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How Fast Are Border Collies? Speed Comparison & FAQs


May 5, 2023
Border collie running in the streets

When it comes to the Border Collie, most people already know they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet. In addition, we’ve always assumed that they can run faster than the average dog, seeing as they were initially bred to herd livestock.

How fast can they actually run? It is estimated that the Border Collie can comfortably clock speeds of 30 miles per hour. And that means that this breed is not only smarter than most dogs, but also faster.

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What Factors Influence the Border Collie’s Speed?

We have to note that not all Border Collies will be able to run at a top speed of 30 miles per hour. That speed is often impacted by a myriad of factors:

Level of Training

The Border Collie is a highly trainable breed, with a workaholic attitude. Unlike other dogs, they are usually eager to learn more concepts, even if they’ve already spent hours learning new commands.

Some trainers like to take advantage of this, to teach them concepts that are more advanced in nature, like speed.

Border Collie running outdoors
Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay


Collies know when to change their own pace, the same way humans do mid-race, thanks to their level of stamina and intelligence. By the way, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what makes this dog so proficient in agility contests, this is it.

Do all Collies possess the same level of stamina? No. Due to various reasons, some of them will present a higher level than others. For example, there’s no way a 10-year-old Collie will have the same level of stamina as a 5-year-old. So, age is for sure one of the prime factors to be taken into consideration.

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Attributes the Border Collie Shares with Other Fast-Running Breeds

Asymmetrical Gait

For starters, their feet have incredible traction. This is very important to the dog, as it gives them the ability to make sharp turns and develop a complex gait. While running, the Collie’s feet will create a specific pattern, known as an asymmetrical gait.

Their leg movements on one side will be different from the movements on the opposite side of the body. All fast-running dog breeds have a four-time asymmetrical gait. Meaning, when their feet touch the ground, you’ll see them following the right-front, left-front, right-back, left-back pattern.

Double Suspension Gallop

The Border Collie also has a leaping gait known as the double suspension gallop. We’re almost certain you’ve noticed some of these dog breeds use their hind limbs to propel themselves into the air, followed by the front limbs.

Not all dogs have this ability, as it requires strong back, leg, and shoulder muscles to act as the engine. This gait usually helps them cover a wider distance over a short period.

brown white border collie running
Image Credit: Krasula, Shutterstock

Anatomical Flexibility & Cardio

Besides the sturdy abdominal muscles, Border Collies and several other fast-running breeds have lengthy loins as well as spines that are incredibly flexible. Flexibility is a vital factor in determining velocity and power generation because it ensures that the movements are efficient.

It’s also worth mentioning that they possess lungs designed to move faster while processing oxygen, and deeper chest cavities. The two respiratory attributes explain why their cardio is so powerful.


Where Does the Border Collie Rank Among the Fast-Running Breeds?


Italian Greyhound
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock

The Greyhound is the overachiever in this class. Averaging a 30-inch height at the shoulder, this breed can easily clock 45 miles per hour. The funny thing is, they prefer spending most of their time sleeping rather than running around.


saluki standing on grass
Image Credit: Elisabetta Bellomi, Pixabay

The Saluki hails from the Middle East. And back in the day, they were most useful as hunting dogs. Physically, they have attributes similar to the Greyhound. A conspicuous small waist and a remarkably deep chest. They are also classified as sighthounds, meaning they primarily relied on sight while hunting and not smell. A healthy Saluki can run at speeds of 43 miles per hour.


vizsla with bird
Image Credit: Ivan Kacarov, Shutterstock

In some circles, Vizslas are commonly known as Hungarian Pointers. This breed is very proficient in the hunting department and in agility sports, as they can get to speeds of 40 miles per hour. Like Collies, they are very intelligent, energetic, and possess immense stamina.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
Image Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

The Afghan Hound has the potential to run 40 miles per hour. However, many dog lovers steer clear of them because they tend to be stubborn, if not strong-willed. Training an Afghan Hound to obey simple commands is a really tough assignment.

Doberman Pinschers

A red Doberman Pinscher dog with natural uncropped ears standing outdoors
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

The Doberman was named after Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman. Due to the Franco-Prussian War, he felt the need to breed a dog that would protect him as he collected taxes in bandit-infested areas. Besides being an exceptional guard dog, the Doberman is also an athletic breed that can clock 35 mph.


Comparison Table



Speed (mph) Weight (lbs.)
Greyhound 45 60–70
Saluki 43 40–60
Vizsla 40 45–60
Afghan Hound 40 50–60
Doberman Pinschers 35 75–100



The Border Collie can run up to 30 miles per hour. They’ve always been viewed as one of the fastest dog breeds in the world, but their speeds vary depending on a few factors. Those that are able to clock 30 miles per hour are usually well-trained, young, and purebred. They also possess some high-level agility!

Featured Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

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