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How Fast Are Border Collies? Speed Comparison & FAQs

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Dogster Team

Border collie running in the streets

How Fast Are Border Collies? Speed Comparison & FAQs

Most canine lovers already know that Border Collies are one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet. However, they can also run faster than the average dog since they were initially bred to herd livestock. How fast can they run? It is estimated that the Border Collie can comfortably clock speeds of 30 miles per hour. In this article, we’ll discuss the Border Collie’s running speed and how they became one of the fastest canines.

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What Factors Influence the Border Collie’s Speed?

We have to note that not all Border Collies can run at a top speed of 30 miles per hour. Several factors influence how fast they can run.

Border Collie running outdoors
Image By: 825545, Pixabay

Level of Training

The Border Collie is a highly trainable breed with a workaholic attitude. Unlike other dogs, they are usually eager to learn more advanced tricks, even if they’ve already spent hours learning new commands. Some trainers take advantage of this to teach them more complex concepts, like speed. Standard training will not push the Border Collie to run faster, but when trained to increase their speed, they can reach the 30 mph mark.


Thanks to their stamina and intelligence, Border Collies know when to change their pace, like humans do mid-race. Their practical approach to competitive events has allowed them to excel at agility courses and become world champions.

Do all Collies possess the same level of stamina? No. For various reasons, some have more stamina than others. For example, a 10-year-old Collie will not have the same level of stamina as a 5-year-old. So, age is definitely one of the prime factors to be taken into consideration.

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Attributes the Border Collie Shares with Other Fast-Running Breeds

Asymmetrical Gait

For starters, their feet have incredible traction. This allows them to make sharp turns and develop a complex gait. While running, the Border Collie’s feet will create a specific pattern known as an asymmetrical gait.

Their leg movements on one side differ from those on the opposite side of the body. All fast-running breeds have a four-time asymmetrical gait. When their feet touch the ground, you’ll see them following the right-front, left-front, right-back, left-back pattern.


brown white border collie running
Image By: Krasula, Shutterstock

Double Suspension Gallop

The Border Collie also has a leaping gait known as the double-suspension gallop. They use their hind limbs to propel themselves into the air, followed by the front limbs. Not all dogs have this ability, and it requires strong back, leg, and shoulder muscles to act as the engine. This gait usually helps them cover a wider distance over a short period.

Anatomical Flexibility & Cardio

Besides the sturdy abdominal muscles, Border Collies and several other fast-running breeds have lengthy loins and incredibly flexible spines. Flexibility is a vital factor in determining velocity and power generation because it ensures efficient movements.

It’s also worth mentioning that their lungs are designed to work faster while processing oxygen, and they have deeper chest cavities. The two respiratory attributes explain why their cardio is so powerful.


Where Does the Border Collie Rank Among the Fast-Running Breeds?


Italian Greyhound
Image By: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock

The Greyhound is the overachiever in this class. Averaging a 30-inch height at the shoulder, the Greyhound can easily clock 45 miles per hour. However, they prefer spending most of their time sleeping rather than running around.


saluki standing on grass
Image By: Elisabetta Bellomi, Pixabay

The Saluki hails from the Middle East, and they were once prized as hunting dogs. Physically, they have attributes similar to the Greyhound, including a small waist and a remarkably deep chest. They are also classified as sighthounds, they primarily relied on their sight while hunting and not smell. A healthy Saluki can run at speeds of 43 miles per hour.


vizsla with bird
Image By: Ivan Kacarov, Shutterstock

In some circles, Vizslas are commonly known as Hungarian Pointers. They are very proficient at hunting and agility sports, and they can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. Like Border Collies, they are very intelligent, energetic, and possess immense stamina.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Image Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

The Afghan Hound can run 40 miles per hour. However, many dog lovers steer clear of them because they can be stubborn, if not strong-willed. Training an Afghan Hound to obey simple commands is a tough assignment.

Doberman Pinschers

A red Doberman Pinscher dog with natural uncropped ears standing outdoors
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

The Doberman was named after Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman. Due to the Franco-Prussian War, he felt the need to breed a dog that would protect him as he collected taxes in bandit-infested areas. The Doberman is an exceptional guard dog and an athletic breed that can run 35 mph.


Comparison Table

Breed Speed (mph) Weight (lbs.)
Greyhound 45 60–70
Saluki 43 40–60
Vizsla 40 45–60
Afghan Hound 40 50–60
Doberman Pinschers 35 75–100


Final Thoughts

The Border Collie can run up to 30 miles per hour. They’ve always been viewed as one of the fastest breeds in the world, but their speeds vary depending on a few factors. Those who can run 30 miles per hour are usually well-trained, young, and purebred. Teaching a Border Collie to run at top speed requires specialized training, but because of their high intelligence, they’re relatively easy to train.

Featured Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

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