A new speedy dog has been crowned “America’s Fastest” as of December 2021! 3-year-old Reas (pronounced REES,) a white and blonde Whippet from Michigan City, Indiana, became the AKC champion after breaking the 100-yard dash record in the Fast CAT Invitational.
Reas completed the race in 5.769 seconds, indicating a speed of 35.45 miles per hour. This time is 0.5777 seconds faster than last year’s winner Phelan’s time of 6.346 seconds, or 32.3 miles per hour.
For comparison, the fastest a human (Usain Bolt) has ever been recorded is around 27.7 mph, which was a record-breaking sprint. Reas is a very fast sprinter!
About the Fast CAT Invitational
The Fast CAT Invitational, short for coursing ability test, is open to all American Kennel Club registered dogs at least a year old, including mixed breeds. The competition is part of the AKC’s annual National Championship.
In the Fast CAT, competing dogs chase a lure while their handlers stand at the end of the course. And you know, as racing goes, the fastest average time wins.
In 2021, 250 dogs from 154 breeds competed, which amounts to over twice the number of competitors in last year’s inaugural race. These dogs range from Pomeranians to Greyhounds.
Reas won the final race on December 17th against the two fastest dogs from each breed. These dogs’ scores were an average of three 100-yard trials.
Last year’s winner, Phelan, actually ended up placing fifth this year. Still, he ran the course in an impressive 6.485 seconds.
Reas The Speed Demon
An English sighthound, Whippets’ lean physiques, long legs, and narrow heads allow them to reach high speeds. These dogs may look like Greyhounds since they descended from the breed, but they’re smaller.
In addition to his breed’s natural athleticism, Reas is a very smart dog. He learned potty training very quickly and, as a puppy, would jingle the bells on the back door if he wanted to go out.
Lindsay Gluth and her fiancé Matt Manetti are the dog’s proud parents. Gluth described their pride in talented Reas, who loves racing, to AKC:
“What he’s accomplished this year is an incredible feeling. We are proud, thrilled, and excited for what the next year will bring. Everyone has the best dog, but he’s a special dog. The one that changes the game for you and makes you want to do more, train better, and travel a little further.”
“He’s done great and you can see he loves the game. Once he hears the lure machine, his excitement is hard to contain.”
The consistency of Reas’ performance has to do with training and ideal conditions, which are different for each dog. Reas started training to race at one year old, and he learned routines.
“Every dog has a perfect condition. For us, it is soft ground, temps between 70-80 degrees and not too humid, with a long run after the finish line,” Gluth says.
While the awards he’s won are nice, Gluth and Manetti are just proud of their incredible fur kid.
“We are honored to have Reas in our lives. I wish everyone has the chance to own that special dog. The one that changes the game for you and makes you want to do more, train better and travel a little further to compete. The one that sits on the couch at the end of the day with you, win or lose, and know he’s loved.”
Learn more about the Fast CAT Invitational here.