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How Fast Do Dogs Run? Why Are They So Fast?

How Fast Do Dogs Run? Why Are They So Fast?
How Fast Do Dogs Run?

Ever chased your dog down the dog park when he got off the leash? If the answer is yes, then you probably already know that dogs are fast. And some of them are really fast. A great example of that are greyhounds. Unfortunately, because of that these adorable pups are often exploited in legal or illegal dog races all around the world.
And while we do know that these canines have an incredible speed, how fast are they really? How fast do greyhound dogs run? And what makes dogs such good runners?

Why are dogs such good runners?

If you are wondering what exactly makes dogs such amazing runners, you might be surprised at the answer. Everything starts with their paws. Thanks to their paw pads and nails, dogs get some extra power to sprint around, as well as get some additional traction to change their direction quickly. At fast speed dogs can even break into what is known as a double-suspension gait. That is the gait you will see in a racehorse and it basically means that all four of their limbs leave the ground at the same time. It’s especially common among dogs with lean builds, deep chests, and long legs.

How fast do Greyhound dogs run?

While many dog breeds have an incredible speed, Greyhound dogs are definitely the fastest of them. And they will only need six strides to reach their full speed of around 45 miles per hour. The only other mammal that is capable to run as fast other than the Greyhound is a Cheetah. But interestingly enough, some studies even suggest that the Greyhound is a bit faster.

What makes Greyhounds so fast?

The one thing that makes Greyhounds so fast besides their speed boosting features that we already discussed is their genetics. The hearts of these dogs are enormous In comparison to the rest of their body. For example, the human heart accounts for about 0.5% of a person’s body weight, for most domestic dog breeds it’s 0.7%, however for a Greyhound it’s up to 1.75%

Their hearts can beat up to five times per second making the blood in their body circulate for multiple times even during a short sprint. Greyhounds are also powered by exceptionally long, slender legs and flexible spines.

What other dog breeds are fast?

While Greyhounds are by far the fastest dog breed that is out there, they are still some other dogs that are great runners as well. But how fast do other dogs run?

Here are five dog breeds that might wouldn’t be able to beat a cheetahs at a sprint. But they could still probably run away from you at the dog park.


These dogs are long and lean, just like Greyhounds. Interestingly enough, Salukis aren’t just one of the world’s fastest dog breeds — they’re also one of the oldest. These canines served as hunting companions in ancient Egypt. They can reach a speed of up to 40 miles per hour.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is probably best known for its distinctive and beautiful coat. However, that isn’t the only feature that makes them so very special. Their running abilities are pretty impressive too. The Afghan hound was originally bred to hunt in the deserts of Afghanistan, and they can also reach the speed of up to 40 miles per hour.


The Vizsla is a unique dog breed that was originally bred in Hungary. Just like with the previous dogs, these were too developed to help their owners during hunting. Additionally, their maximum speed is the same as well being near 40 miles per hour.

Jack Russell Terrier

While Jack Russell Terriers are known to be amazing and loyal family dogs, you might be surprised to learn that they are very fast runners as well. These intelligent dogs were originally bred as a hunting breed, and while running they can reach the speed of up to 35 miles per hour.


These dogs may be best known for their unique coat and fierce temperament, however their speed is another feature that possible buyers should take into consideration. Dalmatians originate back to a Croatia and these black and white dogs reach the speed of up to 35 miles per hour.

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