What Is the Average Greyhound Lifespan?

Pet owners love greyhounds because of their quiet, even-tempered demeanor. These wonderful dogs 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.

To help you better understand why the greyhound lifespan is as long as it is, read on to learn more about the history of the greyhound breed and to find out how you can help your dog live as long as possible.

History of the Greyhound Breed

With cave drawings and Egyptian artifacts portraying the greyhound as far back as 8.000 years ago, the greyhound is among the oldest of all dog breeds. In England, greyhounds have long been associated with royalty. You’ll find this noble dog is the subject of many paintings and you’ll find him in English literature throughout the centuries.

This ancient breed probably originated in Egypt, and greyhounds have been prized dogs throughout history. Greyhound-like drawings appear on the walls of Egyptian tombs dating from 2200 BC. The Egyptians treasured these hounds, and their birth and death were recorded as if they were members of the family. Here’s an interesting fact – greyhounds were often mummified and buried with their owners for the trip to the afterlife.

This breed was greatly admired by 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 origin of the name “greyhound” is a subject of much debate. Some believe that greyhounds used to be only gray in color. Others believe the name is Old English. That’s because “grei” means “dog” and “hundr” means “hunter.” This argument is strengthened by the fact that greyhounds did originate as hunting dogs. Another possibility is that the name is derived from “gre” or “gradus”, which would mean “first rank among dogs.” Finally, some believe that the name greyhound originated from “Greekhound” since the breed first arrived in England from the Greeks.

The greyhound is the quintessential hunter. Greyhounds were bred to hunt prey for thousands of years and they are the fastest of all dog breeds. Greyhounds can sprint at speeds of up to 40 or 45 miles an hour.

Today, greyhounds are bred for racing but they are becoming increasingly popular as family pets. They are not territorial and they seldom bark. 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.

About the Greyhound Lifespan

Why does the greyhound have an average lifespan of about 10 to 13 years? Many factors contribute to the long greyhound lifespan. Even though these dogs are racers, they are known to be quite lazy. This is a low maintenance dog 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.

While the greyhound is a generally healthy dog, there are a number of medical conditions that can affect him. These conditions include:

  • An abnormal response to anesthesia
  • Bloat
  • Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
  • Minor heart murmurs

As long as they live in a calm, happy home where they are fed a healthy diet and given the daily exercise they require, they should live long, happy lives. Even the retired race dogs have the same long life expectancy.

To make sure that your greyhound lives a long, healthy life, feed him a healthy diet and make sure that he gets enough exercise. A greyhound doesn’t require much daily exercise – a nice long daily walk should be all he needs to stay healthy and happy.

The retired racing greyhound also lives a long life and makes a great pet for adoption. According to the New Jersey Greyhound Adoption Program, Inc., most greyhounds are retired from their athletic activities by the time they are 2 to 5 years of age. To learn more about retired racing greyhounds go to our article Greyhounds Get a Second Chance.

How Fast Can a Greyhound Run?

Have you ever wondered, “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).

The greyhound’s running style and gait are what allow him to run so fast. Greyhounds run using a rotary gallop style – a style that lends itself to sprinting. In this running style, the order of the legs hitting the ground rotates – first the front left leg touches the ground, then the front right leg, then the rear right leg and finally the rear left leg.

Like the cheetah, the greyhound uses a two stage gait. In the first stage, the body and legs are stretched out parallel to the ground. In the second stage, the body is compressed with front and rear legs overlapping beneath the greyhound. This is when the legs propel off the ground to push forward with speed.

How Fast Can a Greyhound Run Compared to Other Animals?

So how fast can a greyhound run compared to other animals? The quickest animal in the world is the cheetah. Cheetahs are known to run up to 70 miles an hour at top speed, but the cheetah can only sustain that top speed for about 200 meters (about 219 yards).

So now that we’ve answered the question, “How fast can a greyhound run?”, let’s look at a different question: Which is faster, a greyhound or a racehorse? This question was addressed at a race track in the United Kingdom where officials raced a top greyhound against a top thoroughbred racehorse over a 400 meter (437 yards) grass course. The greyhound won the race by seven horse lengths. The greyhound’s jackrabbit start was the key to its success. However, the thoroughbred horse was steadily gaining on the greyhound throughout the race, and had the course been longer, the horse would have overtaken the greyhound. Greyhounds are known for their sprinting, not their endurance.

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. However, the sport is coming under fire by many. To learn more, go to our article Greyhound Racing Comes Under Fire.

How Much Exercise Does a Greyhound Need?

Contrary to popular belief, a greyhound does not need a lot of exercise. Two twenty minute walks a day is usually enough exercise to keep your greyhound happy and healthy.

A greyhound will happily spend most of its time indoors relaxing and laying around. Greyhounds need to burn off their conserved energy with a run or walk. Backyard exercise is perfectly acceptable for a greyhound, but daily walks provide more mental and physical stimulation for your greyhound – and these walks help to build a better relationship between you and your dog.

According to the National Greyhound Adoption Program, how much outdoor exercise your greyhound will need depends in large part upon the size of his indoor living space. If you live in an apartment or small house with no back yard, your greyhound will need about 2 to 3 short walks per day, or 1 to 2 long walks. A good run in a completely enclosed fenced area will also be enjoyable for your greyhound.

The age and physical condition of your greyhound will also determine the type of activity you can engage him in. For instance, a senior greyhound may not be as eager to join in a hearty romp with other dogs but he would enjoy a nice quiet walk with you.

Remember that greyhounds are sprinters, not distance runners. So before you run long distances with your dog, start slowly with a one-mile jog and slowly work your way up from there. If your dog is not conditioned for it, a long run can be detrimental to your greyhound’s health.

Make sure to monitor your greyhound for signs of fatigue or overheating whether you are running or walking. Always carry a bottle of water in case your dog gets overheated. Never walk your dog in the heat. Early morning and evening walks are the best times to walk your dog during the warm weather. Remember, if the sidewalk is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog to walk on.

What Is the Greyhound Temperament?

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 quizzical, sometimes shy, sensitive, quiet and very gentle. Greyhounds are very smart dogs. They possess superior intellect and can exhibit surprising independence.

Like all dogs, greyhounds should be socialized at an early age. That means that they should be exposed to many different people, places, and situations. This will help to ensure that your greyhound grows up to be a well-rounded dog. When greyhounds are not properly socialized, they can become timid and they can have difficulty adapting to changes in their environment or their schedule. So take the time to properly socialize your greyhound.

These quiet, gentle, affectionate dogs can fit into almost any lifestyle, from a small condo in the city to the largest country home.

What Is the Greyhound Temperament Like?

The greyhound temperament is a good fit with almost any household. They are not territorial dogs and they seldom bark. 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. But don’t worry about being able to give this ex-racer enough exercise. Greyhounds are very happy with a daily walk, and that’s all the exercise they require. And as he gets older, your greyhound may even need to be coaxed into taking that daily walk.

Greyhounds have a very strong prey drive. The urge to chase small animals is so strong that it will likely prevail regardless of any training to the contrary. Greyhounds will bolt off after small animals like rabbits, cats and squirrels. That’s why it is so important never to let a greyhound off-leash in an unfenced area.

The greyhound is a big dog that can weigh anywhere from 60 to 75 pounds or more, but his gentle, quiet nature and his somewhat lazy disposition make him seem like more of a giant cat than a dog.

How Are Greyhounds with Children and Pets?

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. A greyhound is more likely to walk away from a teasing child than to snap at him. As with all breeds, you should always teach your children how to approach and touch your greyhound and to supervise any interactions they may have. Teach your children to never approach a dog while he is sleeping or eating, or to try to take the dog’s food away.

Greyhounds usually 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. Some greyhounds have a higher prey drive than others and in some cases, instinct can win out overtraining. In some cases, greyhounds have been known to injure or even kill smaller pets. And while your greyhound may be good friends with your cat, he may still see outdoor cats as fair game for hunting.

Temperament of the Track Greyhound

Track greyhounds have always been around other greyhounds, but other dog breeds. So other dog breeds and cats are foreign to them. A track greyhound has never seen another type of dog or a cat before. They recognize other greyhounds but they may be perplexed or frightened by other dog breeds – or, in some cases, they will simply ignore them. In some instances, track greyhounds can be a bit unpredictable with other dogs and cats, so if you’ve got other pets make sure that you discuss your home situation fully with the greyhound adoption group and make sure to choose a suitable dog for your home.

Because of their previous racing careers, track greyhounds are very used to being crated and transported, and they are used to spending time around strangers. The greyhound breed is rarely nervous or fearful.

You must remember that some track greyhounds have never been alone, so they may suffer from separation anxiety when their owners are away. For this reason, you may want to consider adopting two greyhounds instead of one.

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.

Greyhounds have a very strong prey drive. If you have a yard, you will need a solid fence to keep your greyhound from chasing animals they might identify as prey, including rabbits, squirrels and cats. Because of its strong prey drive, a greyhound should never be allowed to run off leash except in a securely fenced area. If your greyhound were to take off after a small animal, you’d have a tough time catching him because of his ability to run so fast. Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed and they can run at speeds up to 40 to 45 miles an hour.

To learn more about greyhounds, read our article Breed of the Month: Why We Love Greyhounds. 

Although you may be drawn to an adorable greyhound puppy, you should also consider greyhound adoption. When their racing days are over, many retired racing greyhounds are abandoned, euthanized or sold to laboratories. But if they are adopted, these adult greyhounds can easily adapt to home life and give you many years of great companionship.

Adopting Greyhounds

The majority of greyhound pets in America are former racing dogs. You may be surprised to find out that there are actually more ex-racing dogs in homes than there are still on the track. There are approximately 120,000 Greyhounds living as pets in U.S. homes while only 55,000 greyhounds still race on the track.

Although there are a small amount of greyhounds bred for racing, there are very few non-racing greyhounds bred in the United States. Most families interested in owning a greyhound will adopt a retired racetrack dog because there are so many ex-racers in need of good homes.

What Are Greyhounds Like?

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. This 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.

Like all dogs, greyhounds should be socialized at an early age. That means your greyhound should be exposed to many different people, places, and situations. This will help to ensure that your greyhound grows up to be a well-rounded dog. When greyhounds are not properly socialized, they can become timid and they can have difficulty adapting to changes in their environment or their schedule. So take the time to properly socialize your greyhound.

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.

It is a common practice to muzzle greyhounds, especially if they had been working as race dogs. Greyhounds will nip at other dogs and can hurt smaller dogs and animals when their prey drive takes over. Rescues often recommend muzzling adopted greyhounds until they get settled into their new home. Then you should have a better idea of their temperament.

Taking Care of Greyhounds

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. Greyhounds have no fat layer on their bodies to keep them warm in the rain or cold 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.

All About Greyhounds

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.

Florida Votes to End Dog Racing — What Now?

The Change Will Affect Thousands of Dogs in Florida

Voters in Florida have passed an amendment that will end dog racing in the state by 2020. Amendment 13 to the Florida Constitution was put on the ballot for November to phase out greyhound racing tracks around the state.

The amendment needed 60 percent approval to pass, and it received 69 percent, which came as a surprise to both sides of the ballot. The group that pushed for the amendment cited mistreatment of animals as a key reason to support the approval.

There are a total of 17 dog racing tracks in the United States, and 11 of them are in Florida. Before the amendment passed, the state was one of six states that still allowed dog racing in the United States. Now that 11 of the tracks will be closing, that means that thousands of greyhounds around the state will soon be in need of homes.

There are around five to seven thousand greyhounds currently in Florida’s dog racing industry, and as the tracks close over the next two years, they’ll all need to find a place to go. Adopting retired racing greyhounds isn’t a new thing, either. The National Greyhound Association says that around 98 percent of retired racing greyhounds find forever homes and the remaining two percent work on farms as breeders. But with so many more greyhounds on their way, people are concerned that they’ll end up overflowing shelters.

What Can You Do to Help?

Since the amendment was just passed, pet owners who are interested in some of these dogs should be patient. The tracks are going to close over a period of time, and most haven’t announced their intentions yet. Since they have a little over two years to shut down operations, the retired greyhounds will likely be released over a period of time.

Keep an eye on your local greyhound rescue organization. More information about the fate of the dogs will likely be available later in 2019. Chances are these greyhounds will be headed to groups all around the country, and there are plenty of groups that you can find one near you! You can look through agencies in your state here.

People who want to adopt greyhounds also need to be aware of what it’s like to bring a retired racing dog into their home. They’re not for everyone, but the homes and families that they do fit with, they make wonderful, loving, lifelong companions.

Here are some quick facts on adopting retired racing greyhounds:

  • Racing Greyhounds are frequently handled and trained, so they’re familiar with people. This makes them very sociable dogs. They often have experience with children as well, which makes them suitable for families.
  • Racing Greyhounds are often shy and gentle dogs. They’re highly intelligent and independent.
  • Greyhounds retire from racing anywhere from 2 to 5 years old, and they can live for 12 years.
  • Racing Greyhounds are bred to be highly-trained athletes, so physical and temperamental problems have been avoided.
  • Racing Greyhounds only know other Greyhounds. They’ve never been around other breeds, and they’ve never encountered a cat. Some retired racers can do well in a cat household, but many cannot. If you have a cat, your organization can help you find a dog that can handle felines.
  • Some racing Greyhounds love to run after they retire, some don’t. Greyhounds can reach speeds up to 45 mph for a short period of time.
  • Although racing Greyhounds are trained, it’s not in the way you think. Most retired Greyhounds don’t know how to sit, play games, or climb stairs because they’ve never had a reason to learn. With patience and time, they can learn.
  • Racing Greyhounds have a strict schedule, and once they retire it helps to keep a steady routine with feeding and walking.
  • When you first bring a retired racer home, it might be a little strange for your new dog, because he’s never been in a house before! He might be scared, stressed, or confused but will adjust over time.

While retired racers need a little more effort at first than other rescues, they can still make a great companion. Often referred to as couch potatoes, Greyhounds like to sleep for up to 18 hours a day! Retired racers seem to truly embody the definition of “retirement,” but they’ll still enjoy a run or a walk every day. You can learn more about the Greyhound breed here.