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fastest dog in the world?
It may seem that many dogs have some advantages over us two-legged humans when it comes to natural athleticism. They can jump high fences in a single bound, detect thousands of smells, and hear things we can’t. But figuring out which are the fastest dog breeds isn’t as simple as it appears. Some of the biggest dog breeds can reach incredible speeds (30 mph Great Dane, anyone?), and some of the best runners are also the most lazy dog breeds around. As we all know, running is great exercise for both humans and dogs, and going running with your dog can be a great way to bond together.
Many people stay away from a high-energy dog when they’re looking for a pet, but if you’re committed to giving them (and you!) the exercise they need to be happy and healthy, dogs that love to run can be a fantastic addition to your family. Some dogs are definitely better suited to be running buddies than others, though, and it isn’t necessarily the fastest dogs that make the best jogging companions but the dogs with the best endurance.
How Does a Dog Become So Fast?
In winning both events, Reas was a picture of consistency. His two runs over the 100-yard grass track at the ESPN competition were 5.749 and 5.823 seconds which averaged 35.36 miles per hour. At the AKC Invitational, it was 5.769 seconds. In both events, a Greyhound was runner-up, less than one-tenth of a second behind.
So what separates those two? Is it preparation? Or weather conditions? Or something else?
“It’s hard to nail down,” concedes Gluth. “We do the same routine each time we’re up. The tenths of a second are all how the dog runs, whether he’s on the stretch at the finish line or the recoil of his stride. It could be about the start. Did he have a nice push-off or did he slip on the take-off because he was so excited. The humidity and rain are factors, too. And, of course, you have to have a good lure operator. It can’t be easy to go from a Corgi to a Whippet, to a Dachshund, and back to a Greyhound.
“Every dog has a perfect condition. For us, it is soft ground, temps between 70-80 degrees and not too humid, with a long run after the finish line. We generally go off the tenth place marker. If that’s off, we know something happened or the dog is not quite right. Every dog generally has an average we’re used to seeing on the clock.”
Greyhound – 45 mph
There’s no surprise that the Greyhound tops the list of fastest dogs. The were originally bred to chase hares, foxes, and deer. Greyhound racing further refined the breed into the fastest dog on earth. They’re thought to have originated in Egypt and have been prized among royalty for thousands of years. Greyhounds are sprinters, not endurance runners, and they’re quite happy to spend much of their time napping.
They’ve been nicknamed the “40 mph couch potato” and will do well in an apartment with a few walks a day and the occasional sprint at the dog park. Although it is possible to buy a greyhound puppy, the vast majority of pet greyhounds in America are retired racing dogs who would otherwise be euthanized or sent to labs to be guinea pigs in the name of science.
It’s no wonder the Saluki is the second fastest dog breed in the world. Just one glance at the Saluki and anyone can tell it’s made for speed. After all, they are built similarly to Greyhounds. Saluki males are generally anywhere from 23 to 28 inches high and in weight, between 40 to 65 pounds. Lean in stature and independent in nature, Salukis were sought by kings to do their hunting because they were so agile and able to hunt by sight rather than scent, according to American Kennel Club. That’s not all that’s impressive: Salukis also run at about 45 mph.
Top Speed: 40 miles per hour
The Ibizan hound aims to entertain its owner with hyperactive antics and endless energy, as they will often escape crates and jump high fences. The breed has a natural inclination to run when unbounded, so it is recommended owners keep a watchful eye when their dog is off its leash. Ibizan hounds are also protective and bark only when necessary—characteristics of a great guard dog.
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.
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.
Jack Russell Terrier – 38 mph
Compared to many of the other breeds on this list, the Jack Russell Terrier is a relatively young breed, having been bred by Parson Jack Russell to be the perfect fox hunting dog. They have endless amounts of energy and an independent mindset. They hate to be bored and can cause trouble if their intelligence isn’t given an outlet. If you have the time and patience to train a Jack Russell and provide him with plenty of energy, he can be a great companion and may excel at a variety of dog sports.
Dalmatians aren’t just known for their striking good looks. They’re also seriously speedy and athletic. Historically, they were trained to run alongside horse-drawn carriages. Many new owners underestimate just how much exercise and attention these dogs need. Long walks each day are a must, as is space for the dogs to run. Dalmatians also are known for being enthusiastic alert barkers, so you’ll need to put some training in to encourage quieter behavior.
Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. The breed is originally descended from dogs brought to Russia from central Asian countries. They are similar in shape to a Greyhound and are also a member of the sighthound family.
Borzoi’s feature a silky, flat coat that can often be wavy or slightly curly. The long top-coat is quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness or curling. Underneath the top-coat is a soft-undercoat that thickens during the winter months and sheds during hot weather.
Male Borzois typically weigh between 34 – 48 kg (75 – 105 lbs) and stand 75 – 85 cm (30 – 33 inches). Females are smaller with a weights ranging from 25 – 41 kg (55 – 90 lbs) and heights from 68 – 78 cm (27 – 31 inches).
With an athletic body, Borzois were bred to pursue game and have a powerful instinct to chase things that run from them. Built for speed and endurance this breed has a top speed of 58 km/h (36 mph).
- Top speed – 58 km/h (36 mph)
- Weight male – 34 – 48 kg (75 – 105 lbs)
- Height male – 75 – 85 cm (30 – 33 inches)
- Weight female – 25 – 41 kg (55 – 90 lbs)
- Height female – 68 – 78 cm (27 – 31 inches)
Also known as the English Whippet or Snap Dog, the Whippet is a small-to-medium-sized sighthound breed from England. Descended from Greyhounds, the Whippet gets its name for an outdated 17th-century term that translates as “to move briskly.” Despite their smaller stature than some other sighthounds, Whippets can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Given their speed, they qualify as the fastest dog in the world in their weight class. They excel in dog sports including agility courses, lure coursing, flyball, and dock diving. Known as gentle and quiet dogs, Whippets make excellent house dogs thanks to their dignified air. In fact, their stately appearance and popularity in racing led many enthusiasts to call them a “poor man’s Greyhound” or “poor man’s racehorse.”
This interesting looking breed of dog is believed to be descended from the Tesem, one of Ancient Egypt’s hunting dogs. Images and descriptive writings found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs share striking similarities with the Pharaoh Hound.
At first glance, the Pharaoh Hound looks both graceful and elegant, yet powerful and athletic. They have well defined muscles that are not too bulky. The long and chiselled skull resembles a blunt wedge and the eyes are commonly amber-coloured.
Pharaoh Hounds tend to weigh up to 20 – 25 kg (45 – 55 pounds) with males being slightly heavier than females. In terms of weight, males are usually 58 – 64 cm (23 – 25 inches) while females tend to be 53 – 61 cm (21 – 24 inches).
This breed is extremely proficient at hunting with female Pharaoh Hounds leading the chase while males keep the game from veering to far to the sides. They also let out a distinctive high pitched bark that attracts other dogs and hunters to their location. Pharaoh Hound’s top speed of 56 km/h (35 mph) helps them chase down prey.
Pharaoh Hound Stats
- Top speed – 56 km/h (35 mph)
- Weight – 20 – 25 kg (45 – 55 pounds)
- Height male – 58 – 64 cm (23 – 25 inches)
- Height female – 53 – 61 cm (21 – 24 inches)