We all know dogs are man’s and woman’s best friend, but when it comes to speed, they’re not all created equal.
We compiled a list of the 30 fastest dog breeds broken down by size.
This will give you a better idea of which furry friend will be the best fit to keep up on your next Saturday afternoon bike ride.
11 Fastest Dog Breeds
|Dog Breed||Speed (mph)|
|Afghan Hound||40 mph|
|Ibizan Hound||40 mph|
|Pharaoh Hound||35 mph|
|Jack Russell Terrier||35 mph|
Large and Fast Dog Breeds
If you’re looking for a large, but energetic dog to keep up with your hectic lifestyle, consider one of the following.
Here are the top ten fastest breeds over 40 pounds…
10. Great Dane (30 mph)
Go big or go home is this dog’s motto. Topping out at around 180 pounds, the Great Dane is the largest dog on our list of the fastest dog breeds.
Standing at around 32 inches ground to shoulder, on their hind legs the Great Dane is taller than most adults.
You may assume this impressive stature would translate to incredible speed as well.
You would be right. Sort of…
While Great Danes are faster than a lot of dogs around, they pale in comparison to some of our top contenders.
At their fastest, the Great Dane top speed is around 30 miles per hour, which is pretty impressive.
If you’re on the hunt for a dog that can see over the kitchen counter, this is the breed for you.
FUN FACT: Great Danes were once thought to scare off evil spirits and ghosts. This may be the reason everyone’s favorite monster hunting dog, Scooby-Doo, was chosen to be a Great Dane!
9. Weimaraner (35 mph)
Weimaraners were originally bred as hunting dogs for royalty.
Standing about 25 inches at the shoulder and weighing an average of 70 pounds, they’re not small either.
You can spot a Weimaraner for its beautiful silvery blue smooth coat. Another unique feature is their light eyes, which range in color from an icy blue to light amber.
Weimaraners make excellent companions for active families and even better hunting and running partners, two sports where their speed and stamina shine.
The Weimaraner top speed is 35 mph.
FUN FACT: Weimaraners skilled pointer skills led to them to be selected as missile hunting dogs during the Cold War. Missiles were often covered in squalene, an oil found in shark liver, which allowed the dog’s keen noses to detect them.
8. Pharaoh Hound (35 mph)
The Pharaoh Hound is a fascinating breed to look at.
They are named for their resemblance to the Tesem, a dog said to have been bred in Ancient Egypt.
With their long ears, and lean, muscular build, they look almost as agile as they are.
Pharaoh Hounds can run up to 35 mph and are great at hunting in pairs. One dog will act as a herder and the other in tandem to lead the chase.
They stand around 24 inches tall and weigh an average of 50 lbs.
FUN FACT: Despite their name, Pharaoh Hounds do not hail from Egypt. Rather, they are the national dog of Malta, the country from which they originate.
Don’t Miss: 24 of the Strongest Dog Breeds in the World
7. Borzoi (36 mph)
Otherwise known as the Russian Wolfhound, this fast dog breed is one of the more unique-looking pups on our list.
Some find the Russian Wolfhound a little funny looking with long legs, slender body, narrow head pointed snout and a curly coat.
They’re also tall, standing almost as tall as a Great Dane at their shoulder, right around 30 inches.
Their slender build gives them a speed advantage as a Borzoi can hit top speeds of 36 mph.
FUN FACT: Borzois are sighthounds and for good reason! They have an incredible field of vision. Their front placed, almond-shaped eyes give them a nearly 270-degree field of vision.
6. Dalmatian (37 mph)
One of the most recognizable breeds, Dalmatians have achieved an iconic status in popular culture.
In movies and TVs, this adorable breed has held its own.
But despite their star persona, Dalmatians are good family dogs with boundless energy and loyal to their owners.
The Dalmatian running speed of 37 miles per hour may turn those familiar spots into a blur.
FUN FACT: For a long time, Dalmatians were known as “Carriage Dogs”. This led to their prevalent association with being the official dogs of firehouses! Back in the day, Dalmatians would run alongside fire wagons, keeping the path clear. Their speed came in handy, as they needed to outpace the horses and the image has stuck ever since!
5. Ibizan Hound (40 mph)
The Ibizan Hound can run up to 40 mph. They are excellent hunting dogs, although females have a reputation of being better at the job.
Standing around 25 inches tall and weighing 50 pounds, they have a deer-like elegance while running.
They are quickly identifiable by their large, upright ears.
Just don’t lose sight of them! Ibizan Hounds are true sighthounds, and once they’re off after something, it may be hard to reign them back in.
FUN FACT: Ibiza Hounds hail from the Spanish island of Ibiza where they were bred to hunt rabbits. The breed was thought to have been brought to the island by Phoenician traders, who needed them to gather food on the otherwise scarce terrain.
Slowest Dog Breeds in the World
4. Vizsla (40 mph)
Dating back to 1357, the Vizslas origins can be traced to Hungary.
Another excellent athletic hunting breed, Vizslas are known for their beautiful golden rust smooth coat and tons of stamina.
Standing around 24 inches tall at the shoulder, Vizslas have a slightly muscular build.
Vizslas are one of the fastest dogs reaching speeds of 40 mph and make for a great running partner. If you can keep up that is!
FUN FACT: Vizslas almost faced extinction! After World War II, it was thought that only about a dozen purebreds were left in existence. Since then, their numbers have recovered and they are adored by owners all over the world.
3. Afghan Hound (40 mph)
Talk about great hair! The Afghan Hound is one of the most striking on this list when it comes to appearance.
Known for their signature long, silky coat, this breed also has a distinct dark, long snout, and long legs.
Tall and thin, the Afghan hound stands at 29 inches and weighs around 60 pounds.
Afghan Hound’s graceful stature makes them incredibly fast, reaching an impressive speed of 40 mph!
FUN FACT: This beautiful breed was a favorite with famed painter Pablo Picasso! Picasso’s Afghan Hound named Kabul appeared in many of his paintings and served as inspiration for many of his pieces.
2. Saluki (42 mph)
This dog is all legs. Known for their long legs, slim frame, and thin face, ears, and tail, the Saluki is a beautiful ancient breed that is fleet of foot.
Not only is a Saluki one of the fastest dogs they are also one of the oldest on record, dating back to Ancient Egyptian times!
They’re also in fierce competition with our first-place winner when it comes to speed.
Running at a whopping 42 miles per hour, the Saluki is one of the fastest breeds around.
FUN FACT: When distance is involved, some argue that the Saluki may even beat out a Greyhound. Since Salukis have plenty of stamina they can sustain their speed over longer distances compared to other breeds with the help of padded feet. This trait is unique to the breed and makes them excellent hunting dogs.
FUN FACT #2 – Salukis are also the mascot of my alma mater Southern Illinois University Carbondale!!
1. Greyhound (45 mph)
Faster than the standard racehorse, it may come as no surprise that the fastest dog breed in the world is the Greyhound.
They may strike a resemblance to the Saluki or Afghan Hound, but these dogs have a Celtic origin.
Standing almost 30 inches tall, their long legs, flexible spine, and muscular frame propel the average Greyhound to speeds of 45 mph!
It is no wonder that the breed is known for its spectacular racing capabilities.
The fastest dog’s top speed ever recorded is from a Greyhound named Fanta at 50.5 miles per hour!
FUN FACT: Best known for their competitive racing abilities, Greyhounds are gentle, intelligent breeds. They make great dogs for families with the time, patience, and space to keep them happy. If you’re an experienced dog owner interested in Greyhounds, consider adopting one. They are usually retired racings dogs looking for their forever families.
Fastest Medium-Sized Dogs
Not all of the speediest breeds are topping out at over 40 pounds.
If your lifestyle calls for a more moderately sized dog then here are the top ten fastest breeds to look into…
10. Beagle ( 20 mph)
With a low-maintenance coat and a friendly disposition, the Beagle makes a great family pet.
Beagles are scent hounds and they like to follow their nose. If they catch wind of something that interests them, they’ll likely be off after it, and hard to stop.
The Beagle running speed can reach up to 20 mph.
They come in a 13-inch size and a 15-inch size, but neither are likely to weigh more than 35 pounds. Making them great companion animals for children.
FUN FACT: Beagles are so driven by their nose that some need daily stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored or destructive in the home. Thankfully, this isn’t too hard. Keeping your Beagle entertained can be as simple as allowing them plenty of sniff time on daily walks.
9. Brittany Spaniel (25 mph)
Sweet-natured and intelligent, the Brittany Spaniel is a loyal and easy to train breed.
Brittany Spaniels love water and are great swimmers, making the breed a favorite among the hunting community.
Running up to 25 mph, the Brittany Spaniel needs plenty of daily exercise and is not a great fit for apartment dwellers.
FUN FACT: Historically known as the “Brittany Spaniel”, the name has gone through changes since the ’80s. In 1986, spaniel was removed and was simply referred to as “the Brittany” in breeding circles and show communities.
8. Pit Bull (27 mph)
A dog with a long reputation, the Pit Bull is one of the most controversial and talked about breeds around.
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about the Pit Bull is that this “breed” may not be a breed at all.
In fact, “Pit Bull” is a grouping used to include three breeds: American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and other Pit mixes.
Long stereotyped as aggressive fighting dogs, more and more people are giving these intelligent and athletic dogs good homes and proper training.
Pit Bulls come in a wide range of colors and sizing, but most are quick and able to run at speeds of up to 27 miles per hour.
FUN FACT: Despite their reputation, Pit Bulls are one of the most affectionate groups of dogs around. They have an intense adoration for people that often earns them a reputation as “velcro dogs”. The name is given to them since they love to be as close to their owners as often as possible. Some Pit Bull owners say the most aggressive trait about their dog is their aggressive snuggling.
7. Husky (28 mph)
Huskies were born and bred to run!
Known as “sled dogs”, this breed was bred for its incredible endurance and ability to thrive in cold climates.
With a thick double coat and almond-shaped eyes, a Husky is perfect for the snow.
They are even known to wrap their thick tails up around their snouts to keep them warm while they sleep.
It should come as no surprise that they’re also speedy, running up to 28 mph with remarkable endurance.
FUN FACT: Huskies have a remarkable ability to run long distances without tiring. This is due in large part to their incredible ability to regulate their metabolism, which is still being researched today.
6. German Shorthaired Pointer (30 mph)
This Sporting breed was created in Germany during the 17th century and has long life spans of 12 to 15 years.
The German Shorthaired Pointers have a short, waterproof coat and a great temperament.
Making them an easy choice for families and people who have other dogs.
However, their strong hunting instincts make them less suitable for individuals with small animals.
German Pointers are great hunting dogs for a reason and can run up to 30 mph in pursuit of prey.
FUN FACT: Although bred in Germany, the German Shorthaired Pointer is the 19th most popular dog breed in the United States. This makes it a more common breed in the USA than in its homeland.
5. Border Collie (30 mph)
Known for their speed and their intelligence, Border Collies are one of the smartest breeds around.
A herding breed, Border Collies are compact and athletic, averaging around 40 pounds and excel in agility sports with a top running speed of 30 miles per hour.
Prospective owners beware… though these dogs are highly intelligent, they are fast to get into everything.
Before adopting a Border Collie consider whether you have the time and patience to train and exercise your new furry friend.
FUN FACT: Border Collies get their name from the region in which they were bred, on the border of Scotland and England.
4. Australian Shepherd (30 mph)
Like the Border Collie, Australian Shepherds are an athletic breed known for their agility and alertness.
Distinctive for their long, beautiful coats, they need regular grooming to prevent excessive shedding in the home.
These are working dogs and demand lots of exercise to prevent potential conflicts with behavior and training but are loyal companions.
Quick and agile, Australian Shepherds can run up to 30 mph.
FUN FACT: Love throwing the frisbee or have an active lifestyle? This may be the dog for you! Due to the Australian Shepherd’s blend of quick pace, coordination, and sharpness, they are great candidates for agility sports including frisbee and flyball.
3. Poodle (30 mph)
Coming in three sizes – Standard, Miniature, and Toy – the Poodle can find its way into each of our size categories.
Highly recognized for their appearances in show competitions and flamboyant grooming, the Poodle is also an intelligent dog with incredible athletic capabilities.
They can to run up to 30 mph. Poodles are versatile dogs, doing well as family companions and in the show circuit.
FUN FACT: Ever wondered where the Poodle’s standard grooming comes from? In the breed’s early years, the grooming served a practical purpose. Hunters would shave the dog to increase their mobility. They would leave parts of their anatomy, such as the head, chest, and leg joints unshaven to protect them from the cold.
2. German Pinscher (33 mph)
The German Pinscher has a muscular and compact frame, hitting knee level with most adults.
This striking breed is alert and confident and is unlikely to shy away from strangers or other dogs, making it a great watchdog.
Perhaps most notable about this breed is its speed.
At full exertion, the athletic physique of a German Pinscher can reach 33 miles per hour.
FUN FACT: The German Pinscher is one of Germany’s oldest breeds and is the original “prototype” pinscher, from which the popular Doberman and Miniature Pinscher both take their names!
1. Whippet (35 mph)
Dubbed the fastest accelerating dog in the world, the Whippet can run up to 35 mph. It’s no wonder they’re our number one slot for the fastest mid-sized breed.
Despite its racing background, the Whippet spends most of its non-exercise time on the couch. Making this breed suitable for apartment living despite its running abilities.
Whippets are generally quiet and sensitive breeds, with gentle dispositions and high intelligence.
FUN FACT: The name Whippet originated from the English phrase “whip-it” which means to go fast, a fitting name for this speedy breed.
Lightning Fast Small Dog Breeds
Short on space and looking for a dog that can both fit your apartment lifestyle and be down for a run? Look no further.
Here are the 10 fastest small dogs…
10. Miniature Pinscher (15 mph)
The smaller twin to the already mentioned German Pinscher is the Miniature Pinscher. Affectionately called “Minpins” by owners, this dog is like their bigger lookalike in many ways.
High-energy dogs, Miniature Pinchers are always on the go. They may be small, but pack a big punch.
Speedy for its size, the Miniature Pinscher can run up to 15 mph. They are often able to get enough exercise moving around small spaces like apartments.
FUN FACT: Though similar in name and resemblance to the German Pinscher, this breed is not a miniature version of the larger dog. Instead, this breed is thought to be a mix of Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds.
9. Australian Terrier (18 mph)
The Australian Terrier has a long, low-lying frame that is typical of terriers.
Originally bred to hunt vermin, this Aussie hails from Australia as its name would suggest.
Australian Terriers are a quick but small breed, reaching speeds of up to 18 mph.
They make a great watchdog and are known for being proud and alert.
FUN FACT: Until 1887, this breed was named the rough-haired terrier and was brought to Australia from Great Britain. After some time it became known as the Australian Terrier, the land in which it was popularized.
8. Boston Terrier (18 mph)
Nicknamed “America’s Gentleman”, the Boston Terrier’s coat resembles a tuxedo and comes in a few different color variations.
This breed is small but lively, bred from sporting and pit breeds to excel in ratting contests.
How fast can Boston Terriers run? The Boston Terrier top speed is 18 miles per hour which is impressive for its small stature.
FUN FACT: The breed is said to have descended from a single dog named “Judge” in 1870 in Boston. Eventually, the lineage of dogs that followed was named for the city in which they were bred.
7. Papillon (18 mph)
Known for their long coat and big ears, the Papillon may be little, but should not be underestimated.
A favorite in show rings and agility competitions, Papillons have endless energy and make great companions for families and singles alike.
This breed can run 18 mph at top speeds. If their exercise needs are met, Papillons are very low-maintenance dogs.
FUN FACT: “Papillon” is the French word for butterfly, a name which refers to the shape of their large ears, resembling butterfly wings.
6. Icelandic Sheepdog (22 mph)
The Icelandic Sheepdog is as old as the land it is named after, dating back to the 9th century.
Originally bred as a herding dog, this breed was brought to America in the 1950s facing fears of extinction.
An intelligent dog breed, Icelandic Sheepdogs are friendly as well as fast, running at speeds of up to 22 miles per hour!
Provide them with plenty of exercise and stimulation, as a bored Icelandic Sheepdog is likely to cause havoc in your home if ignored.
FUN FACT: The Icelandic Sheepdog is Iceland’s only native breed!
5. Basenji (25 mph)
The Basenji is a clever and unique-looking breed originating from the Congo.
Like many of the other fastest dogs on our list, Basenjis were originally bred to hunt vermin and to flush small game toward the hunters.
Speed was important for this task, and the Basenji is incredibly quick, reaching up to 25 mph.
One of the more energetic dog breeds a Basenji can adapt quickly to apartment living.
FUN FACT: Known as the “barkless dog” the Basenji is a great choice when noise is a concern. This breed is quiet, although they are certainly not silent. The Basenji makes their presence known with a variety of other vocalizations from yodels to whimpers.
4. Shiba Inu (25 mph)
You may recognize the Shiba Inu from its use in popular memes, but there’s more to this dog than comic relief.
This fast dog hails from Japan where it is the most popular breed. But has experienced a surge in popularity in the United States.
Shibas have a bold, confident personality and may even seem a little standoffish.
Sturdy with muscular bodies this fox like dog is quick. The Shiba Inu top speed is 25 mph!
FUN FACT: Though this breed didn’t make an appearance in the USA until 1954, the Shiba Inu is ancient, hailing back to 300 B.C. in the mountains of Japan.
3. Rat Terrier (27 mph)
True to their name, the Rat Terrier was bred for their incredible ratting abilities.
With a top speed of 27 miles per hour it’s no wonder the Rat Terrier is a prized vermin hunter.
This dog is small but has a muscular frame and square shoulders.
Despite its size, this dog is bold and has no fear of strangers, but can be somewhat stubborn.
The Rat Terrier is an intelligent breed that is highly trainable and makes a great companion for people of all walks of life.
FUN FACT: This Rat Terrier is native to the United States and it’s said that Teddy Roosevelt was the first to coin the name. This was after seeing the impressive ratting abilities of his terrier named “Skip”.
2. Italian Greyhound (30 mph)
The Italian Greyhound can reach speeds of up to 30 mph.
But, if you are seeking a dog that can relax, this small breed is a couch potato outside of their regular exercise.
Affectionately called “Iggys” by some owners, the Italian Greyhound’s bond is intense with their owners.
They also enjoy having other dogs in the house for companionship.
FUN FACT: The Italian Greyhound is a sighthound and is the smallest variation in the hound family, weighing between 8 and 18 pounds. This dog’s high metabolism makes it rare to see an overweight Italian Greyhound.
1. Jack Russell Terriers (35 mph)
One of the most impressive dogs on all our lists, Jack Russell Terriers may be small, but they are mighty.
Averaging 15 pounds, Jack Russell Terriers can run up to 35 miles per hour and jump nearly five feet in the air.
This, combined with being intelligent and having a bold personality, makes them the first choice for agility competitions and active owners.
Jack Russell’s are not meant for pushover owners, as their cleverness combined with their speed make them mischievous if not trained correctly.
FUN FACT: Due to their stamina and go-getter attitudes, Jack Russell’s are favorite travel and exploring companions for many. In 1982, one Jack Russell named “Bothy” became the first dog to visit both the North and South Pole!
Wrapping It pUp…
Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover!
Whether it’s a 180 pound Great Dane or a 15 pound Jack Russell, dogs of all sizes can reach impressive speeds.
If you’re looking for a dog to accompany you on a morning run or an energetic friend to share your small apartment with, this list has a breed for you!