The 10 Fastest Dog Breeds
While many dogs love nothing more than bounding around outside, some are inevitably going to be speedier than others. How fast can a dog run? In fact, the fastest dog breeds can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour! While many dogs simply use their quickness for playing these days, there are still plenty that are used for other activities like hunting and racing. These dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some are high energy all the time, whereas others prefer to bound around over shorter periods of time, remaining quite sedentary.
Think that your hound is quicker than the average? Well, here is a list of some of the fastest dog breeds in the world, as well as a bit about their history and some of their other key characteristics.
It may not come as a huge shock to you that the Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world. Many people know that Greyhounds are quick, and these are the pooches that can run at 45 miles per hour when they are in prime condition. Traditionally a hunting dog and still used on dog racing tracks, their speed helped them to catch prey or indeed, run after the mechanical rabbit. However, if you have never owned a Greyhound, you may be surprised by just how much they like lounging around! Their bursts of speed are generally short.
The origins of the Greyhound can be traced back to the ancient Celts in Eastern Europe, before being bred as a sighthound, chasing game, hunting, and racing. Nowadays, this is an excellent pet for active families with older kids. If you have one of your own, make sure to feed them with high-quality dog food, as well as offering fresh water on a regular basis. Obviously, you will need to allow your pooch to run around, so choose an area that is safe and enclosed, so they are not going to be able to dart off. Supervise their time outdoors closely and keep them on a leash when needed, especially if there is anything that they are likely to chase around.
Only slightly behind the Greyhound in terms of speed dogs, the Saluki can reach a top speed of 42 miles per hour. However, while the former tends to only reach their peak pace in short bursts, the latter can sustain their high speed for longer. Their stamina is aided by their heavily padded feet, which help to absorb the impact or running. Originally bred in the Middle East, they had to be quick in order to catch fast-moving prey such as rabbits. But their ancestry can be traced back thousands of years to the Ancient Egyptians. Today, Salukis still retain their high energy levels, so it is best that they have a large area in which they can run and play to their heart’s content.
Next on the list, Afghan Hounds can accelerate up to 40 miles per hour. Closely related to the Saluki, this is known as a basal breed, which means that the DNA is less mixed than other modern breeds. As you would probably expect, the origins of the breed can be traced back to Afghanistan. Its body shape and coat developed to deal with colder climes and high mountain altitudes. While many people would describe this dog as elegant, their personality can prove to be quite playful. And there is no doubt that this is an unusual-looking pet, so you are bound to attract some attention when your dog out on your regular walks!
In reality, the Hungarian-originating Vizsla should appear in joint third place with the Afghan Hound as they can both reach top speeds of 40 miles per hour. Pointing and retrieving were the main tasks of this dog when it was first bred. Nowadays, they remain a popular family pet who are great for high-energy households. Their skills in pointer-retriever hunting are well-known – as are their instincts for protecting their families. Vizslas have an innate desire to run, and they are likely to be able to beat most dogs over the course of a mile. Originally bred for hunting, they can also move rapidly through the water as well. Agility training is another possibility with this dog, and they are known for their ability to turn tight corners quickly.
Jack Russell Terrier
You may not think of the little Jack Russell Terrier as being a dog that can reach such high speed, but in fact, it can dash up to 38 miles per hour! A lot of this can be traced back a couple of centuries ago when Jack Russells were used as fox hunting dogs. Their all white coloring helped them be distinguished from the game. These days, they have been firmly domesticated, but they still have that speed and tenacity in their lockers. For many families, Jack Russells make a lovely family pet, though they do require some training. With few health problems to speak of, they can often live long and happy lives in a kind house.
These spotty dogs immortalized in the Disney move 101 Dalmatians can also move very rapidly indeed! Top speeds have been recorded at 37 miles per hour. A popular family pet, the black or brown spots are so obvious that even non dog lovers can recognize them with ease! We cannot be entirely certain of the origins of these dogs, but they appeared in a painting in Croatia from 1600. In days gone by, Dalmatians were guard dogs who were trained to run alongside carriages and prevent robberies from occurring. If you are a keen runner, your Dalmatian will make an ideal running mate. As well as being a popular family pet, they are also known for their skills in the fire service.
Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, you can probably guess where this dog originated from and what it was bred to do! In fact, the name ‘Borzoi’ comes from an old Russian word meaning ‘fast’. And it is easy to see why with their top speed. of 36 miles per hour. While they can make great family dogs, they are also known as being quite independent minded too. Ideally, you will have plenty of room for your dog to engage in their favorite activity of sprinting – or you will at least have to take them out to a safe space for them to do this.
Originally, Whippets were Greyhounds who were considered too small for hunting. And while they can’t reach the incredible top speeds of their cousins, they can still sprint at 34 miles per hour, so they were bred together and used to kill rats. Later, they became a popular racing dog thanks to their speed, when they were quite unfairly known as “the poor man’s racehorse”. The fastest dog of its size, it is also thought to be the quickest accelerating dog in the world. Some of the qualities that make this a great family pet include playfulness, loyalty, and a chilled-out nature.
Next up on the list, we have the Doberman Pincher. Reaching speeds of 32 miles per hour, it was bred in Germany during the early 20th century with the intention of being a guard dog. During the intervening years, they have been used for all sorts of different working purposes – no doubt aided by their high intelligence levels. Their protective instincts mean they make excellent guard dogs. As well as speed, they also have a high level of muscular power.
Originally bred to herd livestock, Border Collies can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. A highly popular dog to keep as a pet, they are known for their high levels of intelligence and obedience, which makes them great for training purposes. Also, they are well-known as working dogs in roles such as herding sheep. They are great in canine sports including agility training, fly ball, and flying disc contests. While dogs like Greyhounds may be able to win over short distances, it is Border Collies that people tend to have their money on over longer jaunts.
How to Look After a High Energy Dog
When you have a fast dog, you need to give them the opportunity to stretch their legs often. Otherwise, they are likely to become bored and frustrated, which can easily result in nuisance or destructive behaviors. Daily exercise is essential, but you also need to vary the type of activities that you are engaging them in to ensure proper mental stimulation. As many of these dogs were bred for hunting or other working purposes, you could provide activities that simulate what they would have done traditionally.
First of all, you need to work out your dog’s exercise needs. Often with high energy dogs, these means at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day – but this can sometimes be more like one or two hours, and even more in some cases. And then there are the type of activities that you can engage them in, ranging from the obvious walking and running to swimming, obstacles courses, flyball, and agility training. If your dog isn’t getting enough physical exercise, the warning signs such as digging, chewing, scratching, and general restlessness are likely to rear their head.
Try out different activities and you will start to learn what your dog does and doesn’t enjoy. After all, we all have our own distinct personalities and don’t enjoy every activity that we try. The same goes for your dog. While outdoor exercise is great, you can still keep them mentally stimulated from your own home on days when it is trickier to leave the house. For example, you could set up an indoor obstacle course or hide treats around the home for your pooch to seek out. You could also invest in a puzzle game or two for them to enjoy.
When you own a fast dog, it is especially important that you supervise them closely. Ideally, you will be exercising them in an enclosed space – particularly if they are from a hunting background and are likely to dart off after any potential prey. In situations when you think that there is a risk that they are going to bolt, it is important that you utilize the leash to keep them firmly under control.
One of the biggest problems with a high energy dog is keeping them entertained while you are out of the house. Often, these high energy dogs are more likely to suffer from separation anxiety, so you may have to work a bit harder to combat this. Create a ‘doggy den’ at home with their bed and favorite toys where they can go away to have their own space. You could try a doggy daycare or get a professional walker to come into your home from time to time to offer some exercise and company.
The dogs that we have discussed in this blog post can reach amazingly high speeds, and humans have utilized this speed for their own purposes on many occasions. When you own one of the fastest dogs in the world, you need to ensure that they have plenty of space to run around at their leisure. Or if you don’t have the room at home, you need to ensure that they are able to have a good sprinting session on a regular basis. If you are planning on getting a dog but you don’t think that you can deal with a physically demanding canine companion, you may want to take this opportunity to rethink and get one who is more suited to a sedentary lifestyle. Before you get any dog, it is always worth knowing about their breed traits and characteristics, so you are in the best position to give them a good home.