Originally, greyhounds were bred as hunting dogs. Their job was to chase foxes, deer and rabbits. Greyhounds are also the fastest of the dog breeds, running up to 40 to 45 miles an hour. Because of their great speed, they have made a name for themselves as racing dogs and are still used as racing dogs today.
Greyhounds stand about 2 feet, 1 inch to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 60 and 75 pounds. The greyhound has a sleek, aerodynamic build with a narrow head and long legs.
Greyhounds make great pets. In addition to their grace and speed, people love greyhounds for their sweet and mild nature. They have a friendly nature toward people and other dogs. Greyhounds are loyal and affectionate to their family. The greyhound is not aggressive towards strangers, but he will let you know that someone is approaching your home.
Intelligent and independent, the greyhound can be considered “cat like” in many ways. Greyhounds do have a sensitive side and will react to any tension in the home. With mistreatment, the greyhound can become shy or timid in nature.
This ancient breed probably originated in Egypt, and greyhounds have been prized dogs throughout history. This breed has won the admiration of many different cultures, and greyhounds are the only dog breed to be mentioned in the Bible.
Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I of England, President Rutherford B. Hayes and General Custer were all greyhound owners.
The greyhound was one of the first breeds to appear in American dog shows. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The first official coursing race took place the next year. In 1906, the National Coursing Association was founded in the United States. Greyhound racing became very popular and in many states it remains popular until this very day. It is, however, a very controversial sport because so many retired racing greyhounds are abandoned, euthanized or sold to laboratories.
To learn more about the greyhound, go to our article Choosing a Greyhound.
What You Should Know About Owning a Greyhound
Have you ever wondered about owning a greyhound? Greyhounds make great pets, and they are suitable for any type of home including an apartment or condo.
Here’s a fun fact about greyhounds. While they are known for their speed, the greyhound’s favorite pastime is actually sleeping. The truth is, they love to cuddle up on a soft couch, chair or bed and enjoy a nice nap. The greyhound is not a destructive dog. Greyhounds are very docile and quiet with a low indoor energy level.
The disposition of greyhounds is very loving and affectionate. Usually the affection they feel for their family will also extend to strangers, but greyhounds can be aloof with some strangers.
Even though they are fast runners, the greyhound is a fairly low energy dog. Greyhounds require (and enjoy) a daily walk to help keep them from becoming bored. But keep your greyhound on a leash during a walk to prevent him from taking off after small animals.
Whether you buy your dog as a puppy or adopt him as an adult, you should begin training your greyhound as soon as you get him home. Greyhounds can have a stubborn streak and they are very independent. So you need to be confident and consistent in your training methods. Just remember that this is a sensitive breed, so you will do better with patience and training methods that use rewards rather than punishment. Treats work great as a training reward.
Greyhounds have a short, smooth coat that is very easy to care for. It is also a very thin hair coat, which means your greyhound can get the shivers in cold or wet weather. If you live in colder climates, you should have a warm coat for your greyhound to wear in the rain and snow. Also remember that the greyhound’s thin coat leaves him vulnerable to scrapes and nicks. A greyhound can be any color including black, fawn, red, blue, gray or white. Their coats can also be various shades of brindle.
Greyhounds are low to average shedders, depending on the various times of year. A greyhound requires only minimal grooming.
To learn more about owning a greyhound, go to What You Should Know About Owning a Greyhound.
What Is the Greyhound Temperament?
Greyhounds usually have a wonderful temperament. They are friendly and non-aggressive, although some greyhounds can be a bit aloof with strangers.
The greyhound temperament is a good fit with almost any household. They are not territorial dogs and they are not prone to barking. Greyhounds are graceful and quiet dogs that are incredibly loving. Greyhounds love to be petted and rubbed, and they enjoy the loving company of their human families. They make excellent house dogs because they are quiet, clean and very low key.
Because of his great speed, the lazy nature of a greyhound may surprise you. His favorite pastime is sleeping on a soft couch or bed. Greyhounds have a very low energy level, which is surprising considering their great speed. Greyhounds need and enjoy a daily leash walk, and because of their ability to run, a greyhound may become a great jogging companion.
Greyhounds have a very strong prey drive. The urge to chase small animals is so strong that it will likely take over, regardless of any training to the contrary. Greyhounds will bolt off after small animals like rabbits and squirrels. That’s why it is so important never to let a greyhound off-leash in an unfenced area.
Greyhounds are mellow dogs who do well around children. Greyhounds are known to be patient with children, but they do best in homes with older children who know how to behave around dogs.
Greyhounds do very well with other dogs, however, they may view smaller dogs, cats, and small pets as prey – especially if these animals run from them.
To learn more about greyhound temperament, read our article What Is the Greyhound Temperament.
How Fast Can a Greyhound Run?
The greyhound has a sleek, aerodynamic build with a narrow head and long legs, and the greyhound is perfectly constructed for high-speed pursuit. Greyhounds can sprint at speeds up to 40 or 45 miles per hour, making them the fastest of all dog breeds. A greyhound can sustain his top running speed for about 250 meters (about 273 yards).
Greyhounds were originally bred as hunting dogs to chase prey such as rabbits, foxes and deer. Because of their great speed, greyhounds have made a name for themselves as racing dogs and they are still used for that purpose to this day.
To learn more about the greyhound’s speed, go to How Fast Can a Greyhound Run?
What Is the Average Greyhound Lifespan?
Greyhounds have a very long lifespan, considering their size, and they tend to enjoy good health for most of their lives.
If you’re wondering about the greyhound lifespan, you’ll be glad to know that they live fairly long lives. The average greyhound lifespan is about 10 to 13 years. That makes the greyhound one of the longest-lived big dogs. Some greyhounds have lived as long as 15 years, but this is not the norm.
Many factors contribute to the long greyhound lifespan. Even though these dogs are racers, they are known to be quite lazy. These are low maintenance dogs with low exercise demands, which means they have minimal stress in their lives. Combine that low stress with a hereditary lack of major genetic health problems that are often found in other breeds and you’ll get a dog that is quite healthy.
As long as they live in a calm, happy home where they are fed a healthy diet and given the daily exercise they require, greyhounds should live a long, happy life. Even the retired race dogs have the same life expectancy.
To learn more about the greyhound lifespan, go to What Is the Average Greyhound Lifespan?