Description: The Greyhound is as swift as a ray of light and as graceful as a swallow. They are one of the oldest and purest known breeds. They have been used on practically all kinds of small game, but the hare are their natural quarry. They like to chase small animals and have a high prey drive. Normally a quiet dog, Greyhounds like to curl up on their dog bed and be lazy for most of the day. Outdoors they are very active, loving free space to run and something to chase. They are sleek, smooth dogs that are well muscled specifically for speed. They have small, fine ears with dark round eyes and a thin face. Their tail is long and whip like, and their forelimbs and chest are muscular. They are large sized dogs despite their thin look. Greyhounds are not only fast, but they also have rather large litters. Some litters can be up to 15 puppies. Greyhounds are lively, athletic and friendly. They are aloof with strangers, as most sight hounds are, but remain playful and faithful to their families. They are sensitive dogs, however, and care should be taken to ensure they are not treated harshly. They get along with most people and animals, although their natural instinct is to chase down smaller animals. They get along well with children, and are affectionate and gentle. Many Greyhounds come from racing backgrounds, and therefore may need to be retrained for a home life. The Greyhound makes a wonderful pet, racing companion and keen sight and scent hound.
Type: Sighthound and Pariah
Height: Females: 27 - 28 inches; Males: 28 - 30 inches.
Weight: Females: 60 - 65 lbs.; Males: 65 - 70 lbs.
Colors: Black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow brindle or any of these colors broken with white. Greyhounds can come in any color.
Coat: Fine and close, short and smooth over a sleek muscular body.
Temperament: Greyhounds are lively, friendly, intelligent and gentle. They are good with children, but not as good with other animals. Some are dog aggressive, and most have a high prey drive and will chase smaller animals. Greyhounds are sensitive, however, and should be treated kindly when training. They are affectionate and playful with their family, and quite aloof with strangers. Greyhounds love an orderly life with routine and without much change, although they adapt well to different situations. They enjoy runs as well as being a couch potato, have an affinity for their own bed or corner.
With Children: Yes, gentle and playful with children.
With Pets: They do have a natural tendency to chase anything small that moves and may be aggressive towards smaller dogs.
Special Skills: Racing dog, hunting dog, and family pet.
Watch-dog: High. Greyhounds are very aloof with strangers.
Care and Training: Minimal grooming of the Greyhound's short coat is required. A firm bristle brush or comb or a rub down with a chamois will ensure a coat that gleams. Shampoo only when necessary. Nails should be cut regularly. Greyhounds need regular exercise which should include daily walks and the opportunity for free run on hard ground. The Greyhound loves routines and will do best if required to stick to one. Be careful when training a Greyhound though, as you do not want to break their spirit. They are sensitive creatures.
Learning Rate: Medium. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Low.
Activity: Indoors - Low. Outdoors - Very High.
Special Needs: Attention, fenced yard, leash, socialization and training.
Living Environment: A quiet, predictable home is ideal for the Greyhound. An apartment is okay if they are exercised daily. An owner of a Greyhound should be a calm, confident person who will not use overbearing training methods.
Health Issues: Thin skin which may tear easily, hemophilia, anesthesia sensitivity, eye disease and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Greyhounds can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Racing Greyhounds may suffer from a variety of muscle and limb injuries, although they are among very few breeds not to suffer from hip dysplasia.
Life Span: 10 - 12 years.
Litter Size: 10 - 15 puppies.
Country of Origin: Egypt
History: Tracing the Greyhound ancestry back to the ancient Egyptians, the Greyhound was used to hunt large prey such as wolf, deer and wild boar. Pictures depicting Greyhounds can be found on the walls of tombs between 4000 and 3500 B.C. The breed is also mentioned in the book of Solomon of the Holy Bible. Some believe the breed traveled to Afghanistan, then was imported into Britain by the Celts by the 10th century. A popular dog, they were raised and owned by the ruling classes in Britain. There were once laws created to prohibit anyone owning a Greyhound unless they were of a certain high status in the 11th through 14th century. Only 500 years later did Queen Elizabeth I reverse this law and allow commoners to own them. They Greyhound's name has several theories behind it. Some believe it is derived from an old Saxon word, grei, meaning fine or beautiful. Others believe it originated from the Latin word gradus, which means swiftness, and still others say it is from the Old English language with the word grech or greg, meaning dog. A final theory is that it is a corruption of the word "gazehound" or "great hound", since it was so revered for its speed and kept by many a hunter. Greyhounds were used to hunt hare, and were irreplaceable with their speed. One Greyhound was said to have jumped 30 feet to catch his prey! In the 16th century the Greyhound is thought to have come to America by Spanish explorers. Regardless of its travels, the breed thrived with most countries, being the fastest dog in the world, and one of the fastest animals in the world. Clocked at 37 mph, with rumors of some reaching 45 mph, the breed was then used in the 20th century in dog races, and continue to race to this day. Greyhounds were not only known for their speed, but also for their reproductive abilities; one Greyhound named "Low Pressure" is said to have sired 3,014 puppies in his eight-year breeding span! Today Greyhounds are used as a racing dog and are often destroyed after a short, impersonal career.
First Registered by the AKC: 1885
AKC Group: Hound
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 10), KC (GB), UKC