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17 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World

Everyone knows that dogs love to run. Whether it’s chasing a ball, doing zoomies in the backyard, or jogging alongside their favorite human, it’s pretty clear they feel a need for speed. But did you know that some dogs were bred to be fast? 

Back in the day, these pups were produced for a purpose. They needed to fulfill various roles that required them to be quick on their feet. By default, they are some of the best-behaved dog breeds. Most are very intelligent and take their roles very seriously.

It’s time to examine the fastest dog breeds. From their top speeds to their origins and breed characteristics, here’s everything you need to know about these speedy canines. 

17 Fastest Dog Breeds

What’s fast, furry, and has four legs? Below you’ll find 17 different answers to this question.

1. Greyhound


Image from luca Finardi on Pexels

Top Speed: 45 mph

Greyhounds are widely considered to be the fastest breed of dog. They were originally bred as hunting dogs; they would chase hares, deer, and foxes. They can maintain a speed of around 35 mph for as far as seven miles. However, they prefer to sprint and are not endurance runners. 

greyhound dog fastest dog breeds
greyhound dog

It’s important that Greyhounds have daily exercise. They should be given an opportunity to run freely once per day. Taking them on a quick 10-minute walk around your neighborhood simply isn’t enough activity for them. 

As long as they have a block of time each day to run around, they’re happy to lie on the couch with you the rest of the day. 

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2. Saluki


Image from elisabettabellomi on Pixabay

Top Speed: 42 mph

Salukis are an ancient breed of dog, originally bred in the Fertile Crescent. They are sighthounds that were initially used for hunting game animals like gazelles, hares, jackals, and foxes. 

Their slim, athletic bodies make them very fast runners. Salukis can sprint up to 42 mph. They prefer shorter distances rather than long ones, though. When fully grown, they can keep a fast pace for two to three miles. 

black saluki dog
black saluki dog

They need at least one hour of exercise every day – but preferably two. They love to run, take long walks, and play fetch. Although Salukis make great family dogs, they’re known for being reserved rather than affectionate.  

3. Sloughi 


Image from taleksandar on Pixabay

Top Speed: 42 mph

The Sloughi, also commonly known as the Arabian Greyhound, is another ancient breed of domesticated dog. They originated in North Africa and were bred to hunt game in the desert. 

These sighthound dogs have lean bodies and are very fast runners: they are able to reach speeds up to 42 mph. Sloughis are known for having a high prey drive, so they need to be on a durable dog leash or in a fenced area when outside. 

This dog breed is very sensitive. They don’t respond well to harsh training; they do better with positive reinforcement. 

4. Vizsla 

vizsla-dog fastest dog breeds

Image from boldogsag on Pixabay

Top Speed: 40 mph

Vizslas were developed in Hungary to accompany hunters in fields, forests, or bodies of water. They are both pointer and retriever dogs and have a remarkable sense of smell.

Because they were bred to work closely with humans, they’ve been given the nickname ‘velcro Vizsla’, as they’re known to stay very close to their owner’s side. 

Vizsla hungarian dog
Vizsla hungarian dog

Their lean body can travel at speeds of up to 40 mph. But, despite their high energy levels, they are gentle-natured and are well-suited for families with children. 

5. Afghan Hound


Image from PeterKaul on Pixabay

Top Speed: 40 mph

Afghan Hounds are another ancient breed of dog. They originated in Afghanistan and were used for hunting large prey in the mountains and deserts. They have the ability to track game over long distances.

Underneath their smooth coat, they have muscular and athletic bodies that allow them to reach speeds up to 40 mph. Afghan Hounds are known for being stubborn and having independent personalities, so training at an early age is vital.  

afghan hound dog white
afghan hound

Despite having noticeably long hair, they’re actually one of the larger dog breeds that rarely shed. However, they do require regular grooming to prevent their hair from getting matted. 

6. Dalmatian


Image from RebeccasPictures on Pixabay

Top Speed: 37 mph

Dalmatians are one of the most distinctive spotted dog breeds. In the 1800s, they were used as coach dogs and would run alongside carriages to protect them from potential threats. Because of their protective and territorial instincts, they make excellent watchdogs. 

dalmatian sniffing

They have sleek, muscular bodies and extremely high endurance levels. And yet these dotted pups are alert, active, and playful. Their athletic bodies allow them to run at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. They like to live in places where they can romp and run around.

7. Borzoi


Image from alektas on Pixabay

Top Speed: 35 mph

Borzoi is a breed of dog that originated in Russia and was favored by the aristocracy. They were developed as hunting and coursing dogs. They would chase larger prey by sight, not scent. Their targets were usually wolves, foxes, and rabbits. 

Borzoi dog white
Borzoi dog

Borzois are a large breed of dog with long, slender legs. Males generally stand at about 28 inches, and females at about 26 inches. When fully grown, they can run up to 35 mph. They are very sensitive dogs and are known for being excellent family pets. 

8. Whippet


Image from alektas on Pixabay

Top Speed: 35 mph

Whippets are a dog breed that originated in England. They are descended from Greyhounds, and their appearance resembles a smaller version of them. Their medium-sized body can carry them at speeds of up to 35 mph, and they can sustain a fast pace over long distances. 

whippet tail

Whippets have a very strong prey drive and will chase after almost anything that moves. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that is easy to train out of them. For this reason, they don’t do well living with small pets, including cats.

However, they are generally non-aggressive with dogs and humans.

9. Weimaraner


Image from Georg_Wietschorke on Pixabay

Top Speed: 35 mph

The Weimaraner was created in the province of Weimar, Germany, in the early 19th century. Nicknamed the ‘Gray Ghost’, these dogs were bred to hunt large game, like boar, deer, and bear. 

Weimaraners are large-sized dogs with strong bodies that are built for work. They are fast sprinters and can travel at speeds up to 35 mph. A well-conditioned adult can run 10 to 15 miles per day. 


They’re ideal for owners who want a big, active dog to accompany them on outdoor activities. They make loving companions and are highly intelligent. 

10. German Pinscher


Image from Alexas Fotos on Pexels

Top Speed: 33 mph

As their name implies, the German Pinscher originated in Germany. Although they resemble a Doberman Pinscher, they are their own separate breed. These medium-sized dogs have muscular bodies with long and lean legs and can run up to 33 mph. 

The German Pinscher is affectionate and playful. They make fantastic guard dogs; however, they can be suspicious of strangers. Socialization as a puppy is extremely important with this breed. 

11. Doberman Pinscher


Image from patstatic on Pixabay

Top Speed: 32 mph

Doberman Pinschers were originally developed around 1890 by a man named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who was a tax collector from Germany. They were bred for protection purposes and are considered to be one of the best guard dogs. 

Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinscher

They have an athletic build and can run up to 32 mph. They also enjoy vigorous, daily workouts as well as stimulating mental challenges. They can run between five and seven miles an hour in one go. If you live an active lifestyle, they will gladly accompany you on all of your adventures.

12. German Shepherd


Image from AnjaGh on Pixabay

Top Speed: 30 mph

German Shepherds were developed by Max von Stephanitz in 1899 for herding and guarding sheep. These working dogs are fast sprinters and can run up to 30 mph. 

Their body size is medium-to-large. They have a deep chest and muscular make-up, yet they’re agile and fast on their feet. Their temperament makes them one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. German Shepherds are incredibly loyal, intelligent, and brave. 

german shepherd face

Because of their demeanor, easy trainability, and speed, they are often used in police and military work. 

13. Border Collie


Image from Adam Fejes on Pexels

Top Speed: 30 mph

Border Collies are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They were bred as herding dogs, which required them to be fast and nimble. Like other working dogs, they love to run at top speed, which is up to 30 mph.  


Living an active lifestyle is important for Border Collies: they’re energetic pups that require a good amount of daily exercise. They are highly trainable and excel in almost any type of dog sport. 

14. Great Dane


Image from mtajmr on Pixabay

Top Speed: 30 mph

Great Danes originated in Germany. The nobility bred them to protect their vast country estates and hunt for wild boar. These powerful pups stand tall and proud. A full-grown male can reach up to 35 inches and weigh up to 175 pounds. 

Because of their large size, they’re often labeled as an aggressive dog breed. However, as long as they’re properly socialized and trained as puppies, they’ll be a loving and loyal member of your family. 

Great Dane
Great Dane

Despite their big frame, their athletic and muscular body can run at a fast pace, reaching speeds up to 30 mph. However, they lack stamina and aren’t very good at running long distances. 

15. Jack Russell Terrier


Image from Magda Ehlers on Pexels

Top Speed: 30 mph 

Jack Russell Terriers are a small terrier breed that originated in England; they were developed for fox hunting. These spunky pups are often called the ‘fastest, smallest breed of dog.’ They have sturdy, compact, and muscular bodies and can run up to 30 mph. 

jack russell terrier
jack russell terrier

Jack Russells love to keep busy and are always ready to play. They are also naturally protective of their owners and territory. Although their small size means they can live in small spaces like an apartment, it’s also incredibly important that they’re given a chance to be active each day. 

16. Standard Poodle


Image from Sean McSeveney on Pexels

Top Speed: 30 mph 

Standard Poodles were originally bred to accompany waterfowl hunters. They would retrieve ducks and other birds from the water after their owners had shot them down. 

Underneath their curly coat, they have athletic and muscular bodies. They can run up to 30 mph and are very playful and adventurous. True to their roots, they love swimming and a good game of fetch. 

standard poodle brown
standard poodle

However, their fur can get quite matted if they’re constantly going in water. It’s best to regularly groom their coat with a dematting fur comb to break up the knots and keep it healthy. 

17. Siberian Husky


Image from luca Finardi on Pexels 

Top Speed: 30 mph 

Siberian Huskies originated in Northeast Asia. They were bred for sled pulling as well as companionship. The main duty of this medium-sized working dog was simply to run. They were built for endurance and can run more than 100 miles per day. 

When pulling a sled, Siberian Huskies can reach speeds up to 15 mph. Without a sled, they can run up to 30 mph. They are still used for sled pulling in certain parts of the world,  yet they’re also common household pets. They have a pack mentality and love being a member of the family. 

brown and white husky dog with different coloured eyes

Fastest Breeds of Dog: Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for a new running buddy or you’re just curious about the fastest dog breeds, hopefully, you enjoyed this breakdown on the quickest canines.

If you are considering bringing one of these breeds into your home, it’s important to remember that they will require regular exercise in order to fulfill their speed needs. If you want to browse some gear that will make walking your pup easier, check out these gifts for dog walkers next.

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