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Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

White greyhound running on beach

If you were to guess what a dog’s favorite hobby is, what would you say? Do you think it’s digging holes around the yard? Or could it be jumping over fences and other obstacles?

Well, we think a dog’s favorite hobby is running. Because we’ve seen how happy they are any time they get the opportunity to run. Did you know some breeds can clock 40 to 45 miles per hour?

In this article, we’ll be looking at the top 10 fastest dog breeds on the planet. In addition to their speeds, you’ll also get to learn about their unique traits, as well as features that make them efficient runners. Let’s dive in!

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Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World

1. Greyhound

Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 45 mph

Nobody would really be surprised to learn that the Greyhound tops the list of the fastest dogs in the world. This breed was initially bred to hunt game, and that’s an activity that requires proficient sprinters. Greyhounds are typically long, thin, and aerodynamic.

It’s important to note that the Greyhound is a gazehound and not a scent hound. Sometimes referred to as sighthounds, gazehounds are breeds that rely primarily on speed and sight when hunting, not scent. Also, they are born sprinters and not endurance runners. They’ll never be able to keep up the pace if you’re training for an upcoming marathon.

2. Saluki

Credit: Svetlay, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 43 mph

The Saluki is an ancient breed. These dogs have been around for generations, and there’s more than sufficient scientific evidence to prove it. Researchers have visited Egyptian tombs dating back to 2,100 B.C.E and found skeletons with features of dogs that resemble that of the Saluki. The Sumerian Empire also likely had these dogs as companions, as they had several Saluki-like carvings on their walls.

According to historic records, some of the old nomadic communities referred to them as the “Gazelle Hound,” while others preferred to call them the “Persian Greyhound.” This must have something to do with the fact that they are swift and agile sprinters.

The Saluki also falls under the sighthound category. And if you’re keen enough, you’ll realize that most of their body features are a lot like that of the Greyhound. A trait that makes them distinguishable in the hound community is the long, shaggy ears.

3. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound lying on the sand
Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 40 mph

The Afghan hound is, in fact, from Afghanistan. They are proficient when it comes to hunting, but what sets them apart is how hard they work in adverse conditions. This breed won’t mind hunting game in any desert, or even in the harsh mountainous climate. It’s easy to assume that the Afghan was bred to cater to royal needs, as they always look elegant with their silky fur.

Before you’re tempted to get one, just know they often have independent personalities and are very difficult to train. What’s more, they are notoriously known as escape artists who love taking off at the slightest opportunity.

4. Vizsla

vizsla dog in the beach
Image Credit: martine552, Pixabay
Maximum Speed: 40 mph

The Vizsla was originally bred in Hungary, as a hunting dog. They love hunting birds more than anything else, as well as small mammals. It’s one of the few dog breeds in the world that have actually faced extinction several times in history. And that’s baffling considering they are very athletic, gentle-mannered around family members, and incredible guard dogs.

Identifying this breed is so easy because they are medium-sized, a bit stocky, and sort of have the physical appearance of a Retriever. Their loyalty is second to none, hence earning them the name the “Velcro Vizsla.”

This breed is very energetic and tends to be destructive without the right amount of physical or mental stimulation. They are also susceptible to separation anxiety, so think twice the next time you decide to leave them in the house alone.

5. Dalmatian

dalmatian walking outdoor
Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay
Maximum Speed: 37 mph

The Dalmatian is very popular because it’s well-represented in Disney movies. This breed always plays the character of a guard dog, tasked with protecting the royal family and their possessions against highway robbers. Their high energy levels and extraordinary running abilities are the two traits that make them suitable for the job.

A condition that we rarely talk about when it comes to the Dalmatian is its susceptibility to deafness. There is a very good chance that your Dalmatian will be born deaf or be born with hearing in only one ear.

Dalmatians that grapple with a hearing impairment are still incredible pets and can be trained using vibrations or hand signals.

6. Borzoi

Image Credit: artbycharlotte, Pixabay
Maximum Speed: 36 mph

The Borzoi was initially known as the Russian Wolfhound. Of course, they were bred in Russia to be used to hunt wolves, foxes, or rabbits. This breed is similar to the Greyhound in the sense that they require a moderate amount of exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated. They don’t like being left alone or separated from their owners, and that’s one of the things that makes them great pets.

Borzois are high-maintenance dogs. They are notorious for shedding, thus must be groomed regularly. Their fun-loving personalities make them kid-friendly, but you still need to sign them up for socialization programs at an early age. They can be stubborn to some degree, making training a challenge. Fortunately, they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques.

These are intelligent dogs, but you have to be very patient and consistent with training.

7. Whippet

Whippet in the desert
Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 35 mph

It’s not a coincidence that the Whippet looks a lot like the Greyhound. They are genetically related, as they both share the same ancestors. The Whippet was bred in England to hunt small mammals. They are smaller than their Greyhound cousin—and slower. What we love about the Whippet is that they’re intelligent enough to know when to scale up their energy, and when to come down.

If they show up at a football field, they’ll run around and try to outpace all the other dogs. But when they are home, you’ll find them relaxed and resting, just watching what other people are doing. However, that doesn’t mean that you should forget about their daily exercises because if they get too bored, they’ll feel obliged to resort to mischief.

Whippets have a remarkably strong prey drive, so you must leash them every time you go out. Even if they are well-trained, they’ll chase anything that looks like prey.

8. Scottish Deerhound

scottish deerhound
Image credit: Kim Christensen, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 35 mph

The Scottish Deerhound has a very rough-coated appearance. It’s related to the Irish Wolfhound, seeing as some of its genes were used in the creation of the latter. It has a build that’s very similar to that of the Greyhound, but larger and heavier. This dog was bred to hunt red deer, in the hilly Scottish Highland glens.

These dogs love spending much of their time sleeping or stretched out on the floor. They’ll thrive in environments characterized by affection and lots of human interaction.

9. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 35 mph

Dobermans are famous for their protection services. They were named after Louis Doberman, a German tax collector who lived in Apolda during the 19th century. Louis knew his work was dangerous, and that he needed someone or something to protect him while he carried out his duties. That’s how the idea of breeding a loyal protector was conceived.

The Doberman is intelligent and requires plenty of exercise. Their aggressive nature and ability to cover short distances quickly are the kinds of traits that sell them as excellent guard dogs. Training this breed is relatively easy, as they are usually eager to please their owners.

10. Border Collie

border collie dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Peter Galleghan, Shutterstock
Maximum Speed: 30 mph

The Border Collie can run as fast as the Poodle or the German Shepherd. The only reason why we choose to have it as our last pick is because it has excelled in agility sports for several years. It’s also a prevalent breed among households looking for family pets, courtesy of its sharp wit and gentle personality.

But “gentle” doesn’t imply that it won’t give you issues should you fail to exercise it. You have to offer them puzzles and dedicate a few hours per day to various exercises.

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Final Thoughts

The top three fastest dogs in the world are the Greyhound, the Saluki, and the Afghan Hound. These breeds can easily clock speeds of 45, 43, and 40 miles per hour, respectively. Their unique body features have always given them an edge over other breeds, as they have long legs and aerodynamic builds.

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Featured Image Credit: Zita Ile, Shutterstock

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