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9 Dog Breeds that Run Fast

Afghan Hound running through grassy field

Dogs love to run because it is an effective exercise to burn off their excess energy. Similarly, running helps your canine companion to stay fit and healthy. Although most dogs run fast, the speed of some breeds can be surprising for you.

For instance, Greyhound is commonly considered the Usain Bolt of the canine world. Plenty of other dogs can also be quite quick, but they are NOT that popular. The following are some of the world’s fastest dog breeds that you can own.   

Afghan Hound

Portrait of an Afghan Hound in a grassy field

This beautiful breed was originally bred for hunting purposes in pre-Christian times. Afghan Hounds are classified as sighthounds and have several different types. They are one of the most popular show dogs because of their silky long coat and tall build. Even though you can find a variety of coat colors, white (or cream) is the most common one.

Despite their glamorous appearance, Afghan Hounds are incredibly athletic and fast. They have a perfect physique for physical activities with a height of 24-29 inches and a weight of 44-60 pounds. Likewise, they have really good endurance and can reach the top speed of 40 miles per hour.

Border Collie

Border Collie running in grassy field

These intelligent dogs were developed for herding sheep along the Anglo-Scottish border. This is the reason why these canines are also referred to as sheepdogs. Similarly, Border Collies are one of the most popular companion breeds due to their resolute loyalty and loving nature.

Unfortunately, this breed is NOT suitable for every family because they require a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation. They have tons of stamina and need to burn it off to stay happy. For this reason, Border Collies can exhibit negative behavior if they don’t have a job at their hand. They can have a top speed of 30 miles per hour.  

Borzoi

Borzoi standing on debris littered shore

The Russian Wolfhound was primarily bred for hunting and coursing. Their build is quite similar to Greyhounds, probably because they descended from canines brought from Central Asia. The name “Borzoi” matches perfectly with these dogs as it means “swift” in Russian. With a top speed of 36 miles per hour, they are among the fastest dog breeds in the world.

Although they have large bodies, Borzois have an extremely powerful instinct to chase their prey. Owing to their abundant supply of energy, they need ample space to run around. If you can manage that, this affectionate pup is an ideal pet for your family.

Dalmatian

Dalmatian on grassy hill

This medium-sized dog is famous for its unique spotted coat. Although not much is known about their origin, Dalmatians were bred (most probably) in Croatia. In the Regency period, they used to run alongside carriages for miles to fend off highway robbers. In addition to the role of being a guardian, they also enjoyed the stature of being status symbols.

These muscular and athletic dogs can run very fast (37 miles per hour). Likewise, they have excellent stamina and endurance, which means that they do need sufficient exercise. For this reason, this breed is NOT recommended for apartment life.   

Greyhound

Greyhound standing on roadway

This breed was originally developed by the Celts for hunting and chasing games. Likewise, Greyhounds have also been quite successful as racing dogs. Although they are still used for racing, many countries (including the U.S.) have banned their use for this purpose.

Greyhound is the fastest dog breed in the world with a top speed of 45 miles per hour. They are nicknamed as the ‘Ferrari of Dogs’ because they can reach this speed within 30 meters (6 strides). In contrast to their vicious speed, Greyhounds are incredibly friendly and are ideal for domestication.

Jack Russell terrier

Jack Russell terrier standing in grass

These energetic dogs were initially bred (in England) for fox hunting. Although Jack Russell Terrier is much smaller than some of the other canines in this list, it is the 4th fastest dog in the world. They can run up to 38 miles per hour and have the tenacity to chase their prey into the den.

Despite being athletic and active, these pups have a wonderful nature and can adapt well in all kinds of families. However, Jack Russell Terriers can have much bigger personalities than their size. Therefore, these feisty dogs are NOT ideal for novice owners.

Saluki

Saluki standing at edge of wooded area

Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world as you can find its signs on tombs that were built in 2,100 BC. The royal dog of Egypt was primarily developed to hunt wild animals. Not only can they run fast, but Salukis also have the endurance to chase down their prey.

The physical features (long legs, slim body, and narrow head) of this breed are ideal for running. The top speed of the 2nd fastest dog (42.8 miles per hour) is slightly slower than Greyhounds (45 miles per hour). However, Salukis are considered quicker over longer distances (over 800 meters). This is made possible by their amazing stamina and heavily padded feet.

Vizsla

Vizsla standing at edge of wooded area

This Pointer breed hails from Hungary and is known for its ability to run fast. Vizslas were prized amongst the warlords and barons of Hungary for their excellent athletic and hunting abilities. They enjoyed that status for several hundred years before becoming popular racing companions.

Other than their extreme pace, these dogs are also admired for their affectionate nature. They love to make strong bonds with their people and are very eager to please them. Vizslas are quite easy to train but will require sufficient physical and mental stimulation to avoid negative behavior.  

Whippet

a pair if Whippets standing in grass

These descendants of Greyhounds were developed in England for hunting purposes. However, they were legally (local law) NOT allowed to hunt because of their small size.

Later on, whippets became extremely popular in the racing world due to their fast acceleration. In fact, they are the fastest accelerating dogs in the world. Combine that with a top speed of 35 miles per hour, and you get a perfect racing breed.

Whippets are particularly famous for their loyalty towards their families. They are very house-friendly and behave quite well with children.

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