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The Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds

Larry Slawson received his Master's Degree from UNC Charlotte. He has 15+ years of experience with dogs and various pets.

From the Border Collie to the Greyhound, this article ranks the 10 fastest dogs in the world. Did your favorite dog make the final 10 in our list? Read on to find out!

From the Border Collie to the Greyhound, this article ranks the 10 fastest dogs in the world. Did your favorite dog make the final 10 in our list? Read on to find out!

What Is the World's Fastest Dog?

Throughout world history, a number of dog breeds have been recognized for their tremendous speed and agility, making them favorites for hunting, training, and various racing events. As with all breeds, however, some dogs have displayed a greater affinity for speed than others. This is due, in part, to selective breeding processes which aimed to develop stamina and physical characteristics consistent with greater agility and movement.

From the Border Collie to the Greyhound this work examines (and ranks) the 10 fastest dog breeds that currently exist on the world stage. It is the author’s hope that a better understanding (and appreciation) for these remarkable dogs will accompany readers following their completion of this work.

Selection Criteria

In order to rank the world’s fastest dog breeds, a number of basic criteria were necessary for the selection process. First and foremost, each of the dogs listed below is ranked according to their average top speeds. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the dogs appearing in this list were also selected by their stamina and ability to maintain high speeds over a period of time. This element is crucial for the extents and purposes of this work, as “top speed” is often meaningless in long-distance runs. This is seen time and again at racing circuits, as faster dogs are often outperformed by slightly slower breeds that can maintain their pace for longer periods of time.

While imperfect, the author believes this criteria offers the best means for measuring the world’s fastest dog breeds.

The World's Fastest Dogs Ranked

  • Border Collie
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Whippet
  • Borzoi
  • Dalmatian
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Vizsla
  • Afghan Hound
  • Saluki
  • Greyhound
Border Collie.

Border Collie.

10. Border Collie

  • Average Weight: 30 to 55 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 19 to 22 Inches (Male); 18 to 21 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 30 mph

The Border Collie is a highly-intelligent dog breed that is believed to have originated in England and Scotland. Later exported abroad for the purpose of herding flocks, the Border Collie quickly developed a reputation amongst owners for their natural cleverness, adaptability, and resourcefulness.

Considered one of the most agile and obedient working dogs in the world, this breed is a favorite of farmers and ranchers due to its natural propensity for country life. However, in more recent years, the Border Collie has also become a favorite of family-based households seeking companions for children and adults alike.

How Fast Is the Border Collie?

The Border Collie is one of the world’s fastest dog breeds, with an overall top speed of approximately 30 miles per hour. This makes it an ideal choice for herding purposes, as the dog is capable of matching nearly any livestock in terms of motion and directional changes.

Although the Border Collie is incapable of maintaining this top speed for long periods of time, speeds in excess of 20 mph are considered average for the Border Collie’s pace. This places the Border Collie alongside the Grizzly bear in terms of its overall durability and acceleration, and translates to a 40-yard dash time of approximately 3-seconds.

Doberman Pinscher.

Doberman Pinscher.

9. Doberman Pinscher

  • Average Weight: 65 to 90 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 26 to 28 Inches (Male); 24 to 26 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 32 to 35 mph

The Doberman Pinscher is a newer breed of dog that originated in Germany during the 1800s. Originally developed by breeders for the purpose of guardianship and protection, the Doberman continues to fulfill this role in the modern era, as they are often utilized for security, police work, and military duty due to their loyalty, awareness, and protective instincts.

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Characterized as both courageous and fearless, the Doberman is well-suited for a variety of environments and is even suitable for families with children (if properly socialized at an early age).

How Fast Is the Doberman Pinscher?

The Doberman Pinscher is an incredibly fast dog breed with a top speed of approximately 32 to 35 miles per hour (in short bursts). On average, the dog is capable of maintaining a constant speed of nearly 25 to 30 miles per hour (depending on their athleticism and overall build). This makes them an excellent working dog, as they possess an incredible amount of stamina and durability.

In terms of speed, the Doberman is 1.25 times faster than Usain Bolt (the fastest man on Earth) and is capable of completing a 40-yard dash in approximately 2.5 seconds (at full speed).

Whippet.

Whippet.

8. Whippet

  • Average Weight: 20 to 40 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 19 to 22 Inches (Male); 18 to 21 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 35 mph

The Whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that was first developed by breeders in England during the 1700s. Originally developed for racing and rabbit coursing purposes, the dog continues to fulfill its racing heritage in the modern era, as they are a favorite of sportsmen and individuals with a penchant for dog shows.

Often characterized as one of the world’s most affectionate, playful, and even-tempered breeds, the Whippet is regularly cited as the most popular sighthound in existence and is well-suited for a variety of roles and environments. Typical roles include being a “show dog,” racer, as well as family companion.

How Fast Is the Whippet?

The Whippet is an exceptionally fast dog breed that is capable of reaching a top speed of 35 miles per hour. In terms of their speed-to-weight ratio, this makes the Whippet the fastest dog breed on the planet as they are incredibly small and petite.

For comparative purposes, the dog is approximately 1.27 times faster than the fastest man on Earth (Usain Bolt) and is capable of matching the coyote in short bursts. At full speed, they are also capable of completing a 40-yard dash in approximately 2.5 seconds.

Borzoi.

Borzoi.

7. Borzoi

  • Average Weight: 75 to 105 Pounds (Male); 60 to 85 Pounds (Female)
  • Average Height: 38 to 30 Inches (Male); 26 to 28 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 36 mph

The Borzoi (also known as the “Russian Wolfhound”) is an older breed that is believed to have originated in Russia during the Thirteenth Century. Originally used for the purpose of hunting wolves in Russia’s colder climate, the dog continues to be utilized for hunting purposes in the modern era and is a favorite of sportsmen due to their speed and ability to track smaller animals with ease.

Often characterized as one of the most affectionate, loyal, and “regal” dogs in the world today, the Borzoi is well-mannered, independent, and highly-sensitive (making them well-suited for a variety of living conditions).

How Fast Is the Borzoi?

The Borzoi is an incredibly fast dog breed that is capable of reaching an astounding 36 miles per hour (in short bursts), with an average speed of approximately 28.4 miles per hour (Coile, 68). This makes the Borzoi an incredible hunting companion, as they are capable of chasing down nearly any prey due to their speed and agility.

For comparative purposes, the dog is able to match both a coyote and deer during short bursts and is approximately 1.3 times faster than the quickest man on Earth. This translates to an average 40-yard dash time of nearly 2.27 seconds (at full speed).

Dalmatian.

Dalmatian.

6. Dalmatian

  • Average Weight: 40 to 60 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 19 to 23 Inches (Male and Female)
  • Top Speed: 37 mph

The beautiful Dalmatian is an ancient dog breed that is believed to have been first developed in Eastern Europe (formerly Yugoslavia) several thousand years ago. Bred for a variety of roles, the Dalmatian was first utilized by their owners for the purpose of war, guardianship, ratting, retrieving, and hunting purposes. In more recent years, however, the dog’s overall purpose has changed significantly, as they are now used primarily as companions.

Typically classified as regal, outgoing, and extremely intelligent, the Dalmatian is well-suited for a variety of homes (including hunters and families) as they possess a tireless energy, are extremely playful, and are eager to acquire your love and affection.

How Fast Is the Dalmatian?

The Dalmatian is a remarkably fast dog breed capable of reaching 37 miles per hour at full speed, with an average pace of 28 to 29 miles per hour. This is due, primarily, to their lean and muscular bodies which provide them with exceptional stamina and agility.

For comparative purposes, the Dalmatian is capable of matching both the lion and moose in terms of speed and is approximately 1.33 times faster than Usain Bolt’s record-breaking run in the Olympics. At these speeds, the Dalmatian is capable of completing a 40-yard dash in 2.21 seconds.

Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terrier.

5. Jack Russell Terrier

  • Average Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
  • Average Height: 13 to 14 inches
  • Top Speed: 38 mph

The Jack Russell Terrier is a relatively newer dog breed that was first developed in England during the 1800s. Originally developed by breeders for the purpose of fox bolting (due to their speed, agility, and terrier qualities), the Jack Russell’s role in the modern-era has changed significantly as they are commonly utilized for show-dog trials and companionship.

Often characterized as an extremely alert, vivacious, and inquisitive breed, the dog makes for an excellent addition to nearly any living environment. This includes families with children, as they have a great sense of humor, are lively, and require a great deal of love and attention from their owners.

How Fast Is the Jack Russell Terrier?

The Jack Russell Terrier is considered the fastest “small breed” in the world. On average, the Jack Russell is known to maintain an average speed of approximately 25 mph; however, in short bursts, the dog is capable of reaching an astounding 38 mph. This trait made the Jack Russell an excellent choice for fox bolting and ratting in its early years of development, as their speed and natural reflexes make them incredibly quick and agile.

At this speed, the dog is capable of matching both the hyena and ostrich for short bursts and is approximately 1.37 times faster than Usain Bolt. For the 40-yard dash, this translates to a completion time of nearly 2.15 seconds (at full speed).

Vizsla.

Vizsla.

4. Vizsla

  • Average Weight: 45 to 65 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 22 to 24 Inches (Male): 21 to 23 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 40 mph

The lovable Vizsla is a breed that is believed to have originated in Hungary during the Middle Ages. Originally used for the purpose of hunting across Hungary’s vast plains (which were rich in game), the dog continues to fulfill this role in the modern-day, and is a favorite of hunters and sportsmen alike due to their ability to track, chase, and overcome smaller animals.

Despite its “gundog” origins, the Vizsla is also a remarkably affectionate, energetic, and gentle-natured animal. This makes it an ideal choice for more active owners and family-based environments where they can receive lots of attention.

How Fast Is the Vizsla?

The Vizsla is an exceptionally fast dog breed that is capable of reaching an astounding 40 miles per hour in short bursts, with an average pace of approximately 30 miles per hour (Coile, 48). This is due, in part, to the Vizsla’s remarkable athleticism and muscular physique which provides them with ample endurance and stamina.

In terms of speed, the dog is capable of matching both the elk and grey fox for short distances, and is nearly 1.44 times faster than Usain Bolt’s record-breaking spring at the Olympics. This translates to a 40-yard dash time of 2.05 seconds (at full speed).

Afghan Hound.

Afghan Hound.

3. Afghan Hound

  • Average Weight: 60 Pounds (Male); 50 Pounds (Female)
  • Average Height: 27 Inches (Male); 25 to 26 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 40 mph

The beautiful Afghan Hound is an ancient dog breed that originated in the Middle East several thousand years ago. Originally developed by breeders for the purpose of hunting rabbits and gazelle, the Afghan Hound’s role has changed drastically in the modern-era as they are now utilized (primarily) for the purpose of dog shows, racing, and various show-trials (due to their remarkable speed, agility, and elegance).

Often characterized as an extremely independent, stubborn, and sweet-natured breed, the dog is commonly referred to as “catlike” in its demeanor (Coile, 56). As such, they are generally suited for owners capable of devoting substantial amounts of time and energy toward their grooming and upkeep.

How Fast Is the Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound is an exceptionally quick and agile dog breed capable of reaching a top speed of over 40 miles per hour (in short bursts), with an average pace of approximately 28 to 30 miles per hour. This exceptional speed made the Afghan Hound an excellent hunting companion during ancient times, as they were able to quickly (and effectively) overcome even the fastest of prey.

In terms of their speed, the dog is capable of matching both the elk and jackrabbit and is nearly 1.45 times faster than the record-breaking speed performed by Usain Bolt. For the 40-yard dash, this translates to a completion time of 2 seconds at full speed.

Saluki.

Saluki.

2. Saluki

  • Average Weight: 35 to 65 Pounds (Male and Female)
  • Average Height: 23 to 28 Inches (Male and Female)
  • Top Speed: 42.8 mph

The gorgeous Saluki is an ancient dog breed that was first developed in the Middle East several thousand years ago. Originally developed by breeders for the purpose of hunting rabbits and gazelles (similar to the Afghan Hound), the Saluki’s function in the modern-era has changed significantly over the years as they are now utilized for both racing and companionship purposes.

Often regarded by historians as the most ancient breed of domesticated dogs, the Saluki is extremely dignified and regal in its appearance, is very independent-minded, and incredibly gentle-natured. Due to their playfulness and sensitivity, they are well-suited for a variety of households, including homes with children.

How Fast Is the Saluki?

The lightning-fast Saluki is an incredibly fast dog breed capable of reaching a top speed of 42.8 miles per hour, with an average pace of approximately 27.9 to 30 miles per hour (depending on their athleticism and physique). This made the Saluki an excellent hunting companion during the ancient era, as they could easily track (and chase down) both rabbits and gazelle with ease.

In terms of speed, the Saluki is capable of matching both the wildebeest and brown hare for short distances and is approximately 1.54 times quicker than Usain Bolt’s top speed of 27.78 miles per hour. For the 40-yard dash, this equates to a completion time of 1.91 seconds (at full speed).

Greyhound.

Greyhound.

1. Greyhound

  • Average Weight: 65 to 70 Pounds (Male); 60 to 65 Pounds (Female)
  • Average Height: 27 to 29 Inches (Male); 26 to 28 Inches (Female)
  • Top Speed: 45 mph

Topping our list of fastest dog breeds is the lovable and energetic Greyhound. Originally developed in Great Britain during ancient times (several thousand years ago), the Greyhound was originally developed by breeders for the purpose of hunting smaller game (such as rabbits and squirrels). In the modern-era, their role has changed dramatically, however, as they are now favored for their racing qualities.

Often characterized by experts as an independent-minded, gentle, and noble breed, the Greyhound is a well-mannered dog that makes for a wonderful companion. In spite of this, they are not recommended for homes with small children and smaller pets (unless socialized alongside them from an early age).

How Fast Is the Greyhound?

The Greyhound is an amazing dog breed capable of reaching a top speed of 45 miles per hour, along with an average pace of approximately 35 to 40 miles per hour. This is due, largely, to their long legs, slim frame, and muscular form which are all designed exclusively for speed, agility, and endurance. These traits made the Greyhound ideal for hunting during its early days of development, as they were able to effectively overcome any prey that presented itself on the British Isles.

In terms of speed, the dog is capable of matching both the wildebeest and American quarter horse in short distances, and is approximately 1.62 times faster than Usain Bolt’s record-breaking run at the Olympics. For the 40-yard dash, this translates to a completion time of 1.82 seconds, with a 100-meter completion time of only 5.33 seconds (at full speed). With a world record speed of 50.5 miles per hour (unverified), it is clear that the Greyhound is truly the world’s fastest dog breed in existence.

Works Cited

Articles/Books:

Images/Photographs:

  • Pixabay Commons.
  • Unsplash Commons.
  • Wikimedia Commons.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Larry Slawson

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