We humans love to compare things. So it’s only natural that we would wonder which are the fastest dogs in the world.
I’ve put together this list of 13 breeds that can run faster than 30 miles per hour.
I admit that using 30 mph is an arbitrary cutoff. Near the end of this article is a list of breeds I found that can run from 25 up to 30 mph.
One note before we dive into the list of the fastest dogs in the world. I don’t think you should use this list as your criteria to find a good running companion.
First of all, the breeds listed here can run faster than most people. You would be holding back the dog!
If you own one of these speedy breeds, it would be a good idea for you to find a safe open area where the dog can run off leash.
Also, there is a difference between running full speed for a short time versus running at a moderate pace for a long distance. Try to find a breed that matches your running style to use as a running companion.
How to Measure Running Speed
I should mention that so far I have not been able to find out how the running speed of these breeds was measured.
The AKC does sponsor events where they offer Fast CAT. Fast CAT (Coursing Ability Test) is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure. But I don’t know if those results are tabulated and used to rank breeds.
1. Greyhound – 45 mph
The Greyhound is the best known racing dog. In the UK, there have been Greyhound races since at least 1927.
However, the breed is much older. Images of dogs similar to Greyhounds have been found on the walls of Egyptian tombs.
The Greyhound is a short haired dog that does not require much in the way of grooming.
The males dogs range from 28 – 30 inches and weigh about 65 pounds. The female is slightly smaller at 27 – 28 inches and weighs about 60 pounds.
They need about 1 hour of exercise each day.
According to Guiness World Records, the fastest Greyhound was measured at 41.83 mph running a distance of 400 yards in 19.57 seconds. This was measured in New South Wales, Australia on 5 Mar 1994.
Clearly, this is slower than 45 mph, but we’ll stick with that speed which is popularly stated by many observers.
In the following short video, note how much faster the Greyhound is than the other dogs in the park!
2. Saluki – 42 mph
The Saluki is also known as the Persian Greyhound.
They are smaller than Greyhounds. The male Saluki is about 23 – 28 inches and can weigh from 40 – 65 pounds. The females are smaller but must be at least 21.25 inches tall to be shown.
They have been used as hunting dogs and reportedly can run down a gazelle.
Since 1951, the Saluki has been the official mascot of Southern Illinois University.
3. Sloughi – 42 mph
The Sloughi, also known as the Arabian Greyhound, is very similar to the Saluki, but smaller.
The males are roughly 26 – 28 inches tall and the females 24 – 27 inches. They weigh only 35 – 50 pounds.
The breed is thought to have originated in Morocco. The breed carries very little body fat and therefore looks under nourished in most photos.
4. Afghan Hound – 40 mph
There are those who say the Afghan Hound is descended from Salukis that were brought into Afghanistan.
These are large dogs standing from 25 – 27 inches high and weighing 50 – 60 pounds.
Afghan Hounds come in three varieties: shorthaired, fringehaired (like Salukis), and longhaired (like the one pictured above).
As you would expect, the long, silky coat needs frequent grooming.
The Afghan Hound is used both as a hunting dog and herding dog.
5. Ibizan Hound – 40 mph
The Ibizan Hound is from the Balearic Islands, a group of Mediterranean islands east of Spain. Ibizia is the third largest island in the chain.
The breed comes with two coats: rough and smooth. The females are 22.5 – 26 inches (45 pounds) while the larger males are 23.5 – 27.5 inches (50 pounds).
This hound uses his nose and ears when hunting rather than hunting by sight. They are also known for jumping during a hunt.
6. Vizsla – 40 mph
The Vizla or Hungarian Shorthaired Setter, is a red-coated hunting dog. They are known for their stamina and for forming a close bond with humans.
They are medium sized dog. The males weigh about 55 pounds and stand 22 – 24 inches tall. The females are about 50 pounds and stand 21 – 23 inches.
Their stamina makes them good companion dogs for running and biking.
7. Jack Russell Terrier – 38 mph
In my opinion, the Jack Russell Terrier is one of the cutest dogs. However, the breed is causing me real problems right now.
How fast can they run? Some sources say 38 mph which is what I wrote in the heading.
But other sources only credit the Jack Russell with 30 mph. That’s a huge difference!
Anyway, I will stick with the 38 mph number until I come across definite proof that it’s wrong.
The Jack Russell is a small dog that is only 10 – 12 inches tall and weighs 9 – 15 pounds. They have short coats that only need grooming about once a week.
They are generally good with children and other dogs and need lots of activity.
Here’s a fun video of Olly the Jack Russell Terrier having a “great” time at the Crufts Agility Trials in 2017.
8. Dalmatian – 37 mph
The Dalmatian is famous for his spotted coat. In the UK having a Dalmatian follow your carriage became such a status symbol that the breed earned the nickname “Coach Dog.”
It was during this time that the tradition developed of Dalmatians running with horse-drawn fire wagons. To this day, many firehouses keep Dalmatians as mascots.
The Dalmatian is a medium-sized dog that stands between 19 – 24 inches and weighs in at 45 – 70 pounds.
They are known as affectionate dogs with family but aloof with strangers. Due to their stamina they make good running companions.
9. Borzoi – 36 mph
The Borzoi was formerly known as the Russian Wolfhound. In Russia they were used as guard dogs to protect against wolves. Later, pairs of Borzoi were used in wolf hunts.
At one time you could only get one as a gift from the Russian Tsar.
Of course, those days are long gone and the Borzoi has become a popular breed.
They are large dogs. The male can stand 28 inches or higher and weigh up to 105 pounds.
They can run fast despite their large size. In fact, the name Borzoi means “fast” or “swift” in Russian.
They have a long, silky coat that needs frequent combing and grooming.
10. Weimaraner – 35 mph
This breed has the nickname “Gray Ghost” which is easy to understand based on the above photo.
The male Weimaraner stands between 25 – 27 inches and weighs 70 – 90 pounds. The smaller female is 23 – 25 inches high and weighs up to 75 pounds.
The breed comes in 3 colors: blue, gray, and silver gray. There are also two coat types, short and long, but the short coat is much more common.
11. Whippet – 34 mph
The Whippet is the breed I always think of when talking about speedy dogs.
We used to take Rose the Beagle to a dog park when we lived in Davis, California. Another family had a Whippet that loved to run circles around all the other dogs at the park.
Most of the time Rose would sit near us and ignore the other dogs. But, for some reason that we could never understand, Rose would try to chase the Whippet! You’ll notice that Beagles are not mentioned in this list of the fastest dogs in the world.
Be that as it may, Rose would try to keep up with the Whippet.
Whippets are fairly tall dogs (males up to 22 inches) but weigh only 25 – 40 pounds.
They look fragile but are actually sturdy dogs.
12. German Pinscher – 33 mph
The German Pinscher (also known as the Standard Pinscher) was first bred as a rat catcher. It is the ancestor of both the Miniature and Doberman Pinschers.
They are not very big dogs. They are only 17 – 20 inches tall and weigh 25 – 45 pounds.
They have a short, smooth coat that needs only weekly grooming.
They are known to be playful, requiring activity, and protective of their family group.
13. Doberman Pinscher – 32 mph
The Doberman Pinscher (as mentioned above) is thought to be descended from the German Pinscher. (In the UK the breed is known as Dobermann ending with a double “nn.”)
A male Doberman weighs between 75 up to 100 pounds and stands 26 – 28 inches. The females are also rather large weighing 60 – 90 pounds.
They have a reputation as being vigilant guard dogs yet show great affection to their family and are good with children.
These qualities have made the breed one of the most popular ones in the United States.
There has been a tradition to crop the dog’s ears and train them to stand erect. Ear cropping is now illegal in many countries and it’s not uncommon to see a Doberman with natural flop ears.
Here is the list of breeds I found that can speed along from 25 – 30 mph. We could call them the almost fastest dogs in the world.
- Border Collie – 30 mph
- German Shepherd – 30 mph
- Great Dane – 30 mph
- Poodle – 30 mph
- Siberian Huskie – 29 mph
- Giant Schnauzer – 28 mph
- Scottie Deerhound – 28 mph
- Italian Greyhound – 25 mph
How Fast Can People Run?
A natural question is how fast can people run compared to dogs?
As an example, the world record for 100 meters is 9.58 seconds by Usain Bolt. If we convert that to miles per hour, he was moving at a speed of 23.4 mph.
Of course, it’s doubtful he could keep that pace for a very long distance.
So, let’s consider a longer distance.
The world record for 1 mile is 3.72 minutes set by Hicham El Guerrouj. If I did the math right, that converts to 16.1 mph.
Finally, let’s look at the fastest marathon runner. The record for the marathon (26.2 miles) is 2:01 hours set by Eliud Kipchoge. That means he averaged running just under 13 mph.
It’s clear that even the fastest runners in the world cannot keep up with the fastest dogs in the world.
Fastest Dogs in the World on Two Paws
I’m sure most of us when we think of dogs running we assume that means on four legs.
However, the folks at Guiness also spotlight dogs who can run on 2 paws.
In 2014, Jiff the Pomeranian, set two records. He ran 10 meters on his hind legs in 6.56 seconds.
On his front legs he ran 5 meters 7.76 seconds.
Less than a year later the front leg record was shattered by Konjo. She is half Papillon, quarter Jack Russell, and quarter Chihuahua. She ran 5 meters in a mere 2.39 seconds.
You can see Konjo’s running skill here.