What are the fastest dog breeds?
It may seem that many dogs have some advantages over us two-legged humans when it comes to natural athleticism. They can jump high fences in a single bound, detect thousands of smells, and hear things we can’t. But figuring out which are the fastest dog breeds isn’t as simple as it appears. Some of the biggest dog breeds can reach incredible speeds (48km/h Great Dane, anyone?), and some of the best runners are also the laziest dog breeds around. As we all know, running is great exercise for both humans and dogs, and going running with your dog can be a great way to bond together. Many people stay away from a high-energy dog when they’re looking for a pet, but if you’re committed to giving them (and you!) the exercise they need to be happy and healthy, dogs that love to run can be a fantastic addition to your family. Some dogs are definitely better suited to be running buddies than others, though, and it isn’t necessarily the fastest dogs that make the best jogging companions but the dogs with the best endurance.
How fast can a dog run?
In general, most dogs can run about 25-30 km/h for a short distance. Lean, long-legged dogs with deep chests (meaning big lungs) tend to be able to run the fastest, from 40-70km/h. For dogs like sighthounds and collies, long strides and small mass keep them moving forward quickly. But small dog breeds with short legs like Shih Tzus or huge breeds like Saint Bernards tend to be slower because of the former’s short gait and the latter’s mass. Other dogs have trouble running fast because they simply can’t breathe well enough to be that athletic. Those are flat-faced dogs with short snouts, like pugs, bulldogs and Basset Hounds. If you love these squishy-faced pooches, getting an adorable pug mix can help even out their genetic issues. The dogs that can run the longest are the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. Both bred as sled dogs, they are strong, with plenty of stamina, and can maintain a good running pace of 15-25km/h for hours and hours.
Every dog benefits from exercise, of course, but it’s best to look at the shape and age of your dog (as well as the weather) to determine what sort of exercise they’ll enjoy and what will be right for them. Hiking, playing games and romping with other dogs are all healthy ways for your dog to use up their energy!
Fastest dog in the world: Greyhound
Top speed: 70km/h
Standing up to 75cm high at the shoulder, Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed in the world, and among the fastest sprinters on the planet. Like cheetahs, they run in a double suspension gallop, meaning that their bodies contract and extend as they run, with all four feet leaving the ground in each movement. In fact, when a Greyhound runs, its paws are touching the ground only 25% of the time! And how fast can a Greyhound run? The fastest dog in the world can reach top speed within six strides, up to a whopping 70km/h. However, owners of Greys know that their day-to-day speed is more snooze than sprint: They’re known as 70km/h couch potatoes who sleep as much as cats – about 18 hours a day! Weirdly, despite their size and speed, Greyhounds are ideal apartment dogs because of this massive capacity to just chill out. Just take the fastest dog in the world out on a daily walk and let them tear around the park a couple of times a week, and they should be good!