Are Cocker Spaniels Good Running Dogs?

Cocker Spaniels do make good running partners! All the Spaniel breeds, including Sprokers and Springers, have the energy and the agility that makes running fun for them and you. Their naturally higher energy levels comes from their breeding as working dogs helping hunters in the field.

Running is a great activity for you and your dog because it gets both of you out of the house and your Cocker Spaniel considers it an adventure. It also helps build a relationship between the two of you!

Look below to find out more about how to make running both fun and safe for both of you.

All Spaniels Like Activity

The Spaniel breed is a working dog so they love mental stimulation and lots of ways to burn off their high energy levels.

There are also show Spaniels that don’t require as much exercise but would still enjoy runs or a walk. They can keep up with a human in most cases if they are lead trained.

Another benefit of getting them some physical activity is that it will help your Cocker Spaniel be more mellow with other pets like our several cats in the house growing up!

How Fast Can Cocker Spaniels Run?

Cocker Spaniels can run fast over short distances. They are excellent sprinters, accelerate quickly, and can get up to 30 m.p.h. They have powerful bodies and shoulders and short legs that help them gain speed. However, they can’t carry that speed for longer distances.

How Far Can An Adult Cocker Spaniel Run Or Walk?

Professional dog trainers state you must walk your Cocker Spaniel between 30 minutes to an hour a day. If you are running, you should cut back on the time to 15 to 30 minutes a day. You can do this twice a day.

In terms of distance, healthy adult Cockers should be up for walks or runs between 1 to 3 miles in length, like we would do with our Spaniels just around our neighborhood fairly often.

When Can You Start Your Cocker Spaniel Puppy Walking And Then Running?

You can leash train your Cocker Spaniel puppy right away but only walk short distances. Puppies aren’t ready for any intense exercise like running or jogging and pushing them too hard can cause permanent injury.

A Cocker Spaniel that is 1 year old or older can start training to run with you. Elderly dogs should not run but have less intense exercise.

How long Should A Cocker Spaniel Puppy Run?

Puppies are best to run as a part of free play because jogging or running can hurt puppies. Regarding exercise, there is a five-minute rule where puppies should have organized exercise for five minutes for every month of their age daily.

Under this rule, a 12-week puppy would play or exercise for 15 minutes a day.

How Much Exercise Do Cocker Spaniel Puppies Need?

Cocker Spaniels are high-energy dogs and most experts state they need at least an hour of exercise a day, which includes free play like running around a nice big backyard.

Preparing for the Run

Some preparation is needed if you aim to have your Cocker Spaniel run with you daily. The first measure is to make sure your dog is leash trained. Leash training can start when they are younger by walking with the dog for short distances.

Set the routine.

Setting the routine can also be done while training your Cocker Spaniel to walk beside you. Dogs love routine and taking them out at the same time every day will make them happy.

Build your Spaniel’s endurance slowly

No dog is going to start off running a mile, just as you wouldn’t start off running a 10K. Start building upon the walks by adding a little run in them. Build it up to running 10-minutes a day for a month. This helps them adjust to running by your side and sets a baseline for fitness for your Cocker Spaniel before you start longer distances.

You can build on the 10-minutes by adding another five minutes every month until you find the perfect level.

What Items Do You Need to Run With Your Cocker Spaniel?

Some items are helpful to have when you start running with your Cocker Spaniel. They aren’t required but having these things make for a better time for you and your dog and they include:

  • A hands-free lead – this connects to your running belt.
  • A running belt – this has pockets for you to store your mobile phone, dog treats, water, and poop bags.
  • A dog harness – this is preferred over the traditional collar and leash because it is more comfortable for the dog.
  • A water bottle that collapses – you will need this to keep your dog hydrated.

How Do You Know When Your Cocker Spaniel Is Tired Or Overheated?

Watch for signs of exhaustion or overheating with your dog as you run. These can include:

  • A hard time breathing or panting heavily.
  • Drooling
  • The gum or tongue color changes to bright or dark red.
  • Vomiting

Stop immediately and get your dog in the shade and hydrated if you start to see any of these signs. When they are able, take them home. You may need to also put a cold rag on them to cool down.

5 Tips For Having Fun When Running With Your Cocker Spaniel

  1. Allow an hour before and an hour after the run before feeding them. Dogs can get sick from exercising after eating just as people do.
  2. Pick the running path carefully. The grass is always better over the pavement. Also, pick one where your Cocker Spaniel won’t be too distracted. Make sure it’s well lit if you are running early or late.
  3. Check the weather. You don’t want to force your dog to run when it’s too hot or when it’s excessively cold.
  4. Know your dog’s limits. Figure out what their pace and limit are and go a little less than that so they can run home safely. A dog will start to slow down when they tire and may even stop when they can’t go any further.
  5. Give them time to rest after you get home. This is a workout for them. After that, reward them for a job well done.


Running with your Cocker Spaniel can be a fun time for both of you. The secret is to build them into the routine and set the pace according to your dog’s needs rather than yours. It can be a fabulous bonding time as long as your dog enjoys it. 

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