7 Dog Breeds Used For Racing

Racing dog cover

When thinking about dog racing, one can easily be under the impression that this sport has been around for centuries; however, dog racing was first demonstrated in 1919 in California, but it gain popularity in 1926 in England. After that, the United States, and other countries started organizing these events. Naturally, there are some dog breeds that are more suited for this particular task than others.

Dog Breeds Used For Racing

You will be surprised to know that there is no category specified for dog racing, therefore, no dog breed is officially deemed as a racing breed. Yet, these following breeds are excellent athletes and perform as if they were born for this sport.

1. Greyhound

It is true that no breed is categorized as a racing breed, yet, there is one breed that is synonymous with dog racing, which is Greyhound. These slender and long pooches were originally bred to be used as a hunting companion to hunt deer, foxes, and hares, but soon their racing prowess was recognized. These aerodynamic hounds can reach a speed of 45 miles per hour. Moreover, these are sprinters, which means, they possess a small energy reserve that is released in one burst. This makes them ideal for families, as once they are exhausted they prefer sleeping for most of the day. Plus, they have a calm demeanor and get along with other pets as well.

2. The Afghan Hound

Originated in Afghanistan, obviously, and similar to Greyhounds, these pooches were used for hunting hares and gazelles. In the present time, these pooches have become a fashion statement, and given their silky long hair, it is easy to see why, and the original purpose of this coat was to protect them against harsh climate. It goes without saying, but these hounds are high-maintenance dogs that require constant grooming, and while these are loyal to their owners, they are aloof of strangers, so early training is recommended. As for their racing abilities, Afghan Hounds can run at 40 miles per hour, thanks to their slender body, which is covered under their long coat.

Afghan hounds Racing

Afghan Hound Racing

3. Saluki

Among one of the oldest breeds, according to experts, this breed goes as far as 7,000 B.C., is a great racing breed as well. These slender pooches have been a favorite of numerous kings, Egyptian pharaohs, and even Alexander, the great. For all these years, Salukis have been used as hunting dogs, and for this reason, their hunting instincts are strong, and they cannot be trusted off-leash, despite the training. As for their sprinting abilities, they easily reach speeds of 35 miles per hour; however, one specific Saluki also set a world record at astonishing 43 miles per hour. Another interesting fact about these dogs is that females of this breed are significantly smaller than males.
Saluki on Make a GIF

4. Dalmation

While these hounds gained popularity from the Disney movies, these hounds were originally used as escort hounds to trot alongside horseback riders and caravans. The exact origins of this breed are still subject to debate, but it originated in Central Europe. Unlike previously mentioned dogs, these are not sprinters, and they require a lot of physical activity on a daily basis. When it comes to their racing talent, Dalmations are no slouch, as these spotted hounds can run at 37 miles per hour.

Dalmatian Racing

A Dalmatian puppy running

5. Whippets

Also known as the Poor Man’s Racedog, these hounds are streamlined and excellent for racing. Once dog racing gained popularity in the early 90s, it quickly became the sport of the wealthy, but coal miners of England also had a keen interest in this sport. Unfortunately, they couldn’t afford to buy Greyhounds, so they created their own breed that could excel in racing, and thus, the Whippet breed was born. Similar to Greyhounds, these don’t pack high energy, and can easily be exhausted.

6. German Shepherd

Although German Shepherds are not related to racing, these are all-rounder dogs, and it is not a surprise to see them making their way among the racing dogs as well. These are among one of the most intelligent dog breeds, with excellent trainability, and for these reasons, they are the ideal choice for armed forces. While these independent dogs don’t have any speed records to their name, they can still run at 30 miles per hour, and they are easily trained to run in a straight line.
Young Reindeer Runs a Friendly Race With Playful German Shepherd on the Other Side of a Fence

7. The Scottish Deerhound

Their name makes it clear that these originated in Scotland, and these were used to take down large deers. Interestingly, their origins are unknown, because these hounds have been roaming the land of Scotland even before the arrival of Scots in the ninth century. Unlike other breeds on this list, Scottish Deerhounds are affectionate dogs that are often recommended to novice owners. They are excessively active in their puppyhood; however, they follow a linear regression in activity level as they age. Despite that, there are race clubs for these dogs, and they can run at 28 miles per hour.

The Scottish Deerhound Racing

The Scottish Deerhound running

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