There is more to dog life than running fast, but the fastest dog breeds in the world take pride in being lightning quick. What is even considered fast for dogs, and how do they achieve those speeds?
Certain traits found in these speedsters will surprise you, as they are quite opposite of what the miles per hour say, so I guess it is time to get into detail about who takes the King of Speed title.
Meet The Canines Behind The Wheel
Before talking about the list, you should know that there will be quite a few sighthounds on it. Your favorite dog breed might not even be featured, so I hope you are not too bummed about it.
Achieving high running speeds is down to anatomy. The fastest dog breeds around are all somewhat lanky but muscular, with a pointed muzzle and a narrow skull. All these physical characteristics help it easily cut through the air.
Keeping the body frame light helps with the transfer of power, so all of these breeds have relatively low body fat to muscle ratio. The slim figure for a few of these comes at a high price, but see it for yourself on this list of the most expensive dog breeds in the world.
The vast majority of the dogs in this article were bred for hunting or coursing, so it comes as no surprise that their temperament matches their athletic ability. Today’s racing candidates come in all shapes and sizes.
Just to put these running speed measurements into perspective – the fastest human being, Usain Bolt, achieved a maximum speed of 27.8 miles per hour, while the fastest mammal is the cheetah at 70 miles per hour.
Like most of our canine prospects, both the cheetah and Usain Bolt are speedy at short distances, but dramatically slower for prolonged periods of time. The sailfish, however, can swim for a while at 68 mph, but the Peregrine Falcon’s dive clocks in at 220 mph.
We have shrunk down versions of some breeds, then stretched takes on some others, and unique-looking dogs that nobody would consider as a top-tier runner. I guess it is up to you to be surprised or calm, having previous knowledge on who has the greatest need for speed.
Listing from slowest to fastest candidate, this is the doggy one hundred-meter sprint for the Pupvine “Speed Feast” trophy. Enter competitors.
10. Border Collie
A herding group dog had to be on the list, simply because their task of managing livestock requires quick feet and wits. Anticipating where the sheep will move to prevent straying off the path warrants sprinting ahead, so they must be fast.
With a high working drive and a pretty lean body, the Border Collie can achieve a top speed of 30 miles per hour. Although it might not seem like much, they can maintain this running speed for longer distances.
A low center of gravity also helps with changing directions fast, so the combination of agility and quickness makes for a reputable all-around athlete. They are also quite vocal, so a Collie barking guide might help explain why.
9. Doberman Pinscher
Specialized in protection and police work, the Doberman is one to keep an eye out for. Because their main job is not to run fast, but to properly assess threats and “neutralize” them, running fast is just an added bonus.
Their skill set is widely appreciated, so 32 miles per hour is more than enough to catch Usain Bolt. Fast running speeds are useful, but they are first and foremost guardians and amazing work dogs that you can put your trust in.
Whether you own a European or American Doberman, they are going to be equally fast and apt at performing the tasks you put in front of them.
This is our first competitor that boasts not only impressive sprinting speed, but also stamina. Bred for hunting and chasing game, the elegant sighthound has been a favorite among miles per hour addicts.
Cruising speeds of 35 miles per hour mean that no prey can escape its long stride, with history confirming it to be the Russian aristocracy’s preferred sighthound hunter.
When speedy services are not required of them, Borzois will love laying on the floor and doing absolutely nothing. Simply looking at their mild expression and beautiful long coat in thirty different colors will make you forget just how formidable a racer they are.
Do not act like you are not surprised. After seeing the slim racing physique of the Borzoi and the powerful leg muscles of the Doberman Pinscher, a spotty dog was not something anybody was hoping to see in seventh place.
Highly valued for the companionship and loyalty, while sporting a uniquely white coat with black spots, this non-sporting group breed has taken our mini-competition by storm. Here is a secret. A lemon Dalmatian exists too.
The top recorded sprinting speed of the Dalmatian is 37 miles per hour, which is considerably more than most other breeds, like the German shepherd’s maximum speed. Not bad for a black and white dog.
6. Jack Russell Terrier
If you have a JRT in your home, there is a reason why you cannot see a single rat inside or outside. Most likely the mascot of the terrier group of dogs, the Jack Russell was bred and born to exterminate vermin.
Those small rodents are agile and quick, so our resident rodent expert, Jackie, had to have impressive footwork. Stay in your seats, as this might hit you differently. A Jack Russell Terrier can reach speeds of up to 38 miles per hour.
Take a minute, absorb this shocking information because you will see this small dog breed with different eyes from now on. If they come after you, you are better off finding a tree to climb than outrun them.
A smaller version of the mighty Greyhound delivers on its promise. Whippets are sighthounds, but their main purpose was coursing game, with a particularly soft spot for chasing rabbits.
Yeah, if they could sniff the fur off of a rabbit, then they must be fast. Their size meant less space and maintenance cost, so laborers decided to shrink the Greyhound and call it a day.
In terms of speed, the maximum sprinting speed is 40 miles per hour for short periods of time only. Take a few mph off of that, and you will get their “couldn’t care less” speed. Beware, they are absolute lazy bags if not working at high speeds.
For a more fashion forward canine Flash, consider reading about the long-haired version of the Whippet that takes hairstyle to another level.
4. Hungarian Vizsla
Hunter extraordinaire and favored among cross-country bicycle riders, the Vizsla takes the best from most of these dogs and assembles it into a fleshy and bony machine.
Throughout its history, the breed was used as a pointer dog, hunting dog, retriever, and best friend to many hunters and farmers. With a very lean body of medium-size, there is no way any prey will outrun the Vizsla’s 40 miles per hour run.
Even more mind-boggling is the endurance of this dog. They have stamina for hours, and they will rarely slow down from top speed unless an obstacle is in front of them or commanded to stop.
This breed is not that common in the United States, but there are sixteen other Vizsla mixes that should fit your needs, so do miss out on the opportunity of learning about these blends of athleticism and excellent secondary traits that make it a better family pet.
3. Afghan Hound
You thought running forty in a no dog zone was hard for the Whippet and Vizsla? Imagine having hair like Pocahontas and running forty in a no hair zone. That is what I call casual excellence with a price that screams high class.
Topping out at 40 miles per hour, the Afghan Hound (told you there would be lots of sighthounds) is the laziest piece of canine you can encounter. Not even St. Bernards can be so fond of the sofa.
With a history in coursing game and hunting, it is no surprise its tall, lean body with some hair to be jealous of can reach such running speeds. I guess the thought of lying in front of the fireplace with a glass of wine in hand motivates it to get the job done as fast as possible.
Persia brought their own Greyhound to the competition, and I have to admit, theirs looks absolutely posh. Some wavy ear hair, feathering on the legs and tail, and a tall, toned figure are a visual impact.
When not sprinting at 42 miles per hour, the Saluki is a distinguished and accomplished couch potato. Long gone are the days of chasing game and living in harsh weather conditions. This dog enjoys being a silent, but fair companion to all that appreciate a good run once in a while.
What did you expect? A Corgi perhaps? Of course, the fastest dog breed on the planet is the one and only Greyhound. Sighthound by group, runner by profession, this dog is pure speed and agility in a tall, slender body.
The 45 miles per hour top speed does not represent its dream job, though – lying on the back with humans dropping treats in its mouth while waving a fan to cool it in the hot Ibiza sun. That is a Greyhound.
Historically, they were coursing game and hunting by sight, but I am certain that the people who wrote about this shy creature omitted the fact that it is the perfect snoozing partner for an Afghan Hound.
Greyhounds can be prone to obesity if not regularly competing or getting plenty of physical activity, so a fat Greyhound is definitely a possibility.
I think you are still obsessing about the Jack Russell’s top speed, so let me tell you one thing – they rarely reach those speeds because there is no need to run that fast. They earn their food and bed by being great companions.
On to the fastest dog breeds topic now. Most of the dogs in this top ten list are born runners, which makes the Dalmatian and JRT’s successes even more impressive. If you did not see your dog on the list, my apologies for making a top ten.