A vizsla dog runs through the woods with an orange backpack on

Fastest dogs in the world

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August 22, 2022
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Fastest dogs in the world

Dogs that can run at high speeds were originally bred for hunting and herding purposes, including the Border collie and Anatolian shepherd, which both excel at agility and speed, and require vigorous exercise to expend their extra energy.

Stacker ranked 23 dog breeds by top speed, using data from the American Kennel Club and Vetstreet, to help better understand your energetic companion.

Consider this: The top speed a human has reached is 27.5 miles per hour, achieved by Olympian Usain Bolt during his record-breaking 100-meter sprint in 2009. That's about the minimum speed for a dog to even make this list. We begin with a breed that can top speeds of 25 miles per hour and end with a breed that can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour. 

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Boston terrier in mid-air catches ball.
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rebeccaashworth // Shutterstock

#23. Boston terrier

- Top speed: 25 mph

This small, friendly breed with a playful and energetic personality is known as the "American gentleman." Boston terriers are thought to be directly related to the English bulldog terrier breeds and are built for canine sports—especially those involving speed.

A happy-looking rat terrier standing outside on the grass looks toward the camera.
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Emily Ranquist // Shutterstock

#22. Rat terrier

- Top speed: 27 mph

Originally bred as hunting companions and for pest control, rat terriers are considered a rare breed. They are sociable, intelligent, easy to train, and especially compatible with young children, making them a great choice for first-time pet owners with families.

Three Siberian huskies run together through a snow-covered path in the woods.
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Vivienstock // Shutterstock

#21. Siberian husky

- Top speed: 28 mph

The Siberian husky historically endured harsh conditions that conditioned the breed to become an iconic choice for sled dogs. Despite their tough build, Siberian huskies are considered exceptionally friendly with children, due to their pack nature and high energy. However, the breed needs to be specially cared for and exercised sufficiently, and they are considered to be escape artists and have been known to jump fences as high as 8 feet.

A black giant schnauzer running outside.
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Rita_Kochmarjova // Shutterstock

#20. Giant schnauzer

- Top speed: 28 mph

Giant schnauzers are gentle creatures with a timid nature, though they are known to become defensive when presented with new people or situations. Their history as farm and herding dogs trained them to be fast and playful, supplying them with an energetic and loyal nature. Giant schnauzers are known to be easily trained and loyal to their owner.

An Anatolian shepherd lays in a grassy meadow filled with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers.
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rebeccaashworth // Shutterstock

#19. Anatolian shepherd

- Top speed: 28 mph

The Anatolian shepherd is an old breed, dating as far back as 6,000 years ago, where they endured intense temperatures and displayed feats of speed while defending livestock from bears and mountain lions. Consequently, its forceful and defensive nature can make it a handful for owners to train—this breed must be socialized to properly train them as companion dogs.

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A border collie jumps over a bar in an obstacle course outside in the grass.
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Ventura // Shutterstock

#18. Border collie

- Top speed: 30 mph

Considered remarkably intelligent, border collies are bred for herding livestock and are known to be energetic and athletic, often displaying impressively quick maneuvers in dog sports. The breed is only recommended for owners who can keep up with its active lifestyle, which is known to be demanding.

A boxer with her tongue hanging out stands in a grassy field.
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Lenkadan // Shutterstock

#17. Boxer

- Top speed: 30 mph

Boxers are a kind and loving breed that display the utmost loyalty to their owner, and are patient and protective of children, making them an ideal family dog. The breed's name is thought to derive from their inclination to stand on their rear legs and thrust their front paws forward—resembling a boxer's movements.

A Belgian Malinois lays in a grassy meadow.
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anetapics // Shutterstock

#16. Belgian Malinois

- Top speed: 30 mph

Belgian Malinois are considered to be one of the most energetic dog breeds, which also means they demand plenty of attention and exercise. The breed is used for working tasks in military and police operations that require them to detect scents of possible threats. They have most notably been used in White House defense.

A black Great Dane with a white patch on the chest stands in a grassy field.
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RugliG // Shutterstock

#15. Great Dane

- Top speed: 30 mph

Ancestry of the Great Dane is widely thought to have originated from a dog breed present in ancient Greece; as depicted in Greek art, Great Dane look-alikes appear hunting wild boar. Despite its intimidating stature, this gentle giant is friendly and patient, rarely displaying aggression or hostility. Dogs of this breed are recommended for families as long as they raise them from a young age and socialize them properly.

A group of six different-colored poodles run together on the beach.
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Jane Rowden // Shutterstock

#14. Poodle

- Top speed: 33 mph

Poodles are known for their beauty and brains. Most commonly used as show dogs, poodles are highly intelligent and exhibit great agility and obedience. The breed is normally shy around new people but quickly expresses affection and playfulness when socialized well enough.

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Pharaoh hound lays on the beach.
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Ivanova N // Shutterstock

#13. Pharaoh hound

- Top speed: 35 mph

Pharaoh hounds are confident and self-reliant, but require special training that doesn't involve disciplinary action. Though the breed's DNA doesn't have a direct relation to Egypt, some believe it resembles breeds depicted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, which may support the myth of Phoenicians bringing the breed to Malta more than 2,000 years ago.

Two Weimaraners run together along a dirt path.
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DragoNika // Shutterstock

#12. Weimaraner

- Top speed: 35 mph

The Weimaraner is considered to be an all-purpose dog, with traits that fulfill a number of specific needs for hunting small game and sports, including speed and a keen nose. The breed is considered energetic and sociable, but when left alone, they tend to be anxious and unruly.

A Doberman pinscher stands in the woods.
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DragoNika // Shutterstock

#11. Doberman pinscher

- Top speed: 35 mph

Doberman pinschers are a strong-willed and well-tempered breed, known for their graceful tendency to walk and stand on their toes rather than their paws. The breed is often perceived as intimidating due to its appearance, including the practice of clipping the tails and ears. Thankfully, some countries are beginning to outlaw the practice.

A close up of a Scottish deerhound outside.
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Antonia Gros / Shutterstock

#10. Scottish deerhound

- Top speed: 35 mph

This ancient breed is believed to pre-date recorded history and varies little from its ancestors. Scottish deerhounds get their name from their reputation of being exceptional hunters of deer. While they may not be the fastest for racing purposes, some believe them to be faster than their counterparts while in their natural habitat.

A whippet runs through a grassy field.
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alekta // Shutterstock

#9. Whippet

- Top speed: 36 mph

Whippets are often used as athletes in various dog sports, including racing and hare coursing, as the breed exhibits impressive speed and agility, especially when properly trained. The breed is described as quiet and timid and may be happy resting for most of the day. However, whippets can be oversensitive and may react when startled or touched.

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Three borzois stand on the grass shoulder to shoulder.
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volofin // Shutterstock

#8. Borzoi

- Top speed: 36 mph

With a Russian name that translates to "fast," the borzoi lives up to its name. Due to its slim build, silky smooth coat of fur, and its quiet and independent nature, the breed often appears in dog shows and athletics. Borzois are selective learners, requiring the owner's patience and persistence to train.

A Dalmatian splashes in the water on a sparkling beach.
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Iren Key // Shutterstock

#7. Dalmatian

- Top speed: 37 mph

The Dalmatian is iconically known for appearing in Disney's "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," and for a reputation as a firehouse dog in the U.S. Dalmatians have a natural liking for horses, which made them ideal for running alongside firefighter carriages in the early years of firefighting, as they were one of the few breeds that could keep up with horses. The breed continues to be a mascot for firefighters—and the Budweiser Clydesdales—to this day.

A German shepherd athletically jumps through the air in a grassy meadow.
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Rita_Kochmarjova // Shutterstock

#6. German shepherd

- Top speed: 39 mph

German shepherds are historically used as guard and service dogs due to their natural eagerness to work. German shepherds used for police service are so inclined to perform that they have been known to become upset when they fail to sniff out dangerous objects, requiring their handlers to routinely set up hazardous items for the dog to find.

A Vizsla runs through a field with a large purple hoop in its mouth.
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Ivanova N // Shutterstock

#5. Vizsla

- Top speed: 40 mph

Vizslas are bred to be hunters and retrievers—historically, the breed brought fowl to its owner after the bird was shot. The breed requires tons of attention and affection, and will sometimes whine when it feels ignored. Like most dogs used for hunting, vizslas require a level of exercise, so prepare to be active.

A well-groomed Afghan hound stands on the grass covered with autumn leaves.
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David Raihelgauz // Shutterstock

#4. Afghan hound

- Top speed: 40 mph

The Afghan hound is considered a staple in dog shows, as the breed has a long and luscious coat of fur that owners groom to highlight its silky appearance. While the breed is a popular competitor in show, it also possesses remarkable speed, which makes it a worthy contestant in agility sports.

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An Ibizan hound stands on a grassy field.
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Sally Wallis // Shutterstock

#3. Ibizan hound

- Top speed: 40 mph

The Ibizan hound aims to entertain its owner with hyperactive antics and endless energy, as they will often escape crates and jump high fences. The breed has a natural inclination to run when unbounded, so it is recommended owners keep a watchful eye when their dog is off its leash. Ibizan hounds are also protective and bark only when necessary—characteristics of a great guard dog.

Two Salukis stand together outside with an autumnal backdrop.
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xkunclova // Shutterstock

#2. Saluki

- Top speed: 43 mph

Salukis are sight hunters, using their sharp vision to spot prey from great distances, and relying on their extraordinary speed to hunt down small prey. While not acknowledged as the quickest dog over short distances, it is believed that the saluki is capable of faster speeds over long distances.

A greyhound runs on a beach.
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IkerLoboPhoto // Shutterstock

#1. Greyhound

- Top speed: 45 mph

The greyhound's tall, slender build was specially bred for dog racing, making it the fastest dog. Unlike other dogs, the breed is meant for speed rather than endurance and doesn't require much exercise. Greyhounds are often content with lounging around the house and are recognized for their independent and gentle nature. However, without a proper outlet for exercise, they can become hyperactive and even destructive.

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