A Complete Guide to Greyhound Dogs

The greyhound is one of the oldest purebred dog breeds, originating in Ancient Egypt. The breed has changed only slightly since those days. It is a highly graceful and athletic breed—in fact, the greyhound is the fastest breed of dog, with a top speed of 45 miles per hour.

Appearance

Height: Greyhounds are typically 25 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.

Weight: Greyhounds typically weigh between 55 and 85 pounds.

Coat: Greyhounds have a short and fine coat. There is no undercoat.

Ears and Eyes: Ears are small, thin and typically folded back. Eyes are dark in color but can communicate many emotions.

Tail: Greyhounds have long, straight tails that typically point downwards.

Disposition

The greyhound is a quiet and gentle breed of dog. Greyhounds may behave differently around strangers, but generally they are friendly dogs. They respond best to calm, yet firm owners.

AKC Group: Hound

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Training: Greyhounds respond well to training, as they are intelligent dogs. Even retired racing greyhounds can quickly adapt to the rules of a home.

Ideal Environment: This is not a breed of dog that is appropriate for a small apartment or condo. Greyhounds need to be able to run, so a large yard or access to a nearby park is essential. Former racing dogs will occasionally maintain their instinct to chase prey, so there is a risk if you have a cat or another small pet in your home. Greyhounds are good dogs for families with children, although they are not the kind of dog you can play rough with.

Health and Care

Feeding: Greyhounds are prone to bloat, so it’s advisable to feed them two to three small meals per day, rather than one large meal.

Grooming: Greyhounds have short hair and require only minimal grooming.

Exercise: Greyhounds are natural runners and it’s very important that they be allowed to do so. The breed does not require a tremendous amount of exercise, but an open space and the ability to run is a must.

Health Problems: Greyhounds have few of the common dog health problems that plague other purebred dogs. As are many other long-limbed dogs, greyhounds are prone to osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Average Lifespan: Greyhounds typically live for 12 to 15 years.

Adopting a Greyhound

Greyhounds typically have a very short racing career and, sadly, many are abandoned after they can no longer race. If you are interesting in adding a greyhound to your family, please consider greyhound adoption. There are greyhound rescue organizations throughout North America that are looking to place retired racing dogs with families who will love and care for them.