How Fast Can a Dog Run?

How Fast Can a Dog Run?

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There’s no doubt that every single dog owner loves their fur-baby, they are a source of constant excitement, but one thing about dogs can be absolutely mind-blowing.

And that is how fast they can run. You only have to observe your dog chasing a ball to see how fast they can go, and more often than not, this isn’t even their top speed. This is simply a jog. 

The top speed of your dog will differ depending on its breed, size, and a variety of other factors.

But the main thing that you might be wondering is can your dog run faster than you?

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at absolutely everything you need to know about speed in dogs to identify how fast your dog can run. 

Are Dogs Built to Run Fast?

First, let’s take a look at whether or not dogs are built to run fast. In short, the answer is yes.

While some dogs will be able to run faster than others, all dogs have a genetic build that should allow them to run fast.

One obvious advantage is the fact that they have 4 legs, but there are a lot of other factors that help them run faster than human beings can. 

One of these factors is their shoulders. Unlike human shoulders, a dog’s shoulders are disconnected as they do not have collarbones.

Obviously, human beings do not use their shoulders when running, but dogs do and the fact that they are disconnected gives them a bigger stride which allows them to cover more distance.

Dogs are also designed to have 4 different types of gait which allow them to use 4 different types of speed.

From a walk to a gallop, your dog can use different gaits depending on the distance that they are covering. 

While the last few factors we have looked at are true of all dogs, some other factors give certain breeds of dog an advantage when running.

For example, dogs that are built for running, such as the sighthounds, have an aerodynamic build that allows them to hit incredibly high speeds.

Similarly, sighthounds have bigger and more powerful hearts and larger lungs which ensure that their organs can keep up with the fast speeds that they can hit.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how fast a dog can run.  

How Fast Can a Dog Run?

So it is clear that dogs have a variety of features in their genetic design that allows them to run fast, but how fast can they actually run?

As we have already established, some dog breeds are designed to run faster than others. Similarly, some other breeds are designed to be a lot slower than others, but what about the average dog?

Well if you took your average dog, which has had no training to increase its speed, it would probably be able to hit a top speed of between 15 and 20 miles per hour.

This is, of course, not only impacted by breed, but it is also impacted by the age of your dog, the size of your dog, and its health and physical condition. 

So we have mentioned these faster dogs multiple times, but what breeds are these dogs? We’ve mentioned sighthounds, but there are other breeds of dogs that are also fast, so let’s take a look at what they are. 

Are some Breeds faster than others?

If you hadn’t already guessed, the answer is yes, some breeds of dogs are faster than others. Traditionally, dogs were bred with specific jobs in mind, and a lot of these jobs required speed.

So years down the line, these dogs are still able to hit incredibly fast speeds even though they are no longer required to do these jobs. 

As we have mentioned, sighthounds are by far the fastest dogs in the world. But more specifically, the sighthound that holds the title for the fastest dog is the Greyhound.

Greyhounds are the equivalent of some of the world’s best athletes in the dog world as they are capable of hitting incredibly fast speeds.

Greyhounds are commonly bred for dog racing, and there’s no surprise when you realize they have the ability to run at speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

But some greyhounds have even exceeded this speed, with the unofficial record standing at 50.5 miles per hour. 

In addition to Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, and the Afgan Hound are some other sighthounds which make up the fastest dogs in the world.

However, it is not only sighthounds that are fast, and some of the other fastest breeds in the world might shock you.

Of course, shepherding dogs require speed to be able to control the sheep, so it is not a shock that both German Shepherds and Border Collies are among the fastest dogs that exist.

But some smaller dogs might come as a shock, such as the Jack Russel terrier which can run up to 38 miles per hour.

But as we have mentioned, it is not only your dog’s breed that determines their speed, so what are some of the other signs that your dog can run fast?

Signs that your Dog can run Fast

While the main thing that will dictate the speed that your dog can run is their breed, however, there have been cases where dogs that should run fast have been slow and vice versa.

If your dog can run fast, you must ensure they get enough exercise, so here are some signs that you should watch out for.

The main sign is that your dog runs incredibly fast to the point where you cannot catch them, and they outrun you when you run alongside each other.

Similarly, another sign is that your dog’s ears push down while they run as this is a sign that they are trying to build up speed.


In short, dogs can run very fast. The exact speed depends on the breed, but on average dogs can run at speeds between 15 and 20 miles per hour, with the faster breeds able to hit speeds exceeding 45 miles per hour. 

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