In a world where everything is measured in competitive fashion, it is hopefully the beauty of a Husky flying over the ground at full speed, ears flat, pointed noise, with joy quivering in every muscle, that prompts one to ask: “How fast can Huskies run?”.
So, how fast can a Husky run? Siberian Huskies have been clocked at 28 – 30 miles per hour (45 – 48 kilometers per hour). A Husky sled team can maintain a pace of 10 – 11 miles per hour (16-18 kilometers per hour) for hours.
So they may not be super fast (like the Greyhound we talk about below), but they are runners of note.
Endurance, Not Blazing Fast
Siberian Husky running strength really lies not in top speed but in endurance.
Even though you need that final quick sprint to win the race, it is the steady loping before that gets it within striking distance of the end line. Besides the fact that they can run at a much slower pace for hours, it is still interesting to know what they can achieve at full throttle.
A single Husky versus a team of Huskies makes quite a difference when you consider speeds (as well as endurance).
Also, just like humans, trained dogs run faster and longer than untrained dogs.
In the Iditarod dog sled race 12 – 16 Huskies make up a team and they generally average at about 8 miles per hour. In sprint races, the team may average 15 miles per hour.
The Iditarod is one of the toughest dog races in the world and should perhaps not be used as a yardstick for speed. It is, in fact, an endurance race where speed may not be the factor that determines who is the winning team.
Logically the team can only run as fast as its slowest member.
Running With A Husky
You may be thinking that a dog being able to keep a pace of 10 miles per hour for 6 hours is perhaps not such a good running or jogging companion. After all, the average pace for male marathon runners is only 5.8 miles per hour.
The Husky would get bored to tears trying not to disappear over the horizon!
However, you can run with your Siberian Husky if you put some thought into it. The easiest trick is to let it run its heart out at full speed until it’s a bit winded. Then you put the lead on and run your best while it cools down, sauntering beside you. Two birds with one stone!
It is extremely important not to run when it’s hot. Your Husky evolved in cold climates and it cannot survive running under high temperature and high humidity conditions.
Your Husky must have access to water whether it’s running on its own or with you. It can dehydrate very quickly and then you have serious problems, even death, to contend with.
Many serious runners and/or joggers run with Huskies, even though they can not perform at the speed the dog does. It is a question of training the dog (and yourself) to run at a time, place and pace that is enjoyable and beneficial to both.
Forget The Sled, Try A Tricycle!
Siberian Huskies are associated with snow and winter landscapes, naturally. However, in the United Kingdom, although they do have some snow, it really can not compare with Arctic drifts. So another sport has been going for 40 years.
Instead of dog sleds, they use tricycles. Yeah, believe it!
The dogs, all Siberian Huskies, are harnessed to a three-wheeled contraption and then raced across packed grass, mud, and stone, mostly on Forestry Commission land.
The trails range from 2 miles long to 6 miles.
In these races, the fastest teams are averaging 17 or 18 miles per hour. Every race is electronically timed to 1/100th of a second using a state-of-the-art TAGHeuer system.
The Fastest Dog
Different sources report different top speeds for the same breeds of dogs. However, it is pretty universally stated that the fastest dog is a Greyhound.
No surprise there, I should think.
It seems to be widely accepted that they can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour (72 kilometres per hour) although the highest verified speed was clocked at 41.8 miles per hour in Australia.
The website worldsfastestdogs.com reports a record of 50.5 miles per hour ran by a black Greyhound bitch called Fanta Bale (at least one post says it was measured by GPS tracker) proved to be unreachable when I tried to verify the claim.
Australian Greyhound Racing, as well as breeders and owners’ websites, make no mention of this claim.
Some of the breeds that give the greyhound a run for its money (excuse the pun, it’s been a long day…) are rather surprising.
Here are the other fast dogs besides the racing streaks:
- Saluki. Top Speed 42 miles per hour/ 67.5 kilometres per hour
- Vizsla. Top Speed 40 miles per hour/ 64.3 kilometres per hour
- Afghan Hound. Top Speed 40 miles per hour/ 64.3 kilometres per hour
- Russian Wolfhound (Borzoi). Top Speed 36 miles per hour/ 60 kilometres per hour
- Dalmatian. Top Speed 35 miles per hour/ 56.3 kilometres per hour
Out of the six fastest dog breeds, four are sighthounds (Greyhound, Saluki, Afghan, Borzoi). This must mean something in addition to the fact that they all have a deep chest, lean body, and proportionally long legs.
Hmm. Maybe someone in canine research can do a study.
Incidentally, fastest dog lists that include the African Wild Dog are doing it incorrectly. They are not dogs, they are not even the same genus and species.
The domestic dog is Canis familiaris, while the African wild dog is Lycaon pictus. Yes, they look like dogs just like jackals look like dogs because they are canids.
Actually, there is a world of difference between African Wild Dogs and the domestic dog of whatever breed. So you are comparing apples with watermelons when you compare their speed with domestic dog breeds.
Just For Fun – The Slowest Dog!
No surprise that the slowest dogs in the world are all small – weighing less than 20 pounds as adults. Shame, those short little legs can not be expected to keep pace with the long legs and huge lungs of the greater breeds, now can they?
The list of slowest dogs includes Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel, French Bulldog and Chihuahua. Although when a chihuahua nips you on the ankle you realize that running speed may not be as important as biting speed!
Some estimated speeds for the slowest dogs are:
- Bassett Hound (5 –10 miles per hour)
- Pug (5 –10 miles per hour)
- Shih Tzu (6 miles per hour)
- Toy poodle (10 miles per hour)
- French bulldog (under 15 miles per hour)
- Bulldog (under 15 miles per hour)
No. When comparing the Alaskan Husky vs. Siberian Husky, some sources report that winning sprint racing speeds average more than 19 miles per hour (31 kilometers per hour). So no, the Alaskan is not faster than the Siberian. (Let’s not go nitpicking about the fact that Alaskan Huskies are not a recognized breed of the American Kennel Club.)
A Husky sled team can maintain a pace of 10 – 11 miles per hour (16-18 kilometers per hour) for hours.
120 miles for 8 straight days. The best Husky sled dog teams can run the Iditarod race (approximately 975 miles as of this writing) in around 8 days, meaning they run around 120 miles per day.