When considering dog breeds from the point of view of speed, it is not too surprising that all the contenders for the top ten list are big dogs, most of which are built for speed with lithe bodies and long legs that can eat up the distance easily. For this reason, the small Jack Russell terrier deserves a special mention. With its small, stocky body and short little legs, the fact that they can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour is quite impressive, although a definite distance behind even our number ten dog, who manages a very respectable 25mph!

10. Vizsla


Originating from Hungary, the Vizsla is a medium-sized dog with a robust build and with defined, lean muscles. The breed has been a trusted hunting dog from as early as the 10th century and they run at an estimated 25 mph whilst on the hunt. Unfortunately, during World War II the breed faced extinction after being nearly overrun by English Pointers and German Shorthair Pointers. It is estimated that only around a dozen survived, but the Visla somehow managed to fight its way back to prominence. With a fearless nature and an immensely protective instinct, they are known as beloved companions who quickly form close bonds with their owners, earning the nickname ‘velcro vizslas’ due to forever being by their pack’s side.

9. Rat Terrier

An American breed, Rat Terriers are known to reach speeds of up to 27 mph. As the name suggests, they were originally used by British migrants in rat-baiting. However, due to their quick agility they soon became used for vermin control, hunting animals like squirrels and hares, particularly in American farms. Despite often being confused for Jack Russell Terriers, they vary considerably. Their sleek build, refined skill and fine coat is complimented by their less aggressive nature. Equally happy in the garden as they are on their owner’s lap, Rat Terriers are quick to train and easy to live with. Rat Terriers have remained popular throughout history and are featured in many novels by John Sandford, an avid owner, as well as in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Like all intelligent breeds, it is important they socialise at an early age and remain mentally and physically stimulated.

8. Australian Kelpie


The Australian Kelpie is a medium-sized dog which comes in a variety of colours such as red, chocolate brown, tan and black. Weighing between 14 and 20 kg with an athletic build, the Kelpie has been known to run at speeds topping 28 mph. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Kelpies excel at agility trials in shows – one set the world record for dog jumping at a staggering 2.95 metres. Used primarily as a sheep-dog for farms, they can drive livestock (usually sheep, cattle or pigs) over vast distances in extreme climates. They are able to jump and walk across the backs of sheep, quickly reaching jams and breaking them up. Australian Kelpies have been exported to many countries including the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina, and they have even been trained as scent dogs. Sweden is the first country to use them for both tracking and rescue work.

7. Great Dane 30mph

great dan

One of the largest breeds of dogs on our list, the Great Dane has become infamous for its enormous size – the largest one went by the apt name of ‘Zeus’ and measured 112cm from paw to shoulder. Nicknamed the gentle giant, Great Danes are well disposed to other dogs, animals and humans, and the breed shows minimum aggressiveness. They can easily become a family’s favourite pet and take preference to sitting on laps, even if they are not quite the ideal size for this! As with all dogs, Great Danes require daily walks. However, particular care must be taken to not over exercise them, especially when young. Puppies grow very large and very quickly, so too much exercise can increase their risk of joint and bone damage. Used historically for hunting bear, deer and boar, this breed can run at surprising speeds reaching around 29 mph.

6. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound (2)

One of the oldest breeds in existence, the Afghan Hound is uniquely distinguished by a fine, thick coat and a tail with a ring curl. All these features were acquired in the cold mountain ranges of Afghanistan. Afghan Hounds are a large breed of dog, standing up to 29 inches and weighing close to 60 pounds on average. Another unique feature is their Fu Manchu moustache – known as ‘mandarins’. They can vary in colour from almost pure white, to red and even black. Originally used for hunting, these hounds can regularly reach speeds of 29 mph. However, nowadays their speed is usually put to the test in agility trials. Coupled with their high intelligence and reasoning skills, they have become very successful in dog shows – one by the name of Sirdar won Crufts Best In Show in both 1928 and 1930. With their noble and haughty nature, they have a very high prey drive, like many sighthounds, and care must be taken when around smaller animals.

4. Borzoi


The Borzoi is a Russian wolfhound whose name translates to ‘fast’ – a perfect title for this breed which can reach speeds of around 30 mph. They are very similar to Afghan Hounds in appearance, but they have a shorter coat and weigh closer to 100 pounds. Borzoi were immensely popular with the Russian Tsars, who arranged well organized hunting trials used for breeding selection. Only the quickest went on to produce pups. For centuries throughout Russia, Borzoi could not be bought and were only received as gifts from the Tsar – a high commendation indeed. They are a very quiet breed whose bark is rarely heard. With a very small territorial drive, they do not make the best guards and should not be relied on to alert their owners about any potential intruders. Due to their intelligence, this breed remain selective learners who quickly tire of repetitive tasks and need proper motivation for training to be successful.

3. Saluki


The Saluki go by a variety of names including the Royal Dog of Egypt and the Persian Greyhound. Traditionally, they were part of Middle Eastern caravans and nomadic tribes, stretching from the Sahara to China. Their primary use was to hunt down gazelles, which is hardly surprising as they can run up to 32 mph. Due to their hunting qualities, many Saluki are often seen as independent and aloof, and they can get bored easily if left alone for prolonged periods. Harsh training methods are not advised because of their intelligence and they often will not partake in some types of games. Socialising at an early age can prevent their shyness from developing and they very quickly become exceptionally affectionate and gentle to their owners. Although they may only take third place on this list, the Saluki has remarkable stamina and, when coupled with its heavily padded feet to absorb shocks, this breed is thought to be much faster over longer distances.

2. Whippet 35 mph


Whippets are believed to be descendants from Greyhounds who were too small for stag and deer hunting in England. These dogs were returned to their breeders, who continued to breed them and thus produced a smaller dog useful for rat catching and hunting hares and rabbits. Commonly known to ‘snap up’ prey, they assumed the nickname ‘snap dogs’. They have a unique way of running known as double suspension gallop; resulting in all legs being off the ground twice in each stride. This allows the breed to reach speeds of around 40 mph. Although not the fastest dog in the world, they are certainly the quickest at accelerating. Extremely intelligent, they are generally very gentle in temperament and are not prone to barking. Being race dogs they require regular exercise, although many are content to spend most of their time resting and lounging with their owner.

1 Greyhound


Historically bred for coursing and racing, it’s no surprise that the Greyhound takes the top spot with a full speed of 43 mph. The Greyhound is not an aggressive dog – this is a common misconception because they wear muzzles during races. After races, Greyhounds remain quite excited and there is a small risk they could nip other dogs. This is especially a problem due to their very thin skin; a small tear could result in stitches and time out of racing. Off the course, many owners keep their dogs muzzled, due to their high prey drive. Greyhounds make wonderful pets thanks to their gentle nature and deep loyalty. They enjoy company and can socialise with other dogs and possibly even cats. Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds do not require extended periods of exercise – they are built for sprinting, not endurance.

While none of these dogs would be able to catch a cheetah in full flow at an impressive 65 mph, they can all leave a sprinting man standing – except, perhaps for Usain Bolt over a fairly short distance! Bred for speed and stamina watching these animals in action is a magnificent treat, sure to inspire admiration in the minds of all who see them.

Menno, from the Netherlands, is an expert in unearthing fascinating facts and unraveling knowledge. At Top10HQ, he delves into the depths of various subjects, from science to history, bringing readers well-researched and intriguing insights.


  1. Skip Middleton on

    Just a small niggle. Dalmatians are not “invariably white with black spots.” The breed standard recognizes brownish colors that are identified as “liver,” varying from the red of an Irish setter through a slightly darker liver color to chocolate brown. Also, even the blacks can be a charcoal grey or full black. There are even lemon (yellow), blue and brindle colored spots, although these are not recognized in the breed standard. I am the proud owner of a chocolate brown International Champion dog named Cooper, by the way.

    • And border collies come in many colors and marking varieties. Black and white just happens to be the most common.

    • I hate to be so negative but the author obviously knows next to nothing about dogs, speed of dogs, and stride of dogs. Moreover, he does not care about the accuracy or inaccuracy of his assertions. 1) He mentions the whippet having all four legs off the ground simultaneously as unique, but that is not uncommon for many dog breeds. 2) He should have mentioned what distance the listed top speed was over (100, 150, or 200 feet?) and was each listed top speed identically measured. 3) Saluki can definitely exceed 32 mph, and I have my doubts about a greyhound doing 42 mph, but it is the fastest. And a slow dog could easily beat Usain Bolt.

  2. Not fond of the last part of the statement….”Despite their relaxed and gentle nature, greyhounds have a strong chase instinct and will sometimes nip other dogs, so do keep yours on the leash and think about using a muzzle when you will be in close proximity to other dogs and people.”

    Greyhounds DO NOT need to be muzzled when in close proximity to other dogs or people. Some are not small dog friendly and the adoption groups do inform the potential owners of that, so the owners need to not let small dogs come near their dog or run in a dog park with small dogs. Muzzles are used for introductions to small dogs or cats to see how the greyhound reacts and so the other animal doesn’t gt hurt if the prey drive is high. They are also recommended to use for running in a fenced area with multiple greys like when they race, to avoid injuries as some nip while running. There is also no need to have them wear muzzles around people. Please do more research on breeds before posting such information!

  3. In reference to greyhounds – Most hounds do not always need to be muzzled when around other dogs. Many greyhounds do not have high prey drives and can live with cats, small dogs, even rabbits! Each adoption group will usually test if the hound is cat and small dog safe. The reason greyhounds wear muzzles when they are off-leash (in enclosed areas) in groups with other greyhounds is that they have very thin skin, and a little play nip that would do no harm to another breed can put a gash in the greyhound.

  4. I do not see sloughi or azawakh. What kind of research was done for this article?

  5. The grey is the fastest dog. The whippet 2nd fastest dog.Nrs 2, 3, 4, 5 are way slower then the whippet. .

    • yep…. just like most people are saying there. this isnt accurate. its a crock of poo, really. George did a good job saying how it really is.

    • I don’t understand your comment; the list showed the greyhound as fastest, whippet to be the second fastest and much faster than 3, 4, and 5 just as you stated.

  6. If a whippet has a fearful, cringing look and has a tendency to shiver and tremble, then they are not whippets, or at least whippets that should be bred. I have four, and can tell you this depiction of the breed is FAR from correct. They are NOT fearful, they do not cringe, and do NOT shiver and tremble except when actually COLD. Perhaps you are confusing them with IG’s???

    Also, I race and course whippets, and can tell you that 35 mph is the slowest of the slow for this breed. Most can cover 200 yds straight racing in about 11 – 11.5 seconds, which converts to approximately 36 – 37 mph. How do I know? They have been clocked. They should be ranked third, at the LOWEST.

    Honestly, from where did you get your information? Those of us with whippets know this information is incorrect.

  7. I’m not sure where your information came from, but it is far from accurate regarding speed. The breed descriptions also contain many inaccuracies. Yes, the fastest is indeed the greyhound at around 40 mph. Next is the whippet at about 36 mph. The whippet is the fastest in a sprint and is faster than a greyhound over the first 100-150 yards. Borzois probably fall next and then salukis. As I explain it to people, whippets are compared to human sprinters on the 100 yard/meter dash. Greyhounds are your middle range runners, the 440 and 880. Salukis are your endurance runners. Usain Bolt’s record 200 time is 20.61 seconds, a fast whippet can run it in under 11.75 seconds, a “slow” whippet in 13 seconds. I’ve seen many of the other breeds mentioned that are fit and fast, but don’t hit the speeds in your article.

    • Actually, Usain’s 200 meter record is 19.18 or 19.19 seconds, not 20+, but still way, way slower than the 11.75 seconds by a Whippet. So your point is right on the money. I still can’t figure out if the author was speaking in jest, subject to some liberal fantasy, or serious when he insinuated that Usain was as fast, faster, or almost as fast as a whippet, but he should not have said it.

  8. Renee McCartin on

    I’d love to know where these facts came from. No way in all of hades Great Danes are that fast and definitely no way Viszlas or Dalmatians are faster than dogs bred for speed.

  9. I think a cat owner wrote this article. It certainly wasn’t researched properly.

  10. Dumbest (and least accurate) top 10 list I’ve ever seen. Looks like the author just made this stuff up.

  11. Whaaaaat? I am gobsmacked to see non sighthounds listed as being capable of greyhound speeds. No. They. Can’t. Anatomy IS Destiny when it comes to fast dogs. Fast borzoi have been clocked at 36, Very fast greyhounds and whippets certainly are capable of the speeds mentioned in this article. After that, it’s FANTASY. There are no 40 mph Vislas or 37 mph Dalmatians

  12. I’m afraid your research is completely Wrong ! Whippets are the 2nd fastest breed and I dare say the whole top 5/6 should all be Sighthounds. This article smacks of lazy research and shonky journalism .

    • Not sure where you get your info on whippets. I don’t think you’ll find anyone who shares your point of view except some misguided whippet owners.

  13. We use GPS data loggers at World’s Fastest Dogs which are accurate to 0.2kph to measure dogs instantaneous speed. So far the fastest has been a retired Greyhound at 50.5 mph (81.3kph) and undoubtedly a race fit Greyhound would be even faster. We are only interested in empirical, provable data such as that provided by GPS data loggers so if any one would like to add their dogs top speed and be a contender for the “World’s Fastest Dog” or “Fastest of Breed” please go the the website and register your interest.

  14. What a lot of rot, Borzoi are no different to any other dog when it comes to being let off lead. Some are brilliant other are not. This i believe is the norm with most breeds. Yes most do like to chase but dont all dogs.

    Borzoi are no different to any other breed when it comes to being let off lead, some are wonderful- some not. You are dead right about them being useless as a guard dog though but the upside of that is you dont have to put up with needless yakking everytime something moves.

  15. Where is jackrussel terrier even they quick in one of the websites it was ranked 3rd this is confusing verysite is differnt but only greyhound stay on number1

  16. Fastest over what distance? Peak instantaneous speed is one measure of speed, sure, but what about over longer distances? In the doggy Olympics, Siberian huskies would win more medals than greyhounds! They could break every single human world record.

  17. The article is full of disinformation. Saluki average speed is 33 mph. They are also listed as the fastest dog at 43 mph by the Guinness Book Of Records. In addition, the 63 mph for cheetah is an outdated number from the unverified 1960’s article. The newly verified speeds are closer to 50 mph.

    • I saw 1 comment about cheetahs which is totally incorrect. The fastest cheetah clocked so far ran 72mph at top speed. I’ve watched other cheetahs on tv specifically to be clocked,&the fastest cheetah on that program was clocked at 65mph. Cheetahs are just like any other animal species,in that they each have their own personality and abilities including how fast they can run at any given time. Some cheetahs are calm&friendly enough to humans in the wild that they will approach them and even allow themselves to be petted. Other wild cheetahs will chase you down,clamp their teeth around your throat&when they’ve finished,will invite you for dinner!

  18. When my Kelpie was younger the only dogs who could out run her were greyhounds and whippets, but she would just end up figuring out where they were going to go and cut them off.

  19. I had Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and doberman, you need to race this three breeds at the same time. Greyhound reach top speed quickly but after a while doberman match it and can even bit it. Unfortunately Ridgeback need a lot of training to compete with this two breeds.

  20. Well, Greyhounds are pretty much universally recognised as being the fastest dogs (which is why there are such things as Greyhound races).

    However….nobody seems to have mentioned the Deerhound, which is basically a larger boned and hairy greyhound. As soon as the ground gets anything worse than perfect, the Deerhound will outmatch the Greyhound.

    I’ve had some of my Deerhounds clocked at well north of 40 mph….

  21. The Whippet is by far the quickest off the line up to about 200m the greyhound will then achieve a much higher top speed but only up to 600m, a Saluki will then come into its own up to about a mile. Reaching top speed is hard to ascertain but a Greyhound is the fastest on average, its fair to say it’s the fastest breed. That said if a Saluki is hunting and think it will make the kill, nothing will get close to its top speed, but that is a sight reserved for the privileged few that have witnessed it.

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  23. Jack Russell Terriers are the most energetic dogs and the speed with which they move their little bodies is truly impressive and damn beautiful to watch. A JRT digging hard and running for all it’s worth, is a sight to behold. Pound for pound and inch for inch, the JRT is probably the most athletic of dogs. If a greyhound or whippet could move its body with the speed that a JRT moves its body, either of those beautiful breeds would probably be able to reach higher than a true 50mph.

  24. Perry P. Weidman on

    My Cattle Dog would smoke every dog on this list in a sprint, except the Whippet and Greyhound. Not a well researched article as many have commented.

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