11 Super Fast Types Of Racing Dog Breeds

Border Collie on autumn walk
Ann Tyurina/Shutterstock.com

Written by Em Casalena

Published: April 8, 2023

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Most dogs love running, but there are specific dog breeds out there that don’t just love it; they excel at it! Many types of racing dog breeds can even reach speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour.

Certain dog breeds were historically bred to be working dogs and needed a high peak speed to do specific duties. Certain dogs, like racing and hunting dogs, are built to run quickly. Some of the breeds you might see in your neighborhood dog park might surprise you with how quickly they can run, despite the fact that many dogs are no longer employed primarily for these purposes and are instead more often seen as pets.

Are you interested in adopting a super fast dog breed? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the fastest dog breeds out there. Just keep in mind that you might need a pretty big yard or space for these ultra-fast dog breeds to run as fast as they’d please!

1. Border Collies

Border Collies are a breed that is clever and easy to train. These dogs were developed to run nonstop all day long when herding sheep. They are highly intelligent and easily adapt to almost any dog sport you can think of. A Border Collie’s peak running speed is 30 miles per hour.

The Border Collie has a strong need to assemble a flock since it is a herding dog. That flock might consist of everything that moves, including vehicles, as well as sheep, kids, cats, and squirrels. 

It is impossible to train out this desire to nip, push, and bark. This herding energy instead should be focused on other tasks. Whether it’s herding sheep or participating in dog sports, this breed needs a job. For the Border Collie, daily retrieving or quick walks are insufficient forms of exercise. They need a lot more intensive exercise to optimize their health.

Border collie jumping high to catch a disc frisbee

Border collies (pictured) are very face racing dogs, but are also adept at jumping at great heights.

2. Greyhounds

At a top speed of 45 miles per hour, this breed of racing dog is the quickest out there today. Greyhounds were initially bred as hunting dogs to pursue deer, foxes, and rabbits. They are currently well-recognized for racing. Some dogs are known to have two speeds; hyperdrive and couch potato. These two speeds enable them to adapt well to a calm life at home.

This racing dog breed has a fantastic temperament and is renowned for being sweet and non-aggressive. Greyhounds are independent and clever. They can sense when there is stress in the home and usually react promptly to it.

The Greyhound is a low-energy dog despite being quick and nimble, but it does need at least one walk during the day. Maintaining some physical exercise in their routine is crucial since they have a tendency to act destructively when bored. When anything piques their interest, the tremendous hunting drive of this racing dog breed causes them to disregard nearly any order. Given the chance, the greyhound could quickly disappear once you open your front door because of its remarkable speed and strong prey drive. While the majority of greyhounds get along well with other dogs, because of their high prey drive, they shouldn’t be kept in homes with cats or small pets that they could mistake for prey.

Dog Facts for Kids: A greyhound

Greyhounds (pictured) are considered the fastest breed of dog and are commonly used for dog racing competitions.

3. Great Danes

Great Danes are a huge breed of dog that can really pick up some serious speed. Despite their size, they are incredibly athletic and muscular canines that can sprint at a moment’s notice. Although Great Danes may run with fierce speed due to their physical strength and tremendous amounts of energy, their lack of stamina means that they won’t go very far. 

While Great Danes are physically fit, they struggle to run over great distances. While running a long distance, it’s crucial to give them enough water and breaks. A Great Dane that is fully grown has a top speed of 30 miles per hour. These big dogs make great pets, though it is best to train them from an early age and socialize them with children when they are puppies.

Merle great dane looking back at some sound

Respite their hefty size, Great Danes (pictured) can be very fast in short sprints, though they tire over time.

4. Afghan Hounds

The Afghan hound is among the world’s oldest breeds and has existed for a very long time. While having a blend of aloofness and dignity, this racing dog breed is quite lively thanks to its intellect and independence. The Afghan hound was originally bred in Afghanistan’s highlands and deserts, where its flowing coat provided comfort in chilly weather. It has a top speed of 40 miles per hour.

The Afghan hound is a breed that requires a lot of upkeep because of its challenging coat, which requires continuous care. Its fine coat has the propensity to tangle quickly and needs to be brushed and combed every day to stay in good shape.

Although these canines no longer pursue big cats or other threatening prey, they are still popular as racing dogs. Because of their adaptability and devotion, Afghan hounds can thrive in almost any setting. But don’t be fooled by their devotion; these dogs are independent thinkers who frequently choose when to show their owners attention, contact, and affection. Although this breed usually gets along well with children, it’s preferable if the child and puppy grow up together. Ideally, an adult companion would be more appropriate for the Afghan hound.

Afghan Hound (Canis Lupus) - running in grass

Afghan hounds (pictured) love to run and can easily hit 40 miles per hour when racing or hunting.

5. Jack Russell Terriers

The explosive speed of a Jack Russell Terrier is far greater than its tiny size. In fact, it is often referred to as the smallest racing dog. Jack Russells are capable of running at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, traversing short distances in massive bursts of speed. They are a working breed that was first bred for fox hunting, making them great racing and hunting dogs. Jack Russell Terriers are strong, hardy, and athletic dogs with strong instincts for protection. This breed naturally defends its owners and territories. If you lead an active lifestyle, Jack Russells might be the ideal small racing dog breed for you since they are constantly eager to play.

Dog, Jumping, Playing, Playful, Toy

Jack Russell Terriers (pictured) are small dogs that can run very fast and also jump fairly high.

6. German Shepherds

With its speed, endurance, and intelligence, the German shepherd can be categorized as a racing dog breed. It can run up to 30 miles per hour. They are often used by law enforcement agents because they work well under pressure and in stressful situations. The German shepherd is a highly intelligent dog that excels at practically any task. That being said, this is a high-energy dog that needs a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation because it was originally bred to herd flocks. Without flocks to herd or activities to participate in, they will resort to excessive barking, digging holes in the backyard, or chewing up shoes. 

This racing dog breed is renowned for its reserved yet loving personality, which means it is possible that it will get attached to its family but not be friendly with outsiders. Although they make excellent watchdogs, they might not interact very well with guests. It’s crucial to begin introducing your puppy to people, animals, and social events when they are very young.

German shepherds are protected from the weather by their thick fur, but these dogs are infamous for shedding a lot. During all seasons of the year, it appears that this breed is always renewing its thick, heavy coat. While the German shepherd has the physical characteristics for outside living, they tend to really thrive inside the home.

German Shepherd with tongue hanging out

German shepherds (pictured) are speed demons in the dog world, and they are also easy to train to do various other tasks.

7. Siberian Huskies

Siberian huskies are sled-pulling dogs that were bred for hauling people and goods across vast frozen tundras. Their main duty was to run, but also to have enough endurance to run for a very long time over many miles. Although the Siberian husky is a working breed, its endurance more than makes up for its lack of pure speed. Siberian huskies can sprint up to 10 to 15 miles per hour when dragging a sled and can cover more than 100 miles in a single day. The Siberian Husky can sprint up to 30 miles per hour when not pulling a sled. 

This beloved breed was known to have some of the best stamina of any dog due to its prowess across long distances. Even though you might not see huskies participating in dog races, they are still employed for sled-pulling today.

Why do Siberian Huskies have blue eyes

While the Siberian husky (pictured) isn’t the fastest runner, its endurance makes it worthy of racing and pulling sleighs.

8. Dalmatians

These canines were developed for agility and speed above all else. They are well-known for their role as circus performers, firehouse dogs, and hunting partners. Particularly when it comes to their family, these canines enjoy being at the center of the action. They require a lot of everyday physical activity due to their high energy levels. Their energy levels appear to be nearly limitless since they were initially developed to gallop alongside carriages. This breed could be the ideal dog to join you if you run or jog. Still, the breed’s top speed of 37 miles per hour might be too much to keep up with.

In addition to their tremendous level of activity, many owners are shocked to discover how intelligent Dalmatians are. Because of how smart and occasionally rebellious they are, training is essential from a young age. The Dalmatian gets along incredibly well with both kids and other pets with the right training and socialization. Due to the Dalmatian’s robust, muscular, and energetic build, it’s critical to keep an eye on all interactions with toddlers and younger kids.

Happy playful Dalmatian dog playing about in the sea, having fun splashing around

Dalmations (pictured) love to run at top speeds, and they also enjoy spending time in the water.

9. Whippets

The Whippet was originally intended to be a hunter’s closest buddy, particularly when pursuing small prey like rabbits. Their agility and quickness are still very good today. The Whippet is renowned for pursuing small animals, particularly cats, since it has a strong prey drive. Although you might be able to socialize and educate your Whippet to tolerate a smaller household pet, it’s crucial to never leave the two unsupervised.

Off-leash walking is not going to be possible because of this dog’s high predatory drive. Even the most well-trained Whippet will run off in pursuit if they spot anything little, hairy, or just intriguing. They don’t give up the pursuit lightly though; some dogs have pursued prey for long distances, making finding your dog after it runs off very difficult. It’s crucial to keep in mind that Whippets need a completely enclosed yard since subsurface electrical fences cannot contain this breed when it is on the chase.

The Whippet might develop a phobia of unfamiliar surroundings or people, therefore it’s crucial to socialize them at a young age. This breed enjoys affection and attention at home and is gentle and undemanding. After a long day of work, they like cuddling on the couch and playing with children.

Whippet (Canis familiaris) - running through grass

Whippets (pictured) are one of the fastest dog breeds today and are similar in appearance and speed to the greyhound.

10. Salukis

The Guinness Book of Records has listed this racing dog breed in the past as the quickest canine. This speedy breed can reach speeds of 43 miles per hour. The Saluki is a powerful dog breed that is regarded as one of the oldest in the world. They have lean bodies, are devoted to their family, and are designed for speed. Because of their tremendous hunting drive, this breed should not be trusted off-leash, regardless of how well they have been trained. Any movement is bound to bring out their need to chase, whether it be a cat, a bird, or a bicyclist.

The Saluki will escape if given the chance, rendering them vulnerable to collisions with automobiles and other dangers. Therefore, this breed needs a well-established fenced-in yard with lots of space to run. The Saluki, although having abundant vitality, enjoys spending time relaxing indoors. 

Without sufficient socializing, this breed could develop shyness and timidity, so early training is crucial. Although Salukis can be easily trained, they are known to be independent thinkers who will disregard your orders in favor of their own. This breed is known to develop intense attachments to its family and needs constant contact. The Saluki enjoys play and interaction, making it a great companion for older kids.

Oldest Dog Breeds - Saluki

Salukis (pictured) love to run, but their high prey drive make them difficult to train off-leash.

11. Poodles

Don’t be fooled by their fashionable hairstyles. Poodles were first developed as retrieving dogs for ducks by hunters. They are extremely sports-oriented and energetic canines that thrive when given a task to complete. While running, these dogs can achieve speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Poodles are incredibly intelligent and, if bored, will find something to do; even if it means destroying your house when you’re not home. They need a lot of maintenance for their curly coats since they can get terribly matted, especially if they spend a lot of time in the water.

Standard Poodle standing in the park

The poodle (pictured) may not seem like a fast dog breed, but they can reach 30 miles per hour with ease.

These different types of racing dog breeds are excellent for both sporting events as well as enjoying at home. Remember, most of these super fast-running breeds require a lot of space to accommodate their need to run. Before adopting one, make sure you have the space and time to dedicate to these incredible racing breeds.

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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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