2020’s Fastest Dog Breeds Around – Some Will Surprise You!

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Over the years certain types of dog breeds have become known for their speed. Fast dogs can be found across many categories of dog breeds too.

Whether you want a dog who can do a job, a hunting companion, or a lap dog there are many breeds to choose from. Some dogs can only average 10 to 15 miles per hour but some can exceed 40 miles per hour!

To put this in perspective for you, Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, was clocked at 27.79 mph (source).

The 25 Fastest Dog Breeds

Working Breeds

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are traditionally working dogs and not what most may think of immediately when trying to think of fast dog breeds. However, German Shepherds can run up to 30 mph (source).

Originally this dog was bred to herd sheep but now they wear many different hats. They are known as police dogs, search dogs, military dogs, and sometimes aid their humans with disabilities.

German Shepherds are incredibly smart dogs, making them ideal to train for these many tasks. They would also make the perfect running buddy since they are naturally active as well. 

Husky

Chances are when you think of a Husky you picture a dog pulling a sled through snow. They can run up to 28 miles per hour without that sled, making them one of the faster breeds (source). Huskies have a lot of energy and make the perfect running partner. They do love to chase things, so making sure you have a fenced-in yard for them is ideal.

Many dogs of this breed prefer to spend a lot of time outside and making sure they can do so safely is important. They are friendly dogs and make excellent pets.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are well known to be great guard dogs. They are fiercely loyal to their families and extremely intelligent and alert.

Dobermans are athletic and long-legged which makes them natural runners. They are capable of reaching 40 miles an hour! 

If you want a pet that can also provide protection for your home and be a great running partner, the Doberman Pinscher is a wonderful dog to have.

Giant Schnauzers

Originally bred to work as a cattle dog, Giant Schnauzers are naturally active. This breed can run at 28 miles per hour (source). Not only were they used as a cattle dog, but they also help to guard their owner’s property.

During World War I and World War II Giant Schnauzers were a popular military dog and now some places use them as a police dog. They are easily trained for search and rescue.

Great Dane

The tallest dog on record measured 44 inches high and was a Great Dane named Zeus. It is not shocking that a dog breed known for its size is a fast one. However, this breed may not make the best running buddy.

Great Dane puppies grow rapidly and it puts them at risk for joint problems. It’s important to make sure that you don’t allow them to get too much exercise for their health.

Boxer

A boxer may not come to mind when you think of the fastest breeds of dogs but they are actually one of the fastest! Boxers can be clocked between 38 to 45 miles per hour (source).

Boxers make an excellent family pet too. They are loyal to their families and tend to be good with children. They require a lot of exercise in order to prevent boredom behaviors like chewing or digging.

This breed also tends to be very headstrong and needs a lot of reward-based training methods. Boxers are extremely intelligent though and with a little work, they can be the best pet and running buddy you have ever had.

Pitbull

The term pit bull is used to encompass a wide variety of formal breeds such as the American Bully, the American Pit Bull Terrier, etc. They all share many similar qualities. They are usually a muscular build with a square-shaped head.

Pit bulls are very energetic. These qualities make the pit bull a perfect running mate. They can also run fast and can run between 25 and 30 miles per hour (source).

Belgian Malinois

Often mistaken for a German Shepard due to their similar build and colors, the Belgian Malinois do many of the same jobs a GSD would do. They are commonly used as military and police dogs. They can run around 30 miles per hour as well (source).

Until they are between ages three and five, they will maintain their puppy-like energy. Like most dogs, if they don’t get enough stimulation, they can display destructive behaviors. These dogs make a great running companion because they are so eager to be active and it keeps them happy.

Sporting Breeds

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, or “Labs,” are the most popular dog breed in the United States. This breed is a preferred hunting dog for many avid outdoorsmen. They are frequently trained to be service dogs for those with disabilities, such as blindness.

Labs are also active dogs that are happy to be your running buddy! They may not be the fastest breed, clocking in between 14-18 miles per hour, but they will be able to give the average runner a push. 

Labrador Retrievers also love spending time with their owners and would enjoy your company while running.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers are a breed commonly owned by hunters due to their ability to move quickly and natural hunting instincts. Their fur has a dense undercoat that makes it water-resistant and allows for them to stay warmer in cooler weather.

This breed requires plenty of exercise, making them perfect for an avid runner. Without enough activity this breed will become destructive, so make sure you can commit to this energy level.

Weimaraner

Originally bred for hunting, the Weimaraner was the choice breed for royalty when hunting. They also have webbed paws, which makes them great water dogs. If you are hunting near water, they can easily and quickly retriever any bird.

This breed loves humans and wants to be near you. Weimaraners also need a lot of exercise and enjoy running. These things combined make them the ideal running partner. Like most hunting dogs, they are fast and have been known to run at 35 miles per hour (source).

Vizsla

The Vizsla is a favorite among fowl hunters due to their natural sense of smell and ability to be easily trained. They are athletic dogs and one of the faster breeds, running up to 40 miles per hour.

They make a good dog for a family because they are loyal, gentle, and affectionate. Vizslas are very intelligent and it is important for Vizslas to have an owner that helps keep them both mentally stimulated and active.

Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers may be the smallest dog on this list but that doesn’t stop them from reaching 20-25 miles per hour during their runs. These dogs were originally bred to chase foxes from their dens during hunts.

A Jack Russell Terrier makes a perfect running buddy for someone who does not have space for a larger dog. Be careful to provide them with plenty of exercise though because even though they are small, they have an incredible amount of energy

 It takes a lot to tire out Jack Russell Terriers and often are still energetic even when their owner has become exhausted.

Herding Breeds

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are incredibly driven and do best when they have a job. They are used to herd animals on ranches but also excel in many dog sports such as agility. In order to herd animals, Australian Shepherds need to be able to run quickly and make sure all of the other animals are moving.

If you have an Australian Shepherd as a pet, it is a safe bet that they would be a great running partner to help expend some of their energy.

Border Collies

Similar to the Australian Shepherd, Border Collies were bred to herd livestock. They can run quickly to get all of the sheep where they need to be. This breed is also great for dog sports due to their speed and agility.

Border Collies can run between 20 and 30 miles per hour. They are also recognized as one of the smartest domestic breeds. Border Collies require more mental stimulation than other breeds as well.

They need their owners to spend plenty of time playing with them or to have another dog in the household that will play.

Hound Group

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is another fast breed of dog. They were once used to hunt and chase lions in South Africa and can run at 20 miles per hour. They would run their prey until it was tired, giving them great endurance.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback would make an excellent companion for anyone who likes to run long distances with their pooch. These dogs also make good guard dogs due to their bark, muscular frame, and loyalty to their family.  

American Foxhound

The American Foxhound was originally bred to be a scent hunter. They have longer legs than some other fox hunters, which makes them fast. Since they have a strong sense of smell they need to be in a fenced area when off-leash to avoid them chasing after any scents they may come across.

American Foxhounds are also famous for their “bay” that can be heard from miles around. This is one reason that they do not do well in the city and would prefer life out in the country.

It is important to keep them in an enclosure though because once they find a scent they will not listen to commands and will intently follow it.

Ibizan Hound

The Ibizan Hound was bred to chase and catch prey. They can hunt through all types of terrain using not only their sight, sense of smell, and sound. The Ibizan Hound is capable of running at 40 miles per hour.

They frequently participate in lure coursing events due to this speed. The Ibizan Hound is not a good dog to keep in a kennel but can be trained to be a great pet. They bark to alert you of anything suspicious and are good around children and other dogs.

Whippet

Whippets are a very energetic dog and very similar to the greyhound. They have been used for gambling in races, as well as hunting rabbits. While the whippet is a very fast breed, running at 35 miles per hour, they only need small periods of activity (source).

They are perfectly happy to snuggle on the couch with you after a short run. This makes the whippet a great dog for an apartment if you plan on running with them daily to expend some energy.

Greyhound

When you think of a Greyhound, chances are you think of racing. It is not shocking that this breed is known for their speed. These slim figured dogs can reach speeds of 43 miles per hour!

Just because the greyhound is known for their racing capabilities does not mean that they wouldn’t be a perfect addition to your family. Greyhounds actually do not need a lot of exercise each day since they were bred to race in a shorter sprint instead of over a longer period with endurance.

These dogs are calm and lazy, making them a good dog to live in an apartment.

Saluki

The Saluki is a breed commonly found in both the Middle East and the West, around Britain and Germany. Due to their feet having heavy padding, this breed is able to reach speeds of around 40 mph with the Guiness Book of Records listing the fastest dog a Saluki that ran 42.8 miles per hour.

Salukis were bred to hunt by sight originally and will chase moving objects given the opportunity. They are considered sighthounds and use their vision more so than scents or sounds.

Borzoi

The Borzoi is a Russian wolfhound whose name literally means “fast.” Historically these dogs were used to help hunters catch wolves but now they are perfectly happy to just be a pet. They are not loud and are not very territorial, so you should not expect them to be a guard dog.

However, they still possess the same speed they did in the early 1900s and can run at 38 miles per hour.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds are known for their coats, which are long and beautiful. This is not just for looks though, it helped to protect them in mountainous climates where they originated. These dogs are powerful and built to hunt all day (source).

These sighthounds are fast and can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. If you want a gorgeous running buddy, look no further than the Afghan Hound.

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhounds are another fast hunting breed. They were originally bred to help hunt Scottish deer and can reach speeds of 28 miles per hour (source).  This breed needs a lot of exercise and enjoys human interaction making Scottish Deerhounds a perfect running breed.

The Scottish Deerhound looks similar to the Greyhound but is larger and has more fur. They can also outrun Greyhounds on harsher terrain since they were bred for the cool, wet hillsides of Scotland.

Italian Greyhound

While they look very similar, Italian Greyhounds are smaller than a traditional Greyhound. This means they cannot run as fast, but they are still fast for their size. Italian Greyhounds can run at 25 miles per hour.

This breed is considered a sighthound and loves to run and chase things. Unlike traditional greyhounds, the Italian Greyhound is not suited for racing due to their smaller, more fragile frames. However, lure coursing is a great sport for them to participate in.

That’s A Wrap!

There are plenty of dog breeds that can run at fast speeds. Fast dogs can be found in any category of dog breed within the American Kennel Club.

Whether you want a working dog, a dog capable of learning sporty new tricks, or a dog who can help you with livestock, there is a new running partner out there for you! Even if your dog can run faster than you, most are just happy to be outside with their human and it can even provide you with a challenge to keep going!