Today, most dogs, no matter the breed, are kept as indoor pets. However, you may have noticed that whether some dogs like to dig, catch, or chew at bones, almost all of them enjoy running. It’s no joke that a dog’s favorite thing is its walks in the park.
Some breeds excel at running specifically; in fact, according to Canine Bible, the fastest dog is a certain greyhound, recorded to have run at a high speed of 41.8 miles per hour in the year 1994, while another unverified source records a 50 mph greyhound as well. Similarly, your average domesticated dog can run at the average speed of 15 – 20 mph without any training or specific attention. In comparison, the slowest are recorded to run at a speed of 5-10 mph.
How Do Dogs Run This Fast?
How fast can a dog run? Up to 45 mph, as we mentioned above. Not all of them can achieve this feat, though. Yet, it is said that dogs can outrun some of the world’s fastest athletes. Whether this fact holds true or not, we know one thing for sure: you should never try to outrun a dog. If you’ve ever seen a stray dog run after a speeding car, or if you’ve ever seen a dog breaking through his leash to catch a lucky escape down the park, you are already familiar with the insane amounts of speed a dog carries in its legs.
The question is, how can these little fur-packed canines manage to run so fast? Do they have a little secret that the Olympic runners can learn from?
One of the inherent reasons why dogs account for such fast creatures is their build. While it’s true that dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and friendliness, they all have an extraordinarily complex and strong skeletal system. Their sturdy spine expands and contracts as they move their legs. This is what allows them to be able to sprint their hearts out.
Their spine structure is similar to that of a Cheetah, which is the fastest land animal. Moreover, most dogs tend to have long, agile, and strong legs, providing them with great endurance.
Dogs have special paws covered with a thick pad, which grip any surface quite firmly. Furthermore, unlike humans, they lack a fully developed collarbone. This feature enables them to have a much larger stride length than they would have in the presence of collarbone.
A dog’s tail is not only a cute tell of what he is feeling; it also provides a counterweight to his movements. This means that when a dog has to change direction while running at high speed, their tail provides them with the extra help they need to stay on course.
Lastly, dogs’ natural cardiovascular and respiratory systems have a certain impact on how much their body can endure. Several dog breeds have large and strong hearts which are able to keep up with their speed.
Almost all dog breeds have evolved this way, having the features mentioned above, allowing them to race down the road. However, there are several breeds that have been bred specifically for this purpose. A great example is the greyhounds, which are considered the second fastest land animals with a speed of 45 mph.
The Fastest Dog Breeds
There are various different dog breeds cited to be the fastest. Some of the fastest dog breeds are listed below:
1. The Greyhound
No surprises there, the Greyhound is recorded to be one of the fastest dogs with their average speed of 30 mph and a top speed of 45 mph. Highly energetic and one of the most gentle canines out there, indeed. Standing tall at 30 inches, they resemble their feline cousins—the cheetahs as they run in a double sprinter gallop. However, their owners know they balance it out by occasionally sleeping sixteen hours a day!
A Sighthound breed that was originally bred to chase foxes and rabbits, the Saluki retained their training and make an excellent watchdog today. This is also one of the major reasons why it is often sighted in dog races with a high speed of 42 mph. Similar to the Greyhounds, the Saluki is a sighthound dog, which means they rely primarily on their sight while hunting rather than their sense of smell.
This brown beauty is pronounced as ‘Veeshla’ and is also known as the Hungarian Pointers. It is one of the oldest dog breeds with an average speed of 40 mph, getting the third position in the fastest dog breeds list. The meaning of the name ‘Vizsla’ is ‘tracker’ in the Hungarian language. The mean lean body of a Vizsla is built up completely of muscle. This canine can track, run, or just be your friend, lying in the couch with you if need be.
4. Afghan Hound
Tall and slim, the Afghan Hound has an average speed of 40 mph, similar to the Saluki. These dogs were specifically trained to withstand and hunt in the temperatures and terrain of Afghanistan, Central Asia. Their thick, silky coats and large paws aid their survival in harsh climates. Stunning looks, faster pace, and untiring stamina are some of the renowned traits of majestic Afghan Hounds.
Often mistaken for the Greyhound, Whippets were bred to hunt from sight. They have higher energy levels and can run at an average speed of 34 mph. Their ancestors’ traits make them the fastest dogs in their size. Their kind and protective nature make them one the sweetest dogs for your family, especially children.
This energetic and fun-loving canine runs at an average speed of 37 mph. The Dalmatians are loved and well-known for their spots and contagious energy. These canines are perfect for those outdoorsy parents that love to hike, run, and climb. Their athletic stamina and active personality ensure that they will prove themselves to be your perfect companions with a little love.
7. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky, bred to pull sleds down snow, may not be well-known for their average speed of 30 mph but for their endurance. They can run through the snowy terrain for 1000 miles. They were bred and kept indoors in North Asia as family pets. Their endurance and speed make them ideal running companions, while their fur and fluff keep them warm and cozy in the frigid temperatures. Their trainable and fastidious personalities make them ideal furry friends. They, however, cannot be kept as pets in regions with warm or moderate climates.