The Greyhound is best known as a racing dog. With the ability to run at speeds upwards of 45 miles per hour, this is fastest dog breed in the world. Their long legs and narrow, streamlined bodies make Greyhounds racers by design to run. However, these dogs can also make excellent companions for all kinds of families.
Size: 60-80 pounds
Colors: Greyhounds are seen in a variety of colors including black, blue, fawn, red, white and various shades of brindle, or a combination of any of these colors.
History of the Greyhound
The Greyhound is among the most ancient of all dog breeds. Archaeological evidence of Greyhound-like dogs dates back 8,000 years to the Middle East. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans likely had Greyhound-type dogs. By the ninth century, the breed could be found throughout Europe. Spanish explorers brought them to the Americas in the 1500s.
Greyhounds were classically used for hunting and coursing. They were among the earliest dog show participants. The breed is typically not used for hunting in modern times, and live game coursing is illegal in many places. However, the traditions of racing and lure coursing continue.
Caring for Your Greyhound
The Greyhound has a very short, smooth coat that needs very little grooming. The breed sheds at a low to moderate rate, so an occasional once-over with a soft brush or grooming mitt should be sufficient. The typical Greyhound only needs occasional bathing.
Trim their nails regularly, keeping them short to prevent slipping on slick floors.
Contrary to popular belief, Greyhounds are not usually hyperactive or overly energetic. Though excellent athletes, they can also be couch potatoes. They love to run, but a moderate amount of daily exercise should be enough to keep your Greyhound motivated and fit.
Both proper training and socialization are both very important for Greyhounds. Fortunately, most can learn and adjust well. Though Greyhounds can sometimes be obtained from a breeder as puppies, the majority of pet Greyhounds are actually retired racers. Racing dogs have a very different life from the average companion dog. When not racing, they spend a lot of time in kennels and have usually never seen the inside of a typical home. They are leash-trained but have typically not been exposed to things like stairs and glass doors. Cats and other small animals may provoke their predatory instinct until they learn the animal is a family member. Retirement usually begins between the ages of two and five, depending on the dog. After this, the transition to companion life may take a few weeks. In some ways, it is almost like a second puppyhood. With a gentle and patient demeanor, you can help your greyhound with this stage. Some retired racer adoption groups will have their dogs spend some time in foster homes to help acclimate them to the new lifestyle.
Greyhound Health Problems
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC.
Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
Is a Greyhound Right for You?
Greyhounds are extremely affectionate with their families and may prefer not to be left alone. They are rarely aggressive and respond well to strangers. Many Greyhounds will do well with children, too. Greyhound enthusiasts everywhere can tell you how lovely and rewarding it is to have a Greyhound. They truly make delightful companions.
Do you want a Greyhound? Adopting a retired racer is a wonderful thing to do. If you would like to share your life with this unique dog breed, take the time to do your research first.
Talk to your veterinarian, other Greyhound owners, Greyhound rescue groups, and reputable Greyhound breeders to learn more.