How Fast Can a Chihuahua Run? [26 Chihuahua Running Tips]

Is your Chihuahua a speed demon? Do they get the zoomies at lightning speed? 

If so, you’ve probably wondered how fast can a Chihuahua run?

In this blog post, we will take a look at how fast Chihuahuas are and set the record straight. 

We will also provide some valuable tips for running with your Chihuahua so you both stay safe, as well as tips to train your Chi to run faster!

a dark chihuahua running on the beach. how fast can a chihuahua run?

How Fast Can a Chihuahua Run?

Our Chihuahua, Leo, running with his friend

So, how fast is a Chihuahua?

Well, they can run anywhere between 8 to 23 mph

A Chihuahua’s top speed on record is 23.72 mph at the Fast CAT.

This means that they are not as fast as most other breeds, such as the Greyhound, which can reach speeds of up to 45 mph

Larger dogs have longer legs and can therefore cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.

This does not mean that Chihuahuas are slow though!

In fact, these dogs are actually very speedy in short bursts and can outrun and out-maneuver people due to their tiny size. 

Who is the Fastest Chihuahua?

Fast CAT is an event held by the American Kennel Club that is designed to test a dog’s speed.

It’s a timed 100-yard dash where one by one dogs chase a lure and are clocked at how fast they run. 

In 2021, the fastest Chihuahua recorded was a female called Dancing To A Different BeetBox at 23.38 mph

In 2022, a male named Toltec Last Call clocked in at 23.72 mph, taking the title of the fastest Chihuahua!

These are impressive speeds for a little dog with short legs! 

Can a Chihuahua Run Faster Than a Human?

The fastest human runner is Usain Bolt who broke the record at 27.5 mph.

The average human runs at a speed of around 5-10 mph.

The fastest a Chihuahua can run is around 23 mph and that is only for a very short spurt.

An average Chihuahua who is not trained for racing runs around 8 mph

At their fastest speed, humans are still faster than Chihuahuas, but not by too much!

Their average speeds are similar.

Do Chihuahuas Like Running?

Leo running in slow motion

While Chihuahuas are not known for being the fastest dogs in the world, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy running.  

Most Chihuahuas are smart dogs that love to run around and play. 

Running is a great way for your Chihuahua to stay healthy and fit.

It is also an outlet for them to burn off excess energy. 

Make sure to regularly trim their nails so they don’t get long nails, which would make running painful.

Our Chihuahua, Leo, loves to run especially in the grass.

He gets so excited to go to the park and run around like a crazy dog.

He frequently gets the zoomies and will sprint around the house at top speed. 

Can You Run With a Chihuahua?

If you enjoy running, then you might be wondering if your Chihuahua can join you.

The answer is: yes, they can but it’ll take some training!

As long as your Chihuahua is healthy, running can be a great way to bond with your dog and get some exercise at the same time. 

When running with your Chihuahua, it is important to keep a few things in mind though. 

  • Chihuahuas are small dogs and aren’t built for long-distance running
  • They can overheat and get tired quickly, so keep an eye on them and take breaks often
  • Chihuahuas will take some training before they are ready to run, so start off slow and gradually increase the distance as your Chi gets more conditioned 

Running with your Chihuahua can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you! 

Just make sure to take the necessary precautions to keep your Chihuahua safe, which we’ll go over next.

17 Tips to Keep Your Chihuahua Safe When Running

a long-haired chihuahua running fast through the grass

There are a few things you can do to help ensure your Chihuahua’s safety while out on a run.

1. Talk with Your Vet 

Before you start running with your Chihuahua, it is always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian first.

They can help you determine if your Chihuahua is healthy enough for running. 

Your vet can check for arthritis and patellar luxation, which are common health problems in Chihuahuas that can make running painful. 

2. Invest in a Good Harness 

A harness is a must when running with your Chihuahua.

Using a collar can lead to tracheal collapse, which is a serious health condition that small dogs are prone to.

Collars can also cause reverse sneezing when the dog pulls.

Make sure the harness fits well and is comfortable for your Chihuahua to wear.

3. Start Slow 

As mentioned before, Chihuahuas will need some time to build up their endurance before they can go on long runs.

Start with short distances and gradually increase the length of your runs as your Chihuahua gets more conditioned. 

4. Warm Up First

Just like humans, dogs need to warm up before they start running. A good way to do this is to walk for a few minutes before you start running.

This will help your Chihuahua’s muscles and joints to warm up and prevent injuries. 

5. Keep Them on a Leash

Keeping your dog on a leash will help you to control their speed and keep them safe from other animals or hazards. 

6. Bring Water

It is important to keep your Chihuahua hydrated, especially if they are running in hot weather. Bring some water and a collapsible bowl with you on your runs so they can take a drink when needed.

7. Avoid Busy Roads

Running on busy roads is dangerous for any dog, but it is especially dangerous for small dogs like Chihuahuas. It is best to stick to quiet side streets or trails where there is less traffic.

8. Take Breaks

Don’t push your Chihuahua to run too far or too fast. If they are panting hard or lagging behind, it’s time for a break. 

9. Use a Hands-Free Leash

A hands-free leash will make it easier to run and keep an eye on your Chihuahua at the same time. You won’t have to fumble with holding a leash while you are running. 

10. Pay Attention to Hot Weather

Don’t run when it’s too hot or too cold. In the summer, asphalt can get very hot and can burn your dog’s pads.

It’s best to exercise outside near sunrise or sunset to avoid the hottest part of the day.

You can also use a cooling vest to help keep your Chihuahua cool. 

11. Avoid the Cold

Chihuahuas don’t do well in the cold and will need clothes to keep them warm in the winter.

If it is below freezing, it is best to avoid running outside and find an indoor activity instead. 

We’ve got a list of 24 fun games to play with your Chihuahua so you’ll never face boredom.

12. Wear Reflective Gear

Chihuahuas are tiny and can be hard to see, so reflective gear is a good way to help make them more visible. 

13. Teach Your Dog to Heel 

Since Chihuahuas are so little, it can be easy for them to get underfoot.

Teaching your dog to heel can help prevent you from tripping over them since they will learn to be by your side.

14. Well-Trained and Socialized

A well-trained and socialized dog is less likely to bolt after something or bark at other people or dogs.

This will help to make running with your Chihuahua a more enjoyable experience for both of you.

15. Choose Soft Terrain

To protect your Chihuahua’s paws and joints, try to stick to soft surfaces like grass, dirt trails, and sand.

Hard surfaces like concrete can be tough on their little bodies.

16. Listen to Your Dog

Your Chihuahua will let you know when they’ve had enough.

If they start to lag behind or stop altogether, it’s time to head home. 

17. Age-Appropriate Training

The bones of Chihuahua puppies are still growing and they are not ready for the impact of running.

It is best to wait until they are at least a year old before you start running with them so that their bones and muscles are fully developed.

Senior Chihuahuas are slower and may not be able to run as far as they used to.

They also might have joint issues and less energy overall. Be sure to take this into account when running with your older dog.

Do Chihuahuas Require A Lot of Exercise?

All dogs require some form of exercise daily to stay healthy and fit. Chihuahuas are no different. 

They may be small, but they still need to burn off some energy so they don’t get overweight.

A perk about Chihuahuas is they don’t need much space to do this, making them perfect for apartment life. 

Chihuahuas need around 30 minutes of exercise each day.

A daily walk or some playtime is usually sufficient. 

Can Chihuahuas Run Long Distance?

3 long haired chihuahuas running at the beach

While Chihuahuas can sprint and run short distances, they are not built for long-distance due to their small size

Chihuahuas have short legs compared to big dogs so it takes more energy for them to cover the same distance, which can lead to them tiring quickly. 

It is important not to push your Chihuahua too hard when running.

If you want to run long distances with your Chihuahua, a great idea would be to use a dog stroller so they can take a break when needed. 

Are Chihuahuas Athletic?

Chihuahuas can be quite athletic for their size and are a lot of fun to play with.

They enjoy running around, playing fetch, and some even love swimming. 

Chihuahuas are excellent sprinters and are great at agility courses and other short-distance activities. 

Their small size gives them an advantage when it comes to speed and agility.

Since they are lightweight, they can make quick turns and stop on a dime. Short bursts of high speed are a Chihuahua’s specialty.

But, some Chihuahuas would rather sleep most of the day and don’t have a lot of energy. It really depends on the individual dog. 

9 Tips to Train Your Chihuahua to Run Faster

Do you want your Chihuahua to compete in races or are you simply curious about how to make your Chihuahua run faster?

Are you wondering how fast can Chihuahuas run with some training?

While most Chihuahuas are not built for long-distance running, there are a few things you can do to help your Chihuahua improve their speed and stamina. 

1. Start with Short Distances

Don’t try to push your Chihuahua to run long distances right from the start. Start with short distances and gradually increase the amount of time you run. 

If you push your Chihuahua too hard they could get injured, especially if they were a couch potato before you started training them. 

2. Incorporate Interval Sprints

Sprinting is a great way to help your Chihuahua build up their speed. Try incorporating some short sprints into your walks. 

3. Use Positive Reinforcement 

Be sure to praise and reward with treats your Chihuahua when they do well.

This will help to encourage them and keep them motivated. 

These are our Chihuahua’s favorite healthy treats.

4. Keep Endurance Up

In addition to working on their speed, you will also want to keep their endurance up.

This can be done by exercising every day. 

Whether it’s a walk or playing fetch, you want to keep your Chihuahua in shape. 

Like with your own physical fitness, it’s better to train consistently over the week instead of trying to do too much all at once. 

5. Get Them in Shape 

Make sure your Chihuahua is in good physical shape before you start training them to run.

This means they should be at a healthy weight and have no health issues. 

Overweight Chihuahuas will run slower and have a harder time moving.  

6. Agility Course

An agility course is a great way to help your Chihuahua improve their speed and coordination. 

This is a fun way to work on skills and can help increase your Chihuahua’s confidence and endurance. 

You can buy an agility course for your backyard or enroll them in an agility class. You could even use their agility skills to perform a dance routine like in the video above.

7. Run at the Dog Park

Let loose at the dog park where your Chihuahua can run to their heart’s content. 

This is a great way for them to get some exercise and socialize with other dogs.

It’s best to choose a dog park that separates the big dogs from the small dogs so there’s less chance for your Chihuahua to get injured by a larger dog.

Running with other dogs can help motivate your Chihuahua to run faster because they will see how fun it is and want to keep up. 

8. A Good Diet

A high-quality diet is important for all dogs, but especially for those that are active. 

Make sure your Chihuahua is eating a healthy diet that is rich in protein, nutrients, and Omega 3s.

This will help them to have the energy they need to run and stay healthy. 

A joint supplement can help to keep their joints healthy and lubricated. 

You can talk to your veterinarian about what type of food is best for your Chihuahua. 

9. Rest Days

Don’t forget to give your Chihuahua plenty of rest days. Just like humans, a dog’s muscles need time to recover from exercise.

Watch out for signs of over-working your dog like wear-and-tear on paw pads, sore muscles, joint injuries, and behavioral changes.


We’ve seen that Chihuahuas might be tiny, but they can run like the wind! Just not for long distances. 

Chihuahuas can run between 8-23 mph, which is pretty darn fast for a little dog! 

Their small size gives them an advantage when it comes to speed and agility, making them excellent sprinters. 

Does your Chihuahua like to run or are they more of a couch potato?

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