A lot of Corgi parents worry about the fact that their pooch has short legs.
Specially when it comes to running.
Is it dangerous for you Corgi to run? What can you expect? And what’s the best way to prevent issues?
Keep reading to discover:
- Exactly how fast Corgis can run.
- The top 3 dangers when it comes to Corgis and running.
- If Corgis make good running partners (and if they can run long distances).
- And more…
Table of contents
How fast can Corgis run?
Corgis can run faster than most human beings. At their peak, they can run at 25 miles per hour (40 kph) consistently. This is only slightly lower than the fastest human runner, Usain Bolt, who reached a whopping 27 miles per hour(43 kph)!
How far can Corgis run? Can they run long distances?
Adult Corgis (1 year and up) can run for 1 mile without breaking a sweat. However, only the fittest can reach 2 miles. Due to their short builds, they can’t run longer distances without risking injury to their joints. Even then, they are great agility runners and good at sprinting.
Caution: Corgis should only run on even ground. If you want them to run on steep slopes, reduce the distance to just 1 mile. Take regular breathers while running!
Can Corgis run with you? Do they make good running partners?
Corgis can run with you, but not for long. Healthy Corgis exercise for 30-45 minutes a day. If you want to take your pet for a morning jog, then 1 mile forward and 1 mile back won’t hurt. They can go for 6-7 miles a week. But don’t take your Corgi to marathons, or it will hurt them.
Caution: Only run your Corgi for 2 miles if you have your trainer or vet’s permission because this distance is only for fit Corgis.
3 dangers when running with your Corgi
Corgis are normally great at physical activity. If they’re fit, they can walk or run for miles until they reach old age (10-12 years).
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out their limits because of their small bodies and energetic attitudes.
Here are the Top 3 dangers to Corgis when running:
#1: More running, more heat
Corgis tend to generate heat the more they run around. They also have double coats.
In fact, they have such thick coats that they shed daily.
Ordinarily, this is fine, since it makes them great in cold weather. But what if you’re running on a hot summer day?
When this happens, your Corgi might be at risk for hyperthermia.
Since they have an energetic personality, they will likely run around without your prompting. Poorly-trained Corgis might even drag you if they’re on a leash.
Combined with their natural affinity for the cold, this makes them poorly suited for running under the sun.
What are the early signs of hyperthermia?
Dogs often pant and pace around in hot weather.
Many owners tend to miss this, but it’s your dog’s way of blowing off heat since they don’t get rid of it through sweat.
Hyperthermia starts to happen when your dog’s temperature goes above 103° F (39° C).
This can start a vicious cycle where your dog moves around (and raises their temperature), trying to get rid of the heat.
More severe symptoms then come in later: your dog will likely seize or move erratically. Heatstroke can be fatal if left unmanaged.
What can you do when your Corgi gets hyperthermia?
If your dog starts to show signs after running, calm down, and follow these steps:
- Bring them to shade. Ventilation starts to improve when you place your dog away from the sun’s rays. This will help them adjust their temperature more quickly.
- Give your Corgi some water. The water has to be lukewarm to prevent shock due to changes in temperature.
- Have your dog checked after the ordeal. If your dog starts to feel worse, quit what you’re doing and go straight to the vet.
#2: Sticks and stones won’t break their bones, but running might
Corgis are highly enthusiastic runners. Sometimes, they will try to take the lead over a normal jogging session by tugging on your leash.
Normally, this can be a good thing because eagerness can mean ease in physical training. However, it’s important to make your Corgi understand that you are steering the wheel.
This is because Corgis are known for developing long-term illnesses in due time.
Many of these are the result of frequent overactivity, and can sometimes happen at your Corgi’s prime.
If your Corgi is hit with any of these illnesses, they may never be able to run around again:
- Hip Dysplasia.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease.
How can my dog get Arthritis while jogging?
Arthritis is a condition where the cartilages that prevent the joints from pressing against each other are damaged.
Without the cartilage, your Corgi’s joints become susceptible to swelling. This causes intense pain.
Corgis have small legs and joints. They also have smaller cartilages to work with than bigger dogs.
When running, these cartilages degrade faster as the joints rub against them more frequently. It’s also a disease that only gets worse with age.
This could leave your Corgi unable to run or do any exercise without proper treatment.
To prevent this, you should regulate how far they run each day. The prescribed distance is 1-2 miles.
Note: Arthritis can also be genetic, so exercise isn’t foolproof. But it will allow your Corgi to live a longer life.
How is Hip Dysplasia triggered?
Canine Hip Dysplasia is a condition where the hip joints aren’t held firmly inside their sockets. This affects your dog’s movement because the hips are necessary for balance.
This is mainly genetic, and many owners don’t discover the disease until their dog has triggered it.
This is triggered when overweight Corgis (15 kg and above) sprint aggressively. Each step can disturb the hip joints until they are dislodged.
If your Corgi is overweight, lessen their food intake first. Gradually reduce the food they eat and accompany your dog for walks more often.
Save the running until they’re safely within 10-14 kilograms!
Note: Not every dog that has hip dysplasia suffers from symptoms since it can be managed with moderate exercise.
Be sure to get your dog checked so your vet can tell you how far and often they should run.
How can Intervertebral Disc Disease be triggered while running?
Intervertebral Disc Disease affects the spinal cord when the discs that support their backbone are bent out of place.
This can cause paralysis or lessen control over sections of your Corgi’s body.
This disease is triggered when your dog jumps off of surfaces or runs without restraint, since the shock can herniate the discs.
To prevent this, run with harnesses and keep your dog from running around too much.
Note: See tips #2 and #3 to learn more about choosing a proper harness and what commands to give when running!
Once your dog’s disc slips out of place, only your vet is able to treat it depending on severity:
- Conservative treatment is focused on rehabilitation. Here, your dog will be placed on 6-8 weeks of crate rest and introduced to medication that will ease pain and inflammation.
- Surgical treatment is the last resort. If the disease has paralyzed or severely impaired your dog’s movement, the disc can be removed to get rid of the pressure in the spinal cord.
Caution: Surgery is not a guarantee that complete function may be restored. It’s possible that your dog may forever have a limp leg. Learn more about the types of IVDD in our dedicated article on Corgi diseases here!
#3: They can eat anything
Corgis are known for their extreme appetite.
Though it’s possible to control it with training, Corgis may be unable to resist outdoor munchies.
They can eat street food, grass, bread crumbs and even poop!
Thankfully, they literally have the stomach for most of these, so there should generally be no harm.
However, their appetite not only takes attention away from training and commands, but it can also make them overweight. Also, some of these (chocolates and wrappers) can be both lethal and painful for your Corgi.
What happens when your dog eats chocolate?
Chocolates have a component called theobromine and some degree of caffeine. These are stimulants that give energy to whoever consumes them.
Humans are able to absorb and consume these components relatively quickly. However, your Corgi’s digestive system lacks the ability to process theobromine fast enough.
Think of it as consuming 10 gallons of energy drink in one sitting. It’s bound to make your entire body restless!
As these stimulants accumulate in the bloodstream, dogs gain so much energy that their bodies can’t keep up. This eventually causes a heart attack.
Since chocolate poisoning is so serious, you can forget about giving your dog first aid.
The only thing you can do is go straight to a local clinic.
What happens if my dog eats a wrapper?
Plastic wrappers are indigestible. Even our stomachs aren’t able to do anything useful with them.
With Corgis, however, it can be worse. If the wrapper is big, it can be a choking hazard.
When this happens, you may have to perform a special Heimlich maneuver:
- Put your Corgi on your lap. This keeps the Corgi from struggling.
- Press up below their ribcage. With your hands, try pressing upwards. This allows internal air to push up against the plastic.
- Rinse and repeat until the object is removed.
Note: These steps will only work on small dogs like Corgis. Bigger dogs require different procedures.
Here’s a sample video of how this maneuver is done:
With smaller wrappers, it may not be so obvious until your dog tries to violently expel this object. They may start to vomit or poop it out of their system, to no avail.
Each moment the object is stuck, your dog may not be able to process nutrients from other foods. This can cause malnutrition and immense discomfort on your dog.
When this happens, you must take your dog to your vet quickly, so they can help either induce vomiting or conduct surgery.
In either case, you may need a lot of money- roughly $3000 (USD) for an intestinal blockage surgery.
Further reading: 7 Reasons Why Your Corgi Eats Poop + 5 Tips To Stop It
5 tips to keep your Corgi safe while running
#1: Prepare your own treats
Corgis are known for not being picky eaters.
If you bring them for a jog, you’ll notice that they tend to sniff every step of the way. This isn’t just for marking territory or knowing their surroundings.
They also sniff because they have a better sense of smell than we do.
Note: The average dog has much more olfactory (smell) receptors than we do: 100 million compared to our 5-6 million!
For them, this can make anything smell more flavorful than they really are. If unsupervised, they will find something to eat.
This is where you come in. As an owner, your goal is to keep your dog’s attention away from bad food by giving them the best treats.
What treats should you bring for the jog?
Part of why Corgis can eat everything is because they’re omnivores. They can eat plants as well as meat like we can.
This allows you to be flexible with the kind of treats you give them:
- Jerky treats are good because they emphasize both nutrition and flavor. They mimic the scent and taste of beef, and many of them are sold commercially for as low as $4.50 USD.
- Cheese is also a good alternative. Packed with protein and Vitamin A, these are effectively energy-boosting desserts. They’re also regularly used as rewards for training!
- Raw Lettuce can be great for your Corgi because it’s low on calories. It lets your dog feed without becoming bloated or overweight.
How often should I give them treats while jogging?
When jogging, you want your Corgi to also perform certain tasks. You can mix it up by having them sit or even fetch on open fields.
Each time they do a good job, give them bite-sized treats. These will serve two purposes:
- It establishes a rewarding pattern for your Corgi to follow.
- It keeps their attention focused on you and away from bad meals.
Caution: Be sure not to give them too many treats! Many dog treats tend to have high calorie content, which can cause obesity later.
Be sure to ask a vet or dog nutritionist for thoughts on what to feed your Corgi for the trip.
#2: Get a harness
A harness is an essential tool for running and exercise in general.
Unlike a simple leash, it actually supports the whole body and helps to maintain posture. This can help your Corgi a lot since their small legs and long bodies discourage complicated movements.
In addition, harnesses cover more of your dog’s body, making sure that escape is impossible.
Harnesses also give you more choices. You can mix-and-match – you can even have one custom-made based on your dog’s measurements! This allows you to personalize your dog’s experience and create an even stronger bond with them.
Note: If you’re feeling confident, you can even sign your Corgi up for fashion contests!
How do I measure my Corgi for a harness?
Measuring the harness is not just for fashion.
Corgis can be more fragile than bigger dogs.
Arriving at the perfect size is necessary to get excess weight off their backs and legs.
You can measure your dog for a harness with these steps:
- Get a measuring tape and a marker.
- Wrap the tape around your dog’s chest. Keep the tape behind their front legs, and be sure to mark it.
- Do the same for the neck. Place two fingers (point and middle) between the tape and the neck to simulate tugging.
If your two fingers fit nicely, it’s a good fit. If it’s too tight or loose, do it again. Keep your dog still.
Here’s a short video that shows how this works nicely!
Note: You need to do this twice or thrice to account for sudden movements or tremors on your end. You can also have your vet or groomer do it for you if you want expert advice.
Once you’re done measuring, find the perfect harness. Spare no details– be colorful, minimalistic, anything under the sun.
Ultimately, this is all for your dog, so have fun!
#3: Learn important commands
Corgis are bite-sized alpha dogs with a long history of domestication.
They have a natural instinct for driving animals away or guiding them into certain places.
This makes them great runners and followers!
And when it comes to running, there are certain commands you need to teach your Corgi:
- ‘Leave it’ is a command that tells your Corgi to ignore things you don’t want them sniffing or eating. To do this, you need to place a treat between your fingers, let the dog have a taste, and then say, ‘leave it.’ Once your Corgi learns this pattern, they will leave anything you tell them to.
- ‘Come’ allows you to keep your Corgi close, particularly when there’s a distraction or even danger nearby. Establish eye contact with your dog and pull the leash/harness gently towards you while saying, ‘Come.’ The dog will understand that ‘coming’ means walking or running towards you.
- ‘Stay/Sit’ is helpful if you want your dog to rest after a round of jogging. Have your dog smell the treat, then slowly walk away or crouch while saying, ‘stay/sit.’ When your dog has memorized this, they will sit in place and move only when you tell them to.
Note: When running, you need to use these commands to stop your dog. Corgis are notorious people-pleasers, so you need to watch them and call the shots.
#4: Use an activity tracker or GPS
Sometimes, it can be easy to lose track of how much time your Corgi has spent exercising or moving around.
Unfortunately, this can be really bad for a Corgi because they are both aggressive and obsessed with making their owners happy. This means they won’t stop playing unless you tell them to.
In a way, this makes you their lifeguard, and like any good lifeguard, you should be precise. This is where pedometers and GPS come in.
A good activity tracker allows you to calculate how much distance your Corgi has already traveled and how long they have walked.
Some apps even let you see data such as heart rates and whether they’re displaying specific behaviors like panting!
On the other hand, a GPS will allow you to calculate distance, check the nearby terrain, and even predict weather conditions for the day.
This means you can control when and where you should be going.
When you use these two devices together, you can effectively set up important quotas for the day.
You can check if they’ve exercised for 30-45 minutes specifically, and whether they have walked 1-2 miles.
Note: Sometimes, Corgis can either exceed or fall short of these quotas, depending on how fit they are.
Be sure to ask your trainer how much exercise time your Corgi should have.
#5: Stay near a vet clinic
It can be inconvenient to always worry about your dog’s health.
Since Corgis often require a lot of care, you should do nothing less than to be ready. Most of the time, it boils down to preparing their treats, water, commands, and equipment.
But at the core of all preparation is your readiness to bring them to a vet.
Corgis evolved to be resilient dogs who don’t show pain to their owners.
They do not wish to be or even appear weak because their herding and predatory instincts tell them to.
But when the pain becomes too much, they’ll eventually show signs. They can pant, walk uncomfortably, yelp or howl, and even change how they behave.
Since many diseases with these symptoms often go beyond first aid, you have to be ready to get them to a vet clinic quickly.
Note: Get a car or at least stay close enough to public transport and have your phone ready.
If possible, you should run with your Corgi near a clinic each day. This will let you respond to emergencies within minutes.
Caution: Depending on how fit your Corgi is, you may need to get pet insurance. They can be difficult and expensive to maintain, so be sure to have money in reserve!