Can Pugs Run Long Distances And Can They Be Trained?

You’re putting on your jogging shoes and your Pug looks at you hoping that they can tag along. You’re tempted to take them with you, but it’s completely normal to wonder “can Pugs run long distances?” After all, they have short legs and stocky bodies.

So, Can Pugs Run Long Distances?

As long as your Pug is young and healthy, they should have no problem running or jogging short distances. That being said, they are not built to run and may need some training to get into shape, we’ll talk more about training in a bit.

How far a Pug can run, will depend on each individual dog. When my Pug was young, she was able to jog up to one mile with me, before I would stop.

can Pugs run long distances

I was always worried that the jogging would hurt her small paws, so you may want to invest in some doggie shoes.

Regardless of what you read about this breed, they are NOT just couch potatoes. They are companion dogs and will be happy doing pretty much anything as long as they are with their favorite person. Here’s how far Pugs can walk and how to build their walking endurance.

Are Pugs Built To Run?

are pugs built to run
Even though they have stocky, muscular bodies, this breed is not built to run long distances.

No, this brachycephalic breed is not built to run. They have short legs which makes it difficult for them to keep up with humans. They may be able to run short distances, but if you’re planning on taking jogging, you need to take that into consideration.

You’ll need to slow down and take smaller steps because you can cover more ground than they can in a single step.

That being said, you should never take your older dog for a run!

Is Running Safe For Pugs?

As long as you monitor your dog and don’t take them on a daily run, they should be fine.

Yes, they love running in your backyard or chasing their toys, they are NOT build to run. Not to mention, their respiratory tracts are in a smaller space, which means they are prone to overheating quickly and have difficulty breathing.

So it’s not safe to take your pooch on a long-distance run. Not only is it cruel to make your Pug run long distances, but it’s also unsafe and it can even be deadly for some dogs.

Do Pugs Like To Run?

Well, it depends, some dogs may enjoy running while others may hate it.

Just as some people say they will only ever run if they are being chased by someone, while others love it.

Just because you can get your Pug to jog right alongside you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they enjoy this form of exercise.

How To Tell If Your Pug Enjoys Running

how much exercise can a Pug handle
Not all Pugs will enjoy running, so make sure they enjoy it before taking them for a jog.

There are some people who hate running and would rather walk to get exercise. It’s important to find out whether your dog is enjoying the exercise or not.

Here are some signs that your dog hates running and it’s best to leave them at home.

Signs Your Pug Hates Running

  • They trail behind no matter how slow you go.
  • Stops running or walking and refuses to move.
  • Hides every time they see you pull the leash out.
  • They hide behind the couch when they see you putting on your running shoes.

The signs can vary from dog to dog. As you get to know your pooch, you will be able to tell by their behavior whether they enjoy it or not.

Training a Pug to Run

If your pooch actually loves jogging with you, then it’s time to start training. You can’t expect them to start running, especially, if they’ve been spending most of their afternoons lounging on the couch or sleeping on their bed.

Just like you train before running a marathon, your dog needs time to build up their endurance so they can start running safely.

These training tips will help you train your Pug to start running safely. How long it takes to train your pooch will depend on your pooch, but you never want to push them too far too fast. Find out how fast a Pug can run compared to other breeds.

1. Get Them A Physical

If you aren’t sure if your pooch is fit to run, schedule a physical with your veterinarian. Your vet will let you know if there are any red flags and will be able to consult you on how to introduce jogging with your best friend.

They may also be able to tell you whether your dog will require any dietary adjustments to go along with increasing their exercise.

2. Use A Harness

You should only ever use a harness if you have a brachycephalic breed. Harnesses protect your pooch if they pull on the leash, which we’ve already mentioned they struggle with breathing problems.

Even if your Pug doesn’t run away when they’re not on a leash, you should always have them on a leash whenever you’re out in public.

Not all people like dogs and some people are scared of dogs. You don’t want to have your dog running up to everyone hoping they’ll pet them.

Check out these harnesses for Pugs that will keep your pooch safely breathing.

3. Start With Walks

Start out slowly with walks around the block to ensure that your Fido is properly leashed trained and can handle short walks.

If they are not breathing heavy or pulling on the leash, you can start increasing their walking distance. If they can’t walk at least a mile without breathing heavily, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to run.

4. Gradually Increase The Speed

Once your dog is warmed up, you’ll want to slowly speed up the walks. You can even try jogging a little bit, to see how your dog likes it.

Don’t go too fast, because your dog takes a lot smaller steps than you do. If you notice your dog dragging behind, stop running.

Let your dog dictate the speed. It’s going to be a lot slower than you’re used to, but that’s okay.

5. Never Pull Them

Pugs are a stubborn breed and if they don’t want to do something, they are not going to do it. I took my Pug hiking once and she just refused to walk.

She sat down right there on the trail and I ended up having to carry my pup back to the car.

If your Pug stops walking or running, you never want to pull on the leash and drag them. They could be injured, not feeling well, or just don’t feel like running.

It’s best to call it a day and respect your dog’s wishes. Your dog can’t talk to you and tell you they don’t feel like doing something, so it’s up to you to read their body language to keep them safe.

Here are more tips for running with your dog.

Keeping Your Pug Safe On Runs

If your Pug is young and does enjoy running, then there are important steps you as an owner needs to take. Remember, this breed isn’t built to run, so you need to ensure they stay safe.

Hot Weather

This breed does not do well in hot or humid climates, so it’s important to remember this when going on a run with your best friend.

Your dog can’t handle the hot weather the same way we can.

Plus when it gets hot outside the blacktop surfaces will be hotter ad can injure your Pug’s paws.

You have the protection of your shoes. However, your Pug’s bare paws are in danger when it’s hot outside. Luckily you can prevent harm through paw wax or doggie shoes.

It may be easier to use paw wax, as opposed to shoes. Just apply a some to your dog’s paws for protection from the hot surfaces.

Here’s a temperature guideline to consider before taking your pooch with you:

Temperature (Farenheit)
60-70Great day for a run, no problems.
70-80Your dog should be fine, but keep an eye out.
80-90Avoid exercising your pooch.
90+Life-threatening, leave them at home in the air conditioning.

Most runners prefer to run when it’s cool, because they are less prone to inury.

Pugs are at risk of heat stroke and heat stress, which can eventually lead to death for your Pug. So it’s important to watch for the warning signs so you can get help for your pup.

Some of the signs are:

  • Breathing distress
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling salivating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Red or pale gums
  • Bright red tongue

If your pup displays any of these signs, stop running and give them water immediately. Even though they are still in the heat, they are not exerting any energy and will be able to cool down.

You may want to consider investing in a cooling vest. This will allow your dog’s body temperature to drop and avoid the risk of heatstroke.

If you live in Florida, or another extremely humid place, you need to check the weather before taking your dog for a walk.

Cold Weather

Only avid runners run in the rain, sleet, or snow. If this is you, then it’s just as important to consider your pooch in the winter.

Follow these cold weather temperature guidelines to keep them safe.

Temperature (Farenheit)
Over 45Your Pug will be safe.
35-45Consider a jacket to keep them warm.
20-35It’s too cold for your dog.
Below 20Both humans and dogs are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Luckily there are coats, sweaters and other clothing to help keep your dog warm.

The truth is that most Pugs would rather not be outside running in the snow, rain, or cold temperatures.

Even though your dog’s temperature will rise while they are exercising, they are still at risk when the weather becomes too cold. Here are signs that your dog is too cold to be outside.

  • Barking or whining
  • Hunched posture
  • Tail tucked between their legs
  • Lifts their paws off the ground
  • Whining
  • Unusual or anxious behavior

Basically, if you’re cold, there’s a good chance that your Pug is cold too.

Your dog can’t talk, so it’s up to you to keep them safe.

Protect Their Paws

Pugs have small paws and unlike you, their not wearing shoes to protect their pads. Always check the bottom of their paws when you get back from a run.

Check for any cuts, or injuries that could have occurred while running on rocks, gravel, sticks, uneven terrain and etc.

Try jogging on terrain that won’t hurt their paws, such as dirt trails. They will be easier on your dog’s joints and you won’t have to worry about hot asphalt.

You can even consider having your pooch wear doggie shoes to protect their paws.

Don’t Start Them Too Young

Wait until your pooch is at least a year old before you start taking them for runs. A puppy is still going through growth developments and their bones and joints are not fully developed.

Running on hard surfaces can damage a puppy’s bones if they aren’t fully developed. Always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s safe to start training your pooch.

What To Bring On Your Long Run

how to train a Pug to run
Don’t forget to take some important items along with you when you go running.

Just like you would never leave home without your smartphone, there are some things you need to take with you when you go running, hiking, or exercising with your Pug.

1. Water

Make sure your pooch has access to plenty of cool, fresh water while enjoying a run. You can take a long a portable bowl with you to give them some of your water.

Many public places have fresh water available for both humans and dogs. Your dog will need as much or more water than you drink.

2. Poop Bags

No matter whether your dog takes care of business before you go for your run, there’s a good possibility they will still go poop on the run.

Poopie bags will make it easy to clean up their mess. You don’t want to just leave it there so other people step on it, plus there are several cities that fine pet owners that don’t clean up after their dogs.

3. Treats

Nothing motivates a Pug more than food and treats. If you’re still in the training phase, you’ll want treats to encourage your pup to run.

Most of us runners tend to grab an energy bar after a run. Your Pug deserves a treat after they’ve run right beside you and had a good time.

Regardless of whether your dog is in training or not, don’t forget the treats to reward them after a good run.

4. Stroller

While you won’t be able to take this on the run, you still may want to have it in the trunk of your car. Pugs are not natural runners, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be your running buddy.

If you know your dog doesn’t enjoy running but likes going with you everywhere. Consider using a doggie stroller to have your best friend in front of you while you get your exercise.

They will enjoy being outdoors with you, without having to do all the exhausting work.

5. Don’t Forget The Tick Protection

Spending time outdoors with your pup, especially, if you’re in wooded trails, puts both you and your pup at risk of ticks and fleas.

You can protect yourself with bug spray and long socks. Your Pooch will need some type of tick and flea protection to prevent ticks from hitching a ride home with you.

You may want to consider checking your Pug for fleas when you get home.

Final Word On Running With A Pug

Keep in mind, Pugs don’t need as much exercise as other breeds. A daily 30-minute walk will usually suffice when it comes to these dogs.

Regular running can cause damage to your dogs joints, just as it does in humans.

So consider leaving your dog at home while you get a quick run in and then take your pooch for a walk, they’ll be happy you did!

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