running companion, here are some things to do.

  • Keep your Berner in good health. Be sure to get regular wellness checks at the veterinarian and feed it a proper diet.
  • Do not train or condition your Bernese Mountain Dog for running until its bones are well-formed. They should not be running when they are still puppies. The high-impact activity can damage their joints and bone structure.
  • Keep the dog fit and healthy by playing fetch, walking, and exercising. Keeping it healthy and fit will prepare its body for running.
  • Keep your dog at an optimal weight.
Woman walking two bernese mountain dogs a sunny day in the park
Image Credit: tugol, Shutterstock

Bone & Joint Problems in Bernese Mountain Dogs

Elbow dysplasia (ED) and canine hip dysplasia (CHD) are common bone and joint issues in large breeds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs are no exception. CHD will present with the following signs:

  • Lameness
  • “Bunny hop” type of run
  • Loss of muscle tone in hind legs
  • No longer enjoys certain activities
  • Stiffness in hind legs
  • Stiffness and difficulty getting up
  • Discomfort and pain when exercising

Signs of elbow dysplasia include the following:

  • Extending the elbow is painful
  • Excess fluid in the joint
  • Avoids body contact with the painful limb
  • Lameness in the forearm after exercise
veterinarians examining bernese mountain dog on a table
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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Yes, Bernese Mountain Dogs are hard-working dogs. They are high-energy and like to run and play. They are not, however, one of the fastest breeds. These loveable giants are average runners under ideal health and environmental conditions.

But its average speed is not the main reason to own a Bernese Mountain Dog. They are special because of their fondness for children, love for humans, and playful personality. To have one is to love one—even if they are not the fastest runners.

Featured Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

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