Meet the Fastest Greyhound Dog Ever Recorded

Written by Amber LaRock
Updated: April 11, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth reaching speeds of 45 mph with some greyhounds able to maintain 35-mile-per-hour speeds for up to seven miles without tiring.
  • With large hearts that can circulate their entire blood volume up to five times during a short race and bodies built for speed, Greyhounds rule the dog racing circuit.
  • Australia’s Shakey Jakey is often referred to as the fastest greyhound around after reaching speeds of 41.8 mph and winning his only race by 22 lengths, but Ballyregan Bob is the true record holder, winning 32 consecutive races in Great Britain. He set speed records at ten racing tracks during his career.

Greyhounds have long been known for their speed. In fact, they are the fastest dogs on earth. The history of greyhound racing goes back decades, so the world has seen many speedy canines over the years. With so many impressive greyhounds out there, many have wondered who takes the title of being the fastest on record.

We’ll introduce you to the fastest greyhound in the world and share details of these incredible pups as a whole!

How Fast Is the Average Greyhound?

Greyhound in the grass

Greyhounds have extremely streamlined bodies and long legs.

©Proshkin Aleksandr/

Though every greyhound will vary in their speed capabilities, greyhounds are listed as the fastest dog breed for a reason. These dogs have been known to reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour! Most dogs could never hope to accomplish a speed like this. Not only are they extremely fast, but they can maintain incredible speeds for long periods. Experts state that some greyhounds can maintain 35-mile-per-hour speeds for up to seven miles without tiring.

Why Are Greyhounds So Fast?

Since other dogs cannot reach these speeds, we can assume greyhounds have some pretty special qualities.

First, the greyhound has a large heart that holds a high volume of blood. Their impressive heart can circulate their entire blood volume up to five times during a short race. This allows them to oxygenate their muscles to peak performance. Not only is their heart designed to support speed, but their body behaves like a spring that propels them forward. All four of their paws leave the ground at one time as they explode forward, similar to a cheetah! They also have extremely streamlined bodies and long legs.

Because they were originally bred to track and hunt down prey, their bodies adapted to better fit their energy needs. This led to the unique characteristics the greyhound now possesses! With all of these traits combined, the greyhound has become the most impressive runner in the canine world!

The Fastest Greyhound Ever Recorded

Dog Facts for Kids: A greyhound

The incredibly fast greyhound is a fantastic athlete.

©Liliya Kulianionak/

It can be a bit challenging to determine the fastest greyhound on record. Many greyhounds have a list of impressive race scores under their belt. Additionally, many of these races are different lengths or take place on different tracks. This multitude of variables makes comparisons challenging. However, one greyhound, in particular, has made quite a name for himself in regard to speed.

Shakey Jakey is often referred to as the fastest greyhound around. He is known for his impressive race in Sydney, Australia in 2014. Interestingly, he completed his racing career after this solo event. Though his career was short-lived, it’s still spoken about today. The famous greyhound reached speeds of 41.8 mph during the race and won by 22 lengths.

Though Shakey Jakey is known worldwide, the true record holder of greyhound racing is Ballyregan Bob. He set the record for being the fastest greyhound in 1980 after he won 32 consecutive races. We’ll never know which dog was truly faster, but both of these hounds were fantastic athletes!

Do Greyhound Races Still Exist?

You may be wondering if greyhound racing still exists around the world. Though it was once a popular sport that many supported, it is now illegal in many parts of the United States. The sport began to receive criticism for many reasons, stemming back to allegations of greyhound abuse and the gambling that revolved around the sport.

Despite this mass ban, there are still two operating tracks in West Virginia. Additionally, greyhound racing is still widely prevalent in the UK, but many believe the sport will dwindle in the coming years.

A greyhound does not need to race for us to acknowledge just how incredible this breed is. Not only are their athletic abilities rave-worth, but they are also a loving breed with many unique characteristics. The greyhound is special in every sense of the word!

Final Thoughts

Shakey Jakey is often referred to as the fastest greyhound around, but Ballyregan Bob is the true record holder. Regardless of which individual dog takes the cake, there’s no denying greyhounds are an incredibly athletic breed!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Henri Faure/

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About the Author

Amber LaRock is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics surrounding pet health and behavior. Amber is a Licensed Veterinary Technician with 12 years of experience in the field, and she holds a degree in veterinary technology that she earned in 2015. A resident of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Amber enjoys volunteering with animal rescues, reading, and taking care of her two cats.

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