Running can be a great way for dogs to burn off excess energy and stress. Regular running can also help keep a dog fit and at a healthy weight. Plus, running with your dog can strengthen your bond. However, not all dogs are able to keep the same pace. Some breeds are known for their superb speed. These swift canines tend to be large, muscular, long-legged breeds, though there are some very speedy small pups, too. They generally were bred for jobs that kept them up on their paws and moving.
Here are 10 of the fastest dog breeds.
Athletic dogs typically need lots of exercise each day with ample space to get their energy out. If you can’t direct their energy to positive outlets, such as canine sports, the dogs might turn to destructive behaviors, such as chewing household items.
01 of 10
Border collies are generally very smart, energetic, and loyal. They also have tons of stamina, drive, and speed. Whether it's herding livestock all day or competing at top levels in the fast-paced sports of flyball or agility, these dogs really can motor over long distances. However, it's not uncommon for border collies to nip at the heels of running children or chase bikes and cars. So it's important to direct their athleticism to positive tasks.
Height: 18 to 22 inches
Weight: 28 to 48 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Rough or smooth medium-length double coat; body is slightly longer than it is tall; long head that comes to a point at the nose with ears standing erect and tips curling over
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Dalmatians aren't just known for their striking good looks. They're also seriously speedy and athletic. Historically, they were trained to run alongside horse-drawn carriages. Many new owners underestimate just how much exercise and attention these dogs need. Long walks each day are a must, as is space for the dogs to run. Dalmatians also are known for being enthusiastic alert barkers, so you'll need to put some training in to encourage quieter behavior.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long body; short, dense coat; white with black or brown spots
03 of 10
It's no surprise that the Doberman Pinscher has been used by the military, police, and search-and-rescue services. These large dogs have loads of stamina, drive, and swiftness. Dobermans also are incredibly loyal and trainable. However, they generally aren't suited to novice dog owners. They don't always get along with other dogs, and their strong guarding instincts and powerful physique can become a challenge if not carefully managed.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 65 to 100 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; deep chest; short, smooth coat in black, red, blue, or fawn with rust markings
04 of 10
The Great Dane has a large, lanky athletic physique that allows it to cover ground quickly. This is what historically made the breed successful at boar hunting in its native Germany. With their families, Great Danes tend to be gentle giants. They do need a lot of space to play and get their energy out. But they can be quite loving and loyal companions, including with children and other animal family members.
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; deep chest; short and smooth coat; colors include black, blue, brindle, fawn, harlequin, and moreContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Greyhounds are often regarded as the fastest dogs on the planet. These streamlined sighthounds were specifically bred with speed in mind. They have deep chests; a large lung capacity; and a lean, muscular physique. Greyhounds are able to accelerate quickly and then maintain high speeds. But they are typically mild-mannered and calm at home, even being referred to as couch potatoes, as long as they've had their walks.
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long legs; athletic, thin body; long, narrow head with pointed muzzle; short, smooth coat in many different solid and brindle colors
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Siberian huskies might not hit the blistering speeds a greyhound is capable of, but they're still incredibly fast. This breed has incredible stamina and is able to cover long distances at a consistently brisk pace, even in harsh weather conditions. As you'd expect from a dog bred to pull sleds for hours each day, huskies are full of energy and determination. The breed needs to be part of a family that can offer an outlet for this exuberance.
Height: 20 to 23 inches
Weight: 45 to 60 pounds (male); 35 to 50 pounds (female)
Physical Characteristics: Thick double coat; comes in a variety of colors, including combinations of black, gray, white, and tan
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The small but swift Jack Russell terrier was originally bred for fox hunting. Unlike the bigger foxhounds, these tenacious and brave little dogs could chase their quarry into a den. They also had to have the speed and stamina to keep up with the horses when following a scent. These dogs are typically smart, energetic, and playful. They can also be very vocal, prone to digging, and have a high prey drive.
Height: 10 to 15 inches
Weight: 13 to 17 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Square, compact build; head is small and blocky with almond-shaped dark eyes and dropped ears set high; slim, erect tail
08 of 10
Poodles come in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. And all three are known for being fleet of foot. Poodles can make great family pets when given an outlet for their playfulness and energy. They'll need at least a couple solid walks each day. Poodles tend to be fun-loving but also patient and gentle. And they're known for their longevity. But they do have fairly high grooming requirements to prevent their coats from becoming untidy and matted.
Height: Standard: 15 inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: 10 inches and under
Weight: Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; miniature: 15 to 18 pounds; toy: 5 to 9 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Curly, dense, single-layer coat; may be one of many solid colors, including white, black, gray, brown, and apricotContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Hundreds of years ago, the vizsla was prized among the Maygar hunting tribes of Hungary. The breed became indispensable thanks to its unsurpassable pace and endurance when tracking quarry. These days, these qualities are what make vizslas popular running companions. The breed also tends to be eager to please and affectionate. But vizslas are notorious chewers and might turn to this activity if they aren't getting enough exercise or stimulation.
Height: 22 to 23 inches
Weight: 45 to 50 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; russet-colored short, smooth, dense coat
10 of 10
The Weimaraner is another athletic hunting breed with a scorching turn of pace. These dogs are known for their vigor, loyalty, and trainability. But they can be rather mischievous, so they need lots of mental and physical enrichment to keep them entertained and channel their energy. Plus, they're another breed that likes to chew and can destroy household items if left bored and unsupervised.
Height: 24 to 26 inches
Weight: 70 to 85 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; short, smooth mouse gray or silver gray coat; blocky head with large dropped ears