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How Fast Can a Dog Run? Fastest Breeds & Average Speed (2024)

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how fast can a dog runHave you ever been amazed watching your pup run with a canine pal at the park? How fast can these furry friends really go? It’s no surprise that dog breeds vary in their running speed, as some low-slung and short-legged breeds like Basset Hounds or Dachshunds are not built for sprinting.

On the other hand, long-legged runners such as Greyhounds and Whippets have evolved to reach impressive speeds of up to 45 miles per hour! So how fast can a dog run on average – and which breed is crowned king of speed? We’ll explore this topic below by looking into the fastest dogs in the world, what makes them so speedy, slowest dog breeds around plus if your pooch has superstar running abilities.

With an understanding of how far they could take off after those pesky squirrels that taunt them from nearby trees – you’ll be prepared for whatever comes next!

Key Takeaways

  • Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed, capable of running at speeds of up to 45 mph.
  • Dogs with lean bodies, long legs, and grip pads are built for speed.
  • The slowest dog breeds include Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, and Chihuahuas, with speeds ranging from 5-10 mph.
  • Exercise needs vary by breed and age, with high-energy dogs requiring more vigorous exercise.

How Fast Can a Dog Run?

How Fast Can a Dog Run
You may be surprised to learn that some breeds of dogs can run incredibly quickly, up to 45 miles per hour – as the adage goes, ‘time is money’ and these canine speedsters are certainly making the most of it.

Greyhounds are considered one of the fastest dog breeds with speeds reaching up 40-45 mph on average. Not far behind them comes Salukis at 42 mph followed by Vizslas and Afghan Hounds, both clocking in at 40 mph each.

Ibizan Hounds also reach an impressive top speed around 40 mph while Whippets clock 34 mph, Jack Russell Terriers 38 mph, and Dalmatians a steady 37 mph respectively. Boerboel Collies have been recorded running 30 mph while Siberian Huskies have great endurance but only reach 28 mph max.

Speed factors like lean bodies, grip paw pads for ground traction, lack of collarbone flexibility, plus strong abdominal muscles all play a part in allowing faster speeds among certain breed types. Galloping techniques vary from single suspension gallops, which are more commonly seen among many dogs, versus double suspension ones found amongst sighthound breeds who need added power for better performance when hunting prey by sight.

All kinds of exercise needs must be met depending on energy levels such as walking, hiking, or jogging regularly, but those with higher energy levels would benefit from longer distance runs averaging 10-15 mph consistently.

Fastest Dog Breeds

Fastest Dog Breeds
When it comes to speed, the fastest dog breeds are built for running. Greyhounds lead the pack with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, and Salukis come in a close second at 42 mph. Vizslas and Afghan Hounds follow closely behind at 40 mph, while Ibizan Hounds reach 40 as well.

Whippets can hit 34 miles per hour, Jack Russell Terriers 38, Dalmatians 37, Borzoi 36, and Weimaraners 35, while German Pinschers have been clocked at 33 mph. Boer Collies top out around 30 mph, while Siberian Huskies cap off their speed limits at 28 mph but make up for it with great endurance when running long distances instead of racing sprints like other breeds do best.

To achieve such high speeds, these dogs must possess certain physical traits. They have lean bodies that offer less wind resistance on their runs, as well as long legs that grip the ground firmly through paw pads, giving them powerful strides needed for acceleration.

They also lack a collarbone, allowing maximum flexibility in movement, which is further enhanced by disconnected shoulder bones. Combined with strong abdominal muscles, these traits produce enough force to keep them going fast over extended periods without tiring quickly like some smaller breeds might experience during longer races or hikes.

Even galloping styles play an important role too. Single suspension is typically used most often, although double-suspension gallop offers more speed, especially useful among sighthound types bred specifically for hunting by sight purposes.

Despite having shorter legs than others, they can still reach decent speeds given the right conditions outdoors, free from distractions, be they humans or small critters scurrying about nearby, causing potential disturbances mid-run resulting in a slowdown if not a complete stop.

The dog may choose to stay put and observe what’s happening rather than continue on its previous path.

So, knowing all this helps understand why exercise needs differ between different pooch sizes. Bigger ones require more time spent outside each day, whereas smaller ones may require only brief walks a couple of times a week, depending upon the breed itself.

The average pace for a recreational jogger or daily runner usually ranges anywhere between 10–15 mph consistently throughout the entire duration, regardless of how far one decides to go. Whether chasing after Frisbees, retrieving sticks, or finding their way back home again, fast dog breeds always impress, no matter the type of activity chosen to pursue.

Dogs With Speed & Endurance

Dogs With Speed & Endurance
Certain breeds have been bred to possess both speed and endurance, allowing them to cover long distances with ease. Lean, long-legged dogs with sleek bodies grip the ground better than their shorter counterparts due to paw pads that provide traction.

The lack of a collarbone also allows for more flexibility in movement, while strong abdominal muscles help produce extra force when running fast.

Some dog breeds even benefit from genetic mutations that increase muscle mass and therefore speed capabilities. Sighthounds are particularly well-suited for increased speeds as they were originally bred specifically for hunting by sight.

Many can reach double suspension gallops, which allow them greater speeds than single suspension galloping types. For example, greyhounds, despite having short legs and stocky bodies compared to those built purely for racing or courier services like vizslas or Afghans, can reach speeds of 40-45 mph and remain the fastest breed of dog known today.

However, some slower-paced distance runners, such as Weimaraners, can still keep up an average pace of 10-15 mph consistently over longer periods without tiring out quickly. This is thanks in part to their wider chest area, which provides increased oxygen intake capacity needed during exercise sessions.

All dogs need exercise no matter what size or shape; walking, jogging, hiking, etc. But high-energy pups will require more activity daily, so it is important not just to look at breed averages but to understand each individual canine’s specific needs before deciding on any particular routine plan.

Slowest Dog Breeds

Slowest Dog Breeds
Many breeds, such as the Basset Hound, Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Dachshund, average just 5-10 mph when running. Even though these are considered some of the slowest dog breeds in terms of speed, they can still make great companions.

These pups require proper socialization and training to help them become well-rounded members of your household. Crossbreeding has been popular with many slower breed dogs to give them a bit more agility while not sacrificing too much size or shape characteristics that we have come to love from these beloved pooches.

Nutrition is always important for any type of pet, but especially so for those who don’t get enough exercise due to their low speeds on runs or walks around town with you! Providing a balanced diet full of proteins, vitamins, and minerals will keep your pup healthy no matter how fast they may run compared to other dog breeds out there.

It’s also important that even though most slow-moving dogs don’t need too much exercise, it should still be provided – whether it’s short sprints around the backyard or just taking leisurely strolls through nature trails together – all types of movement help keep muscles toned, which leads to overall better health for our fur friends!

From Greyhounds being one of the fastest at 40+ mph all the way down to five miles per hour seen in slower breeds such as Bulldogs, canine physical abilities are quite diverse among different species within the same family tree, making each unique in its own special ways!

Regardless if you’re looking for a swift sprinter to take part in racing events or an agile companion to tag along on outdoor adventures, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors among the fastest and slowest dog breeds available today.

What Makes Dogs Such Good Sprinters & Runners?

What Makes Dogs Such Good Sprinters & Runners
You can marvel at how speedily your pup moves, with their lean, long-legged bodies and paw pads gripping the ground as they surge forward. It’s no surprise that dogs are such good sprinters and runners; various breed genetics play a huge role in this fact.

They have powerful abdominal muscles to create the force needed for them to spring ahead of you during walks or runs. Some breeds come equipped with disconnected shoulder bones, allowing for more flexibility when galloping along.

A dog’s collarbone also plays an important part in helping them run faster. Its flexibility allows it to move independently from other body parts, so they can quickly adjust their position mid-run if need be.

Their paw grip on the ground is another factor that helps propel them further down whatever path they’re taking.

No matter what breed your four-legged friend belongs to, though, all pups will benefit from regular exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, or hiking.

Is Your Pup a Speed Runner & Escape Artist?

Is Your Pup a Speed Runner & Escape Artist
Does your pup have the speed and agility to outrun a saluki, or does its short legs keep it steady on the ground? While not all dogs are built for running, they can still get plenty of exercise! Here’s what you need to know about doggy speeds:

  • Genetic mutations in some breeds increase muscle strength, which translates into greater speed.
  • Paw pads help them grip the ground, which helps with acceleration and turns.
  • Leaner bodies, longer legs, and flexibility from disconnected shoulder bones give more stride length.
  • Strong abdominal muscles power their movements while galloping styles like double suspension create even more momentum for sighthounds.

Exercise needs vary among breeds, but all pups need activity – walking, hiking, or jogging – plus higher energy ones may require extra activity each day!

Knowing these factors can help you determine if your pup is an escape artist who’s just looking for a good run or will stay put when needed! With proper care that pays attention to breed traits as well as individual characteristics, you can be sure your furry pal is getting enough physical activity every day without causing injury due to overexertion during playtime fun runs.

Greyhound: Fastest Dog in the World

Greyhound: Fastest Dog in the World
The Greyhound holds the title of the world’s fastest dog, reaching speeds of up to 45 mph in a single bound! This breed is renowned for its speed and agility due to its lean, long-legged body structure and powerful paw pads, allowing them to grip the ground with ease.

Their lack of collarbone allows them maximum flexibility while they run, which gives their stride length an advantage over other breeds. Additionally, genetic mutations have been known to increase muscle power, helping these dogs reach top speeds quickly.

Greyhounds use a single-suspension gallop when running, which helps propel them forward faster than other breeds using double suspension gallops, such as sighthounds that were bred specifically for hunting by sight.

Exercise needs vary depending on individual breed traits; however, all dogs need some form of exercise, whether it be walking or jogging. High-energy breeds may require more intense activity like hiking or sprinting sessions in order to stay healthy and fit.

Saluki: Second Fastest Dog

Saluki: Second Fastest Dog
Cutting through the wind like a bullet, the Saluki is second only to the Greyhound in sheer speed. Reaching speeds of up to 42 mph, this breed’s lean body type and long legs give them their advantage: paw pads that grip onto surfaces for traction; lack of collarbone providing flexibility; disconnected shoulder bones giving stride length; and strong abdominal muscles generating power.

Genetic mutations have even been known to increase muscle mass and overall speed, with special attention paid to sighthounds bred specifically for hunting by sight. Their galloping style is usually single suspension but can reach double-suspension when needed, allowing sighthounds an extra burst of energy at top speeds.

Exercise needs vary across breeds – all dogs need walking, jogging, or hiking depending on their activity level. High-energy dogs require more rigorous exercise regimes than others, as well as being careful not to overdo it! Average running speeds are 15-20 mph, while distance runners typically run 10-15 mph consistently without tiring out too quickly due to regular breaks throughout these runs, helping maintain performance levels.

The Saluki has a unique ability amongst its peers when it comes down to pure unadulterated sprints, yet still falls short against its Greyhound counterpart!

Vizsla & Afghan Hound: Third Fastest Dogs

Vizsla & Afghan Hound: Third Fastest Dogs
You’ll be in awe of the incredible speed and agility of Vizslas and Afghan Hounds as they streak across the landscape. These two breeds rank third fastest among dog breeds, able to reach speeds up to 40 mph.

Sighthound genetics are behind this impressive feat. Their lean bodies, grip paw pads, and flexible spines allow them to gallop with long strides that give them an edge over other canines. Exercise needs vary between dogs, but all should have enough activity so they can maintain peak condition for running or racing if desired.

High-energy dogs may need more exercise than others though. The average speed a dog can run is 15-20 mph, which makes it possible for some distance runners to sustain 10-15 mph consistently, while sprinting at faster times occur over shorter distances when needed.

Ibizan Hound, Whippet, Jack Russell Terrier, Dalmatian, Borzoi, Weimaraner, German Pinscher, Boer Collie, Siberian Husky: Other Fast Dog Breeds

Ibizan Hound, Whippet, Jack Russell Terrier, Dalmatian, Borzoi, Weimaraner, German Pinscher, Boer Collie, Siberian
Experience the smooth power of an Ibizan Hound, Whippet, Jack Russell Terrier, Dalmatian, or Borzoi running like a cheetah through the African savanna. These breeds have many physical traits that help them achieve incredible speeds for their size and weight.

  • Lean bodies with long legs to propel them forward quickly.
  • Paw pads which grip the ground firmly as they run.
  • Flexible spines due to the lack of a collarbone and disconnected shoulder bones for stride length.

The galloping style varies from breed to breed; sighthounds tend towards a double suspension gallop while other dogs typically use single suspension gallops only – all designed for maximum speed! Training needs vary depending on the desired outcome but are generally focused on strength-building exercises: sprints, jogs, and hikes will provide excellent exercise requirements at varying speeds suitable even for distance runners.

German Pinschers, for example, can reach up to 33 mph when pushed, but consistently average around 10 mph. High-energy dogs need more exercise than low-energy ones, so it is important for owners to tailor training plans accordingly to increase performance capabilities safely without overworking any dog’s muscles or joints.

The perfect pooch isn’t just about good looks – it takes ability too! So if you’re looking for not just a companion but also an athletic buddy, then these fast dog breeds could be the ideal choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does breed affect a dog’s running speed?

Breed has a major effect on how fast your dog can run; sighthounds like Greyhounds and Salukis are the fastest, reaching speeds of 40-45 mph. Other breeds, such as Jack Russell Terriers and German Pinschers, average 33-38 mph.

What is the difference between single and double-suspension galloping?

Single-suspension galloping is when a dog’s feet leave the ground at the same time, allowing them to reach speeds of around 15-20 mph. Double-suspension galloping increases speed by having two sets of paws off the ground at once, giving sighthounds an edge in reaching up to 40 mph.

What kind of exercise do high-energy dogs need?

High-energy dogs need vigorous exercise, such as jogging or hiking. They can also benefit from activities that engage their minds, such as agility courses and scent work.

Is there an average speed for most dogs?

Yes, most dogs run at an average speed of 15-20 mph. High-energy breeds such as Greyhounds and Salukis can reach up to 45 mph, while slower breeds like Basset Hounds are limited to 5-10 mph.

Are there any practical uses for dogs with speed and endurance?

Yes, dogs with speed and endurance are often used for hunting, racing, courier work, and locating lost pets. They can also be excellent exercise companions – walking, jogging, or hiking long distances.


It’s no wonder why dogs are known as man’s best friend. Not only are they loyal and lovable, but they can also reach incredible speeds.

But not all breeds are as speedy. The slowest dogs, like the Basset Hound and Dachshund, reach top speeds of 10 mph or less.

Whether your pup can run circles around the competition or prefers a leisurely stroll, all dogs need exercise to stay healthy.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.