Is A Whippet Faster Than A Greyhound?

Whippets and greyhound are both incredibly fast dogs, they are built for speed with many being used as racing dogs here in the UK.

Whippets and greyhounds are two of the fastest dogs on the planet, being able to reach speeds of up to 45mph in some instances.

These dogs are designed for running, from their slim frame and lightweight body; they are perfectly designed running machines.

If you’ve ever seen a whippet or a greyhound run at full speed then you’ll know how fast both of these dogs can run.

But what about if a whippet raced a greyhound?

Which one would be faster?

In this post, we are going to find out, and answer the question, is a whippet faster than a greyhound?

Let’s find out…

How Fast Is A Whippet?

Whippets are renowned for being fast runners, which is why they do so well in dog racing and hunting.

But how fast is a whippet?

Whippets are part of the sighthound family which means they hunt using their speed and eyesight, making them formidable hunters.

And with being capable of running at speeds of 56kmh (35mph), it’s no wonder these dogs do so well at both.

is a whippet faster than a greyhound?
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay

If you’ve never seen a whippet run at full speed, I can tell you from experience, it’s breathtaking.

For such small dogs, they have incredible speed, their hind legs propel them forward and they almost spring across the land.

Whippets don’t run in a traditional fashion either when they run all four legs lift off the ground at once, it almost looks like a cheetah running but much smaller.

How Fast Is A Greyhound?

Greyhounds are excellent at running, with many people making a living out of racing these dogs.

How fast is a greyhound?

They are the fastest dogs on the planet, being able to run at speeds of up to 72kmh (45mph).

Just like the whippet, greyhounds jump when they run, with all four legs lifting off the ground as they spring across the track.

Greyhounds are also commonly used for hunting, as they too are part of the sighthound family making them excellent at spotting and chasing down prey.

Greyhounds are incredibly fast runners, its mesmerizing to watch them as it’s sometimes hard to believe your eyes.

Greyhounds take a little longer to reach their top speed as they are larger, heavier dogs.

However, once they hit top speed they can usually run for longer distances, which is why so many use them for racing.

Is A Whippet Faster Than A Greyhound?

So is a whippet faster than a greyhound?

No, they are both very fast runners but the greyhound is faster.

This is mainly because they are larger dogs and have bigger legs, this allows them to propel forward and jump further when running at top speed.

Whippets are able to run at speeds of up to 56mkh, whilst greyhounds can run at up to 72kmh.

That being said, whippets are the fastest accelerating dogs in the world.

Off the mark, a whippet would leave a greyhound in the dust, but seconds later the greyhound is going to catch up and overtake, ultimately winning the race.

Why A Greyhound Is Faster Than A Whippet

There are a couple of reasons why greyhounds are able to run slightly faster than whippets, let’s take a look at some of them;


The average weight of a whippet is between 6.8kg and 14kg, whilst the average weight of a greyhound is between 27 – 40kg.

This means the greyhound has more weight to move whilst running, but it also means that the greyhound is able to pack on more muscle mass, which propels the dogs forward.

The weight aspect is why whippets are able to take off at faster speeds, but they’ll shortly be caught up to by the greyhound.


If you’ve ever looked closely at both a whippet and greyhound, you’ll notice that they are both very aerodynamic.

This means that they have a body shape, which reduces drag from the air when moving past.

Essentially it’s streamlined and there isn’t much that’s holding it back as the dog runs full speed.

Stride frequency

Greyhounds are larger dogs, quite a lot larger than whippets.

This means that greyhounds can cover a larger distance in their stride when running at full speed, essentially allowing them to run further in a shorter space of time.

Combine this with the fact that the greyhound’s suspension like running style allows them to have two periods in their galloping stride in which their legs are off the ground, and you’ve got an incredibly fast dog.

Heart size

The racing greyhound has a huge heart for the size of its body, it actually beats around 5 times per second whilst running in a race.

During a 30 second race, a greyhound circulates it’s entire blood volume four to five times.

is a whippet faster than a greyhound?
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

A whippets heart is also rather large for the size of the dog, however with the greyhound being bigger in almost every aspect, including the heart.

This gives the greyhound an advantage when running, allowing it to pump more blood and carry more oxygen around the body.


Whippets are descendants from greyhounds, they were bred purely for hunting and are excellent at doing so.

But greyhounds have been around much longer, and have been used by the ancient Egyptians for racing and coursing for many years.

It’s in a greyhounds DNA to run, this is what gives them the drive and determination to do so at great speeds, helping them win races and earn the title of the fastest dog on the planet.

Final Thoughts

So is a whippet faster than a greyhound?

Not quite, both are incredibly fast dogs but because the greyhound is larger, it is able to run faster than a whippet.

Greyhounds are used across the globe as racing dogs, and there is a good reason for that.

Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on the planet, they are capable of running at speeds of up to 45mph.

Whilst whippets are the second-fastest dogs in the world, they are able to run at speeds of up to 35mph.

However, the whippet is much faster at accelerating, whippets are the fastest accelerating dogs in the world because of their light frame and large leg muscles.

Both of these dogs are amazingly fast, it’s breathtaking to watch them run at full speed.

They have a unique running style too which is more like a cheetah than a dog when they run all four legs are off the ground at once.

This is because they are jumping whilst running, allowing them to cover more ground whilst running at top speed.

This, along with other things such as genetics and their history makes them two of the fastest dogs on the planet.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed this post and learned a thing or two about the speed of whippets and greyhounds, and if you get a chance to see either of these dogs running then you should do so, as it really is a spectacle.

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