Yesterday, I was at the dog park with Janice and Leroy. Janice, as I’ve told you, is pregnant, so she’s not exactly the powerhouse that she used to be. She’ll play a bit with the other dogs, but then she just likes to come back and sit next to me. Leroy, on the other hand, is every bit as athletic as you might expect a young Boxer to be. In fact, he was zipping around the park to the point where another dog owner came over to me and said, “Wow, look at your dog! Is he one of those speedhound dogs?”
One of those what???
I’d never even heard the term before, and said so. Then my new acquaintance told me that it meant something along the lines of dogs that are incredibly fast.
Well, from my perspective, all dogs are fast. Sometimes, when I’m snuggled up with Janice and Leroy and watching stuff on Netflix, I get a huge laugh out of shows where some poor human is being chased by a dog. The action goes on for a couple of minutes of screen time, during which I’m thinking “Oh, as if!” That poor thing running through the woods with a Rottweiler on her tail? She’s going down. Dog’s gonna be on her in a heartbeat. End of story.
That said, though, there are dogs that are faster than others. Let’s take a look at them, with the slowest (but still pretty fast) breed first.
The World’s Fastest Speedhounds
You’ll notice, as we go through this list, that the fastest dogs are generally the biggest dogs. This shouldn’t surprise you since bigger dogs have longer legs. That’s not to say that little dogs can’t be pretty zippy, but generally speaking, they won’t stack up against their bigger counterparts. Here, then, are the fastest dogs.
1. Great Dane
Can you run at a speed of 30 miles per hour? You actually might have a remote prayer of outrunning a Great Dane. As speedhound dogs go, he’s not really all that fast. In fact, humans, at top speed, best case scenario, can run at 45 miles per hour. The thing is, though, will you have the stamina that the dog has? I doubt it. And if the Dane catches you, and doesn’t like you (as opposed to being the typical Great Dane who probably just wants to chase you down and smother you with kisses), then you, my friend, are probably royally screwed. You’re going to end up under a female who weighs at least 115 pounds, or a male who could weigh up to 300.
You could try to run, but you might just be better off finding a good place to hide.
Dobermans are typically pure muscle, and weigh anywhere from 60 to 80 pounds. They’re prized by security personnel because of their tenacity and loyalty. They’re extremely intelligent and protective but usually won’t attack without provocation.
In a race, you’ll be evenly matched in terms of speed. The Doberman can run about 45 miles per hour. I doubt that you’ll be a match for his stamina, though. They’re speedhound dogs, but they’re mainly known for their incredible power.
3. Border Collie
This is a comparatively small dog, so his speed also reflects his size. Usually, this dog will weigh between 30 and 45 pounds, and will achieve a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour. You can outrun him. Fortunately, though, Border Collies are typically very cooperative, so you probably won’t end up in a “fight or flight” scenario with one of these loveable little guys.
Weimaraners were bred originally for hunting, and they were known to take down their prey at a speed of about 35 miles per hour. Again, this is a breed that you might be able to outrun (they’re not the fastest speedhound dogs in the world) but shouldn’t have to, since they’re very loving.
Whippet! Whippet good!
Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.
Whippets are good, though. Whippets were bred to catch small game, and because of their speed, they were very good at it. Now, whippets are generally household pets, but they’re still fast – fast enough even to catch rabbits!
The Borzoi is also known as the Russian Wolfhound. This dog’s top speed is around 36 miles per hour.
One thing I should point out about the Borzoi is that they’re not all that good as family dogs. You also shouldn’t allow them “off lead,” because they will run. The prey drive in this dog is very strong, and once he’s on the scent, there’s no calling him back.
We’re getting faster here with the Dalmatian, which can run up to 37 miles per hour. Dalmatians are highly intelligent and very fast. Unfortunately, they can be a bit snappish around kids.
This is a dog that originated in Arabia, and is able to run an amazing 40 miles per hour. The prey drive in this dog is strong – so much so that even if well-trained, they might ignore commands from their human and run into traffic or chase anything that moves. They can be good family pets, but not usually with young kids.
This medium-size dog is able to reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. As such, you can probably imagine that they require a lot of vigorous exercise. Vizslas are very much family dogs, and they don’t like being left alone. They’re good with children.
You probably won’t be surprised to find the Greyhound at the top of the speedhound dogs list. The Greyhound tops out at about 43 miles per hour, and can run for ages. So if a Greyhound is ticked off at you, you might just as well roll over, submit, and hope for the best.
Fortunately, it won’t likely come to that, since Greyhounds are wonderfully gentle dogs. Many of them end up being adopted after their racing careers are over, and they become amazing family pets. They can be a bit nippy, though, so you might want to muzzle your Greyhound when you take him out for a walk.
The Final Word
Are speedhound dogs a breed? No. It’s just a description for a really fast dog. Several breeds could qualify as “speedhound dogs.” All it means is that you’ve got a pretty speedy guy. Or girl. You don’t have a special breed, but you probably have a pretty cool dog!