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 to give you a better idea of which furry friend will be best fit to keep up on your next Saturday afternoon bike ride.
- Super Fast Large Breeds
- Fastest Medium Dogs
- Lightning Quick Small Dog Breeds
- Wrapping It pUp...
Super Fast Large 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 definitely the largest dog on this list.
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 certainly faster than a lot of dogs around, they pale in comparison to some of our top contenders.
At their fastest speeds, Great Danes can top out around 30 mph, which is pretty impressive.
If you’re on the hunt for a dog that can see over the kitchen counter, this may be the breed for you.
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)
These striking dogs 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 easily spot a Weimaraner for it’s beautiful silvery blue coat and their light eyes, which range in color from an icy blue to a light amber.
Weimaraners make excellent companions and even better hunting partners, a sport where their speed and stamina really shine.
At top speed Weimaraners can run up to 35 mph.
Weimaraner’s skilled pointer skills led to the breed’s selection as missile hunting dogs during the Cold War.
Missile’s 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)
Named for their resemblance to the Tesem, a dog said to have been bred in Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh Hound is a fascinating breed to look at.
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, with one dog acting 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.
Despite their name, Pharaoh Hounds do not actually hail from Egypt.
Rather, they were bred to look as they do, and are actually the national dog of Malta, the country from which they truly originate.
7. Borzoi (36 mph)
Otherwise known as the Russian Wolfhound, this breed is one of the more unique looking dogs on our list.
With long legs, a slender body, pointed snout, and a curly coat, some may think this particular breed to be a little funny looking.
They’re also exceptionally tall, standing almost as tall as a Great Dane at their shoulder, right around 30 inches.
Their slender build, however, gives them an advantage in speed, and a Borzoi can run up to 36 mph at top speeds!
Borzois are considered sighthounds, and for good reason! They have an absolutely incredible field of vision.
Their front placed, almond-shaped eyes give them a near 270 degree field of vision, absolutely trumping the human equivalent of around 180 degrees.
6. Dalmation (37 mph)
One of the most easily recognizable breeds, Dalmations have achieved an iconic status in popular culture.
In movies and TVs, this adorable breed has held their own.
But despite their star persona, Dalmations are actually good family dogs, both highly energetic and loyal to their owners.
At top speeds, Dalmations can run up to 37 mph, which may just turn those oh so familiar spots into a near blur.
For a long time, Dalmations were known as “Carriage Dogs”, which led to their prevalent association with being the official dogs of firehouses!
Back in the day, Dalmations would run alongside fire wagons, keeping the path clear and leading the carriage.
Their speed came in handy, as they needed to outpace the horses, and the image has stuck ever since!
5. Ibizan Hound (40 mph)
Easily recognized by their large and striking ears, the Ibizan Hound rounds out the middle of our large breed list.
Running up to 40 mph, they are excellent hunting dogs, although females have a reputation of being a little better at the job.
Standing around 25 inches tall, and weighing roughly 50 pounds, they possess an almost deer like elegance when running.
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.
Ibiza Hounds hail from the Spanish island of Ibiza for which they were named, where they were bred to hunt rabbits.
The breed was thought to first have been brought to the island by Phoenician traders, who needed them to gather food on the otherwise scarce terrain.
4. Vizsla (40 mph)
Dating all the way back to 1357, the Vizsla’s origins can be traced to Hungary.
Another excellent hunting breed, these dogs are known for their beautiful golden rust color.
Vizsla’s stand around 24 inches tall at the shoulder, and have a lightly muscular build.
They are also one of the fastest dogs of their size, and can reach speeds of up to 40 mph.
Vizsla’s almost faced extinction! After the second World War, it was thought that only about a dozen purebred Vizsla’s 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 dog’s on this list when it comes to appearance.
Known for their signature long, silky coat, this breed also has a distinctly dark, long snout, and long legs.
Tall and thin, the Afghan hound stands can stand at nearly 29 inches, and weighs around 60 pounds.
This lithe stature makes it incredibly fast, up to run nearly 40 mph at top speeds.
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. Recognizable for their long, long legs, slim frame, and thin face, ears, and tail, the Saluki is a beautiful breed.
Not only is it good-looking, but it also is one of the oldest dogs on record, dating back to Ancient Egyptian times!
They’re also in fierce competition with our first place winner when it comes to speed.
Topping out at a whopping 42 mph, the Saluki is one of the fastest breeds around.
When distance is concerned, some argue that the Saluki may even beat out our first place contender.
Salukis are able to sustain their speed over longer distances compared to other breeds due to their incredible stamina and padded feet, a trait that is unique to the breed and makes them excellent hunting dogs.
FUN FACT #2 - They 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 to many of you that our fastest large breed (and fastest overall!), is the Greyhound.
Though they may strike a resemblance to the Saluki or Afghan Hound, these dogs actually have more Celtic origins.
Standing almost 30 inches tall, their long legs, flexible spine, and muscular frame propel them at speeds up to 45 mph!
It should be no wonder that the breed is known for their spectacular racing capabilities.
Though best known for their competitive racing abilities, Greyhounds are actually incredibly gentle, intelligent breeds, and 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, and have time and patience to work with your new furry friend, then consider adopting from a Greyhound Rescue, which places retired racing dogs with new forever families.
Fastest Medium 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 is one of the greatest family dogs out there.
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.
At top speeds, Beagles 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.
Beagles are so driven by their nose that some may require daily stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored or potentially 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, this breed needs plenty of daily exercise, and is not a great fit for apartment dwelling individuals.
Though historically known as the “Brittany Spaniel”, a name still often used today, the name has gone through changes since the 80’s.
In 1986, spaniel was removed from the name, simply referring to the breed 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 really 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, modern discourse has changed to be kinder to this long misunderstood breed, with more and more people becoming increasingly willing to give these intelligent and athletic dogs good homes and proper training.
Pit bulls come in a wide range of colors and sizing, but most are pretty quick, able to run at speeds of up to 27 mph.
Despite their reputation for the opposite, Pit Bulls are actually considered by many to be 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”, as they love to be close to their owners as often as possible.
Some with Pit Bulls say the most aggressive trait about their dog is their aggressive snuggling.
7. Husky (28 mph)
These dogs were born and bred to run!
Known widely as “sled dogs” this breed was bred for their incredible endurance and ability to thrive in cold climates.
With a thick double coat and almond shaped eyes, these dogs are perfect for the snow, and are even known to wrap their thick tails up around their snouts to keep them warm while they sleep.
This being said, it should come as no surprise that they’re also speedy, running up to 28 mph with remarkable endurance.
Huskies have a remarkable ability to run long distances without tiring, and this is due in large part to their incredible ability to regulate their metabolism.
Instead of burning their fat stores, Huskies seem to flip a switch before a race, changing their metabolism from that comparable to humans to one that is still being studied by animal researchers.
6. German Shorthaired Pointers (30 mph)
This Sporting breed was created in Germany during the 17th century, and have long life spans of 12 to 15 years.
This breed has 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.
Although bred in Germany, the German Shorthaired Pointer is actually the 19th most popular breed in the United States, making 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, these dogs are compact and athletic, averaging around 40 pounds, and topping running speeds of nearly 30 mph.
Prospective owners beware, though these dogs are highly intelligent and therefore, fast to get into everything.
Before adopting a Border Collie consider whether or not you have the time and patience to train and exercise your new furry friend.
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 known for their agility, intelligence, and athletic build. Distinctive for their long, beautiful coats, they require regular grooming to prevent excessive shedding in the home.
These are working dogs, and demand daily exercise to prevent potential conflicts with behavior and training.
Quick and agile, Australian Shepards can run up to 30 mph.
Love throwing the frisbee? This may be the dog for you.
Due to the Australian Shepherds blend of speed, agility, and intelligence, they are great companions for pet sports including frisbee and fly ball.
3. Poodle (30 mph)
Coming in three sizes, Standard, Miniature, and Toy, the Poodle could easily find its way into each our size categories.
Perhaps best known for it’s common appearance in show competitions, and flamboyant grooming, the poodle is actually a highly intelligent dog with incredible athletic capabilities, with the ability to run up to 30 mph.
Poodles are incredibly versatile dogs, doing well as family companions and in the show circuit.
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, but 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)
This striking breed boasts a muscular and compact frame, hitting knee level with most adults.
This breed has an alert and confident air about it, 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 muscular German Pinscher can reach 33 mph.
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, able to run up to 35 mph, it’s no wonder that our number one slot for fastest mid sized breed goes to the Whippet.
Despite it’s racing background, this dog is known to spend most of its non-exercise time slotted on the couch, making it suitable for apartment living despite its running abilities.
Whippets are generally quiet and sensitive breeds, with gentle dispositions and a high intelligence.
The name Whippet is thought to have originated from the English phrase “whip-it” which means to go fast, a fitting name for this speedy breed.
Lightning Quick 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 breeds...
10. Miniature Pinscher (15 mph)
The smaller twin to the aforementioned German Pinscher, “Minpins” as they are affectionately called by owners are like their bigger lookalike in many ways.
Highly energetic and always on the dog, these dogs may be small, but they pack a big punch.
Speedy for their size, these dogs can run up to 15 mph, but are often able to get enough exercise moving around small spaces like apartments.
Though similar in name and resemblance to the German Pinscher, this breed is not actually 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)
This small sized breed has a long low lying frame that is typical of terriers.
Originally bred to hunt vermin, the Aussie hails from Australian as its name would suggest.
Bred to hunt vermin, this is a quick but small breed, reaching speeds of up to 18 mph.
The Aussie makes a great watchdog, and is known for being proud and alert.
Until 1887, this breed was known as the rough haired terrier, and was brought to Australia from Great Britain.
After time, however, it became known as the Australian Terrier, the land in which it was popularized.
8. Boston Terrier (18 mph)
Nicknamed “America’s Gentleman”, this breed’s coat resembles a tuxedo and comes in a few different color variations.
The Boston Terrier is a small but lively breed, bred from sporting and pit breeds to excel in ratting contests.
As years went on, the Boston Terrier retained its energetic and quick nature, and is able to run up to 18 mph, impressive for its small stature.
The breed that is commonly known now as the Boston Terrier is said to have descended from a single dog named “Judge” in 1870 in Boston.
Eventually, the lineage of dogs that followed were named for the city in which they were bred.
7. Papillon (18 mph)
Known for their long coat and big ears, these dogs may be little, but should not be underestimated.
A favorite in show rings and agility competitions, the Papillon is an energetic companion for families and singles alike, and are able to run up to 18mph at top speeds.
If their exercise needs are met, Papillons are otherwise very low maintenance dogs, who are friendly companions.
This breed gets their name from the shape of their ears. “Papillon” is the French word for butterfly, a name which refers to the shape of their large ears, which resemble butterfly wings.
6. Icelandic Sheepdog (22 mph)
This breed is as old as the land it is named for, dating all the way back to the 9th century.
Originally bred as a herding dog, this breed was brought to America in the 1950’s facing fears of extinction.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a friendly and intelligent breed, as well as fast, running at speeds of up to 22 mph!
Take care to provide them with plenty of exercise and stimulation, as a bored Icelandic Sheepdog is far more likely to cause havoc in your home.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is actually Iceland’s only native breed!
5. Basenji (25 mph)
The Basenji is a clever and unique looking breed originating from the Congo.
Like many dogs on this list, the breed was originally bred to hunt vermin, and to flush small game into hunter’s nets.
Speed, then, was important, and this breed is incredibly quick, reaching up to 25 mph.
Though this dog is certainly energetic, it adapts quickly to apartment living as well.
Known as the “barkless dog” the Basenji is a great choice when noise is a concern.
They are quiet breeds, although they are certainly not silent, making their presence known with a variety of other vocalizations from yodels to whimpers.
4. Shiba Inu (25 mph)
You may recognize this breed from its use in popular memes, but there’s more to this dog than comic relief.
The Shiba Inu hails from Japan where it is the most popular breed, but is quickly experiencing a surge in popularity in the United States.
Shibas have a bold, confident personality, and may even seem a little standoffish.
Sturdy and muscular, this fox like dog is quick, able to run up to 25 mph!
Though this breed didn’t make an appearance in the USA until 1954, the breed is actually ancient, hailing all the way back to 300 b.c. in the mountains of Japan.
3. Rat Terrier (27 mph)
True to their name, this terrier was bred and kept for their incredible ratting abilities.
As prized vermin hunters, the Rat Terrier is fast, reaching speeds of up to 27 mph.
This dog is small, but has a muscular frame and square shoulders.
Despite its size, this dog is bold and has no fear with 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.
This breed is native to the United States, and it’s said that Teddy Roosevelt was the first to coin the name, after seeing the impressive ratting abilities of his own terrier named “Skip”.
2. Italian Greyhound (30 mph)
These small dogs, affectionately called “Iggys” by some owners, are not just smaller versions of the standard Greyhound, though they are indeed fast.
Able to reach speeds of up to 30 mph, this is another small breed that is famously a couch potato outside of their regular exercise.
These dogs bond intensely with their owners, and enjoy having other dogs in the house for companionship.
The Italian Greyhound is actually a sighthound, and is the smallest variation in the hound family, weighing only between 8 and 18 pounds.
This dog’s high metabolism makes it rare to see an overweight Italian Greyhound.
1. Jack Russel (35 mph)
Perhaps one of the most impressive dogs on all of our lists, this breed may be small, but they pack a huge punch.
At only around 15 pounds, Jack Russell Terriers can run up to 35 mph and jump nearly five feet in the air.
This, combined with an impressive intelligence and a bold personality makes them a first choice for agility competitions and active owners alike.
This is not the breed for pushovers, however, Jack Russell’s cleverness combined with their impressive speed makes them mischievous if not trained correctly.
These dogs are fearless and should be watched, as not to allow them to find themselves in trouble.
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 ever 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, this list has a breed for you!