Sighthounds are dogs that hunt primarily by their sight and speed – as opposed to tracker hounds, who use their scent and endurance to track their prey.
The above definition also explains why the term “greyhound” is very controversial in some breeds.
In addition, of course, the top speed of each dog depends on its age, individual genes, motivation, and level of training.
1. Greyhound: 45 mph
The greyhound comes from Great Britain and is a multiple world record holder. On the one hand, with a speed of 72 km/h, it is the fastest dog breed in the world.
On the other hand, the greyhounds also hold the world record among dogs with 191.7 cm in the high jump. [ 2 ] Incidentally, when running, they are in the air about 75% of the time.
In addition, the animals are considered to be very calm, trusting, and gentle. In combination with their good trainability, this makes them ideal hunting and family dogs.
Fun Fact: This breed is one of the sleepyheads among dogs. Because they sleep around 18 hours a day – often even with their eyes open.
2. Saluki: 69 km/h
The Saluki comes from the Middle East, where it is still primarily used as a hunting dog. His speed and good visibility are particularly beneficial to him.
Some of these greyhounds live up to 17 years. Excavations also indicate that this breed was kept as a pet as early as 7,000 BC.
If that is correct, then they are by far the oldest dog breed in the world. In addition, they are known to be alert, reserved, gentle, and easy to care for.
Fun Fact: These dogs don’t need to “exercise,” but do need to “run out” at least twice a week.
3. Sloughi: 68 km/h
The Sloughi is also known as the “Arabian Greyhound” because of its origins in North Africa. He is considered intelligent, reserved, loyal, and particularly sensitive.
With a speed of 68 km/h, these dogs are also the third fastest breed in the world. They are therefore often used to hunt fast wild animals such as gazelles.
These four-legged friends are rarely kept as family dogs. However, they sometimes also serve as watchdogs, as they are particularly skeptical of strangers.
Fun Fact: Heat and sandstorms are no problem for these greyhounds. However, if it gets just a few degrees too cold, your legs will start to tremble.
4. Mudhol Hound: 40 mph
The Mudhol Hound comes from India and was named after the city of the same name, “Mudhol”. With a speed of 65 km/h, it is the fourth fastest dog in the world.
For this reason, greyhounds were once used primarily as hunting dogs. In the meantime, however, they are also used by the Indian military as a guard dogs.
In addition, the four-legged friends are considered to be particularly loyal, delicate, and courageous. They also need a lot of exercises and can live up to 15 years.
Fun Fact: This breed can see almost everything around them with an angle of 270°. They are therefore comparable to a chameleon.
5. Central Asian Tazi: 40 mph
The Central Asian Tazi has its origins in Kazakhstan, where it is used both as a hunting dog and as a family dog. Often even for hunting wolves.
With fewer than 300 purebred specimens, he is one of the rarest breeds in the world – and that despite his speed of a whopping 64 km/h.
These greyhounds are also considered to be very enduring and can even run long distances at up to 15 km/h. In addition, they are very alert, playful, and affectionate.
Fun Fact: In India, a dog of this breed costs roughly the same as around 47 horses. Keeping this breed is also a status symbol at the same time.
6. Rampur Hound: 40 mph
The Rampur Hound comes from India and was named after the city of the same name, “Rampur”. He is also considered to be very intelligent, curious, and easy to care for.
With a top speed of 40 mph, these sighthounds are also among the fastest breeds in the world. The four-legged friends also love the sun and warmth.
They are rarely kept as family dogs. On the other hand, they are very popular hunting companions due to their good vision and speed.
Fun Fact: When running, these dogs are completely airborne more than 50% of the time.
7. Silken Windhound: 40 mph
The Silken Windhound comes from the USA and was originally used exclusively as a hunting dog. Nowadays, however, they are mostly family and house dogs.
Translated, its name means “silk greyhound” – because its fur is said to be as soft as silk. In addition, he is considered to be very trusting, friendly, and playful.
This breed is also relatively well known despite its age. Because it only got its name in 1998. However, their speed also makes them good hunting dogs.
Fun fact: Large dogs usually die earlier than smaller specimens. However, there are several reports of dogs of this breed living up to 20 years.
8. Azawakh: 40 mph
The Azawakh comes from West Africa, where it is usually used in packs with other conspecifics to hunt gazelles.
With a speed of 64 km/h, they are slower than gazelles (97 km/h), but they are significantly more agile and intelligent.
However, these sighthounds are also suitable as watchdogs and family dogs. Because they are very loyal, trusting, and caring. They don’t like cold weather at all.
Fun Fact: Oska, Bareeru, Idi, Hanshee, Rawondu, Wulo, Tuared Sloguhi, or Azawakh? This breed has a whopping 8 officially recognized names.
9. Podenco Ibicenco: 64 km/h
The Podenco Ibicenco has its origins in Ibiza. However, it is still disputed whether he actually belongs to the group of “greyhounds”.
Because he not only uses his speed and vision to hunt but also his sense of smell, among other things. It is also available in 3 different sizes.
In addition, he is considered to be very active, intelligent, and stubborn. Inside, the four-legged friends usually behave very quietly. Outside, on the other hand, they are often hyperactive.
Fun Fact: These dogs are born clowns. Because they memorize everything that makes people laugh and repeat this behavior over and over again.
10. Afghan Hound: 40 mph
The country of origin of the Afghan greyhound is already in the name. What also makes these dogs special is their long and soft fur.
In his homeland, he is also very often used as a hunting dog because of his speed. However, his loyal and cheerful nature also makes him a good house dog.
These four-legged friends are also the world’s first dog breed to be successfully cloned. However, they are very difficult to train.
Fun fact: These hairy friends are often used as test objects by hobby hairdressers. Because they have a large coat, different shades of color are also often tested on them.
11. Irish Wolfhound: 40 mph
The Irish wolfhound is very different from other sighthound breeds. On the one hand, its life expectancy of around 6-8 years is only half as long as usual.
On the other hand, the giants, weighing up to 70 kg, are also among the heaviest dog breeds in the world. And yet they can reach a speed of up to 64 km/h.
They got their name because they were often used to hunt wolves in the past. However, their loyal and good-natured nature also makes them great family dogs.
Fun Fact: Irish Wolfhound named “Keon” has the world’s longest tail at 30 inches.
12. Taigan: 60 km/h
The Taigan originated in Kyrgyzstan. There the greyhounds enjoy an excellent reputation as hunting dogs due to their versatility.
With good visibility and a speed of up to 60 km/h, they are ideal for hunting foxes, badgers, and wolves. Sometimes, however, they also use their nose.
In addition, the four-legged friends are considered to be very quiet, reserved, and intelligent. On the other hand, they are less suitable as pets because of their independent nature.
Fun Fact: Most dogs can only hunt – if at all – in combination with other dogs. It’s different from Taigan. He also enjoys working in a team with trained birds of prey.
13. Galgo Espanol: 60 km/h
The Galgo Español comes from Spain and is therefore colloquially referred to as the “Spanish Greyhound”. They can also live up to 15 years.
Although these dogs can reach a speed of up to 60 km/h, they prefer to lie asleep on the sofa all day long. They also freeze relatively quickly.
In addition, they usually get along very well with children and even tolerate clumsy behavior. This also explains why they are very popular as family dogs.
Fun Fact: Not only does this breed get along well with cats, but they share many similar habits. Because they lick their paws, sleep a lot and move particularly elegantly.
14. Chippiparai: 60 km/h
The Chippiparai comes from India. In his home country, he is used both as a hunting and police dog. In general, however, the breed is considered very rare.
When hunting, they make particular use of their high speed and excellent eyesight. As family dogs, however, the four-legged friends are only rarely used.
In addition, greyhounds are known to be very loyal, protective, calm, and easy to care for. They can also live up to 15 years and do not like the cold.
Fun Fact: These dogs become obsessed with one person. They therefore only want to be petted by their master and sometimes even refuse food from other people.
15. Kanni: 60 km/h
The Kanni originated in India and got its name from its strong loyalty. Translated, it means “pure” because it is said to have a particularly pure heart.
In his homeland, the greyhounds are known not only for their high speed but also for their marriages. Because they are often given to newly married couples.
In addition, this breed is more suited to rural life. Because they need large meadows and lots of space. They are also considered nimble, calm, and elegant.
Fun Fact: In India, this breed is considered very expensive. By German standards, around €65-120 for a puppy is an absolute bargain.
16. Borzoi: 58 km/h
The borzoi comes from Russia and is one of the largest greyhounds in the world with a body weight of up to 48 kg. He needs almost 3 years to be fully mature.
In addition, the borzoi named “Eris” holds the world record for the longest dog snout at 31 cm. Their fur not only keeps them warm in winter but also cold in summer.
The four-legged friends were bred specifically for high speed and endurance so that even fast predators can be tired when hunting.
Fun Fact: This breed often howls when it hears a tune. The rock band Pink Floyd took advantage of this and even recorded a song with a borzoi.
17. Whippet: 56 km/h
The Whippet comes from England and is known there for its calm, trusting, and gentle nature. It also reaches a speed of up to 56 km/h.
Compared to other sighthounds, whippets can also accelerate particularly quickly. They reach their maximum speed after around 3-4 seconds.
Inside, however, the animals are absolute couch potatoes. And this is despite the fact that they generally need a lot of exercise and are described as “very active” outdoors.
Fun Fact: Whippets are very skittish. If you unexpectedly grab them from behind, they usually jump up in a high arc.
18. Pharaoh Hound: 56 km/h
The pharaoh hound originated in Malta. There he used to serve as a hunting companion for the hunt for rabbits due to his speed.
Because he uses his nose to hunt in addition to his speed and sight, his status as a “greyhound” is disputed. In addition, he barks a lot in comparison.
The four-legged friends are best known for their trusting, friendly, and playful nature. However, they rarely get along with very small or same-sex dogs.
Fun Fact: The hunting instinct of these dogs is so strong that even electric fences cannot stop the animals from following a scent.
19. Basenji: 56 km/h
The Basenji is native to Central Africa. Since, in addition to his good vision and speed, he also uses his nose to hunt, he is only partially recognized as a “greyhound”.
According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs, the Basenji is the second hardest dog breed to train. Patience and perseverance are required here.
In addition, the four-legged friends can live up to 16 years and are considered trusting, curious, playful, and calm. They also have very little odor compared to other breeds.
Fun Fact: These dogs can’t bark. But they are all the better at yodeling, screaming, and howling.
20. Podengo Portuguese: 50 km/h
The Podengo Português is available in three different sizes. The smallest species weighs just 5 kg, while the largest species weighs around 25 kg when fully grown.
Their size also determines the purposes for which they are used when hunting. Due to their speed, small animals are mostly used for hare hunting.
The large specimens, on the other hand, are also used for deer. In addition, the greyhounds live up to 17 years and are known to be friendly, outgoing, and active.
Fun Fact: This breed comes in short and long-coat versions. For the latter, a “bad hair day” is almost standard. Because hair naturally sticks out in all directions.
21. Combai: 45 km/h
The Combai comes from India and was named “Kombai” after the city there. Because of its speed and aggressiveness, it also once served as a war dog.
The greyhounds are usually very trusting and loyal to their own family. If, on the other hand, they are confronted by strangers and dogs, they often react aggressively.
Its bite is also so strong that it can easily break bones. This also explains why beginners and first-time owners are advised against this breed.
Fun fact: 40° in the blazing sun? No problem. High humidity? No problem. But at the slightest cold wind, these dogs immediately tuck in their tails.
22. Rajapalayam: 45 km/h
The Rajapalayam originated in India and is an endangered species. In his home country, he is also known as the “Indian ghost dog” because of his pale coat color.
With a body weight of up to 45 kg and a maximum speed of up to 45 km/h, they are not only very large but also comparatively very fast.
In addition, these greyhounds are considered very brave, trusting, loyal, and protective. However, they rarely get along with other pets.
Fun Fact: These dogs come standard with a pink nose. Depending on age and temperature, the color can be more intense or paler.
23. Deerhound: 45 km/h
The Deerhound comes from Scotland and was used primarily for hunting deer in the past. This also explains his international name “Scottish Deerhound”.
With an average life expectancy of 8-9 years, these sighthounds die comparatively early. They can also reach speeds of up to 45 km/h.
In addition, the breed is considered friendly, polite, and gentle. They also need a lot of exercise, have a strong hunting instinct, and weigh up to 50 kg.
Fun Fact: A video of a Deerhound strutting through the yard wearing colorful Crocs went viral on TikTok.
24. Thai Ridgeback: 45 km/h
The Thai Ridgeback is one of those dogs that need to be socialized at an early age. Otherwise, they often become overly shy or even aggressive.
In addition to their speed, these dogs are also known for their jumping ability. A high fence in the garden is therefore a must for these four-legged friends.
In addition, greyhounds are considered very loyal, intelligent, and familiar. They are also an absolute master at escaping and don’t like cold or water.
Fun Fact: These dogs totally live up to their name. They come from Thailand and have a ridge on the back – a long strip of fur that grows in the opposite direction to the normal fur direction.
25. Cirneco dell’Etna: 43 km/h
It is not for nothing that the Cirneco dell’Etna has the volcano “Etna” in its name. Because the dogs originally come from Sicily. They can also live up to 14 years.
The animals can reach a speed of up to 43 km/h. This is quite fast compared to other dog breeds – rather slow in relation to other greyhounds.
Even when fully grown, they only weigh around 10 kg. Even if they are generally very friendly and gentle, they sometimes react aggressively toward strange dogs.
Fun Fact: On rare occasions, these dogs have a small patch of white fur on their chests. In its homeland, these specimens are considered particularly valuable and are sometimes sold for up to 5 times the price.
26. Rhodesian Ridgeback: 40 km/h
The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in South Africa, where it was once used primarily as a hunting and guard dog – sometimes even as a companion for lion hunting.
However, their status as greyhounds are disputed, as they use other senses in addition to their sight and speed when hunting.
In addition, they are considered very trusting, loyal, and reserved with strangers. They also weigh up to 50 kg when fully grown.
Fun fact: when these dogs get too warm outside, they dig a big hole to cool off in the cold dirt afterward.
27. Italian Greyhound: 40 km/h
Of all the sighthound breeds, the Italian greyhound is by far the smallest. Even fully grown, the animals weigh no more than 5 kg.
This also explains why they are the slowest greyhounds in the world with a speed of around 40 km/h. They are ideal as family dogs.
The four-legged friends also have a strong urge for love and attention. When they don’t get these, they often become hyperactive or act shy.
Fun Fact: Housetraining these dogs can take quite a while. This is because they can only suppress their urge to urinate and defecate for a very short time.
No maximum speed has yet been measured for the following dog breeds. It is therefore assumed that they are between 40-72 km/h fast.
- Chart Polski
- Magyar Agar
- Canary Podenco*
- Patagonian greyhound
- Peruvian Hairless Dog*