How Fast can a Cocker Spaniel Run?

June 4, 2022

Ever seen your Cocker Spaniel darting across the park chasing their ball and wondered how fast they are running?

Well, wonder no more as in this article we will get into how fast can run and how the factors which can influence it.

So, how fast does a Cocker Spaniel run? On average a Cocker Spaniel can run 18.31 miles per hour.

That speed is the average a Cocker Spaniels achieved in American Kennel Club's Fast CAT® 2022. This is not about cats but stands for Coursing Ability Test. It involves a 100-yard sprint where the dog will follow a lure.

Cockers are quick off the mark and can quickly reach speed. But this is no surprise seeing their history being bred for hunting. These days most are loving companions who spend more time crying for food than chasing down the game they've still got it.

Any Cocker Spaniel owner will happily tell you that their dog loves to run. At times it can feel like they have an unlimited supply of energy.

As a Cocker Spaniel is nimble and dexterous they are also a popular breed for some dog sports such as Fly Ball or agility competitions. Both are great ways to keep your dog in good shape by the way.

Are Cocker Spaniels the Fastest Dog Breed?

Just over 18 mph is a very respectable speed when measured against other dog breeds. Especially given the size of Cocker Spaniels. However, they are not amongst the fastest dog breeds.

Greyhound dogs take the top spot on this one at a blisteringly fast 45 miles per hour. And the slowest dog breed is the Shih Tzu at a measly six miles per hour.

This context puts a Cocker Spaniels 18 miles per hour pretty respectable. It places Cocker Spaniels quite firmly in the middle of the pack. This is pretty good, particularly seeing their size.

To ensure fairness the AKC actually use dog height to determine handicaps allowing dogs with short legs to have a fair shot at the top spot.

Determining Dog Speed

The numbers above outlining how fast a cocker spaniel can run are not just arbitrary numbers. This data is from the AKC's Fast CAT® 2022 event as outlined above.

While this event only runs over short distances it is a great way to effectively assess the quickest breed.

AKC made no distinction between an English Cocker Spaniel or an American for this event.

Are Male Cocker Spaniels Faster than Females?

Yes. A female Cocker Spaniel isn't quite as fast as her male counterpart.

The Fast CAT® 2022 data backs this up too. While the average for the breed was 18.31 miles per hour it's a little different if you separate bitch and dog times by looking at their average.

It works out like this:

  • Males: 18.81 MPH
  • Females: 17.84 MPH

Quite interestingly this means that a male Cocker Spaniel on average is 1 mile per hour difference. This is most likely related to males having a more muscular body.

Are Working or Show Cocker Spaniels Faster Runners?

There has been no distinction made between the speed of a show or a working Cocker Spaniel. Both types will max out around the same range.

If you have a healthy Cocker Spaniel who is in good shape it will be very unlikely they will struggle to run no matter the type. This is the case even if you want to go running with your Cocker Spaniel or go on more challenging adventures.

How Far can a Cocker Spaniel Run?

A Cocker Spaniel should be able to run around 25-35 miles per week if they are in good health and are in good physical condition.

If there are problems in these areas you will want to address those before trying to push your dog.

Throwing the ball in the park can be a very easy way to rack up the miles for your four-legged friend. You can forget how far your Cocker Spaniel is actually running. This can accumulate quite quickly.

Keep in mind your dog can run too far. There are signs to look out for to avoid overdoing it. Tired dogs run slowly. Other signs that you might be overdoing it include panting, your dog showing any kind of pain (a limp for example), and not being interested in giving the ball. You are just going to throw it again anyway...

If you are seeing any of these signals it might be time for a break. Remember to take a pop up water bowl and some water with you. They've earned it!

Can a Cocker Spaniel Keep Up with a Human Running Speed?

Yes, Cocker Spaniels can easily keep up with a human running. Dog running speed is far greater than humans. There is no denying a dog's natural running abilities.

In fact, the average running speed is 8 and 6.2 miles per hour for males and females respectively. Then if you compare that to a Cocker Spaniel being able to run over 18 miles per hour you can see they'll have no problem keeping up.

Do Cocker Spaniels Make Good Running Partners?

Cocker Spaniels do make good running partners. You will have to do a little training with your canine companion on this first.

If you are already an experienced runner and your dog is not accustomed to high levels of activity you should go at their pace and build up.

Is this new territory for you? If so and you would like to learn more about running with your dog then go on over to our in-depth guide on running with your Cocker Spaniel.

Once perfected it is a brilliant way for you both to get a workout and strengthen that bond at the same time.

Are Cocker Spaniels Fast Enough to be Competitive in Dog Sports?

Yes, Cocker Spaniel is a great breed for excelling in dog sports. While not the fastest dogs this breed can get to achieve estimated speeds fast.

This quickness paired with how easy it is to train a Cocker, their intelligence, focus, body composition, and drive make them one of the best breeds for dog agility, dog racing, or a wide range of other sports for dogs.

Most spaniel breeds are actually known for performing well these events.

As these dogs excel in so many areas that matter to in these activities fast dogs won't always be able to take the win. Especially in events like dog agility where critical thinking can make a difference.


Cocker Spaniels are very quick for their size. They can reach an average speed of 18.31 miles per hour based on AKC Fast CAT® 2022. This pace places a Cocker Spaniel pretty close to the average dog.

Not bad at all considering their small size. Male Cockers do tend to be around 1 mile per hour quicker than females. This is likely the case across all dogs though.

All said these speeds are quick enough for dogs to be competitive in dog sports. An excellent hobby for active dogs.

Try keep the running to adult dogs and away from Cocker Spaniel puppies. They are still developing and too much activity will be harmful for their development.

Finally, just remember from the slowest dog breeds to the fastest dogs all dogs just enjoy running for fun.

No matter what speed your Cocker Spaniel goes just take them out to the park and have some fun. You'll both really benefit from the experience.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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