The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Speed of the Fastest Dog

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Creel Scott and Nancy Marusha Creel. The African Wild dog: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002: 79. "Once one or a few prey begin running, the entire herd often bolts, and a full speed chase ensues(at 40-60km/h)" 11.1-16.7 m/s
World Almanac Books. "Speeds of selected animals." The World Almanac and book of facts 2009. 2009. 2008. 330.
Speed of land animals over ¼ mi
1. Cheetah 70 mph
8. Cape Hunting Dog 45 mph
14. Greyhound 39.35 mph
20.1 m/s
(cape hunting dog)
17.6 m/s
Wilcox, Charlotte. The Greyhound. Mankato: Capstone Press, 2001: 7. "Greyhounds can reach speeds of 45 miles(72km) per hour." 20.1 m/s
"Greyhound." Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. 1983: 736. "A streamlined, slender, but strong dog, the greyhound can attain a speed of 60 km (37mi) per hour." 16.7 m/s
Greyhound. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 2009. "Greyhounds-fastest of dogs. Streamlines and slender, but strong, the greyhound can attain a speed of 45 mph(72km/h)" 20.1m/s

Different sources have deemed different dogs the fastest of dogs. The two breeds that undoubtedly make the top of the list are the greyhound and the African Wild Dog.

Greyhounds have long been known for their speed. They are commonly used on the racetrack and once were bred primarily for racing. The first coursing society was setup in Britain in 1776. A member of the sight hound, the greyhound is one of the few original dog breeds and can be traced back to ancient Egypt. They trail the cheetah, the world's fastest land animal over a short distance in rank number 14 according to the World Almanac and book of facts 2009.Greyhounds are rarely gray; they come in many colors, and can be black or white or shades of brown. Greyhounds make great pets due to their mild and affectionate nature. They are gentle dogs and get along with children and other family pets.

The African Wild Dog a.k.a. the painted wolf, a.k.a. the cape hunting dog belongs to the Canidae family and is the only species in the genus lycaon. Scientifically named lycaon pictus, these African natives are very successful hunters. They hunt in packs and pursue their prey in long open chases. Pack members usually cooperate in hunting large mammals, but individuals sometimes pursue hares, rodents, or other small animals. Full speed chases ensue at 40-60 km/h. This breed is currently ranked 8th in speed of land animals over a short distance. The African Wild Dog is currently listed on the endangered species list. They were formerly found over almost all of Africa, including parts of the Sahara. However, there has been a major decline and most remain in southern and eastern Africa; only small populations remain in western and central Africa. These dogs frequently come in conflict with human activities and face habitat loss with the growing human population. When this happens, they are often poisoned or shot. Once existing in over 39 countries in figures around half a million, African Wild dogs now exist in fewer than 25 countries and their numbers stand at approximately 3,000-5,500.

Celeste Qian -- 2009

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Meeting Results. Irish Greyhound Board. 28 May 2004.
Race 1
Pos. Greyhound Win Time Est Time Distance: Type
1.  OYSTER PEACE 20.50 20.50 375 yds. Flat
16.73 m/s
Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Speed of Animals. Nature Bulletin. No. 215. (30 January 1982). "Several strains of dogs have been bred for extreme speed. The fastest of  all seems to be the saluki of Arabia, or the related Afghan hound, which  can step out at 43 mph and overtake the fastest Arabian horse. Greyhounds and whippets sometimes reach 35 or 40 mph in dog races." 17.88 m/s
Sanford, William R. The Greyhound. New York, New York. Macmillan, 1989. "A greyhound can reach 38 miles per hour in a 660 yard race." 17 m/s
Greyhound. Breeds of Dogs: A reference to the world of dogs. 2004. "When dogs became more than a means to a full cooking pot, the Greyhound excelled in coursing, and later track racing, hitting a speed of nearly 45½ mph, maintaining its reputation as the fastest dog on earth. Only the cheetah tops him for speed in the animal world." 20.3 m/s

A member of the sight hound family, the greyhound is one of the few original dog breeds and can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Tombs from the year 4,000 BC to 3500 BC, are adorned with drawings of dogs resembling the greyhound and saluki. During the latter years of the fifth and sixth century, through trade in the Near East and Europe, greyhounds made their way to England where they became a symbol of wealth. States one Welsh proverb, "You may know a gentleman by his horse, his hawk and his greyhound." Ownership by common folk was limited due to the Law of Canute of 1016 under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Originally hunters, Europeans found another use for greyhounds. from the Romans to Britain, dog racing became popular, involving greyhounds, salukis and whippets. The first coursing society was setup in Britain in 1776. In the past, most retired greyhounds were killed and while some still are, many become loyal and admired pets. A Roman, Arrian, from AD 200, described greyhound as loyal friends who jumped up to greet them at home when they were gone for even a short time. They are mild and affectionate, get along well with children and family pets, including cats. At 28-30 inches tall, 65-70 pounds, white, brown, fawn, fallow, black, gray, white, red, or blue in color, these short haired dogs range from a price of $50,000 to $80,000. Yet their dynamic character and endless talents make them worthy of the price.

Geeta Malieckal -- 2004

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