The fastest dogs leave humans in the dust.
greyhound running on the beach; how fast can dogs run?
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The fastest land animal is undeniably the cheetah. Able to go from 0–60 mph in just three seconds (some cars can't even do that!), few wild four-footed creatures can compete. The African wild dog is a close second, reaching a speed of 45 mph. 

Not to be overlooked, domestic cats can sprint up to 30 mph, but what about our pet Fidos? How fast can dogs run? It depends on the breed.

What Is the Fastest Dog Breed?

"Although there's occasionally some competition from breeds like the saluki, Afghan hound, and Vizsla, the fastest dog is the greyhound," says Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM.

Greyhounds are famous for their sprinting, topping 40–45 mph on average. However, they also can sustain great speed—usually 35 mph for approximately 7 miles. This ability makes them the fastest dog in the world.

Greyhounds have a larger than average heart size that enhances circulation, and their legs contain more than 80 percent fast-twitch muscle fibers that help them make sudden, powerful moves. "The greyhound also has flexible joints and a spine that allows them to take huge strides," Phillips adds.

But there are other speedy canines as well; here are just a few runners' up and their sprinting PRs:

Fastest Dog Breeds Over Distance

When it comes to stamina and speed, snow dog breeds and athletic hunting breeds can't be beat. 

"Breeds like the Siberian husky can run well over 100 miles per day, which is no surprise when you consider their work as sled dogs," Phillips says. They have a steady trot of about 25–30 mph alone and up to 15–20 mph when pulling a sled, as do many other cold-climate pups like Alaskan malamutes.  

Swift hunting companions such as Weimaraners, German shorthaired pointers, Norwegian elkhounds, and Labrador retrievers all average about 20–30 mph when necessary.

Is It Safe to Run With Your Dog?

Sarah Wooten, DVM, says extensive running breaks down a dog's joints and can lead to early-onset osteoarthritis, just like in humans.

"It's also important to note that dogs don't make good running partners until they're fully done growing, as extensive pounding on open growth plates can cause joint disorders and arthritis," she adds. Fleet-footed canines also have trouble with hip dysplasia

Dogs finish growing at different times based on their size and breed, so ask your veterinarian when it's safe to do fast-action sports with your pooch, such as running, biking, and skijoring. Also stick to softer surfaces when you can—dirt trails, sand, and grass are good choices.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Nelson.