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How Fast Can A Dog Run

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Most dogs can run at a speed of 15 to 20 miles per hour on average.
  • Dogs with large lungs and lean bodies can run at speeds between 25 and 45 mph.
  • The fastest dog breeds include Greyhounds, Salukis, and Vizslas.
  • The slowest dog breeds include Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Basset Hounds.
  • It is not recommended to run with dogs on hard surfaces like roads.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Highly educated researcher and DVM with extensive experience in Clinical VetMedicine, Veterinary Nano Medicine, and Preventive Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Wednesday 26 July 2023
Last updated on
Wednesday 26 July 2023
How Fast Can A Dog Run
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Running has always been synonymous with dogs. With that, it is normal to assume that all dogs run fast at a similar or closer speed. However, that is not entirely true as there are dogs that can either run slower or faster than average. 

So now, to know more about dogs and running, we will talk about how fast can a dog run, what are the fastest and slowest dog breeds, and the answer to some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic in this article! 

How Fast Can Dogs Run?

Most canines can run for a short distance at a speed of 15 to 20 miles per hour on average. Also, dogs with large lungs and lean bodies typically have the ability to run at speeds between 25 and 45 mph. However, small dog breeds that have short legs and huge breeds with heavy weights appear slower than other dogs. 

Moreover, the physical type and breed of a dog determine how quickly it can run. All dogs, nevertheless, have a few traits in common that might make them effective runners. So, here are some of those traits: 

  • Dogs have excellent turning abilities and complicated gaits because of their feet’s ability to grasp and feel the ground as well as their traction-enhancing nails.
  • Additionally, they also have long loins, a flexible spine, and strong abdominal muscles, that give them a lot of strength and forward drive.
  • And lastly, dogs have an uneven, four-time gait when they gallop or run quickly. They run with their feet falling in the order of right front, left front, right hind, and left hind as a result. Before the corresponding rear foot on each front foot steps down, the front feet rise off the ground. Some swift breeds have a double-suspension gallop in which all four of their legs lift off the ground at the same time, propelling the body through the air.

Other dogs struggle to race swiftly because they can’t breathe well enough to be as athletic. These dogs are brachycephalic or flat-faced with short noses, such as Basset Hounds, Bulldogs, and Pugs. 

What Dog Breeds Run Fast?

As mentioned, there are dogs that run faster than the average speed. Hence, here’s the list of the top 10 fastest dog breeds!

Dog BreedAverage Speed
1) Greyhound45 mph
2) Saluki42 mph
3) Vizsla40 mph
4) Afghan Hound40 mph
5) Ibizan Hound40 mph
6) Jack Russell Terrier38 mph
7) Dalmatian37 mph
8) Borzoi36 mph
9) Weimaraner35 mph
10) Whippet34 mph
Average Speed of Fast-Running Dogs

There are several similarities among these fast dogs. First, they all have broad chests, slim torsos, and long legs relative to their height. Moreover, these dogs also have strong hearts and ample lung capacity to give muscles that need to perform hard quick bursts of oxygen. In addition, they can swiftly cover a lot of land since they have a broad reach.

For example, the Greyhound, which is the fastest dog breed in the world, is quick thanks to its long legs, flexible spine, tiny waist, large muscles, and thin bones. Also, it possesses a few less obvious characteristics that contribute to its incredible speed. Moreover, the heart size of a racing greyhound ranges from 1.18 to 1.73% of its body weight, which is enormous for such a little animal.

What Are the Fastest Dog Breeds Over Distance?

Now, there are exceptional dogs who can run fast over long distances. The Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute are the canines that can run the furthest. Both dog breeds are powerful, have a lot of stamina, and can run at a good rate of 10 to 15 mph for hours on end. Also, what contributes the most to their ability to run long distances is they were both bred to pull sleds. 

According to Lenore Demmin, president of the Siberian Husky Club of America, the indigenous Siberian populations bred Siberian Huskies as means of transportation to pursue the sparse food sources. On the other hand, Alaskan Malamutes labored arduously in harsh environments, frequently on starvation diets, just like Siberians. Moreover, they hauled packs, dragged sleds, and went hunting.

However, even though Huskies and Malamutes are more known for fast long-distance running, Greyhounds are also capable of doing the same. They can run up to seven miles while maintaining a speed of around 35 miles per hour. 

Which Dog Breeds Run Slow?

After knowing some of the fastest dog breeds, let us proceed to discuss which dog breeds run slow.  

Dog BreedAverage Speed
1) Shih Tzu6 mph
2) PugAround 5 to 10 mph
3) Bassett HoundAround 5 to 10 mph
4) Toy Poodle10 mph
5) French BulldogBelow 15 mph
6) BulldogBelow 15 mph
Average Speed of Slow-Running Dogs

As mentioned, some dogs’ small size and short legs make them unable to move quickly enough to cover much ground. Aside from that, due to the structure of their extremely flat faces, brachycephalic breeds like the French Bulldogs do not breathe very effectively. Additionally, to keep up with the demands of running quickly, they just cannot get enough oxygen into their bodies quickly enough.

In addition, similar to Bulldogs, the brachycephalic shape of Shih Tzus make them more susceptible to respiratory problems. They can have respiratory issues if they try to keep up at a quicker pace than they are accustomed to.

Is It Safe to Run With Your Dog? 

Excessive running also damages a dog’s joints and can cause early-onset osteoarthritis, just like it does in people, according to veterinarian Sarah Wooten. In addition, the majority of veterinarians advise waiting until a dog is fully grown before engaging in any real jogging or any “running other than puppy play”. Also, waiting for your dog to be fully grown to engage them in running and jogging helps avoid developmental problems.

Furthermore, ask your veterinarian whether it’s okay to take your dog out for fast-action activities like running, bicycling, etc. as dogs develop at different times depending on their size and breed. When possible, stay on softer terrain such as dirt trails, sand, and grass. Running on concrete paths, especially long distances, might be bad for your dog’s health. 

How Fast Can A Dog Run: FAQs

To finish this article, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how fast can a dog run:

Can a dog run 60 mph?

Currently, Greyhounds, which are the fastest dog breed in the world could only run up to 45 mph on average. 

What is the fastest dog ever recorded?

The fastest dog breed in the world is the greyhound. They are still the fastest dog despite sporadic competition from breeds like the Saluki, Afghan hound, and Vizsla. Greyhounds are renowned for their sprinting, which averages speeds of 40 to 45 mph. But they can also travel at a high rate of speed for around 7 miles, often at 35 mph. They are the world’s quickest dogs as a result of this talent.

Can a person outrun a dog?

If we are talking about long-distance running, yes, there is a possibility of humans outrunning dogs. However, it can take hours to catch up and overtake them. In addition, it can also vary depending on the situation. For example, extremely trained or competitive dogs might be harder to outrun by an average person. 

How far is too far for a dog to run?

There is no concrete answer on how far is too far for a dog to run. It relies on a number of variables, including the dog’s breed, age, weight, size, state of health, degree of fitness, temperament, and type of terrain. For example, your dog might feel more tired running on slopes than running in flat areas. Plus, an additional example would be senior dogs who might get easily tired running small distances due to their age. 

Is it OK to run a dog on the road?

No, we do not recommend dogs running on the road. Running barefoot is not too difficult for dogs when they are on grass or other natural ground surfaces, but running on concrete, asphalt, gravel, or other hard surfaces may be quite taxing on your dog’s body and increase the risk of damage to their legs, paws, or paw pads.

Even though all dogs are perceived as good runners, there are still dogs that are either faster or slower.  Moreover, the factors that can affect how fast can dogs run include their natural features, breed, health, and training. For example, Greyhounds are fast due to their lean body frame and heart size, while Shih Tzus are slower because they are brachycephalic. 

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