List of Dog Racing Sports A-Z

List of Dog Racing Sports

Dog racing sports exist in a lot of forms, some of them controversial. While the impact on the animals may be a cause of concern for some, for others these sports are just a great way to bond with their pet and expend pent-up energy. In addition to showing off a dog’s speed, the various sports can also showcase a dog’s intelligence, ability to listen to commands, or react quickly depending on the sport. Some of these sports require cold weather (like dogsled racing), and others are outlawed in certain states (greyhound racing is illegal in 41 states), so some research may be needed to find dog racing sports near you. Check your local guidelines and keep in mind that some breeds are better suited to dog racing sports than others.

Dog Racing Sports List A to Z


What are dog racing sports?

Dog racing sports are sports that center on a dog running, usually around an enclosed track, to see who gets the fastest time. Some of these sports can include handlers by having them run with, be pulled by, or direct the dog(s). Dog racing sports can also test other elements like accuracy on a course and obedience without the lure of treats or rewards. All in all, they can be a great way for dogs and handlers with active lifestyles to spend time together.

Most states have outlawed dog racing, but there are nine that still allow the sport. Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin all have legal dog racing. Of these nine states, only Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia have active race tracks. The remaining four, while not having outlawed dog races, have no official space for the sports to take place. The rules for licensing and operating a track for dog races vary by state, so check with local authorities if you are unsure about anything.

What dog breed runs the fastest?

It is universally agreed that greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world. This breed can run at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour and often reaches this top speed within six strides. They run in a similar manner to cheetahs, with all four legs leaving the ground in each stride. This style of running, known as double suspension gallop, means that the animal’s feet are off the ground more than they’re on it while moving at high speeds.

Dog agility, canicross, and dog sled racing are among the most popular dog racing sports. Dog agility consists of a dog racing through an obstacle course and performing tasks at the obstacles based on commands from their handler. Canicross lacks the obstacle course but requires much more endurance, both from the dog and the handler, who are attached by the waist for a cross-country run. Dog sled racing involves a team of dogs pulling their handler on a sled through the snow.