Every dog breed has its own unique purpose and its structure and abilities reflect the job it was bred to do. A number of breeds were bred to chase and catch prey, which means they need to run very, very quickly. Others were used for racing, carting, and even sledding. Whatever the reason, these canine athletes need to be fast and they need to be able to run. If you’ve ever wondered which breeds would win the relay race, check out this list below!
1 – Greyhound
Greyhounds are sighthounds bred for chasing prey in short distances, meaning speed was far more important than endurance. With a top speed around 45mph, Greyhounds became the most popular dog used in racing and lure coursing events.
2 – Whippet
The Whippet is running right at the heels of the Greyhound with top speeds of 35mph. This sighthound is similar to the Greyhound but smaller in appearance. Like the Greyhound, this breed is also used for hunting, racing and lure coursing.
3 – Saluki
Salukis are an Egyptian sighthound bred for hunting and chasing prey. The breed has reached top speeds of 40mph, following the path of the sighthound speed.
4 – Borzoi
The Borzoi is a large Russian sighthound, running at top speeds of 36mph. The breed is very fast despite its size and was used to hunt and chase prey over large plains.
5 – Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound is a Spanish sighthound capable of reaching speeds up to 40mph. Bred for chasing and catching prey, they are agile but elegant dogs. Today it is most frequently found participating in lure coursing events.
6 – Pharaoh Hound
The Pharaoh Hound originated in Malta and is another sighthound used for hunting and chasing prey. The breed has reached speeds of 35mph and are also known for being excellent jumpers.
7 – Afghan Hound
Arguably one of the most regal-looking and elegant dog breeds, the Afghan Hound can reach speeds up to 40mph. It is a long-coated sighthound from Afghanistan and has been used in hunting and lure coursing.
8 – Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is a very large sighthound from Scotland, originally bred for deer hunting. Reaching speeds of 35mph, they excel at lure coursing and other sprinting activities.
9 – Border Collie
The Border Collie is one of the most versatile sporting breeds today, reaching speeds of 30mph. This herding dog has maintained the most widely used breed today for its original purpose of working sheep and cattle. Because of their speed, they also excel at agility, flyball, disc dog, obedience and more.
10 – Vizsla
The Vizsla is a Hungarian gundog reaching speeds up to 40mph. They make excellent active companions and are still widely used as hunting dogs.
11 – Jack Russell Terrier
Although a small breed, the Jack Russell Terrier has reached speeds of 38mph and excels as a hunter, agility, flyball and lure coursing dog.
12 – Doberman Pinscher
This German guardian breed has topped speeds of 32mph, making them one of the fastest working dogs that weren’t originally bred for hunting. Their muscular build and stamina makes them a great choice for a variety of working venues.
The Dalmatian is a carriage-pulling breed from Croatia and although it was bred more for endurance than speed, they have topped the charts at 37mph. They are very active dogs that need a job to do in order to stay happy and healthy.
14 – Alaskan Husky
Alaskan Huskies are not recognized by any major kennel clubs, but they have been selectively bred for generations to maintain the ultimate sledding capabilities needed for daily work and international races. Endurance is often more important than speed in these dogs, but they have topped the charts at 28mph.
15 – Belgian Malinois