How A Greyhound Dog Can Beat A Cheetah In A Race

Cheetahs are one of the fastest animals in the world. Running at speeds of up to 70 mph (via National Geographic), cheetahs can keep up with most cars on the highway — at least for a short distance. Being able to run so fast is key to helping cheetahs catch their prey.

But there are other speedy mammals, too, including the dog known as the greyhound. Greyhounds can cruise along at speeds of up to 45 mph (via ThoughtCo.), and their speed once made them a popular choice for track racing (via PBS). In fact, they are the fastest dog breed on Earth. Greyhounds were once so well known as speedy animals that the Greyhound bus network in the United States was named after the animals, according to Fansided.

However, the greyhound can't quite get up to the same speeds as a cheetah. So does that mean that there's no way for a greyhound dog to beat a cheetah in a race? Actually, the truth is more complicated than that.

Cheetahs vs. greyhounds

While cheetahs and greyhounds both run fast, they come from very different habitats. A cheetah, for instance, is a large cat found primarily in eastern and southern Africa, according to National Geographic. These carnivorous animals weigh between 45 and 160 pounds, according to the African Wildlife Foundation, and are currently facing wildlife loss which has threatened the survival of their species. Interactions with humans have also reduced cheetah populations.

On the other hand, greyhounds are a breed of hunting dog (via Dog Time). Though it's difficult to trace the exact origins of the breed, they likely originated in Egypt. These slender dogs weigh around 60 to 70 pounds and have a muscular body and short coat (via Hill's Pet). While greyhounds are sprinting dogs, they can also be well-suited to domestic lives as pets, and are considered a good choice for apartments, because they are generally relaxed. However, they don't necessarily like being alone.

Why greyhounds can outrun cheetahs

In any all-out sprint, a cheetah would outrun a greyhound, no question. Cheetahs can take off at a quick 70 mph, while greyhounds can only manage 45 mph (via The Kids Should See This). A greyhound would find themselves quickly outpaced by the African cat. However, cheetahs can't maintain their top speed for very long. In fact, these animals can only make it a couple hundred yards before they need to decelerate (via Pets on Mom). And, as National Geographic notes, cheetahs actually need to take a breather after their athletic feats, resting for around 30 minutes before they can do something strenuous again.

On the other hand, greyhounds, though designed to be sprinters, can maintain a fast speed for much longer distances. For instance, greyhounds can run for several miles at or above 35 mph before they're forced to slow down (via Psychology Today). At that rate, the greyhound could make it around seven miles in 12 minutes and be way ahead of his cheetah friend, who could only sprint for 200 yards.

So in the end, whether the greyhound or cheetah wins the race depends on one simple thing: length. In a short sprint, the cheetah will come out on top. But in a longer distance run, the greyhound reigns supreme.