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What are the fastest dog breeds?

What are the fastest dog breeds?
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It may seem that many dogs have some advantages over us two-legged humans when it comes to natural athleticism. They can jump high fences in a single bound, detect thousands of smells, and hear things we can’t. But figuring out which are the fastest dog breeds isn’t as simple as it appears. Some of the biggest dog breeds can reach incredible speeds (48km/h Great Dane, anyone?), and some of the best runners are also the laziest dog breeds around. As we all know, running is great exercise for both humans and dogs, and going running with your dog can be a great way to bond together. Many people stay away from a high-energy dog when they’re looking for a pet, but if you’re committed to giving them (and you!) the exercise they need to be happy and healthy, dogs that love to run can be a fantastic addition to your family. Some dogs are definitely better suited to be running buddies than others, though, and it isn’t necessarily the fastest dogs that make the best jogging companions but the dogs with the best endurance.

How fast can a dog run?

How fast can a dog run?

In general, most dogs can run about 25-30 km/h for a short distance. Lean, long-legged dogs with deep chests (meaning big lungs) tend to be able to run the fastest, from 40-70km/h. For dogs like sighthounds and collies, long strides and small mass keep them moving forward quickly. But small dog breeds with short legs like Shih Tzus or huge breeds like Saint Bernards tend to be slower because of the former’s short gait and the latter’s mass. Other dogs have trouble running fast because they simply can’t breathe well enough to be that athletic. Those are flat-faced dogs with short snouts, like pugs, bulldogs and Basset Hounds. If you love these squishy-faced pooches, getting an adorable pug mix can help even out their genetic issues. The dogs that can run the longest are the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. Both bred as sled dogs, they are strong, with plenty of stamina, and can maintain a good running pace of 15-25km/h for hours and hours.

Every dog benefits from exercise, of course, but it’s best to look at the shape and age of your dog (as well as the weather) to determine what sort of exercise they’ll enjoy and what will be right for them. Hiking, playing games and romping with other dogs are all healthy ways for your dog to use up their energy!

Fastest dog in the world: Greyhound

Fastest dog in the world: Greyhound
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Top speed: 70km/h

Standing up to 75cm high at the shoulder, Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed in the world, and among the fastest sprinters on the planet. Like cheetahs, they run in a double suspension gallop, meaning that their bodies contract and extend as they run, with all four feet leaving the ground in each movement. In fact, when a Greyhound runs, its paws are touching the ground only 25% of the time! And how fast can a Greyhound run? The fastest dog in the world can reach top speed within six strides, up to a whopping 70km/h. However, owners of Greys know that their day-to-day speed is more snooze than sprint: They’re known as 70km/h couch potatoes who sleep as much as cats – about 18 hours a day! Weirdly, despite their size and speed, Greyhounds are ideal apartment dogs because of this massive capacity to just chill out. Just take the fastest dog in the world out on a daily walk and let them tear around the park a couple of times a week, and they should be good!

Learn which other breeds make the best apartment dogs.

2nd fastest dog: Saluki

2nd fastest dog: Saluki
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Top speed: 67km/h

Hailing from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, Salukis are an ancient breed of hunting dog. They were used by kings to hunt down speedy game like antelope, and they’ve retained their sprinting skills today. Roughly the same shape as a Greyhound, with the recognisable small waist and deep chest, Salukis are beautiful dogs with long, feathered, floppy ears and gentle dispositions. Like Greyhounds, Salukis are sighthounds – dogs that hunt primarily by sight rather than smell. As such, they have high prey drive. Salukis have more endurance than Greyhounds and may make better running companions among the fastest dog breeds.

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3rd-equal fastest dog: Vizsla

3rd-equal fastest dog: Vizsla
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Top speed: 65km/h

Instantly recognisable by their bright, reddish-gold coats, Vizslas (pronounced “Veeshla,” also known as Hungarian Pointers) are all-around athletes and are able to reach speeds of 65km/h. Equally proficient in hunting, retrieving, swimming and agility sports, Vizslas are super smart and energetic. They tend to bond closely and affectionately to their owners, and with their graceful gait and immense stamina, they’d be perfect running, hiking or cycling companions. Vizslas’ tails are quite brittle, and are therefore often docked a third of the way down to prevent injury, although the necessity of this operation is contested. Either way, the Vizsla makes a wonderful companion for an outdoorsy type.

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3rd-equal fastest dog: Afghan Hound

3rd-equal fastest dog: Afghan Hound
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Top speed: 65km/h

Sensing a theme among these fastest dog breeds? These long-legged hounds sure can run! Although Afghans look more like supermodels than sprinters, they’re another old breed whose thick, silky coats and large paws allow them to keep up and keep warm on the rocky hunting grounds of their Central Asian homeland. If you can commit to a grooming regime to take care of that coat, an Afghan can be a wonderful, sensitive companion. They also make a great running partner! Having been bred for all-day hunts, these hounds have tons of stamina and can definitely keep up on the ks.

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3rd-equal fastest dog: Ibizan Hound

3rd-equal fastest dog: Ibizan Hound
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Top speed: 65km/h

These bat-eared sweeties have the long, slim legs and bodies we’ve seen on the other fastest dog breeds, which explains their top speed of 65km/h. Hailing from the Catalan region of Spain and France, Ibizan Hounds, or “Beezers”, as they’re known by their owners, were bred to hunt smaller game like rabbits. The smooth- or wire-coated red and white hounds are smart and playful, making good family dogs as long as they are properly socialised.

6th fastest dog: Jack Russell Terrier

6th fastest dog: Jack Russell Terrier
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Top speed: 61km/h

First bred in England for fox hunting, Jack Russell Terriers are (like all terriers) stubborn, energetic and lots of fun. These sweet little guys may look like bouncing teddy bears, but they’re surprisingly quick, sprinting onto the list of fastest dog breeds with a top speed of 61km/h. If you’re looking for a small dog that makes a good running partner, the Jack Russell is a great option: They have a lot of stamina and can run about 15km per day! Just start small, and increase the distance once you know your pooch can handle it.

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7th fastest dog: Whippet

7th fastest dog: Whippet
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Top speed: 60km/h

If you think the sleek Whippet resembles a smaller Greyhound, you’re right! These medium-sized dogs are descended from Greys; they’re both racing dog breeds, which is why Whippets are the fastest dog of their size, reaching speeds of up to 60km/h. Also like the Greyhound, Whippets are gentle dogs who love to lounge and cuddle for all the hours when they’re not sprinting. They’re great apartment dogs, especially given their aversion to barking. With regular exercise and a few sprints a week, Whippets make sweet family dogs.

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8th fastest dog: Dalmatian

8th fastest dog: Dalmatian
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Top speed: 59km/h

One of the most distinctive-looking dogs, the gorgeous spotted Dalmatian is also one of the fastest dog breeds, clocking in at 59km/h. You may picture them on the back of a fire truck or carriage, but Dalmatians have the kind of athleticism stamina that makes them perfect for hikers, joggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Originally bred as guard dogs, high-energy Dalmatians can be aloof with strangers and are protective of their humans. With regular exercise and lots of love, Dals make wonderful companions.

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