Let your dog bask in a wide, open field and it’s not uncommon to find them running around like there’s no tomorrow (cue in that scene from the movie Forrest Gump - “Run, Forest, Run!”). This may make you wonder - How fast can a dog run?

While many dogs like running, not all dogs run in the same way or speed. How fast a dog runs depends on factors such as their body type, breed, and body composition. Long-legged breeds such as whippets and greyhounds, for example, are much faster runners than short-legged breeds such as dachshunds and basset hounds, but how long or short their legs are aren’t the only factors. Read on to know more about how fast different dogs run.

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  1. How Fast Can Different Dogs Run
  2. Fastest Dog Breed
  3. Best Dogs to Run With
  4. FAQs
  5. Conclusion

How Fast Can Different Dogs Run

Like what was mentioned above, how fast dogs run generally depends on their body type, body composition, and breed. Nevertheless, all dogs have physical characteristics that give them the potential to be good runners. Let’s get to know more about these qualities below:

  • A dog’s paws have pads that allow for a secure grip on various surfaces, with nails that give traction.
  • Their 4 limbs are maximized for locomotion.
  • Like horses, dogs have 4 main gaits: walk, trot, canter, and gallop.
  • They have long loins, a flexible spine, and mighty abdominal muscles. This gives them power and drive to move forward.

But how fast can a dog run exactly? On average, dogs are capable of running around 15-20 miles/hour in short distances. Some breeds run much slower, while some can run at an even much faster rate. Apart from body composition and breed, health also plays a factor in how fast a dog can run.

Fastest Dog Breed

When you think of the fastest dog in the world, which dog breed do you think it is? If you’re picturing a Greyhound, you’re probably right. The fact is, Greyhounds are capable of running 45 mph (miles per hour), which rivals the records of the cheetah when it comes to land speed over distance (cheetahs win when it comes to sprinting though).

Other dogs with long legs have similar speed averages. Salukis, deerhounds, and vizslas, for example, can run about 40mph. Meanwhile, border collies, Boxers, and German shepherds have a speed of around 30 mph. Speaking of Boxers, did you know that Boxers were actually used during wartime as couriers because of how fast they can run?

Other smaller and active dogs such as Italian greyhounds and Jack Russel terriers can also run at a fast speed of between 25-30 mph.

So you might be wondering - What is common among fast dog breeds? Among the commonalities are: A lean body with long, proportionate legs; a deep chest; high cardio and lung capacity, and a wide reach.

Dogs that run fast have an asymmetrical gait – meaning, that their feet fall by order of: right front, left front, right hind, left hind. Some dog breeds that run fast also have a double-suspension gallop, propelling their body in the air in a way that their legs are lifted off the ground.

Dogs may sometimes go astray, and because they’re curious and fast runners, they may go to unfamiliar areas. If your dog happens to wander off, a good quality GPS tracker such as the Petcube GPS Tracker will surely come in handy. With it, you can track your dog with unlimited LTE/4G connectivity, live location tracking, light and sound alerts.

Read more: Choosing the Right GPS Tracker for Your Pet

Best Dogs to Run With

In general, dogs that run fast do so in swift bursts, but often can’t maintain them for very long distances. However, some dogs have the stamina to maintain speeds, taking only around five to six minutes (sometimes even less) to finish running a mile. In fact, in 2016, a dog-man duo, the dog being a Weimaraner, set a record for only taking 4 minutes and thirty seconds to finish running a mile.

While their speed may not be as fast as racing hounds, dogs that have endurance can maintain their speed longer, and can thus be great running companions for humans.

Dog breeds that are capable of running distances:

  • Siberian husky
  • Labrador retriever
  • Weimaraner
  • Dalmatian
  • Standard poodle
  • German shorthaired pointer
  • English setter

The above dog breeds are similar in size and can manage running distances at 10-15 mph. Among the best dogs to run with due to their endurance, they can make great running companions. To illustrate, picture huskies in a sled team for a multi-day race. They may not be sprinting but their speed is consistent in long distances, showing athletic prowess. A number of mixed-breed dogs may also have characteristics similar to these dog breeds, making them capable of being great running companions as well.

Note that a dog’s health and age may also be determining factors in how fast a dog can run. For example, while younger dogs may show much drive, older dogs may be suffering from conditions such as arthritis, which can significantly slow them down.

Weather conditions may also affect a dog’s endurance for running. Arleigh Reynolds, D.V.M, Ph.D and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine advises: “Keep in mind what your dog is built for.”

She explained that there are some dogs that may not be able to handle cold weather when running. Breeds such as Huskies, Samoyeds, and Malamutes, for example, prefer cold weather to warm environments. On the other hand, Chihuahuas (being short-coated) won’t be comfortable in cold environments.

When running with dogs, be aware that it’s possible for them to get lost or get too excited about something that they encounter along the way. To make sure that they don’t go too far or find them if they get lost. A product such as the Petcube GPS Tracker can go a long way. The device has real-time location updates when they matter most. If your dog gets lost for example, you can take advantage of the Lost Dog mode with high sensibility tracking to get a fast response if your dog goes astray. You can also set boundaries for when your pet explores by defining safe & no go zones. You also get access to quick alerts where you get notified when your dog goes beyond specific areas.

Not to mention, the Petcube GPS Tracker is also IP67 certified for durability and water resistance. It also has a long battery life, so you benefit from uninterrupted GPS tracking, with a battery life of upto 30 days in power save mode.


Who is the fastest dog in the world?

Taking first place when it comes to being the fastest dog is the Greyhound. Tall and great movers, they have a speed of about 45 mph. Can you imagine how fast that is?

Who is the slowest dog in the world?

Among the slowest dog breeds in the world are Pugs & Basset Hounds. Being brachycephalic dog breeds, their anatomy makes them slower in running compared to other dog breeds.


Dogs are generally good runners, but how fast or slow depends on certain factors. Among these factors are their body composition, breed, health, as well as training. The Greyhound, for example, are known to be fast because they have a lean built. Dog breeds such as pugs, on the other hand, are slower since they’re brachycephalic.

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