The Greyhound dog breed was originally bred as hunting dogs as they can reach speeds of 40 to 45 miles per hour and thus considered the Ferraris of the dog world. Known to chase anything, despite being large dogs, they’re usually unobtrusive and polite.
Key Breed Facts
- Quick to adapt to any environment.
- Tall dogs with a muscular and athletic structure.
- Weigh 60-70 lbs.
- Height 71-76cms.
- Can run up to 40-45 miles.
- A lovable dog with an affectionate and quiet disposition.
- Today used for racing sport.
- Lifespan of 12-15 years.
- Good with Children.
- Long face and narrow head.
- Deep chested, powerful legs and flexible spine allows them to run 40mph.
- Muscular and athletic built body assist in their chase nature and love for running.
- Tall dog with a needle-like nose.
- Incredible eyesight with a 270-degree field of vision; can see far objects.
- Quiet disposition nature does not bark a lot.
- Sweet tempered dogs.
- Gentle and loyal to owners.
- Breed built for speed and agility.
- Easy to train
- Quiet dogs.
- They walk gracefully.
- They attract attention due to their big size.
- Good family pets due to affectionate nature.
- Minimal grooming as they shed less.
- Greyhound is an ancient breed that has been around thousands of years.
- Do well in an apartment and other living areas despite their size.
Mostly thought to have been used by Romans in the 4000 BC for the coursing sports of chasing the hare. In addition, they also appear inside the tombs of ancient pyramids making them the oldest breed dating to the time of pharaoh. They were thought to be gods and royalty had them, and first recorded 8000 years ago.
Almost became distinct during the Dark Age due to famine and diseases and were saved by priests who bred them for noblemen.
Although they are thought to have originated from Europe as early as 8 A.D making them the purest canine breed. Greyhound was considered as a perfect companion during hunting due to their running speed and far eyesight vision. They were also used in colonial times for chasing rabbits that were destroying farms.
Greyhounds were bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. They are the fastest breed of dog and can reach a speed of over 40 miles per hour. Used for racing and chasing small animals
When Christopher Columbus went on his second expedition from Spain in September 1493 Greyhounds became the first European dog to accompany him.
Until around 1700, owning a greyhound was the exclusive right of the nobility. They became treasured companions due to their gentle, affectionate and loyal nature. Also, were associated with nobility and royalty for centuries to come.
In the 20th century, the modern greyhound racing was born in the USA, replacing live animals for the dogs to pursue with a mechanical lure (‘artificial hare’) during coursing sport.
Long headed skull enable them to see well and help them where chasing things. The eye placement provides 270-degree vision making it see behind its own head.
Their flexible spine enables them to run double due to their long bodies and long strides.
Besides, their eyes are dark, bright, intelligent, indicating spirit.
Male greyhounds average between 65 and 80 pounds; females average 50 to 65 pounds making them muscular and athletic.
Their lean muscular bodies and great athletic ability make them an easy pet to be around as they adapt easily to any environment. Nonetheless, due to less body fat, they are most comfortable indoor and also, a warm fleece coat will keep her warm during winter.
Recognized in thirty color forms, of which variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red and blue (gray) can appear uniquely or in combination.
They are laid back dogs, calm and independent dog, easy to train when they want. Extremely lazy they love to relax. They have a very weird sleeping position, you can find them asleep on their back with all the legs up in the air.
Intelligence / Trainability
Easy to train but you get them already kennel trained. They are intelligent as well as affectionate with a quiet disposition making them great pets.
Generally, a greyhound is not a barker but can pick it up if another dog barks a lot nearby.
Besides, they learn quickly but need to be taught toilet training, how to climb stairs, how to handle separation anxiety and to get along with other pets and family members for easy transition.
Children and Other Pets
Greyhound is amazing with kids, they are therapeutic dogs used by a lot of people. Great for indoor and outdoor assistance. Importantly, make great pets due to being intelligent, affectionate, laid back, clean canine companions. Even so, train your child on how to treat the greyhound to avoid disturbing it when relaxing. She/he might be aggressive to a child who doesn’t respect her needs and boundaries.
They can co-exist with small pets but one should ask if they are trained at the breeders before taking her home. Their natural instinct can come on board if not yet trained as they have been bred to chase small animals.
Many greyhounds cannot live in a home with small animals. With training, it is possible to co-exist.
Greyhound has minimal health issues as careful selective breeding is done leading to less genetic defects. Despite this Greyhounds are instinctive chasers, they’re especially vulnerable to being knocked down by a vehicle, as they will take off in traffic or busy areas too. Get a leash for outdoor activities to avoid this.
Apart from this, they are prone to bloat, tumors, and hyperthermia (rigid paralysis due to exercise).
Most pet Greyhounds are ex-racing dogs and can suffer from any health problems associated with their past lifestyle from tick-borne, intestinal bacterial infections and protozoal infections (giardia and coccidia). Regular vet checkup can assist any health issues if detected early hence do them frequently.
Due to low body fat, they are sensitive to chemicals and other antihistamines. Buy friendly shampoos and for medication liaise with your vet for greyhound friendly medicine when needed.
Caring for a Greyhound
If you are gone for so long a greyhound doesn’t like that and can get separation anxiety. They have always been around people or other dogs so do not like to be left alone.
Greyhound is a chaser bred and you might need to walk her on a leash when going to the park or neighbourhood. Remember if something may catch their eye then might go after it to up to 40 miles-per-hour, if not well trained.
Greyhound doesn’t require a lot of exercises and you can take them for a walk which helps burn energy, stimulate their mind and strengthen their bond with you. Undoubtedly, this will keep them fit and happy as well as healthy. They love to relax a lot and can lazy around all day in their sleeping positions.
Greyhound is used to eating and sleeping in a crate you can get a crate for them so as to fit well in their new homely environment.
Get all the supplies from food, a comfy bed, a collar suitable for her long head and keep your house safe especially if children are around.
Easy to groom, can bathe when necessary, have less doggy oduor and do not need to be washed daily. You can do a quick bath, use a shampoo formulated for canines, rinse thoroughly to avoid skin irritation and dry with a good towel.
Due to their short coat, they are easy to groom. You can regularly brush her coat to keep it in great condition with a soft brush as they are minimal shedders. This will allow you to find tangles, matting or clumps of undercoat. Combing is an important step in optimum skin and coat care.
When you go for checkup ensure the vet checks the ears for mites and infections especially if he is scratching his ears, he’s irritated and shaking his head.
Maintain short nails to avoid any hazardous injuries and to allow your dog to walk comfortably. A greyhound nail grows quickly, you can use a good nail trimmer at home or opt for a groomer or vet if you are afraid to hurt your dog.
Brush their teeth 3 times a weekly with a good toothbrush and toothpaste to avoid building up of tartar and plaque. Use a toothpaste formulated for dogs, not human toothpaste.
Greyhound does not need a lot of exercise, running around, a daily walk of 20-30 minutes and spread are enough. It can splint for ten minutes a day. On the other hand, greyhound loves staying indoor relaxing and laying around.
Despite being an athletic dog they do not require a lot of exercises, backyard exercise is perfectly acceptable. Subsequently, a daily walk will help stimulate mental and physical stimulation as well as improve your bonding sessions.
Remember your dog age and condition determine the type of activity you can get him.
For older greyhound who don’t have the stamina to dash off a good walk will do. Exercise for a puppy greyhound may be a bit more than an older dog, she may require more playful activities.
Greyhound, have sensitive stomach hence need premium high-quality food. They do not require large amounts of food and typically eat about 4 cups of dry kibble daily.
Sometimes you might need to add a bit of water in case he has difficulty eating but encourage them to chew the dry food which aid in good dental health. Clean fresh water should be available at all times.
High-quality food is important for their health and longevity as advised by your vet considering their age. Feeding properly in both younger and senior years can help them as they age. Recommended brands mostly are Nutro, ProPlan, Science Diet, Eukanuba, etc. but it’s good to ask your vet also.
Puppies grow rapidly and their diet may change from time to time as they develop. To start with they can do milk and wet food as advised by your vet.
Modify his/her diet to suit her specific needs and balanced nutrients from proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, water, and minerals. Used raised food and water bowls to accommodate their tall bodies as they feed.
Meat should be the main ingredient in the greyhound meal, avoid ingredients that can cause bloating and diarrhoea, artificial colouring and fillers as they have a sensitive stomach.
Greyhounds that are actively and regularly competing in agility or high-energy activities need higher amounts of protein and fat in their diets.
Average Cost to keep/care for a Greyhound
This is a breed that is low maintenance but to keep her comfortable you need to be prepared before bringing her home.
She will need food, dog supplies like toys, deworming, vet visits, insurance, grooming, microchipping and flea treatment, to name a few.
They have short hair and shed very little. Clearly, they require minimum grooming other than an occasional bath, brushing and nail clipping keeping their maintenance low.
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Buying a dog is a huge step. You might need to know the history and past of the dog. It might be hard if it’s from a rescue center or farm.
First, meet the dog at the breeder address to interact before taking her home. This enables you to know her behavior and health issues beforehand. You are able to observe her temperament and know if it will suit your lifestyle.
You should always do your research when looking to find a pet not only, a Greyhound but also because you want a great dog for your family that will fit in well quickly.
Some health problems are inherited. Get a dog that you know the parents’ health history to avoid this.
Buy the dog from a reputable breeder as all this information is available plus medical records and certificates. Do not run to buy a cheap greyhound from an advertisement.
Lastly, Pure breed dog is better but might be expensive, be ready both emotional and financially.