The average running speed for humans is about 10 mph, unless you’re Usain Bolt, who set the record for the fastest human speed ever recorded at 28 mph. But honestly, is he even human? And he’s got nothing on Santa’s Little Helper anyway.
So with that terrible segue, let’s take a closer look at the fastest breeds of doggos in the world.
Italian Greyhound – 25 mph
This small dog breed has been around for over 2,000 years, originating in present-day Greece and Turkey. Initially bred as companion dogs, Italian Greyhounds became very popular in Italy because of their miniature size.
Giant Schnauzer – 28 mph
Like their name implies, Giant Schnauzers are the largest of the Schnauzer breed, and they’re pretty fast too. They’re from the Bavarian region of Germany where they were commonly used as guard dogs and livestock herders.
German Shepherd – 30 mph
These good boys were used for herding sheep at one time, but now you’ll usually see them being used as police or military dogs, disability-assistance dogs, for narcotics and explosives detection, and in search and rescue efforts.
Poodle – 30 mph
Of the 3 size variations of Poodles, toy, miniature, and standard, the latter is the fastest. No one is really sure where Poodles originated, but they’re considered to be the second smartest dogs, and they’re excellent swimmers too.
Doberman Pinscher – 32 mph
Doberman Pinschers were bred in Germany during the early 20th century as guard dogs, but throughout history, they’ve been used in war, as police dogs, as well as for personal defence.
Whippet – 34 mph
Descendants of Greyhounds, Whippets were considered too small for hunting so they became popular in dog racing. They can run up to 34 mph, but some have been recorded closer to 40 mph. It’s the fastest dog for its size and also the fastest accelerating dog in the world.
Borzoi – 36 mph
The Borzoi is also known as the Russian Wolfhound, and you guessed it, they’re from Russia and bred to hunt wolves. Their name actually comes from an old Russian word for “fast”.
Dalmatian – 37 mph
No wonder Cruella de Vil could never catch those 101 Dalmatians. This first record of these easily recognizable dogs dates back to a painting in Croatia from the 1600s. Dalmatians have historically been companion guard dogs and were often used to run beside carriages and deter potential robbers.
Jack Russell Terrier – 38 mph
These little puppers are full of energy, and speed too. The modern-day version of the Jack Russell Terrier can be traced back to 1795, when fox hunters in England needed all white dogs that could be easily distinguished from game. Now extinct, its ancestor was the English White Terrier.
Vizsla – 40 mph
Known for its protective instincts, pointer-retriever hunting skills, and high energy levels, the Vizsla originated in Hungary.
Afghan Hound – 40 mph
The Afghan Hound is a basal breed, and I’m not going to lie to you, I have no idea what that is. But as I understand, it basically means that its DNA is less mixed than more modern breeds. So not quite an ancient breed, but almost. Being from Afghanistan, this dog can withstand the cold temperatures of high mountain altitudes, and it’s also closely related to the next guy on this list.
Saluki – 42 mph
It’s the second fastest dog in the world, but some experts believe that the Saluki can sustain higher speeds for longer distances than the fastest dog. Images of the Saluki have been found on ancient Egyptian tombs that date as far back as 2134 BC.
Via Flickr/Kalle GustafssonGreyhound – 45 mph
The Greyhound’s origins aren’t clear, but its believed that it can be traced back to the ancient Celts in Eastern Europe. Since then, it’s been used for hunting, chasing game, and of course, racing.