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Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World (With Pictures & Info)

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Running dalmatian

Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World (With Pictures & Info)

Watching a dog run at top speed is an exhilarating experience. Some breeds bred to be fast are hunting dogs, while others are born to race. Regardless of the reason, running is an excellent way for a dog to get exercise and expend some of their pent-up energy. If your dog joins you on jogs and hikes, you can also benefit from the exercise and form a strong bond with your dog all at the same time.

So, if you’re wondering which canines can maintain a fast and steady pace, we’ve created a list of the 10 fastest breeds below.

The 10 Fastest Dog Breeds

1. Greyhound

Image Credit: Herbert Aust, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Temperament: Sensitive, gentle, loving, sweet
Colors: Multiple
Size: Large
  • Top speed 45 mph (72 km/h)

It’s not too surprising that the Greyhound is the fastest dog. As an ancient breed, the Greyhound goes back about 5,000 years to ancient Egypt. They were used for hunting wildlife as well as being royal dogs, but of course, they are famous for dog racing.

Greyhounds love to lounge around but have incredible energy and speed when motivated to chase. Like most dogs on our list, they can run off in pursuit of prey if given the chance and should always be contained or on a leash. Greyhounds need to have a full-out run every day and a large fenced-in yard to prevent escapes.

2. Saluki

Image Credit: Elisabetta Bellomi, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10–17 years
Temperament: Independent, gentle, adaptable, dignified
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 42.8 mph (68 km/h)

The Saluki is an ancient breed that was possibly developed as early as 7000 BC as a companion to Alexander the Great and Egyptian pharaohs. They are sighthounds and should always be on a leash or in a fenced area.

Salukis are prone to becoming destructive or attempting to escape when bored, so you should be sure to give them the exercise they need. They enjoy a good run and long daily walks.

3. Afghan Hound

Afghan hound running on the grass
Image Credit: Maria Ivanushkina, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Sensitive, aloof, loyal, affectionate
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium to large
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Afghan Hound has been with us for thousands of years and was once a royal companion and hunting dog. They are sighthounds, which means they view their surroundings with panoramic vision and can explode into action in pursuit of their prey.

Like most dogs on this list, Afghans must be leashed or in an enclosed space at all times since they are prone to running after anything they consider prey. They are excellent jumpers, so be sure your fence is high enough to contain them. Afghans need extensive exercise and the chance to run at full steam several times a week.

4. Vizsla

vizsla standing in a white sand desert
Image Credit: Barna Tanko, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Temperament: Gentle, loving, sensitive, intelligent
Colors: Golden rust
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Vizsla was bred to sprint in ancient Hungary to keep up with the Magyar warriors on horseback. They were used for hunting and are recognizable for their red coats and high-speed sprints. They require vigorous exercise every day, which includes the opportunity to run full out as often as possible. They make amazing running and jogging companions.

5. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound
Image Credit: Sally Wallis, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, sweet-natured, friendly
Colors: Red, red & white, white, white & red
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Ibizan Hound hails from Ibiza, an island off Spain’s coast, and was initially bred as a rabbit hunter. These dogs are energetic and very athletic and can jump as high as 6 feet from a standing position. The Ibizan has a strong prey drive, and they need to be on a leash in public and in a fenced area at home. They need lots of exercise, which can include several long walks and vigorous play sessions.

6. Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier on log
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Temperament: Energetic, friendly, smart, lively
Colors: White with black, brown, cream, tan, or tricolor markings
Size: Small
  • Top speed 38 mph (61.2 km/h)

The Jack Russell Terrier is the smallest dog on our fastest breeds list, and these dogs are little balls of energy! They were bred to keep up with hound dogs during the hunt, which explains why they’re so fast.

Jack Russells have exceptionally high energy and need owners who can keep up with them. Be prepared for plenty of walking, running, biking, and hiking with the Jack Russell.

7. Dalmatian

Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Temperament: Protective, loyal, affectionate, reserved
Colors: White & black or liver spots
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 37 mph (60 km/h)

Dalmatians started off as coach dogs and ran alongside horse-drawn carriages and guarded the coaches when they were unattended. This eventually led to Dalmatians accompanying fire engines that were pulled by horses in the 1800s, giving them their famous association as firehouse dogs.

Dalmatians need regular and vigorous exercise and can easily accompany you on a run, jog, or even a hike in the woods. If they aren’t allowed to burn off their energy, Dalmatians can get into mischief and become destructive.

8. Borzoi

borzoi dog running
Image Credit: ragnahellberg, Pixabay
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Temperament: Calm, stubborn, affectionate, loyal
Colors: Multiple
Size: Large
  • Top speed 36 mph (58 km/h)

Borzoi dogs were bred as wolf hunters in Russia around the 17th century, and even the name Borzoi (Borzyi) is translated into “swift.” Because of their size and athleticism, the Borzoi needs a fenced yard.

They need either long walks or the opportunity to run every day, and they should always be kept on a leash or placed in an enclosed space. They will chase anything that crosses their path, and the Borzoi should never be allowed to run loose.

9. Whippet

Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Temperament: Gentle, calm, mischievous, affectionate
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 35 mph (56 km/h)

The Whippet was bred for racing by miners in Victorian northern England who admired the Greyhound but needed a smaller dog. Whippets are descended from the Greyhound and essentially look like smaller versions. Although they are very fast, they are not as fast as their ancestors.

Whippets are fantastic sprinters and can have their exercise needs met with long runs, play sessions, agility courses, and lure-coursing.

10. Weimaraner

Image Credit: Dr. Georg Wietschorke, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10–13 years
Temperament: Loving, friendly, smart, confident
Colors: Blue, gray, silver-gray
Size: Medium
  • Top Speed — 35 mph (56 km/h)

The Weimaraner was developed in the 1800s in Germany by a Grand Duke as the perfect hunting dog. They are famous for their gorgeous silvery-gray coats, and they became more popular after the dogs were extensively photographed by William Wegman.

Weimaraners are incredibly energetic, and while they enjoy walks, they need a good run to release their energy and keep them happy.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for any one of these dogs, you need a house with a fenced yard or perhaps a dog park very close by. Ensure your fence is tall enough to prevent your dog from leaping out, and never allow them to run loose, or you risk losing your dog.

If you’re looking for a new pup, consider adopting one from a rescue group. If you have your heart set on a purebred puppy, ensure you’re dealing with a reputable breeder. We hope your new pup will give you as much exercise as you give them. But overall, we hope you can keep up with them!

See Also:

Featured Image: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

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