Sitting on your couch, you’d never know that your dog can attain serious running speeds. Most people know that Greyhounds are very fast, but there are so many more dog breeds known for their speed and agility. This is the case for even the laziest of dogs.

If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “How fast can dogs run?” –  today you’ll get your answer. We’ll look at what makes a dog a fast runner and what some of the fastest dog breeds are.

What Makes a Dog A Fast Runner?

Each dog is just a little different. A Golden Retriever is going to be able to run a lot faster than a Pug. Size is not the only reason for this either.

Most of the fastest dogs are what’s called Sighthounds. These dogs have a few attributes that make them such great sprinters. These dogs have:

  • Large chests
  • Slender waists
  • Paws and nails built for traction

These dogs need a large chest because their lungs to fill with oxygen when they run. They must give their muscles oxygen while they run, so their hearts can beat an astonishing 300 beats per minute while in full sprint.

The fastest runners also have slender waists that allow for maximum mobility. If you’ve ever seen a dog running at full speed, their spine whips up and down. Their slender waist makes this movement easier. It also helps with mobility.

Runners also have paws that grip into the ground. Not only do the pads of their paws allow for this traction, but their nails can help grip into softer surfaces. This traction leads these dogs to gain top speed.

How Fast Can Dogs Run?

In general, most dogs can run about fifteen to twenty miles per hour, though higher speeds have been recorded. This also only applies to short distances.

Have you ever seen your dog sprint around your yard? Once they’re finished, they’re panting hard and ready to take a quick break. This is because most dogs aren’t meant to run for long distances. They want to exert their energy over a short distance then rest to recover their strength. Though, there are some dogs who have the endurance to run for longer periods.

While most dogs can keep up with people, there are some dogs that just leave us in the dust. The fastest breed that comes to most people’s mind is the Greyhound. These heads of dog sprinting can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour!

To put that into perspective, take the fastest recorded human speed. Usain Bolt set the world record human foot speed the 2009 Olympic Games. He was recorded going 27.8 miles per hour. While that may be fast for you or me, that’s still slower than most city road speed limits. That’s just over half the speed of the fastest recorded dog. The fastest dog was clocked at 50.5 miles per hour. Fanta was a Greyhound that broke that record in 2013.

What Are the Fastest Dog Breeds?

Here are five of the fastest dog breeds:
  1. Greyhound: These large, long-legged dogs have a running style like that of a cheetah. This along with their big muscles make them one of the fastest dog breeds.
  2. Saluki: This dog originates in the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. They are so fast; they can outrun much of the local fauna – including gazelles. According to archaeologists, their breed features have not changed much in all their years as companions of nomadic tribes.
  3. Whippet: Genes make a whippet fast. According to Reuters, “Racing whippets that carried one copy of the mutated gene were among the fastest runners, but those that carried two copies became unattractively bulky and were usually destroyed by breeders, the researchers said.” This led to the breeding of whippets as we know them today. It also made the breed FASTER. Unbelievably, greyhounds do not carry this mutation even though they are very like the whippet.
  4. Border Collie: Known for their agility and herding abilities, Border Collie’s can run upwards of 20 to 30 miles per hour. These amazing dogs are not only fast, they are smart. Border Collie’s have been known to learn over 200 words. This means they can be trained to complete complex tasks.
  5. Vizsla: These beautiful dogs originate from Hungary. As trusted hunting dogs, they have been known to exceed 25 miles per hour in running speed. How’s that for fast?

Are These Fast Dogs Right for You?

If you’re considering getting one of these fast dog breeds, we suggest being ready to exercise them often! These dogs can easily become depressed and destructive if not stimulated with lots of exercise.