Although you obviously know your dog is quick, have you ever pondered exactly how fast can a dog run? Like, are we discussing speeds comparable to cheetahs or simply a few steps faster than Usain Bolt? It turns out that it’s difficult to provide the response in a single sentence.
We can tell you one thing for sure, though: You probably shouldn’t put your dog in a footrace.
The speed of dogs
Although the question “how quick are dogs” may seem straightforward, there are two terms that must be clarified before moving on: “rapid” and “dogs.”
There are many different dog breeds, which is a concern. Some animals—like Greyhounds—move very quickly, while others—like Pugs—move very slowly. As a result, it is impossible to provide a universally applicable response to this query.
What does “quick” mean in addition? That typically refers to an animal’s maximum top-end speed, which is frequently achieved over short distances. But that might be a little deceptive.
For instance, most people would concur that a champion sprinter is quicker than a marathoner who has broken records. The marathoner would surely run 20 miles more quickly than the sprinter could, but that only applies to short distances.
Therefore, even if greyhounds can run a few hundred metres quicker than any other breed, they are most likely unable to keep up with an Australian Shepherd over a distance of many miles.
How quickly can dogs run?
The fastest dog breed is the greyhound, but how fast are they really?
A Greyhound’s top speed is around 45 mph, which is enough to place them in exclusive company among terrestrial animals. As it turns out, they are actually quite swift. Only a select few species, including cheetahs, quarter horses, and (surprise!) ostriches, can boast faster top-end speeds.
While greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog, they are by no means the only one. German Shepherds are frequently measured at speeds of 30 mph or more, Salukis can reach 42 mph, Jack Russells can reach 38 mph.
All of these quick breeds, however, share the trait of having either been developed to hunt down prey like foxes or deer or to provide care for other animals. They must be swift and agile for this, and they still possess those qualities even though they rarely apply them to their original tasks.
Do Slow Dogs Exist?
However, not all dogs are quick on their feet. Some dog breeds are among the world’s slowest land animals because they can hardly move fast enough to be deemed to be running.
These include Chihuahuas, Pugs, and Basset Hounds, all of which maintain a speed of about 5 mph. Shih Tzus (6 mph), Toy Poodles (10 mph), and English Bulldogs are among other slowpokes (15 mph).
As you can see, the majority of the slower dogs also tend to be smaller. Although many of them are incredibly swift and agile over short distances, they lack the large limbs needed to create great top-end speeds.
The majority of the slower breeds were created for more sedentary activities. Many of them are lap dogs, but others, like Basset Hounds, were developed to follow their prey over long distances as opposed to chasing them down quickly.
Since Basset Hounds are valued for having keen senses of smell, they wouldn’t want to move too quickly for fear of missing a vital scent.
What Animals Make Good Distance Runners?
Some dogs like to run long distances as opposed to sprinting. They may not be able to keep up with Greyhounds over short distances, but they can travel the length of a country in a few of hours, whereas the Greyhound finds it difficult to keep up.
Larger canines that can run at rates of about 15 mph for extended periods of time make up the majority of the marathon breeds. English Setters, Siberian Huskies, and Labradors are a few of these.
The dog’s lineage will provide information on its running speed. Since Labradors and English Setters are hunting dogs, they must be able to roust and fetch their prey for an entire day. Siberian Huskies, on the other hand, were created to pull sleds, thus rather than having quick bursts of speed, they must be strong and dependable.
What can slow a dog down?
The physical characteristics of a dog greatly influence its running speed. This holds true for both particular people and entire breeds, while breed-to-breed comparisons highlight the variances more clearly.
Because dogs with longer legs can typically run faster than those with short limbs, size is a significant consideration. This isn’t always the case, though; Jack Russell Terriers, for instance, can run far faster than St. Bernards.
St. Bernards have the disadvantage of being too heavy to move as quickly as some other breeds. The combination of long limbs and slender, supple bodies in many of the quickest breeds allows them to move quickly without becoming exhausted.
The movement of oxygen is also crucial. Many “brachycephalic” breeds of dogs, which have short, stubby nostrils, are simply unable to breathe as effectively as dogs with longer noses. This makes it more difficult for them to run quickly or cover large distances and increases the likelihood that they will overheat as a result of all the exertion.
Are dogs quicker than people?
You’ve definitely noticed that, on average, dogs run faster than people, but is this more owing to the average person’s poor physical condition than to any innate physical advantage? What would happen if a peak human, like Usain Bolt, was compared to a dog?
The highest recorded speed for Usain Bolt is around 27 mph. He would be somewhat slower than the ordinary Greyhound but faster than the vast majority of canines in the globe.
When it comes to jogging, humans and dogs actually have more in common than you might imagine. Dogs are descended from wolves, and wolves hunt in groups, as opposed to most cats (such as cheetahs).
This implies that the ability of any one wolf to outpace its prey is less critical as long as the pack can gradually wear it down. Instead of developing exceptional top-end speeds, this promotes endurance and competence over extended distances.
Additionally, compared to other species on the globe, humans may be the best distance runners. Some anthropologists think that rather than having large brains, humans’ superiority in the animal kingdom can be attributed to our capacity for long distance running.
We’re not necessarily natural sprinters, but sooner or later, the chances are good that we’ll run our prey down, much like wolves (and consequently, dogs).
Conclusion: Dogs Are Generally Pretty Quick.
The majority of the time, you’d be wise to avoid trying to outrun a dog unless you have Olympic gold hanging in your trophy case. Of course, not every dog is capable of blowing your doors apart in a race. The majority of breeds are far faster than the average human, and those that aren’t could eventually exhaust you.