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If we just take the peak speed that an animal can reach then, as most people already know, the fastest land animal is the cheetah which can reach 70 mph (113 km per hour).Although the cheetah is an astonishingly fast runner, he can only maintain that incredible velocity for about 200 to 300 yards (274 meters) or less than two tenths of a mile.Stanley Coren is the author of many books including: The Modern Dog, Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?The Pawprints of History, How Dogs Think, How To Speak Dog, Why We Love the Dogs We Do, What Do Dogs Know?The Alaskan husky is categorized by its ability to perform. The Italian Greyhound at the local dog park will quite obviously slow down a bit to keep the dogs chasing him from getting too discouraged:)) Of course, if one really speeds up, he effortlessly pulls away.If it loves to run and pull a sled, then it's an Alaskan husky. My corgi's got great moves and tries to cut him off at the corners but alas, not a very fair match!However humans have changed dogs so that some dogs can run much faster than most other animals.
When the thoroughbred race horse, Secretariat set the Kentucky Derby speed record in 1973 he ran it at 38 mph (61 kph) over a distance 1.5 miles (2.4 km).
This means that while the cheetah can win the short sprint race, in any long race the greyhound will leave that big cat way behind, panting in the dust.
However some dogs do even better in super-marathon races. Consider the sled dogs like those that participate in the Iditarod sled race.
No other land animal (except the cheetah) has that degree of acceleration.
To give you an idea of how fast a sprinter the greyhound is, compare his perf ormance to that of an elite human runner.
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Peregrine falcons are slower but can reach speeds up to 69 mph (112 km/h) in direct pursuit of prey, however when he is diving he can reach the incredible speed of 242 mph (389 km/h) speed which would easily allow him to catch a fleeing swift.