Dog Training

15 Of The Fastest Dog Breeds In The World

vizsla running

If you had to name your dog’s favorite hobby, what would it be?

Some love to dig. Others love to hunt. But there’s one activity that seems to unite the majority of pups – their love for running.

Whether it’s chasing a ball, a frisbee, or even other dogs, many of our most-loved dog breeds love to run. And some of them love to run very, very quickly. 

In the past, some dog breeds were selectively bred to be working dogs and needed to have a high top speed to perform certain tasks. Some dogs inherently run fast, such as racing dogs and hunting dogs. Although many dogs are no longer used just for these tasks – and might be more commonly seen these days as pets – some of the breeds that you might see in your local dog park can surprise you with how fast they can run. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 of the fastest dog breeds, their top speeds, their breed characteristics, and explain what makes them such efficient runners.

Border Collie

border collie running

Top Speed: 30 mph

Border Collies are an intelligent and highly trainable breed. They were originally bred for herding sheep, which required them to be agile and fast. Like many other working dogs, they love to run  – at top speed, a Border Collie can run as fast as 30 miles per hour. They are very energetic dogs requiring plenty of daily exercise. Whether it is fetching a ball or herding livestock, providing a Border Collie with an active lifestyle is very important.

Borzoi

borzoi dogs running

Top Speed: 35 mph

Originally bred to be hunting and coursing dogs, Borzois would go after wolves, rabbits, and foxes. A large breed, Borzois can reach higher speeds than many other larger dogs. A very sensitive dog and considered one of the best family pets, a fully grown and healthy Borzoi can run as fast as 35 miles per hour.

Dalmatian

dalmatian dog running

Top Speed: 37 mph

A very distinctive dog, Dalmatians are very alert, athletic, energetic, and active. They are a playful breed that loves the outdoors and has incredible endurance. Their muscular bodies enable them to run up to 37 miles per hour. Historically, they were used for protecting the borders of Dalmatia, and so needed to be very alert and fast. Their speed and alertness can occasionally be a downside as they tend to be clumsy.

Doberman Pinscher

doberman running through water

Top Speed: 32 mph

Doberman Pinschers are frequently used for protection work. In fact, the Doberman was originally bred in 1880 by a tax collector (Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann) for protection purposes. Considered among the best guard dogs, the Doberman is an athletic breed that can run up to 32 miles per hour. They may not be the fastest on this list, but they can still cover short distances very quickly. This makes the Doberman an excellent guard dog.

German Shepherd

german shepherd running on the beach

Top Speed: 30 mph

German Shepherds are very good sprinters and are frequently used in police and military work. Their ability to cover short distances quickly and trainability makes it a preferred breed for these kinds of duties. This breed of dog can run up to 30 miles per hour with very explosive speeds. German Shepherds are also excellent at guarding. They are very courageous and loyal, not to mention very popular – the GSD ranked second in our 2019 analysis of the top 50 most popular dog breeds in the world.

Great Dane

great dane running in field

Top Speed: 30 mph

Another large breed to make it on this list, Great Danes are very athletic and muscular dogs that can run quickly despite their size. Although the physical capacity and high energy levels of Great Danes enables them to sprint at a ferocious speed, their lack of stamina means it is often short lived. Great Danes can push their bodies but they aren’t very good at running long distances. It’s important to provide them with plenty of water and breaks when running long distances. A fully-grown Great Dane can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Greyhound

greyhound running through field

Top Speed: 45 mph

Originally bred to be hunting dogs, Greyhounds are widely accepted to be the fastest dog breed. For decades, Greyhounds have been used in dog racing. A highly energetic breed, it comes as no surprise that their legs can carry them as fast as 45 miles per hour. Thanks to their speed, they made a name for themselves as racing dogs.

Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier running in field

Top Speed: 30 mph

Often referred to as the ‘fastest, smallest’ dog breed, the explosive speed of a Jack Russell Terriers is far greater than their size. Jack Russells can run as fast as 30 miles per hour, covering short distances in lightning bursts. They are a working breed originally used for hunting foxes. Jack Russell Terriers are very sturdy, tough, and active dogs that have protective instincts. The breed is naturally protective of its owners and territories. They are always ready for play and can be the perfect small-sized dog if you have an active lifestyle.

Poodle

poodle running in field

Top Speed: 30 mph

Poodles come in three different sizes – the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle. The Standard Poodles are the fastest among the different sizes of the breed. In general, are alert and instinctive dogs that love to run. This might be surprising – but they hide a very athletic and muscular body underneath their famous curly fur. Standard Poodles can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.

Siberian Husky

siberian husky running and playing in the snow

Top Speed: 30 mph

The Siberian Husky is a dog that was bred for sled-pulling. Their main duty was simply running. A working dog, the Siberian Husky may not be the outright fastest breed, but their endurance more than makes up for it. Siberian Huskies can run more than 100 miles a day and reach speeds of up to 10 to 15 miles per hour when pulling a sled. Without a sled, Siberian Husky can run as fast as 30 miles per hour. Their ability to cover long distances gave them recognition for having one of the highest stamina of any dog, and they are still used for sled pulling to this day. Hundreds of Siberian Huskies can be seen at the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.

Sloughi

sloughi

Top Speed: 42 mph

Also featuring on our list of the 10 rarest dog breeds in the United States, the Sloughi is a very fast runner. It is a sighthound breed and largely found in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia, and has existed in North Africa for centuries. Despite having been around for longer than a lot of the other breeds, the Sloughi was only recognized by the AKC in 2016. Sloughis are very athletic dogs and can run as fast as 42 miles per hour. In general, Sloughis are quiet and very sensitive dogs – due to their sensitivity, harsh training needs to be avoided.

Vizsla

vizsla running

Top Speed: 40 mph

A breed from Hungary, the Vizsla is a short-haired, medium-sized, and lean hunting dog. In the Hungarian language, the name of the breed translates literally to ‘tracker’. It is one of the oldest breeds in Europe and has actually faced extinction multiple times throughout history. Their muscular and lean bodies allow them to reach 40 miles per hour. Despite their high levels of energy, Vizslas are very gentle-mannered dogs. They are well-suited to families with children and tend to not shy away from strangers, but can take the duties of a guard dog with the right protection dog training.

Saluki

saluki running

Top Speed: 42 mph

Another Sighthound breed, Salukis are very athletic and fast runners. Salukis were originally used for hunting foxes, gazelles, hares, and jackals. The breed is seen in Saluki Racing at the Falconry Festival in the United Arab Emirates. They make great watchdogs but not good protection dogs. Salukis sprint as fast as 42 miles per hour and can cover two to three miles at high speeds if healthy and fully grown. Covering longer distances with high speeds made Salukis a preferred breed for dog racing events in North Africa and the Middle East.

Afghan Hound

afghan hound running

Top Speed: 40 mph

The Afghan Hound can run up to 40 miles per hour. Like many other sighthounds, they can be aloof – but they can be a lot more reserved and stubborn which makes them difficult to train. Afghan Hounds have a strong prey instinct and tend to chase down small animals which can lead to injuring or killing them. A similar  breed to the Saluki, Afghan Hounds were selectively bred to hunt and withstand the cold mountains of Afghanistan. They were originally used for hunting large prey in the mountains and deserts. Underneath their silky coat, there is a very athletic and muscular body that enables them to run extremely quickly.

Whippet

whippet running in field

Top Speed: 35 mph

A medium-sized dog, Whippets originated in England and are a descendant of Greyhounds. In fact, they can often be mistaken for Greyhounds as they share a lot of similar physical features, but Whippets are smaller in size. Whippets were bred to hunt by sight which required them to have high speeds. They aren’t as fast as the Greyhound, but they can run for long distances with speeds of up to 35 miles per hour to catch prey. Despite their high energy levels, Whippets are very gentle with children, making them a good family pet.

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