Thinking of adding a specie of dog as pet to your family, here are the breeds that would be great if you’re looking for a running companion – and those that enjoy a slower pace of life.
Plenty of us decided to welcome new four-legged friends into our homes in the last couple of years – according to Kennel Club figures dog ownership soared and post-lockdown demand for puppies remains high.
There are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, so there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest addition.
Those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog. There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One thing worth considering before making a decision is that certain breeds of dog are pretty quick on their feet – perfect for more active families with a garden that can double as a canine athletic track and who want a four-legged running companion that will never tire of adventures. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale there are the dogs that can barely be bothered to get off the couch unless it’s an emergency – and even then they’ll take their time over it.
One of the most ancient breeds of dog, the Saluki is thought to date back to ancient Egypt. With a top speed of 42mph they are the second fastest dog breed.
It probably comes as no surprise that the fastest breed of all is the Greyhound. They are born to run, although are surprisingly lazy the rest of the time, and have an incredible top speed of 45mph.
The other dog that can register up to 40mph on the canine speedometer is the Vizla. If this Hungarian breed doesn’t get plenty of exercise it can become destructive.
4. Afghan Hound
In joint bronze medal position for quickest canine is the Afghan Hound. At top speed they are a blur of fur, running at 40mph.
5. Jack Russell
Small but speedy, the Jack Russell Terrier rounds out the top five fastest dogs. Bred to be the perfect dog for fox hunting, they can clock speeds of up to 38mph.
Neither the French Bulldog, nor the larger English Bulldog, is likely to win any races. Struggling to reach speeds of more that 15mph, they find it harder still to maintain a decent pace.
7. Bassett Hound
From the speedy to the sedentary, we get to the slowest canines. Often struggling to reach speeds of more than 5mph, the Bassett Hound will only be motivated to go slightly faster if it picks up a particularly interesting scent.
A combination of its small stature and being a brachycephalic (flat faced) dog means that the Pug struggles with speed and is likely to suffer respiratory problems if exercised too much.
9. Japanese Chin
Bred solely to be a companion dog to sit on the laps of Japanese royalty, it’s no wonder a Japanese Chin will look confused if it’s asked to move at anything more than a suitably dignified and regal speed.
10. Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is so stubborn that’s it’s often difficult to differentiate between whether it can’t go faster, or just doesn’t want to go faster. In any event, this breed is not one that is mentally or physically suited for speed.