There are over 200 breeds of dogs worldwide, some of which are much faster than others. Many dogs nowadays are bred for service animals and hypoallergenic companions. But in the beginning, dogs were primarily bred for hunting and work purposes. Hunting dogs need to be fast and agile to stalk and chase prey. Some of these dogs are still used for their original purpose, but most enjoy their lives of luxury alongside their two-legged companions.
10. Border Collie
Officially recognized by the AKC in 1955, Border Collies are one of the most agile and intelligent breeds of dogs. They were bred to assist farmers with herding the farm animals. These dogs can reach speeds up to 30 miles per hour! Their speed and agility give them the upper hand when controlling fleeing farm animals. They also excel at agility competitions.
If their exercise requirements are met, they make excellent family dogs. They are affectionate, loyal, and good with children.
9. Doberman Pinscher
Speed is a must for a dog bred for guarding and protection. At 32 miles per hour, the Doberman Pinscher can easily protect and defend against unwanted visitors. These dogs may look intimidating but can make excellent family pets with proper training and socialization.
The Doberman Pinscher was first bred in the 1800s by a German tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. Back then, tax collectors were constantly worried for their safety due to the nature of their job. So, Mr. Dobermann, who owned a dog pound, experimented with breeding dogs specifically for protection. It is speculated that the Doberman was created using a combination of breeds, including the German Shepherd, German Pinscher, Weimaraner, and Rottweiler.
The Dalmatian is best known for its uniquely spotted coat. Most recognize the breed from the 1996 comedy movie called the 101 Dalmatians. However, they were originally bred in Croatia to protect horse-drawn wagons from highway robbers. They can run up to 37 miles per hour and have superb stamina, which allowed them to run alongside wagons for long journeys.
Their athleticism makes them a great addition to active households. However, they can develop aggressive or unwanted behaviors if not properly trained and exercised. They are loyal to their owners and families but can be aggressive toward strangers or other dogs.
Another breed originally bred in England for hunting purposes is the Whippet. This breed of dog can reach speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Whippets are commonly mistaken for Greyhounds, but they are much smaller. The average Whippet weighs 30 pounds, whereas a Greyhound weighs between 65 and 70 pounds.
Whippets are a relatively calm and quiet breed. They are happy to lounge about the house or apartment after a good run. They are very affectionate with their family but can be wary of strangers. Their short, sleek coat is easy to care for but causes them to become cold quickly. They prefer warmer climates but do well anywhere as long as they are appropriately dressed!
6. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier takes the prize in the fastest small breed dog category. This little energetic dog stands only 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder but can run up to 38 miles per hour! The Jack Russell was bred in England to be used in foxhunts.
They make excellent companions if they have a healthy outlet for their energy. They are happy-go-lucky dogs that are very social with other people outside the family. This breed has a powerful instinctual prey drive that they cannot be trained out of. They will hunt any critter they see as prey, such as cats or hamsters. Despite their size, they are an assertive breed and don’t always do well with children or other dogs.
This regal breed originated in Russia and was associated with the Russian aristocracy. The Borzoi is a type of sighthound and belongs to the Hound Group. Sighthounds use their eyes, rather than scent, to find and chase prey. These dogs can run up to 40 miles per hour, which allows them to hunt wolves, foxes, and hares.
These gentle dogs are intelligent but stubborn. They can be challenging to train, but their calm demeanor makes them pleasant companions. They require a moderate amount of exercise, and due to their larger size, they enjoy a large yard and home to stretch out in.
This Hungarian dog breed is recognized by its unique sleek copper coat. Vizslas were bred for hunting by Magyar barbarian tribes in the Dark Ages and later adopted by the Hungarian Nobles. Their aerodynamic and muscular build helps this dog to reach up to 40 miles per hour.
Vizslas are intelligent and loyal dogs but do require a knowledgeable owner. They do not do well kenneled or left alone as they form a close bond with their owners and get anxious when separated from them. Their intelligence and high energy level mean they need lots of physical activity to avoid destructive behaviors. However, if all their needs are met, these dogs will provide loyal companionship and can make great family dogs.
3. Afghan Hound
This ancient breed was originally bred in Afghanistan. This dog’s unique coat was used to keep it warm when hunting in the deserts and mountains. Their lithe body structure allows them to reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
The Afghan Hound is very independent, sometimes stubborn, and requires a knowledgeable owner. This breed is loyal to its owner but requires proper socialization to accept the presence of strangers. Their stubbornness makes them challenging to train, but they are highly intelligent. Their long, flowing coat gets matted and tangled easily, so regular grooming is a must.
In second place is the Saluki, with a speed of 42 miles per hour. This sighthound originates from the Middle East, where it was bred to hunt rabbits. The Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds, and paintings of the breed have been found on ancient architecture. These noble dogs were highly valued among Egyptians and were mummified along with Egyptian Pharaohs.
This ancient breed makes a wonderful family pet. Salukis have a quiet and gentle disposition and do well around children. They are timid and can be shy among strangers but not aggressive. They need a daily exercise regime that allows them to run, so a large yard or athletic owner is a must. After a long workout, they are happy to curl up in a warm bed for the day.
At 45 miles per hour, the Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog. These dogs were first bred about 8,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. They were bred to hunt deer, foxes, and hares. They were respected as gods and only owned by royalty. They sailed beside Christopher Columbus on his second expedition in 1493.
Despite their athletic ability, they prefer a laid-back lifestyle and do well as family pets. Their sweet and relaxed disposition makes them great companions. They are highly intelligent and trainable but have a strong prey drive. Many Greyhounds that have retired from racing await loving homes in shelters and rescues.