Most dogs love to run. It can be a great way for them to burn off excess energy and stress. Regular running can also help keep your dog fit, toned and at a healthy weight. Running with your dog can strengthen your bond and help you keep fit together. You may even be interested in the competitive sport of canicross. Serious canicross competitors usually team up with dogs known for their speed and stamina.
While the Greyhound may be considered the Usain Bolt of the dog world, there are plenty of other dogs that are talented sprinters. Here is a list of the fastest dog breeds around.
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There's a reason why the Border Collie continues to be one of the most popular companion breeds around. They're super smart, energetic and steadfastly loyal. Borders 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.
Border Collies, however, aren't a breed that will be suited to everyone. They benefit from being given a job to do. Problem behaviors can easily surface if they don't get enough exercise and stimulation. It's not uncommon for the breed to nip at the heels of running children or chase bikes and cars. You may need to work on channelling this drive with appropriate training and management techniques.
Height: 18 to 22 inches
Weight: 28 to 48 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized; 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 in their native Croatia. They acted as guardians and were also prized status symbols.
Their popularity soared after the release of the Disney movie '101 Dalmatians'. These dogs don't slot well into every home, however. Many new owners underestimate just how much exercise and attention these agile and energetic dogs need. Although they can be wary of strangers, Dals tend to be loving and loyal towards their family. Known for being enthusiastic alert barkers, you'll need to be prepared to put some work 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
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It's no surprise that the Doberman Pinscher has been used by the military, police, and search and rescue services. These large dogs have bags of stamina, drive and intelligence, along with an impressive turn of pace. Fearless and athletic, Dobermans are incredibly loyal and trainable.
Dobs, however, aren't generally 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 it's not carefully managed.
Height: 24 to 28 inches
Weight: 65 to 100 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Large, deep-chested, sturdy and muscular breed. Short, smooth coat in black, red, blue, or fawn with rust markings
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You might think that, because of their size, giant dog breeds are naturally faster. Often, their size can work against them. Bulky breeds like Mastiffs aren't the most agile, and they're known for being rather lazy. The Great Dane, however, has a more athletic physique and they can cover a lot of ground quickly. This is what, historically, made them such successful boar hunters in their native Germany.
These days, the breed is often referred to as being a Gentle Giant. If you have the space and available funds for their big food bills, Great Danes can be wonderfully loyal and loving additions to a family. They tend to get on well with respectful kids and other pets. Unfortunately, Danes have a shorter lifespan than the average breed and, with their large frame and deep chest, they can be more prone to a life-threatening condition called bloat.
Height: 28 to 32 inches
Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Giant breed dog with a muscular body and a deep chest; short and smooth coat; colors include black, blue, brindle, fawn, harlequin, and moreContinue to 5 of 10 below.
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Greyhounds are regarded as being the fastest dogs on the planet. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Greys, and the other fast Sighthounds like Salukis, have been specifically designed with speed in mind.
They have deep chests, large lung capacity, big hearts and a particularly athletic physique. A Greyhounds ability to accelerate quickly and then maintain high speeds is unsurpassable in the dog world. Although they can run at breakneck speeds, Greyhounds are notoriously mild-mannered and calm around the home. They're often referred to as couch potatoes.
Their speed means Greyhounds are often raced on the track. When they're injured or no longer performing well, they are retired, often at a very early age. Groups like Greyhound Welfare work to ensure that many gentle and loving dogs can be paired up with adoptive families willing to offer them a sofa of their own.
Height: 25 to 30 inches
Weight: 60 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Long legs and athletic, thin body; long and 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 breeds strength lies in their stamina and ability to cover incredibly long distances at a consistently brisk pace. This is often despite of bitterly harsh weather conditions too.
As you'd expect from a dog bred to pull sleds for hours on end every day, Huskies are full of energy, drive and spirit. The breed needs to be part of a family that can offer an outlet for this exuberance. Huskies excel at sports like canicross or bikejoring and make great hiking companions. Without the right outlets, Huskies can become easily bored, stressed and destructive. They're very vocal, and this can increase if they aren't getting enough exercise and stimulation.
Huskies are notorious escape artists and need a high-fenced and secure garden. They might need to remain on leash unless you work hard on achieving a super-reliable recall. With their thick, insulating double coat, be prepared for a lot of shedding too.
Height: 20 to 23 inches
Weight: 45 to 60 pounds (male); 35 to 50 pounds (female)
Physical Characteristics: Thick double coat that comes in a variety of colors including combinations of black, gray, white and tan
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The Jack Russell Terrier was originally bred for fox hunting. Unlike the bigger, traditional Foxhounds, these tenacious and brave little dogs could chase their quarry into their den. Despite their size, they had to have the speed and stamina to keep up with the horses when following a scent.
JRTs are smart, energetic and playful. They can also be very vocal, prone to digging and have a high prey drive. These feisty dogs may be small but they can have big personalities and won't be for the faint-hearted.
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
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Poodles come in three sizes; toy, miniature and standard. All three are known for being fleet of foot. Despite being recognized, historically as an elegant, prized and pampered companion of aristocrats, they're also wonderfully smart, affectionate and full of character.
Poodles can make great family pets. They tend to be fun-loving, but also patient and gentle. Known for their longevity too, Poodles don't have as many genetic health problems as some breeds. Toy Poodles can live to be 18 years and over.
Don't underestimate, however, the amount of attention you'll need to give a Poodle coat to prevent it from becoming untidy, matted and uncomfortable.
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 coats that may be one of many solid colors, including white, black, grey, brown, and apricotContinue to 9 of 10 below.
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Hundreds of years ago the Vizsla was prized amongst the Maygar hunting tribes of Hungary. The breed became indispensable as a result of their unsurpassable turn of pace and endurance when tracking quarry.
These days, these qualities are what make them a popular running companion. The breed is also admired because then tend to be very eager to please and affectionate.
Vizslas are known for developing strong bonds with their families and are best suited to a household where they'll have company for most of the day. They're notorious chewers and may 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 and well proportioned with a russet-colored short, smooth, dense coat
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The Weimaraner is another athletic hunting breed with a scorching turn of pace. They're often confused with the Vizsla. The Weimy, a breed native to Germany, is more heavily built and comes in shades of gray rather than the russet golds seen in Vizslas. Known for being loyal, smart, trainable and healthy, the breed is growing in popularity.
Weimaraners can be rather mischievous, however, and they need a lot of physical and mental enrichment to keep this characteristic from becoming a problem. They're another breed that likes to chew, and they can be destructive if left bored and unsupervised.
Height: 24 to 26 inches
Weight: 70 to 85 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Strong-bodied, streamlined with a short, smooth mouse gray or silver-gray coat; strong head with dropped ears
All dogs are capable of showing an impressive burst of speed. Some dogs, however, have been bred to excel when it comes to pace and stamina.
Whatever type of dog you have, it's important that they get enough exercise and mental enrichment. It'll ensure you have a more calm, relaxed and healthy dog.
Many of the breeds listed above have higher than average energy levels, and you'll need to ensure they have appropriate outlets for their drive and smarts. If they don't get this, they might end up making their own, less appropriate, entertainment. Things like canicross and fast-paced dog sports can be beneficial.