Are you wondering how fast can a dog run? Suppose, You’re out with your dog in a park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. You just threw a frisbee up in the air, several meters away, but in microseconds, you see he’s here – holding the frisbee in his mouth, wagging its tail, for the nth time. Be it racing with your dogs out in the yard or running after them after a backyard escape, by this time, and you must have realized that dogs are fast, and it’s challenging to outrun them.
Some trained dogs are so fast that they can even outrun some of the best elite sprinters. Did you know that the top speed of some of the fastest Greyhounds is 45 mph, which is almost twice as fast as some Olympic winners? Dogs are not just naturally fast, but they are equally energetic.
Dog Running | Why are Dogs So Fast?
Have you ever thought about what makes dogs so fast naturally? These domestic animals are not only the human’s best friends but are also good runners when it comes to save their or others lives or for simple playing.
So how dogs run? The body structure of dogs plays a crucial role in helping them run naturally and fast. Their 4 legs have the definitive advantage of sprinting faster than humans. The aerodynamic shape of some dogs makes them even quicker than most other animals. Also, with proper nutritious food and the healthiest dog food, dogs can easily run faster. Take a greyhound, for example; its long, lean, tall, and muscular body helps a canine achieve a top speed of 45 mph. Other reasons for canines’ excellent rate are the ancestral skeleton and their limbs maximized for locomotion.
Your canine companions can run fast because of their ancestral skeleton, as their legs have designed to propel them forward rapidly to chase and overcome prey. This provides them with the ability to run and leap. Now that you have understood how fast can a dog run naturally, you must be curious to find out how fast dogs can run and which breeds are the fastest. Let’s dive deep in to find these answers.
How Fast Can A Dog Run?
Greyhounds, the fastest canine athletes, are undoubtedly the fastest dogs worldwide. And to know how fast can a greyhound dog run? Here it is—the top speed of 45 mph. The highest verified rate is 41.8 mph, set by a greyhound in Wyong, Australia, in 1994. Another Australian greyhound has set an unofficial record of 50.5 mph. But that is the only about one breed. There are many other breeds of canine species which run naturally faster than other animals. So, let’s know how fast can a dog run here.
Speaking of the average dog speed, it ranges between 15-20 mph. It is the average speed for short distances regardless of their breed. Do understand that the average rate of a puppy run will be different from an adult dog, which is typical because they have yet to develop limbs, muscles, and bones. Hence, puppies have an average speed of 5-15 mph.
Which are the Fastest Dog Breeds?
It’s no surprise that greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world, but you must be eager to know what is the fastest dog along with that breed? Here is the below fastest dog breeds ranked the top 10 list among other breeds that make up this list.
#1 Grey Hounds
With a speed of 45 mph, greyhounds can outrun racehorses too. They have an average height of 73 cm and a muscular body that helps them run fast. They run with a double suspension gallop, meaning their legs touch the ground about 25 per cent of the time. These grey hounds most likely have slender bodies, small heads, flattened rib cages, and long, well-balanced muscular legs. It minimizes air resistance and helps them in running fast.
Saluki dogs are one of the oldest god breeds. They are as skinny as a supermodel and as fast as the wind. They have an average speed of 42 mph, making them the second-fastest dog in the world. Their build is somewhat similar to a greyhound.
Commonly known as Hungarian Pointers, these dogs have a top speed of 40 mph, making them third on the list. It developed them in Hungary to be a mixture of pointer and retriever. They have immense stamina, making them perfect companions for outdoor activities like hiking, running, and cycling. So, if you are an adventure lover, go to the nearest adoption centre or pet store and get a Vizsla.
#4 Afghan Hound
These dogs are a perfect blend of great speed and unique looks. These ancient gods have thick silky coats, exotic faces, enormous paws, and thin build, making them look like fashion models more than sprinters. It is fun to watch them run. But as we mentioned, they are not just about looks. An Afghan Hound is as equally fast as a vizsla and has a speed of 40 mph.
#5 Jack Russell Terrier
Originally bred in England to hunt foxes over 200 years ago, these dogs have lots of energy and are stubborn. They have a top speed of 38 mph. These sweet little guys love to run and can run over 10 miles in just one day – thanks to their high stamina levels. Thus, it is one of the top 10 fastest dog breeds.
Which are the Slowest Dog Breeds?
Our furry friends which are smallest of their species can be slower than others. Let’s learn what are the slowest dog breeds and know their average speed.
#1 Shih Tzu
With a face that can make you chuckle, Shih Tzus is a regal, ancient breed and undoubtedly a born charmer. These are family-friendly dogs that have a top speed of 6 mph. And these cute little companions have tiny short legs that explain the slow pace. Hence, Shih Tzu owners, you can stay relaxed as your dogs aren’t going anywhere fast.
#2 Lhasa Apso
These furry friends are known for their luxurious coats. They are incredibly adorable and need more brushing than exercise. They have an average speed of 7 mph, and due to their small size, they are fit for small apartments too.
#3 Japanese Chin
Also known as Japanese Spaniels, these dogs are charming toy companions. It covered them with rich, silky fur. They have a top speed of 7 mph. They often describe these lapdogs as elegant and playful and said to have a ‘catlike’ nature. As they do most of their grooming, the title of ‘having characteristic feline traits’ is justified.
Pomeranians are spitz dogs with a top speed of 7 mph. They are aggressive, playful, and love to be the centre of attention. Despite being furry, they do not require as much grooming as other hairy breeds. These smallest dogs are known to be fantastic dogs for all households.
You must have heard about them as one of the most miniature dog breeds. Limited by their small size and tiny legs, these dogs are playful and bond intensely with their owners. They have a speed of 8 mph. They have a small size but a prominent personality. These little charmers are intelligent and the easiest dogs to train.
Dogs vs Humans Running Speed – A Comparison
After reading so much about how fast can a dog run? You must be curious to know how fast dogs are relative to humans.
We already know that some breeds, particularly greyhounds, can be twice as fast as some trained sprinters. In an interview, dog expert, Stanley Coren, said, “When Usain Bolt set his 100-meter world record, he was running at a speed of 22.9 mph and covered that distance in 9.58 seconds. A greyhound would complete that same race in 5.33 seconds.”
However, according to some studies, the average human sprint speed is up to a speed of 6.5 meters per second. Because of this, it is possible to outrun some dogs at distances more significant than a mile.
So now, if you marvel at how fast your dogs run, don’t lose hope. If you practice, you can overtake them. You need a little practice.
How fast can a dog run generally depends on its breed and size. However, all best running dogs can run at high speeds, with some reaching up to 30 miles per hour! If you’re curious about how fast your pup can run, take them to an open space and see for yourself. Just make sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t overdo it. Also, if you own a dog that is a born sprinter instead of constantly locking it in its dog house or putting it on a leash, simply own the best invisible dog fence.