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Top 10 Fastest Dog Breeds that can Run with Usain Bolt

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The fastest dog in the world can reach a speed of 45 miles per hour. Just for comparison, the fastest Usain Bolt has ran was 27.8mph, a record he set at the World Championship in Berlin in August 2009.

That record was measured between 60 and 80 meters of the 100 meters sprint. Dogs can reach a higher speed, and run for a longer period at that speed.

With that in mind, which are the fastest dog breeds?

Over the last few centuries, dogs have been bred specifically for hunting and racing purposes. Dog races are quite popular. But these fastest dog breeds are not just racers. They are quite home pets as well. There is a sports group by the American Kennel Club, and most dogs here fall into that.

Let’s take a look.



The Italian Greyhound is considered the fastest dog breed in the world. He can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hours.

Originally, the fastest breed was bred just for racing purposes. However, in the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in popularity of adoption of a retired racing dog. As such, the dog has seen his resurgence in popularity as a family pet.

And for a good reason. The dog is quiet, well mannered, and very easy to live with. Greyhounds are friendly, and contrary to the racing image, they are lazy and calm.

The best part about the Italian Greyhound is that he is a clean dog, and very social. You just have to understand that greyhounds are sighthounds, meaning they can easily run and chase small objects or animals.



The next dog on the list is the Saluki, a dog that can reach a top speed of 42mph. But in terms of sustaining speed, some experts believe the Saluki can sustain his top speed for a longer distance.

For racing purposes, you might say that the Saluki might beat the greyhound, being that he will run at a faster speed for a longer distance.

Same as the greyhound, the Saluki is a sighthound dog, and historically, has been bred for hunting gazelle, fox, and rabbits.

As a family dog, the Saluki is a one-family dog. They connect with their family, and they are very shy with strangers. At home, the dog is quiet, and very gentle with children.

If you intend on getting one as a pet, remember that they need to run, and run every day.

Afghan hound

Afghan hound

This is one of the oldest known breeds in the world. According to some experts, the dog has origin dating back thousands of years.

Distinguished by its thick, fine, and silky coat, this hunting dog breed is specifically bred for his unique features that can withstand the cold mountains and temperature in Afghanistan.

In the book of the most intelligent dog, the Afghan hound is considered the dumbest dog. But that is just not true.

They are sighthounds, and bred for hunting using their speed and eyesight. This ancient breed is not motivated by food, making him a bit harder to train.



This dog can reach a maximum high speed of 40 miles per hour, same as the Afghan hound.

Originating in Hungary, this dog is known for his protective instincts, but also his pointer-retriever hunting skills. The great pet has a high level of energy, and is known as a sporting type of dog.

Gentle, happy, lively, and affectionate, the vizsla is a good family pet. He loves to be around people. If he is left alone for longer periods of the day, he can develop separation anxiety.

The most distinguishing characteristic of the Vizsla is his short-haired coat. And the best part is, these dogs exude almost no smell.

German shepherd

German shepherd

There is a reason why the German shepherd dog is such a popular police dog. In addition to his extraordinary intelligence, the GSD is quite a fast working dog.

He can run at speed of almost 35mph, making him good for catching bad guys.

But the best part about the GSD is his uttermost loyalty. He is one of the most loyal dogs in the world, eager to please his master.

As such, the German shepherd is easily trainable. All of the above makes the dog ideal police dog, but also ideal family pet.

Do not worry, these dogs are great with children. Just remember, they require plenty of exercise and play. With all the positives, you can understand why the GSD is among the top 5 most popular dog breeds by the American Kennel Club.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

In the dog world, this dog is known as “pain in the ass”. Stubborn, and hyperactive, the JRT is also speedy. His maximum high speed is 38mph, but he doesn’t sustain it for a long period of time.

The small and sturdy dogs are highly energetic, and look for physical and mental stimulation at all times. Originally developed for hunting foxes, the JRT today is a decent family pet. And performs amazing in dog sport events and competitions.

They can work with a family that is quite active, and be their loyal companion.

The only downside of the JRT as a family pet is his alpha personality. They just want to be the dominant person in the room at all times, and that includes people and dogs as well.



Nowadays, the Dalmatian is among the rare dog breeds. They are not as rare as you would think. But they are not as popular as they were some 20 years ago.

For some reason, this medium sized dog has seen a downfall in his popularity.

As a speedy dog, the Dalmatian can run at a speed of 37 miles per hour. Easily recognizable by his appearance, and his white coat with black spots, the Dalmatian has a reputation of being a great companion dog.

Intelligent, playful, active, and protective, the Dalmatian is patient and good with children. As with other fastest dog breeds on the list, the downside is they require quite a lot of exercise and attention.

But on the flip side, most Dalmatians calm down when they are 2 years old.



This Russian bred is a wolfhound, originally bred to hunt wolves. But this dignified canine can also make a great pet for the family. One downside of the Borzoi is that the dog has a very independent character.

His favorite activity is sprinting, and if you get a Borzoi, you definitely need to allow him to do it.

In Russia, the dog is known as Little Russian Lady or Walking Cloud. Nowadays, the dog is bred as a domestic canine. In shape, the Borzoi is quite similar to the greyhound.

There are two downsides of owning a Borzoi. The first one is their lifespan, which is quite short between 7 and 10 years. And the second is their reservation towards strangers.

Without early socialization, they can become aggressive and shy. However, shyness and skittishness are more common.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

It is a shame that this dog is perceived as a dangerous dog. Bred in Germany to be a guard dog, the Doberman is quite gentle with his family. Of course, with strangers, you cannot expect good behavior. After all, it is a guard dog.

Reaching a speed of 32 miles per hour, the Doberman was once bred to be a war dog and dog for personal defense.

He is also considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds. All of that makes him a good family dog, but also a good police dog.



The whippet is a descendant of the greyhound. Fast and playful, this loyal dog can reach a speed of 34 miles per hour.

Originally, he was a Greyhound that was small for hunting purposes. But because of local laws prohibited their use for hunting, the Whippet found usage in hunting and killing rats on properties.

Because of their speed, they are also popular in dog racing. While his top speed is not as high as the one of the Greyhound, the Whippet is the fastest accelerating dog in the world. For his size, he is quite fast.

Generally quiet and calm dogs, the Whippet just requires plenty of exercise on a daily basis. Friendly toward everyone they meet, the Whippet also doesn’t bark. So, if you want a watchdog, look for another breed.

fastest dog breeds

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