Whether you’re training for dog sports or just want a running partner – wouldn’t you want a buddy that loves to be on the move as much as you do? Makes investing in one of the fastest dog breeds a smart choice for your adventures.

But watch out: these dogs’ high energy needs often come accompanied with keen hunting instincts and escape artist tendencies. Left to themselves, they can easily outrun you if they decide to bolt off on a whim!

So here are 10 of the fastest dog breeds – and how you can keep them safe in case they run or wander off the next time you’re out running or training outdoors. Let’s go!

How fast can the average dog run?

Big or small, the average dog clocks in a speed of 15-20 miles (24-32 km) per hour – way faster than the average human.1 Which puts them on the same level as most Olympic athletes, if you think about it!

Because for reference:

  • Usain Bolt – officially the fastest human alive – has a max running speed of around 27 miles/44 km per hour.
  • The average man can run at around 8 miles/13 km an hour.
  • The average woman can run at around 6 miles/10 km an hour.

(In case you were thinking of competing with your dog on your next run out together.)

A woman running with a dog on leash

Now on one hand, there are slow-moving dog breeds as well – like Basset Hounds and some brachycephalic dog breeds. (Which can only run around 5-10 miles/8-16 km per hour.)

But on the other hand, the world’s fastest dog breeds can easily reach speeds of around 40-45 miles/64-72 km per hour – especially if they’re motivated!

Where a fast, active dog might need extra care

Now you might be proud watching your dog turning into a blur of fur doing zoomies around your backyard. But your active dog still needs some extra care and attention – to keep them safe.

Because when it comes to active, fast-running, high-energy dog breeds, you’re more likely to find them:

  • Getting bored easily (and destructive) if you aren’t keeping up with their energy
  • Getting distracted easily while out running or on hikes (especially if they’re from a breed with a high prey drive)
  • More likely to escape at greater distances, especially if they’re spooked or stressed out

Plus, if your dog’s still a puppy or untrained, it’s more likely you’ll find them running off from home – and not knowing how to find their way back to you.

A black and white puppy running through a field

💡This is where a dedicated dog GPS tracker can be a lifesaver. With one, you can track your running dog in real-time – over an unlimited range.

Or set up a “safe zone” around your home and backyard and get an instant escape alert the minute they sneak past it.

So here are 10 of the world’s fastest dog breeds – and what extra steps you can take to help them live their best, happiest, safest life by your side.

10 of the fastest dog breeds from around the world

From sleek sighthounds to hardy hunters, these dogs take to daily runs and dog sports like a fish to water. Whether it’s chasing a ball or a frisbee or even smaller pets (or people), they’re just ready to go – no matter what!

So here are a couple of the fastest dog breeds from around the world – including some you might not have heard of before! – and what you should watch out for if you’re considering adopting one.


Were you expecting a Greyhound at the top of the list? Think again! Salukis originate from the Arabian peninsula – where they were once bred to hunt by the side of royalty.

Much like Greyhounds, Salukis clock in a running speed of around 45 miles/72 km per hour! With their slender builds and long, lean legs, they’re sometimes referred to as “gazelle hounds” or even the Persian greyhound.

Closeup of a Saluki dog

Salukis were raised as sighthounds – meaning they hunted using their sight, rather than their smell. (Usually for jackals, hare, and foxes.)

Their paws are also specially padded for running on harsh surfaces, which means Salukis are excellent endurance runners. (And can run longer distances than Greyhounds.)2

⚠️ Just watch out for your Saluki’s prey drive – these were former hunting dogs, after all! Which means they might be likely to chase down other pets, moving objects, or woodland animals outdoors. (Or run off during a hike or a run in the forest.)

Plus, with their independent temperaments, Salukis might not always return to you if you let them off-leash. So make sure you’ve invested in recall training and basic commands.

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Officially the fastest dog breed in the world, a running Greyhound is a sight to behold. Clocking in at 47 miles/75 km per hour, these slender dogs were once raised for racing and hunting down smaller woodland animals.

(Though you’re more likely to find one of these goofballs as a family pet these days – especially since a ton of Greyhounds have now retired from their racing days.)

A Greyhound standing by a field

Much like Salukis, Greyhounds also have a strong prey drive – which is where artificial lures (like a mechanically operated toy or even a drone) can come in handy. Your Greyhound will love to chase around and follow balls, frisbees, or even a “lure” (like a treat) dangling from a stick around!

⚠️ Just make sure to keep your backyard insecticide-free Greyhounds are especially sensitive to these substances.

Do a thorough check of your own plants before spraying them. (Or monitor your Greyhound’s movements to make sure they aren’t sneaking into your neighbors’ gardens – and picking up something potentially fatally toxic.)

Read more: Toxic To Dogs: Dog Parents Beware Of These Common Dog Poisons


Ever heard of a dog originating from North Africa? Now you do! Sloughis are distant cousins of the Saluki and have been around since the Neolithic era, hunting and guarding families and bonding deeply with them.

Sloughis are primarily found in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Libya. And much like their cousins, they can reach running speeds of up to 42 miles/67 km per hour – often over long distances.

Sloughis tend to be a bit slow to warm up, temperament-wise. If you socialize them properly, they can take well to families with kids, as well as other pets and people.

Plus, with their instincts and energy, your Sloughi might get bored quite easily living in an apartment. They’ll need regular walks, runs, and playtime to stay happy and healthy.3

💡Sloughis are highly active dogs – which means it’s up to you to tire them out enough each day.

A habit which you’ll find easy to stick to with an Activity Monitor designed for both active, fast-running dogs – and the dog parents taking care of them.

Discover Activity Tracking

Afghan Hounds

Easily the most eye-catching of the fastest dog breeds, Afghan hounds originate from – well, you guessed it – the cold, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. Which is where they grew their distinctive, long-furred coats and thick paw pads, so that they could stay warm and hunt prey all day on rocky ground.

Afghan Hounds can be alert and reserved, temperament-wise – but they’re grade-A goofballs the minute you get out a frisbee or a toy. They’re also capable of reaching running speeds of around 40 miles/64 km per hour.

⚠️ Afghan hounds are an intelligent dog breed, but they also tend to be slow to catch on to obedience training.4

Meaning you might need to spend more time and effort in training them basic commands like coming back when called. (Which might save their life if you’re both out in the woods or wilderness and your Afghan runs off after a nearby squirrel or hare.)

So if you’re considering adopting one, make sure to invest in a proper obedience training class – or a fun, practical training method like clicker training. (Which is built on positive reinforcement and can actually help deepen your bond!)

Read more:


A cousin of the Greyhound, Whippets are a medium-sized dog breed that’s absolutely built for the chase. With their streamlined bodies and cat-like paws, they can reach running speeds up to 35 miles/56 km per hour.

Much like terriers, Whippets were once used as “ratting” dogs – meant to chase away rats and other vermin. And much like their fellow sighthound cousins, they’re curious, inquisitive, and highly prone to escape attempts due to getting spooked or sniffing out prey.

lost whippet customer story and review

“Only 10 months old, (our littlest Whippet, Polliwog)…got spooked at a hobby racing event and slipped through a fence. 

She was lost on the Eastern plains of Colorado in the heat of summer, 150 miles from home.

Our second close call came when 3 of our young males lit out after a squirrel or cat in town, during rush hour traffic…one of the boys, Fermi, had traveled 4 miles in just 15 minutes!

After that second close call, I decided we needed a GPS tracking solution for my pack.

After using a different, popular (but unreliable) GPS system for almost 2 years and being disappointed with quality, I finally found Tractive’s GPS dog trackers early in 2015. I couldn’t be happier.”

– Jennifer Hime, owner and lead trainer of Front Range K9 Academy and the owner of Horsetooth Whippets Kennels, Denver

Read more: Lost Whippet: How Tractive GPS Is A Lifesaver

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The fastest dog breeds around the world aren’t necessarily teeny tiny – Weimanarers, clocking in at 35 miles/56 km per hour, are on the same level as Whippets! They’re a larger-sized breed of dog originating from Germany and were used to hunt down rabbits, foxes, and other game.

Weimaraners are highly energetic dogs, needing a ton of activity and exercise to stay happy and healthy. Just watch out if you’ve got a cat or smaller pet at home. (Your Weimaraner might pounce or chase it around the house because of their hunting instincts.)

A Weimaraner dog standing in a forest

⚠️ Weimaraners are sociable by temperament and love being around people – but they’re vulnerable to severe separation anxiety. (One of the key reasons why dogs run away from home.)5

Which might turn up as a house full of chewed slippers, scratched furniture, or constant barking, howling, whining, drooling, panic attacks – or escape attempts. (Likely to find you when you’re not at home!)

So make sure to properly train your Weimaraner with gradual departures – and spend a ton of quality time with them once you’re back home. You might also find it helpful to let your neighbors know, in case they hear your Weimaraner barking all day. (Or find your dog in their backyards, looking for some company!)

Read more:

Dobermann Pinschers

Another medium-to-large example among the fastest dog breeds is the Dobermann Pinscher – a highly intelligent, loyal, protective dog breed originally from Germany. With a running speed of 35 miles/56 km per hour, they’re a staple among police and military K9 units.

A Dobermann Pinscher standing by a beach

You might’ve heard of Dobermann Pinschers being aggressive, ferocious dogs – but that really isn’t true!

In fact, many studies have found that these dogs are highly playful and not aggressive – though, yes, they might take up some time to open up to strangers.6 Your very own Dobermann is more likely to be loyal to you to a fault.

⚠️ While they’re a healthy breed overall, your Dobermann might also be genetically prediposed to hypothyroidism.7

Which usually shows up early as a drop in their overall activity as they develop symptoms like lethargy – but which you can pick up on early if you’re tracking your Dobermann’s daily activity.

Read more: Dealing With A Lethargic Dog: Signs, Steps & Symptoms

Pharaoh Hounds

A hunting dog originating from Malta, Pharaoh hounds (also known as Kelb tal-Fenek) are hardy, flight-footed dogs who are perfectly at home running over rocky terrain. Much like Whippets, they also clock in a running speed of 35 miles/56 km per hour.

While alert and tenacious because of their breeding as sighthounds, Pharaoh hounds are also quite sweet-tempered once they’ve warmed up to you.

In fact, your Pharaoh might even smile at you or “blush” when excited or happy, with their ears and noses growing a bright pink!8

A Pharaoh hound by a pile of rocks

⚠️ Much like the others, Pharaoh hounds need a ton of exercise to burn off their energy. Else they’re likely to fall prey to their own hunting instincts. (And swat at birds or chase after squirrels in your backyard or out on a walk together.)

“No amount of training should be trusted to overcome the Pharaoh’s strong hunting instinct. He should never be allowed to exercise off-lead in an unenclosed area.

American Kennel Club

But if you’re tracking your dog’s daily activity, you can easily pick up on whether they’ve gotten enough exercise or not. (Plus, see how your Pharaoh is doing compared to other, similar dogs around you!)

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Ibizan Hound

Originating from the Spanish island of Ibiza, Ibizan hounds are another example of lean, medium-sized dogs that double as one of the fastest dog breeds. They can run anywhere between 25-45 miles/40-72 km per hour and love to get up to mischief!

These gorgeous dogs are also accomplished escape artists – perfectly capable of scaling a backyard fence in just one jump.9 You’ll need to invest in solid, high fencing around your property. (And plan ahead for your Ibizan digging under it to escape anyway!)

Besides, Ibizan hounds also love to climb and escape from rooms, crates, and anywhere you confine them. They’ve been known to easily figure out how to open baby gates and even locks!

💡So use your Ibizan’s intelligence and redirect their energy towards tricks and training instead. Like coming back when called, sitting, staying, and dropping something they’ve picked up.

This will keep them both mentally active and tired out. (So they’ll be less likely to get up to their antics.)

Read more:

Plus, once you’ve considered how expensive it is to set up an actual physical fence, you could always…

Set Up A Virtual Fence


Running at 25 miles/40 km per hour, Brittanys are a small dog breed originating from France. Commonly referred to as the Brittany “Spaniel”, these dogs are…well, not actually part of the Spaniel family! (They’ve actually got more in common with Pointers and Setters than Spaniels.)

Which means they’ve got a keen hunting instinct – but are also quite easy to train and sweet-tempered.

Brittanys also make excellent family dogs and love being around kids, though they’ll need a ton of playtime and daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

A Brittany dog sitting outside in the snow

⚠️ Despite being on the healthier side, Brittanys tend to be more vulnerable to glaucoma than other dogs – which, left untreated, can cause blindness.10

So watch out for gradual changes in your dog’s behavior – like if they hesitate to come down a staircase, frequently bump into furniture, or just show a general lack of energy compared to the norm.

3 ways to keep your flight-footed buddy safe – both at home & outdoors

Now when it comes to keeping a fast, active dog safe, it’s not enough to simply strap an ID tag to their collar and hope for the best. Rather, you’ll find it smart adapting to your dog’s high energy and trainability instead.

So make sure to:

Tire them out

Besides keeping you both healthy, regular walks and playtime help build a deep bond and trust between you and your dog.

And at the same time, it’s also a great way to prevent your dog from:

  • Running away on a walk because they’re bored
  • Escaping home to burn off some extra energy
  • Chasing off after the first sight, sound, or smell of “prey” in the woods
A dog reaching out for a green ball in a park

💡 A tired dog is a healthy dog – and also a safe one. And tracking your dog’s daily activity is a great way to stay committed to their health – for good.

Keep track of your dog’s energy levels, especially how long they are able to walk.

If you notice significant declines, it could be a sign of pain, heart disease, or other illness.”

– VCA Animal Hospitals

So with regular Activity Tracking, you now have a picture of:

  • How much is a normal amount of exercise for your dog
  • When there’s a drop in your dog’s activity – which might signal that they’re sick, injured, or otherwise not feeling well
  • Whether you’ve reached your daily exercise goals for your dog
Dog running with tennis ball in mouth in the grass, Tractive GPS app in foreground

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Teach them their boundaries

Most of the world’s fastest dog breeds tend to love to explore – and are highly inquisitive by nature. Which makes it important to teach them their boundaries, so that they don’t venture somewhere they could:

  • Get hit by a passing car
  • Eat something fatally toxic (like your community garbage disposal)
  • Get injured by another pet, person, or predator
  • Come into contact with toxic substances (like common garden products, including snail bait)
  • Get stolen by a pet thief

Which means training your dog not to venture past your backyard when you’re letting them enjoy some off-leash time.

A dog peeking through a wooden fence

But let’s admit it – monitoring your dog 24/7 can get tedious. (And it isn’t realistic either, with everything you’ve got on your plate otherwise.)

Plus when you look up how expensive it is to set up a physical fence around your property, you might just be convinced to go for a Virtual Fence instead.

Infographic Tractive GPS VIrtual fence

💡Unlike many other smart dog collars on the market, your Tractive Virtual Fence only sends you an escape alert on your phone – no shock or buzz or anything that might stress out or cause your dog pain.

So you can teach your dog their boundaries without compromising on their love for or trust in you.

Tractive Trustpilot review

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Read more:

Track their favorite spots

Much like cats, active, outdoor dogs tend to have their favorite spots – whether that’s near your home or around town. (Where they like to hang out, hunt, or just get in all the zoomies they want.)

Now imagine knowing each one of these favorite spots – so you know exactly where to look first if your dog runs off or isn’t home around their usual times?

It’s where your Tractive device’s Heat Map and Location History can be a lifesaver.

The Tractive GPS Heat Map feature which helped locate the kittens.

With it, you can now figure out where your dog likes to spend most of their time – and just how far away from safety that might be.

Which – in an emergency – can even help save your dog’s life.

Like the case of Imogen, a Borzoi – and also one of the world’s fastest dog breeds – who was rescued from a frozen lake because her mom was able to track her down via Imogen’s Heat Map.

Read more: Imogen The Dog Saved From Frozen Lake Thanks To GPS Tracker

Tractive Trustpilot review

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Keep your fleet-footed furry friend safe – and enjoy your runs together for good

Whether you’re geared up for an agility competition or just want some company the next time you’re on a hike, you’re bound to have a blast with a fleet-footed dog breed that’s got a ton of energy to burn.

Just make sure to watch out for:

  • Hunting and chasing instincts, which you’ll find among dogs like Salukis, Greyhounds, Sloughis, and Afghan Hounds. (And which might lead them to chase down prey or smaller pets.)
  • Escape attempts due to fear or boredom, like you’ll find with dog breeds like Whippets and Ibizan hounds.
  • Separation anxiety, which you might find among Weimaraners.
  • High exercise needs, like with Pharaoh Hounds and Dobermann Pinschers.
  • Breed-specific health issues, like glaucoma among Brittany dogs and hypothyroidism among Dobermann Pinschers.
A woman training a dog in a garden

But the best part? With all these reasons your dog might run away, you’ve got their safety at your fingertips – all in one device.

Because with its bite-proof, 100% waterproof design and 30-day battery life, the Tractive DOG XL Adventure edition is built for all your rough and tumble adventures outdoors – no matter where that is.

Tractive DOG XL Adventure edition

Always know where your dog is

Follow every step in real-time with unlimited range. Get alerts if they wander too far. Keep them happy & healthy with Wellness Monitoring. And let others – like walkers or sitters – keep an eye on your dog too.

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Because the fear and stress of losing your buddy is never worth it – but the joy and relief of finding them again always is.

Want to see the Tractive DOG XL Adventure edition in action? Here’s a short, sporty video to get you pumped for your next outdoor adventure!

And if you’ve liked this post, share it with a friend or a loved one – and let’s help build a safer, kinder world for our furry friends together.