Most dogs love to run, whether it’s to burn off excess energy or enjoy a romp with their canine friends. However, if you’ve owned many dogs, you’ve noticed that some breeds are just faster than others.
The fastest dog breeds, however, were bred for working. They are high-energy dogs that have similar body types. They’re lean, with long legs to help with an increased stride and aerodynamics, and they do best when kept active or given a job to do.
The fastest dog in the world is the Greyhound, which can run at an incredible speed of 45 MPH (miles per hour), but there are others that come pretty close.
Let’s take a look at 14 dogs that fall behind the Greyhound in terms of top speed and what makes it unique.
1. Greyhound – Fastest Dog In the World
|Dog’s Size||27″ to 30″|
|Weight||60 to 70 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; black, dun, blue, brindle, fawn or any of those colours with white|
The Greyhound, renowned for its incredible speed, rightfully claims the title of the fastest dog breed. Originating from Egypt and cherished by royalty for millennia, these dogs were initially bred for hunting and later gained fame in dog racing, reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
Greyhounds are sprinters rather than endurance runners. They thrive in apartments, requiring only a few daily walks and occasional sprints in the park.
Although greyhounds have a sleek and athletic build, they are surprisingly relaxed dogs and can be a bit laid-back.
|Dog’s Size||23″ to 28|
|Weight||40 to 65 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; black and tan, black, tan and white, cream, golden, red, silver, white, chocolate, black, fawn, and combinations thereof.|
|Lifespan||10 to 17 years|
The Saluki has a graceful appearance and is very athletic and fast. The Saluki was originally bred to hunt small animals. When healthy, Salukis can run up to 42 miles per hour for at least two to three miles at a time.
Don’t count on Salukis to be protective, though they are excellent watchdogs. The Saluki is an ancient breed and a very popular racing dog in the Middle East and North Africa.
|Dog’s Size||21″ to 24″|
|Weight||44 to 60 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; golden rust, red, rust, sandy yellow|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
The Vizsla is a very pretty-looking dog with a sleek body and long legs ready to take off at top speeds of 40 mph. It’s originally from Hungary and is one of the oldest European breeds.
Vizslas are very high-energy, but they’re also very gentle, which means they make good companions after they’ve exerted their stamina for the day.
4. Afghan Hound
|Dog’s Size||25″ to 27″|
|Weight||50 to 60 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Long silky coat; black, blue, cream, red, silver, white, or combinations thereof.|
|Lifespan||12 to 18 years|
The Afghan Hound is another one on the list that has a deceiving appearance. It looks regal and like it belongs sitting next to a throne, but Afghan Hounds are one of the fastest dogs on the planet.
Training an Afghan Hound requires patience because it’s a stubborn and often aloof breed. Afghan Hounds were originally bred to hunt and, therefore, have a very high prey drive. However, their lean bodies lend them to incredible speeds of 40 MPH.
5. Jack Russell Terrier
|Dog’s Size||13″ to 14″|
|Weight||13 to 17 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Short smooth coat; white, black and white, or white and tan|
|Lifespan||13 to 16 years|
The Jack Russell Terrier is undoubtedly the smallest pup on this list of fastest dog breeds, but if you’ve ever seen one run, you know why it belongs here.
The Jack Russell Terrier is very tough and hardy, which lends it to be a protective dog despite its small size. If you own a Jack Russell, you’ll need to keep it stimulated, both physically and mentally. The good news is they are always up for a good time and are excellent with kids.
|Dog’s Size||19″ to 24″|
|Weight||45 to 70 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Short, smooth coat; white with black or liver-brown spots|
|Lifespan||11 to 13 years|
The Dalmatian is one of those pups that you can’t help but love. They’re gorgeous, but they’re also one of the fastest dog breeds.
Dalmatians can run up to 37 miles per hour and do wonderful in dog sports such as agility and endurance events.
The Dalmatian was once revered as a guard dog that protected Dalmatia’s borders, so they’re conditioned to be very alert and protective. But don’t be surprised if you notice a lack of grace; this fast dog breed can be very clumsy, too.
|Dog’s Size||18″ to 21″|
|Weight||25 to 40 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; many colors, including black, blue, fawn, red, white, sable, brindle, seal, or any combination thereof|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
The Whippet Dog looks much like its cousin, the Greyhound. Whippets are medium-sized dogs but run very fast, reaching top speeds of 35 miles per hour, which puts them in the 10 fastest dog breeds category.
Whippets are sighthounds, which means they were originally bred to hunt by sight, and their speed helped to catch up with smaller animals considered prey.
The Whippet has very high energy levels, but believe it or not, it still makes a great family pet. The Whippet loves children and is very gentle. With enough exercise, Whippets will be very happy to be a doting pet.
|Dog’s Size||26″ to 28″ and up|
|Weight||60 to 105 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Medium-length, silky, curly coat; black and cream, black and brindle, silver brindle, gold brindle, gold sable, silver sable, and many others.|
|Lifespan||9 to 14 years|
The Borzoi is considered one of the fastest dogs on the planet, with a top speed of 35 mph, despite their large stature. They were originally bred to hunt rabbits, foxes, and wolves.
The Borzoi is also a great family pet that is very sensitive and is prone to separation anxiety. If you own a Borzoi, make sure you have a yard or a dog park nearby where it can run to get all of its energy out.
9. Doberman Pinscher
|Dog’s Size||24″ to 28″|
|Weight||60 to 100 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; black and rust, blue and rust, fawn and rust, or red and rust|
|Lifespan||10 to 12 years|
The Doberman Pinscher is often used as a protection dog and stationed in warehouses and other places where people don’t want intruders.
The Doberman Pinscher is an athletic breed that can run up at a top speed of 32 miles per hour and can cover short distances in a very quick amount of time.
At home, the Doberman is a softie, completely devoted to its owner, though it’s always on guard and will step up to protect its people in a heartbeat.
10. Border Collie
|Dog’s Size||18″ to 22″|
|Weight||30 to 55 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Wavy, medium-length double coat; many colors, including black, blue, red, sable, lilac, sable, gold, brindle, merle, or any combination thereof.|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
The Border Collie is one of the hardest-working dog breeds on this list. It’s a medium-sized dog that is used to working on farms and ranches.
The Border Collie needs a lot of exercise and would not be comfortable being a couch potato, so it needs an active family. Reaching up to a top speed of 30 miles per hour, the Border Collie also excels at agility contests and other dog sports.
The Border Collie also makes an excellent family dog as it loves children. Underneath their fluffy coats, Border Collies have lean bodies.
11. German Shepherd
|Dog’s Size||22″ to 26″|
|Weight||50 to 90 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Double medium-length coat; black, black and cream, liver, blue, bi-color, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, sable, white, or gray|
|Lifespan||7 to 10 years|
These pups, who hail from Germany, have high intelligence as well, so they train easily. The German Shepherd can reach a top speed of 30 miles per hour, which comes in handy when it needs to track down a bad guy or dart in and out of military operations.
They are normally dark in color, but the white German Shepherd is truly a sight to behold.
12. Great Dane
|Dog’s Size||28″ to 32″|
|Weight||110 to 175 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Smooth short coat; black, blue, brindle, fawn, Harlequin, merle, mantle, white, black and white, and others.|
|Lifespan||7 to 10 year|
The Great Dane is an amazing family pet, but it’s also quite fast. Its lean physique and long legs lend to its ability to get somewhere fast.
Great Danes have a top speed of 30 MPH and can often run alongside you for a bit, but because of the breed’s joint problems, it’s best not to push them to run long distances.
Let your Great Dane decide when it’s had enough because it’s listening to its body.
|Dog’s Size||Three different sizes: over 15″ (Standard); 10″ to 15″ (Miniature); up to 10″ (Toy)|
|Weight||45 to 70 pounds (Standard); 15 to 18 pounds (Miniature); 5 to 9 pounds (Toy)|
|Fur and Color||Curly long coat; apricot, black, blue, cream, red, brown, silver, white, gray, or others|
|Lifespan||10 to 18 years|
When looking at the Poodle, it might be hard to imagine it as a fast pup, but it really is and can reach speeds of 30 mph.
The breed comes in three different sizes, ranging from the Standard Poodle, which is the largest, to the Toy Poodle, the smallest.
Standard Poodles are also the fastest among the three thanks to their long legs and athletic, muscular bodies hidden beneath their curly coats. The Standard Poodle is also very intelligent and picks up tasks quickly.
14. Siberian Husky
|Dog’s Size||20″ to 23.5″|
|Weight||35 to 60 pounds|
|Fur and Color||Double medium-length coat; sable and white, black and white, gray and white, red and white, white, brown and white, black, tan and white, black, or agouti and white|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
Originally bred for sled pulling, the Siberian Husky is a powerhouse dog breed that is both fast and strong. It can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour without a sled and 15 miles per hour with a sled.
It’s known for having the longest stamina of most breeds and can run long distances, up to 100 miles per day, when pulling a sled.
What Factors Influence a Dog Breed’s Speed?
A dog breed’s body type is the main factor that influences its speed. The fastest dog breeds tend to be those with a lean body, long legs, a deep chest, and a large lung capacity.
Which Dog Breeds, Apart From Greyhounds, Are Popular in Dog Racing?
Three other breeds are popular in dog racing: Whippet, Saluki, and Afghan Hound.
Do Fast Dog Breeds Require Lots of Exercise Due to Their High Energy?
Yes. Those with high energy need a lot of exercise; otherwise, they tend to become destructive.
Are the Fastest Dog Breeds Suitable for Families With Kids?
Yes, while they may have high energy needs, many of the fastest dog breeds are excellent with children and make wonderful family pets.
What Is the Typical Space Needed for Fast Dog Breeds?
Typically, you’ll want to live in a home or have a way of exercising your pup. A fenced-in backyard is always a plus, but if you live close to a dog park or a hiking trail where you can regularly exercise the fast dog breeds, you’re golden.
The fastest dog breeds are some of the hardest working breeds in the world, and they need their energy levels to be able to keep up with the demanding jobs placed upon them, whether it’s herding sheep or other livestock or safeguarding the cattle from wolves.
These pups also demand an active pet owner or active family in order to keep up with them and give them the exercise and lifestyle they deserve.