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Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World

Kathryn Copeland

Watching a dog run can be a beautiful thing. Some dog breeds that have been bred to be fast are hunting dogs, while others were born to race. Regardless of the reason, running is an excellent way for a dog to get in some exercise and expend some of their pent-up energy. It’s also a fantastic way for you to get in some essential exercise and form a strong bond with your dog all at the same time.

So, if you’re wondering what breeds will be able to keep up a fast and steady pace, we’ve created a list of the 10 fastest breeds out there. This list is in order from the slowest (of the swiftest) to the fastest dogs.

The 10 Fastest Dog Breeds

1. Weimaraner

Weimaraner
Image Credit: Dr. Georg Wietschorke, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Temperament: Loving, friendly, smart, confident
Colors: Blue, gray, silver-gray
Size: Medium
  • Top Speed — 35 mph (56 km/h)

The Weimaraner was developed in the 1800s in Germany by a Grand Duke as the perfect hunting dog. These dogs are famous for their gorgeous silvery-gray coats and as the dogs that were extensively photographed by William Wegman.

These dogs have very high energy, and while they enjoy walks, they usually need a good run to help with both their physical and mental health and wellbeing.


2. Whippet

Whippet
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Temperament: Gentle, calm, mischievous, affectionate
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 35 mph (56 km/h)

The Whippet was bred for racing by miners in Victorian northern England who admired the Greyhound but needed a smaller dog. Whippets are descended from the Greyhound and essentially look like smaller versions, and while they are very fast, they are not as fast as their ancestors.

Whippets are fantastic sprinters and can have their exercise needs met with lots of play as well as retrieving sessions. They do well with agility trials and lure-coursing.


3. Borzoi

borzoi dog running
Image Credit: ragnahellberg, Pixabay
Lifespan: 9 to 14 years
Temperament: Calm, stubborn, affectionate, loyal
Colors: Multiple
Size: Large
  • Top speed 36 mph (58 km/h)

The Borzoi was bred as wolf hunters in Russia around the 17th century, and even the name Borzoi (borzyi) is translated into “swift.” Because of their size and athleticism, the Borzoi needs a fenced yard.

They need either long walks or the opportunity to run every day, and they should always be either kept on a leash or placed in an enclosed space. These pups are likely to chase anything that crosses their path, and the Borzoi should never be allowed to run loose.


4. Dalmatian

Dalmatian
Image Credit: TheOtherKev, Pixabay
Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
Temperament: Protective, loyal, affectionate, reserved
Colors: White & black or liver spots
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 37 mph (60 km/h)

Dalmatians started off as coach dogs—they would run alongside horse-drawn carriages and guard the coaches when they were unattended. This eventually led to Dalmatians accompanying fire engines that were pulled by horses in the 1800s, giving them their famous association as firehouse dogs.

Dalmatians need regular and vigorous exercise and can easily accompany you on a run or jog or even a hike in the woods. If they aren’t given a chance to burn off their energy, these dogs will more than likely get into mischief.


5. Jack Russell Terrier

jack russell terrier on log
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Temperament: Energetic, friendly, smart, lively
Colors: White with black, brown, cream, tan, or tricolor markings
Size: Small
  • Top speed 38 mph (61.2 km/h)

The Jack Russell is the smallest dog on our fastest breeds list, and considering they are also number five amongst much larger dogs, these dogs are little balls of energy! They were bred to keep up with hound dogs during the hunt, which does explain why they’re so fast.

Jack Russells have exceptionally high energy and will require owners that can keep up with them. Be prepared for lots of walking, running, biking, and hiking with the Jack Russell.


6. Ibizan Hound

Ibizan Hound
Image Credit: Sally Wallis, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, sweet-natured, friendly
Colors: Red, red & white, white, white & red
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Ibizan Hound hails from Ibiza, an island off Spain’s coast, and was originally bred as a rabbit hunter. These dogs are energetic and very athletic and are known to have the ability to jump as much as 5-6 feet from a standing position.

The Ibizan has a strong prey drive, so she should always be on a leash or in a fenced area. They need lots of activity, which will include several long walks and vigorous play sessions.


7. Vizsla

vizsla standing in a white sand desert
Image Credit: Barna Tanko, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Temperament: Gentle, loving, sensitive, intelligent
Colors: Golden rust
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Vizsla was bred for running in ancient Hungary to keep up with the Magyar warriors on horseback. They were used for hunting and are recognizable for their red coats and being very swift dogs.

They require vigorous exercise every day, which also includes the opportunity to run full out as often as possible. They make amazing running and jogging companions.


8. Afghan Hound

Afghan hound running on the grass
Image Credit: Maria Ivanushkina, Shutterstock
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Temperament: Sensitive, aloof, loyal, affectionate
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium to large
  • Top speed 40 mph (64.4 km/h)

The Afghan Hound has been with us for thousands of years, used as hunting dogs as well as royal dogs. They are actually sighthounds, which means they view their surroundings with panoramic vision and can explode into action in pursuit of their prey.

Like most of the dogs on this list, Afghans need to be leashed or in an enclosed space at all times as they are prone to running after anything they consider prey. They are excellent jumpers, so be sure your fence is high enough to contain them. Afghans need extensive exercise and the chance to run at full steam several times a week.


9. Saluki

Saluki
Image Credit: Elisabetta Bellomi, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 to 17 years
Temperament: Independent, gentle, adaptable, dignified
Colors: Multiple
Size: Medium
  • Top speed 42.8 mph (68 km/h)

The Saluki is an ancient breed that is thought to go as far back as 7,000 BC as companions to Alexander the Great and Egyptian pharaohs. They are sighthounds and, again, should always be on a leash or in a fenced area.

Salukis are prone to becoming destructive or attempting to escape when bored, so you should be sure to give them the exercise they need. They enjoy a good run and long daily walks.


10. Greyhound

Greyhound
Image Credit: Herbert Aust, Pixabay
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Temperament: Sensitive, gentle, loving, sweet
Colors: Multiple
Size: Large
  • Top speed 45 mph (72 km/h)

No surprise here that the Greyhound is the fastest dog. Another ancient breed, the Greyhound, goes back about 5,000 years to ancient Egypt. They were used for hunting wildlife as well as being royal dogs, but of course, they are famous for dog racing.

Greyhounds love to lounge around but have incredible energy and speed when they are motivated to chase. Like the majority of the dogs on our list, they will run off in pursuit of potential prey if given the chance and should always be contained or on a leash. Greyhounds need to have a full-out run regularly in addition to their regular exercise.

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Conclusion

If you’re in the market for any one of these dogs, you definitely need a house with a fenced yard or perhaps a dog park very close by. Ensure your fence is tall enough to prevent your dog from leaping out and never allow them to run loose, or you risk losing your dog.

You should think about adopting a dog from a rescue group or if you have your heart set on a puppy, ensure you’re dealing with a reputable breeder.

We hope your new pup will give you as much exercise as you give them. But overall, we hope you can keep up with them!

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Featured Image: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

Kathryn Copeland

Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she's not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.