Greyhound vs. Cheetah: 8 Key Differences & Which is Faster

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: March 3, 2022
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What are the differences between a greyhound dog and a wild cheetah? This question might seem insanely obvious, however, there are valid reasons for such an inquiry. For example, although they are two different species, they are both extremely fast terrestrial animals. In this article, we aim to address eight key areas where there are notable similarities and differences between these two speedy creatures. Keep reading to learn more!

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: A Comparison 

Greyhound vs Cheetah
Greyhounds and cheetahs are known for being two of the fastest animals in the world.
Key DifferencesGreyhoundCheetah
Height27 – 30 inches26 – 36 inches
Weight60 to 100 lbs.46 to 160 lbs.
Coat typeShort, SilkyShort, Thick
Speed40+ miles per hour60+ miles per hour
ColorsFawn, Blue, Gray, Red, White, BlackPale Buff or Grayish White / Black Patches
TemperamentSocial, Non-Aggressive, Wary of StrangersDocile, Wild in Nature
TrainabilityGentle Training / Reward-BasedCan be Tamed, Not Domesticated
Life Expectancy12 to 14 Years7 Years Wild, 8 to 12 Years Captive
Health ProblemsBloating, Cancer, Heart IssuesCirrhosis, Distemper, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis
Greyhound vs. Cheetah: A Comparison

Is a Cheetah or Greyhound Faster?

Largest cats - cheetah

The Cheetah can run more than 60 miles per hour.

©Maros Bauer/

A cheetah is unequivocally faster than a greyhound. They can reach speeds of more than 60 miles per hour while few greyhounds can reach more than 40 miles per hour. To get a precise look at their difference in speeds, we’ll rely on data published in the book, Guinness Book of World Records.

Guinness places the highest speed for a greyhound at 41.83 miles per hour, which covered a distance of 400 yards in just 19.57 seconds. Meanwhile, Guinness places the fastest cheetah speed at between 62 and 64 miles per hour. In 2012, a cheetah named Sarah that lived at the Cincinnati Zoo was recorded running at 61 miles per hour.

However, while cheetahs have a higher top speed, greyhounds are built for endurance and can run in excess of 35 miles per hour while cheetahs can only sustain their high-end speed for around 30 seconds. Put another way, while a cheetah would win a 100-meter dash, greyhounds would be the winners of a 5K race.

Key Differences Between the Greyhound and the Cheetah

Gray Dog Breeds

Greyhounds are very playful pups but they also like to just cuddle in their dog bed with their favorite toys.


The most obvious difference between greyhounds and cheetahs is that greyhounds are canines while cheetahs are felines. Let’s dive into some more specifics on what separates these two speedy animals!


Cheetahs can grow up to 3 feet tall and 160 pounds.

©Eric Isselee/

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Height

Although greyhounds are taller than most dogs, a fully grown Cheetah is taller. A full-grown Greyhound stands 27-30 inches tall, while a Cheetah can stand up to 3 feet tall at the shoulder.

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Weight

Greyhounds are huge breed dogs that can weigh 60-100 pounds depending on their health and living conditions. Cheetahs can weigh substantially more, despite their similar appearance in size. Cheetahs can weigh anything from 46 to 160 pounds when fully grown.

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Coat Type

A cheetah’s topcoat is tawny in hue. Greyhounds have a short, silky coat that is easy to maintain. Cheetahs have a thicker coat and can survive outside, however, greyhounds should not be kept outside as pets. Most dogs have a two-layer coat to keep them warm and protected from the weather. Greyhounds, on the other hand, have a single-layer coat that makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. If they are going to be outside for more than a brief period in cold weather, they should wear a coat.

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Colors

Cheetahs are pale buff or grayish-white in hue, with paler and whiter underbelly. On the pelage, black patches are close together, with a series of black rings around the tail’s terminal third. Greyhounds can be any color, including fawn, black, red, blue, gray, or white, despite their name.


greyhound standing tall on path outside

The Greyhound is considered to be the fastest dog in the world, running at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

© Timchenko

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Temperament

Greyhounds have a wonderful temperament, being social and non-aggressive in general, however, some can be wary of strangers. Greyhounds are not a vicious breed, and you won’t see them snarling, growling, or pulling their ears back like other breeds. Cheetahs do not pose a direct threat to humans and are quite docile compared to other wild cats. Cheetahs, on the other hand, are wild animals, and you should never approach one in the wild. Cheetahs appear to be friendlier due to their small size and adorable appearance. Cheetahs do not consider humans to be “friends.” This is crucial for your own protection as well as the cheetahs.

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Trainability

Greyhounds aren’t very eager to please dogs, but they may be trained using consistent, gentle methods and rewards. They’ve been bred and praised for centuries for their capacity to work independently of their master, resulting in a breed that doesn’t wait for the next instruction. Greyhounds who have retired from racing are more responsive to crate training and will thrive if they are kept on a consistent toilet routine.

Cheetahs may appear sociable, but they require different care than a dog or cat. Cheetahs can be tamed, but they can’t be domesticated. They are simply too challenging to breed in captivity. While captive cheetahs seldom reach their maximum speed of 60 mph because of a lack of training, short-distance, quick-burst jogging should be utilized to keep them in shape.

Health Factors

Cheetahs can be tamed in captivity, but they can never be domesticated due to their unpredictable and wild nature.

©Falense, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Life Expectancy

Greyhounds are generally healthy and do not suffer from the same health issues as other large breed dogs, such as hip dysplasia. The typical lifespan of a healthy greyhound is 12-14 years, though many live much longer. Cheetahs live for roughly seven years in the wild and eight to twelve years in captivity.

Greyhound vs. Cheetah: Health Problems

Greyhounds are easy to care for, but they do have certain unique requirements. Due to their lack of body fat, long thin bones, fragile skin, and sensitive souls, they must be protected from extremes in temperature, severe weather, and inappropriate handling. Bloating, bone cancer, heart difficulties, allergies, eye problems, and deafness are all more common in greyhounds than in other dog breeds.

As far as a Cheetah’s health, due to a lack of genetic variety, the cheetah’s vulnerability to diseases is raised even further. Ailments seen in confined cheetahs include liver cirrhosis, feline distemper, pneumonia, other bronchial illnesses, rickets, and tuberculosis.

Wrapping Up Greyhound vs. Cheetah

Dog Facts for Kids: A greyhound

The incredibly fast greyhound running in a field.

©Liliya Kulianionak/

The most obvious difference between the two is that one is a cat, and the other is a dog. A cheetah’s top reported speed is 62 to 64 mph, and they are thought to be capable of much more. Greyhounds can attain maximum speeds of a little more than 40 miles per hour, which is fast enough to keep racegoers entertained but not fast enough to compete with the cheetah. A recent study analyzed the steps of Greyhounds and cheetahs and discovered that the cheetah’s increased stride frequency is responsible for their increased speed.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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