Aug 052013
 

Go Dog, Go was the title of a famous children’s book penned more than 50 years ago by P.D. Eastman, but it is also what we say when we see some of these dogs take off running. Greyhounds, Vizslas and Jack Russells are just some of the breeds that leave the rest of the pack in the dust.

1. The Greyhound — The King of Canine Racers

When you think of fast dogs, the tall and lean Greyhound is the first breed that usually springs to mind. This long-legged, smooth-coated racing breed has been clocked at speeds up to 45 miles per hour, sparking its nickname: the 45-mph couch potato. Why this nickname? This is a breed blessed with speed bursts when overcoming prey, especially hares, but one who craves lounging on sofas in between races.

2. The Saluki — Putting the Capital “S” in Swiftness

A feather-footed cousin of the Greyhound, the Saluki has been clocked at nearly 43 mph, a speed recorded in the 1996 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. It may be that over distances of more than half a mile, the Saluki is faster than the Greyhound. Contributing to the Saluki’s stamina are his heavily padded feet that help to absorb the impact that running has on the body. Hailing from Ancient Egypt, the Saluki is recognized as one of the oldest breeds, dating back to 7,000 B.C.

3. The Whippet — The Poor Man’s Racehorse

Whippets, originally called snap dogs for the speed at which they snapped up the rabbits and rats they coursed, were probably developed from a blend of Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds and terriers. The nineteenth-century workingmen who created them, later turned to racing them against each other, and they became known as “the poor man’s racehorse.” Today, this medium-sized sighthound is a fierce competitor in lure coursing events and ranks among the fastest breeds, having been clocked at 36 mph. Ready for this? A Whippet can run 200 yards in less than 12 seconds.

4. The Border Collie — Built for Speed and Cornering

Long acknowledged for being one of the top Einsteins in the dog world, the workaholic Border Collie is designed to move quickly and make hairpin turns in order to direct large flocks over what are sometimes long distances. Border Collies can corner like fine sports cars, maintaining control and speed through turns, skills that also serve them well in canine sports such as agility, fly ball and flying disc competitions. These black-and-white torpedoes have been clocked at speeds of up to 30 mph. And noted for their intense gaze, Border Collies are recognized for keeping their eye on the prize.

5. The Vizsla — A Vroom With Four Legs and a Tail

Medium-sized with a lean body, short coat and a mental drive to run, the Vizsla can outsprint most dogs in a one-mile competition. Originating in Hungary, this breed must deal with constant canine confusion, often misidentified as a Rhodesian Ridgeback or Redbone Coonhound. But make no mistake, this hunting dog is quick both on land and in the water. Sporting a golden rust-colored short coat, the Vizsla is agile and able to turn quickly.

 

Contributed By Sonia Narula

 

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