The 10 Fastest Dog Breeds in the World
It is common knowledge that dogs love to run and it is one of the best ways to let off some steam and equally get some much-needed exercise. They obviously do not have the same reputation that cheetahs and leopards do, but they do have the uncanny ability to run circles around their owners, before tiring them out. However, despite their high energy, not all dogs are incredibly fast; in fact, some do not even like to run. And then there is a handful of dogs out there that give ‘need for speed’ a whole new meaning. In that vein, here is a compilation of some of the fastest dog breeds in the world.
This Greyhound dog breed is as old as the beginning of civilization as we know it. Evidence of their existence can be traced well back to Ancient Egypt, which is about 4000 years ago. In addition to being one of the oldest dog breeds out there, they are also one of the fastest. They can attain the speed of 43 MPH easily and are primarily recognized for their vast background in racing. Before their days on the racetrack, these dogs were originally bred to chase after hares, deer, and foxes among other creatures in a hunting setting.
It is important to note that these dogs are sprinters and not endurance racers, as such, it is generally out of the question to put them up for long distance races. Despite being as fast as they are, these dogs love to snag a nap here and there; this has earned them the popular nickname ‘40 MPH couch potato’. Under the right ownership, they can still thrive as couch potatoes and avid runners. A sprint in the park now and then coupled with the blessings of family life is more than enough for this majestic creature.
It would seem that Ancient Egyptians had a thing for incredibly fast dogs as this next beautiful breed, most accurately, dates back to their civilization. Nevertheless, the Sumerians have carvings that portray dogs with the likeness of the Saluki, so they might as well have been a lot older than the Greyhounds. In addition to this, a handful of civilizations revered and respected Salukis; the Muslims considered them as a gift from Allah and they have a bit of Persian heritage as well. All in all, it can be agreed that they are one of the most ancient breeds out there.
Their genealogy is not just unique and ancient, but it has a lot to say about how they are able to attain such speed to date. There are theories that claim that these dogs descend from the first dogs ever and they roamed the earth with their nomadic owners. It was probably here that they were able to hone their running skills. These dogs started out by hunting gazelles and hares; this not doubt trained them till they were able to attain a speed of 40 MPH. Unlike Greyhounds, these dogs are bred for extreme endurance, so not only can they run fast but they also have the ability to do it for extended periods of time.
As its name implies, the Afghan Hound has its origins in Afghanistan, long days and nights hunting in the desert and mountains have made this dog the fast runner it is today. This is another ancient dog breed, and some may say that this accounts for their self-awareness and independence. All in all, this makes them a bit harder to train and manage; nevertheless, this does not take anything away from their raw talent.
The fact that they tend to like just one person makes them a bit hard to handle and they tend to run off now and then in a bid to escape. Of course, as they can attain a speed of 40 MPH, this makes it incredibly hard to catch them. In the present day, these dogs are considered a mixed breed, one of its closest relatives is the Saluki and this can probably account for some of that speed. In addition to being quite skilled at running, escaping among other things, this dog has the ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. This can be credited to the high mountain altitudes of its homeland.
With its Hungarian roots, the Vizsla dog has landed itself on this list as one of the fastest dogs out there. It is believed that they date all the way back to the 10th century and can attain a speed of 40 MPH. Unlike most of its high maintenance counterparts, these dogs are quite mild-mannered and as such, they are incredibly easy to train and make a connection with. Originally, this dog was used as a pointer and retriever, working quite closely with hunters to ensure that some meat was brought home with them. In the present day, they still mimic this behavior, they may not be widely used as hunters anymore, but they tend to stay by the side of their owner or favorite person. As a result of this glaring characteristic, they have earned the nickname ‘Velcro Vizsla’.
The Vizsla is an energetic dog; unlike the greyhounds they literally live by the saying ‘if you snooze you lose’. They have no desire to lounge around and will become a bit destructive if they are not given a chance to blow off some steam on a regular basis.
Jack Russell Terrier
Unlike all the breeds mentioned so far, the Jack Russell Terrier does not have such a vast history, it is relatively modern and despite its tiny stature can attain the speed of 38 MPH. This dog breed was bred by Parson Jack Russell (who they are conveniently named after) in 1795, for the sole purpose of being an excellent fox hunting dog. Fox hunters all over England had been talking about the lack of an all-white dog that could easily be told apart from the game. This no doubt happened after a few hunters shot their own dogs by mistake. Based on this, Parson Jack Russell stepped in and provided a solution.
The direct ancestors of the modern variation of this breed are the English White Terriers who are unfortunately currently extinct. Nevertheless, the modern breed is just as delightful, these dogs are energetic and equally athletic. Not only do they excel at running but have come out at the top in other canine sports. Their unbridled energy can only be matched by their independent and intelligent minds. The combination of the three seems perfect but can land their owners in trouble if they do are not given the proper physical and intellectual stimulation they require.
Dalmatians were widely popularized after Walt Disney made them the stars of one of his cartoons, nevertheless, these dogs have a rich and engaging history outside being sought out for their hide. They were solely bred to run along with carriages for stretches of roads in order to ward off robbers. Based on this alone, it is evident that they are fast runners with stellar endurance levels. They can run and easily attain the speed of 37 MPH thanks to their general agility and extraordinarily high energy reserves.
They actually originated in the region presently known as Croatia and are highly distinguishable thanks to their black/brown on white spotted hide. The oldest record of this mutt dates back to the 1600s and of course, was found in Croatia. The record came in the form of an artistic rendition of the majestic creature.
Unfortunately for these lovely creatures, about 8% of them are born totally deaf, while about 24% of them can only hear out of one ear. Despite this, these dogs can do just fine by learning to understand hand signals and vibrations. Despite their impairment, they make wonderful companions.
Having a name that directly translates to the word fast in Russian is a clear indicator of this next dog’s speed. Evidently, the Borzoi has its roots in Russia and is the cross between a Greyhound and an unknown Russian breed. Originally, they were bred to hunt and course, they went after all sorts of wildlife including rabbits, foxes, and even wolves. Mostly, they got this done in teams of three. Despite being used mainly for hunting, they did not live a particularly hard life as the royal families in Russia had a soft spot for them.
Though they can attain the speed of 36 MPH, these dogs stay true to their Greyhound heritage, they like to laze around quite a bit. Additionally, they dread being alone and tend to follow their owners around as much as they can. As long as they can indulge in a nice run every day, these dogs will be quite content. All potential Borzoi owners should keep in mind the fact that these dogs shed quite a lot and because of the amount of fur they have, grooming will need to be part of their regular routine.
These next sighthounds are closely related to the great Greyhounds, but due to their size were not held in the same regard as their fast cousins. All in all, the Whippet dogs were considered too small for hunting and then local law came into play, further reducing their status. People were no longer allowed to use this breed for hunting, even though they were generally quite good at hunting really fast animals. As a result of this, they were primarily used in a domestic setting to hunt down and kill rats and hunt down rabbits. This was quite a waste especially because Whippets can attain a speed of 35 MPH (there are accounts of some of them reaching up to 40 MPH), so once the law changed, they were widely sought out for racing purposes.
It is still considered to be the fastest dog in its size range as well as the fastest accelerating dog worldwide. So, even though they were commonly referred to as the poor man’s Greyhound, they have no doubt redeemed themselves in present times.
It should be noted that these dogs are avid hunters and as such do not mingle well with smaller animals. They are escape artists and even a fence cannot keep them down if they find something they want to chase after. Nevertheless, they live well with humans.
With its origins in taking it back to early 20th Century Germany, the Doberman Pinscher was specifically bred to be a guard dog. Nevertheless, they can attain a speed of 32 MPH. They are still widely used in law enforcement today as police dogs, war dogs as well as security dogs. There is no doubt that being able to run quite fast comes in handy in that line of work.
Despite being heavily attuned to a life of law enforcement, if properly trained, they can be a wonderful addition to the family. Additionally, the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation can keep them preoccupied then they will fit right in. Naturally, they feel the need to protect the ones they love, so a Doberman can be a wonderful addition to the family for a good number of reasons.
The Border Collies are widely known for being amazing shepherds to date, but they can still run quite fast when given the chance or when the need arises. Herding sheep on its own is quite a tedious task and as such, these dogs are quite used to running around quite often. They can easily attain a speed of 30 MPH which is quite impressive in its own right. In addition to being quite fast on their paws, these dogs are also generally athletic, they are good at almost any canine sport you can name.
Its speed and agility can only be rivaled by its intelligence, of course, to be a shepherd some strategic thinking has to come into play. All in all, they are bundles of energy and have the ability to fit into any fast-paced household out there.