The English Greyhound, simply called the Greyhound, is a sighthound breed, also known as the fastest dog breed in the world. Used for coursing, racing, and hunting, the breed has experienced a sort of resurgence lately. Why? Because many people leave their dogs after they are done with racing. So, how fast is a Greyhound?
Well, the fastest dog in the world is quite fast. But it is sad that there are many retired racing Greyhounds. The good news is that due to their gentle nature and loving and affectionate temperament, they have seen a resurgence in popularity.
Why is the dog so fast? Well, the combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine, and slim build allows the Greyhound dog breed to reach a speed of 45 mph, and run at an average speed of 40 mph.
How Fast Is The Average Greyhound?
The Greyhound is the world’s fastest dog. There is no denying it. Reaching a top speed of 45mph, some of these dogs are able to maintain a 35 mph speed for up to seven miles without tiring. That is quite an impressive feat.
That is why Greyhound racing is such popular. These dogs have the perfect combination for running at high speed. Their large heart can circulate the entire blood volume up to five times during a short race. Their body is built for speed, as we mentioned previously.
Long known for their speed, they are the fastest dog on earth. But their history of racing goes back decades. Nowadays, they have become popular rescue dogs. People of all ages love them and often adopt retired Greyhounds.
The World’s Fastest Greyhound
While the Greyhound dog breed is the fastest canine in the world, who is the fastest of them? Well, according to most reports and sources, Australia’s Shakey Jakey is the fastest greyhound in the world. He managed to reach a top speed of 41.8mph and won his only race by 22 lengths.
Shakey had an impressive race in Sydney, Australia in 2024. But he completed his racing career after that solo event. Yet, he is still spoken about today.
But his racing career was short. Many others refer to Ballyregan Bob as the actual record holder among Greyhounds. This dog won 32 consecutive races in Great Britain, and set speed records at 10 racing tracks during his career.
While every Greyhound will vary in speed capabilities, the dog breed can reach speed up to 45 miles per hour. Most dogs could never accomplish a speed like that.
Why Are Greyhounds So Fast?
We mentioned some of the reasons previously. Most dogs cannot reach such incredible speed. We have to mention a couple of reasons why this puppy can reach such speed.
- The Greyhound has a large heart holding a high volume of blood. Their heart can circulate their entire blood volume up to five times during a short race, allowing the dog to oxygenate its muscles to peak performance
- Their body behaves like a spring propelling the dog forward. All four of the Greyhound’s paws leave the ground at one time as the dog explodes forward, running similar to a cheetah
- They have incredibly long legs, allowing them to run faster
- Bred to track and hunt down prey, their body adapted to better fit the energy needs and requirements
Are Greyhound Races Legal?
Dog racing is a popular dog sport. And Greyhound racing was part of it. While it was once a popular sport that many people supported, dog racing is now illegal in many parts of the United States.
There were many reasons to ban this sport. For starters, there were reports of Greyhound abuse and gambling that revolved around the sport.
Yet, despite the banning, there are still two racing dog tracks in West Virginia. It is also prevalent in the United Kingdom.
What we have to mention is that the Greyhound does not have to race for people to acknowledge how incredible canine it is. This loving breed with unique characteristics is a perfect family pet
Who Are Greyhound’s Competitors?
As we said before, Greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world. But what other breeds belong in the top 10 fastest dog breeds list?
Well, the second place belongs to Saluki, who is right at the heels of the Greyhound with a speed between 40 and 43 mph. But that is top speed, not average speed. And then in the Top 5, we have the Afghan Hound, Vizsla, and Ibizan Hound.
The top 10 also has spots for Whippet, Jack Russell Terrier, and many more. The Jack Russell is the smallest dog in the top 10 fastest dog breeds.
Cheetah vs. Greyhound – Who Would Win?
We answered how fast is a Greyhound. But let’s compare it to other animals.
We know that the Cheetah is the fastest animal in the world, able to reach a speed of 70 miles per hour. It is also the world’s fastest land mammal. But who would win in a race between a Cheetah and a Greyhound?
If that is a short race, the Cheetah would win easily. Yet, according to some experts, if it is a long race, the Greyhound has the advantage. Greyhounds have a better average speed that they can sustain for longer periods.
The Greyhound is a long-distance runner, able to sustain a speed of 35 miles per hour at a distance of 7 miles. The Cheetah is a sprinting animal. As for their top speed, Cheetahs can maintain it for 219 yards (200 meters), while Greyhounds can sustain it for 273 yards (250 meters).