What are the Fastest Dogs in the World

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Given their place in the racing world aka the dog track, I always knew that greyhounds were some of the fastest dogs in the world. However, I never realized how many other dogs can reach top speeds, too.

For example, many breeds that can run at high speeds were originally bred for hunting and herding purposes. This includes the Border collie and Anatolian shepherd. Both excel at agility and speed.

If you happen to own a breed considered to be one of the fastest dogs, keep in mind that you’ll need to vigorously exercise them daily. If they don’t have the opportunity to expend their extra energy, then they can become a nightmare around the house–read destructive.

Top 10 fastest dogs and breeds

Stacker ranked the fastest dog breeds by top speed, using data from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Vetstreet. In fact, the AKC has a tv show about fast dogs. It’s called AKC Fastest Dogs USA and you can usually watch it on ESPN.

As we delve into this notion of the fastest dogs, consider this: Olympian Usain Bolt is considered to be the fastest human on the planet. His top speed is 27.5 miles per hour, which he achieved during his record-breaking 100-meter sprint in 2009.

On the other hand, that’s still almost 10 miles per hour slower than dogs in the top 10 for fastest breeds. In fact, the fastest dog on this list can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour.

Can you guess which breed it is? Now, onto the list.

Scottish deerhound

A close up of a Scottish deerhound outside.

Antonia Gros / Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 35 mph

This ancient breed is believed to pre-date recorded history and varies little from its ancestors. Scottish deerhounds get their name from their reputation of being exceptional hunters of deer.

While they may not be the fastest dogs for racing purposes, some believe them to be faster than their counterparts while in their natural habitat. I guess take one Scottish deerhound, let him loose near a herd of deer and see what happens.


A whippet runs through a grassy field.

alekta // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 36 mph

Whippets are often used as athletes in various dog sports. This includes racing and hare coursing.

The Whippet is a breed that exhibits impressive speed and agility, especially when properly trained. The breed is quiet and timid, and may be happy resting for most of the day. Maybe that’s why they tend to live a long time.

However, whippets can be oversensitive and may react when startled or touched. So, don’t sneak up on them.


Three borzois stand on the grass shoulder to shoulder.

volofin // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 36 mph

With a Russian name that translates to “fast,” the borzoi lives up to its name. Due to its slim build, silky smooth coat of fur, and its quiet and independent nature, the breed often appears in dog shows and athletics.

Borzois are selective learners, requiring the owner’s patience and persistence to train. It’s why the breed might be considered a dumb dog. Fast but dumb.


A Dalmatian splashes in the water on a sparkling beach.

Iren Key // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 37 mph

My childhood best friend had a Dalmatian named Beanie. That dog was so fast that he would race through a screen door before someone got the chance to open it. I don’t know how many doors that family ended up replacing, courtesy of Beanie.

Interestingly, one of the reasons that the Dalmatian is considered a firehouse dog in the U.S. is because of their natural liking for horses. It doesn’t hurt that, years ago, when horses pulled firefighting carriages, the Dalmatian was one of the few breeds that could keep up with horses. The breed continues to be a mascot for firefighters to this day.

German shepherd dog

A German shepherd athletically jumps through the air in a grassy meadow.

Rita_Kochmarjova // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 39 mph

German shepherd dogs are historically used as guard and service dogs due to their natural eagerness to work. It doesn’t hurt that they can run as fast as 39 miles per hour when going after bad guys.


A Vizsla runs through a field with a large purple hoop in its mouth.

Ivanova N // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 40 mph

Vizslas, originally from Hungary, are bred to be hunters and retrievers. Historically, the breed brought fowl to its owner after the bird was shot.

The Vizsla requires tons of attention and affection. Sometimes, the dog whines when it feels ignored. Hey, so do my dogs.

Like most dogs used for hunting, Vizslas require a level of exercise. So, if you get one, be prepared to run it–a lot.

Afghan hound

A well-groomed Afghan hound stands on the grass covered with autumn leaves.

David Raihelgauz // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 40 mph

While the Afghan hound is a popular competitor in dog shows, it possesses remarkable speed, which makes it a worthy contestant in agility sports.

Ibizan hound

An Ibizan hound stands on a grassy field.

Sally Wallis // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 40 mph

The Ibizan hound is known for its hyperactive antics and endless energy. They will often escape crates and jump high fences. Makes me think of them as the Superman of dogs–able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

The breed has a natural inclination to run when unbounded. Therefore, if you own an Ibizan hound, keep a watchful eye when the dog is off leash.

Finally, Ibizan hounds are also protective and bark only when necessary—characteristics of a great guard dog but also a dog that doesn’t bark a lot.


Two Salukis stand together outside with an autumnal backdrop.

xkunclova // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 43 mph

Salukis, originally from Western Asia, are sight hunters. They can use their sharp vision to spot prey from great distances and then they take off.

It is their extraordinary speed that allows them to hunt down small prey.

While not acknowledged as the quickest dog over short distances, it is believed that the saluki is capable of faster speeds over long distances.

Also, the saluki is the official college mascot for Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


A greyhound runs on a beach.

IkerLoboPhoto // Shutterstock

  • Top speed: 45 mph

Our neighbors have a rescue greyhound named Wilma. She has a brindle coat like the dog in the picture above. Anyway, when Wilma gets the zoomies, it reminds me of cartoon characters that run so fast they leave a dust cloud behind them.

The greyhound’s tall, slender build was specially bred for dog racing, making it the fastest dog. Unlike other dogs, the breed is meant for speed rather than endurance. Ironically, greyhounds don’t require much exercise. One good zoomies session a day, and then they’re content to lounge about the house.

Most greyhounds have an independent and gentle nature. However, without a proper outlet for exercise, they can become hyperactive and even destructive.

Finally, greyhounds are one of a number of dog breeds with a long snout.

Stephen Niedzwiecki contributed to this article on the fastest dogs in the world, which Stacker.com originally published.

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