Greyhounds are simply built to run. These natural athletes are the fastest dogs by far, clocking in at an incredible 40 to 45 miles per hour in some cases.
But that’s not all they do – they’ve also found success in other dog sports where their agility and speed are useful. When they’re not competing, Greyhounds are known for their mild demeanor and love of comfort.
Their slender, inverted-S shaped build has been the fascination of dog breeders and dog lovers for hundreds of years. The Greyhound is the classic racing dog upon which all others are judged.
TemperamentThe image of a Greyhound is that of a stately, elegant animal that never puts a foot wrong, almost akin to a ballerina. However, despite this appearance, Greyhounds are some of the friendliest dogs, getting along well with both their human family members and strangers. Greyhounds are generally non-aggressive to both people and dogs, but some may be wary of people they meet for the first time. When you do make friends with a Greyhound, they’re your friend for life. Greyhounds may be incredibly focused on the race track and in dog sports, but their real passion is for napping and lounging around. They love peace and quiet, and are sensitive to disruptions in their home. They have an independent streak due to their role as sighthounds, but this can be addressed by early training and socialization. As hunting dogs, they don’t get along well with cats and other small animals, but are friendly with other dogs.
The Ultimate Guide to Greyhound
Originally from the Middle East and Northern Africa, the Greyhound is the oldest purebred dog breed still in existence today. The Egyptians revered Greyhounds and restricted ownership to royalty. This tie to royalty and nobility would carry on into the middle ages, where European aristocrats would view the Greyhound as a sign of wealth, status, and influence. So much so, in fact, that the Greyhound would be included in portraits of rich European nobles. The rise of dog sports further cemented the Greyhound’s popularity, as the breed became the number one choice for lure coursing. Greyhounds were also used in England to rid fields of rabbits, badgers, and other small animals. This popularity in England carried over to the United States when Greyhounds were brought over in the late 19th century. While dog races are nowhere near as widespread as before, the Greyhound remains one of the most desirable breeds for dog lovers.
Key Characteristics of Greyhound
|Greyhound personality and temperament||
The image of a Greyhound is that of a stately, elegant animal that never puts a foot wrong, almost akin to a ballerina. However, despite this appearance, Greyhounds are some of the friendliest dogs, getting along well with both their human family members and strangers.
Greyhounds are generally non-aggressive to both people and dogs, but some may be wary of people they meet for the first time. When you do make friends with a Greyhound, they’re your friend for life.
Greyhounds may be incredibly focused on the race track and in dog sports, but their real passion is for napping and lounging around. They love peace and quiet, and are sensitive to disruptions in their home.
They have an independent streak due to their role as sighthounds, but this can be addressed by early training and socialization. As hunting dogs, they don’t get along well with cats and other small animals, but are friendly with other dogs.
Despite their tremendous bursts of speed, Greyhounds don’t need as much exercise as one would think. An hour each day of walking, split up into 20 to 30 minute sessions, will usually be enough for most Greyhounds.
However, you also need to be able to give your Greyhound a fenced-off area where they can run off-leash. A couple of times a week, your Greyhound will feel the need to go full speed ahead, and no human being is going to be able to keep up with a Greyhound that wants to do some sprints.
Doing this outdoors is not advised because the Greyhound is exceptionally good at spotting small animals from a distance. Once they lock on to their prey, they’re going to take off like a rocket to chase it down. Other options may involve local lure coursing exercise groups, where you may be able to let your Greyhound run in a controlled environment.
Greyhounds have an aerodynamic shape, and their coat simply follows that sleek, streamlined shape. Their short, low-maintenance coat sheds regularly throughout the year, so brushing multiple times a week will help keep the shedding under control.
Bathing does not need to be very frequent, around every two months is enough for most Greyhounds since they don’t smell. Their natural oils are vital to protect the skin, and bathing too often can strip the skin of these oils.
Since Greyhounds run around outside frequently, it may be good to get dog-specific wipes to clean up their paws instead of giving them baths too often.
If possible, tooth brushing should be done daily to prevent tartar buildup and gum problems. Nail trimming can be done around once a month, while an ear inspection and cleaning should be done once a week to prevent bacterial infections.
Greyhounds were intended to chase down small prey at speeds that no human or horse can match. Because of this, Greyhounds are remarkably intelligent and independent, which may make some Greyhounds challenging to train.
Their high level of sensitivity means that they respond much better to positive reinforcement, and patience will be necessary to get them to do what you want.
The most important commands to teach your Greyhound immediately will be the commands to sit and stay. Greyhounds will naturally run after any prey that triggers their strong prey drive, so getting them to resist that urge is critical for their safety.
The Greyhound’s high intelligence means that short, focused training sessions work best, as they may get bored after attempting the same command repeatedly. Multiple sessions per day with different objectives for each session will yield the highest chance of success.
Consistent and patient training can result in a Greyhound that excels at almost any task that does not require long-term stamina.
|Greyhound lifespan and health issues||
Greyhounds have an average lifespan for large breed dogs, and can live for 10 to 14 years. Greyhounds may be prone to:
|Greyhound size and space requirements||
Greyhounds are a large breed, but their slender physique means they’re not particularly heavy. Most Greyhounds will be 27 to 30 inches tall at the shoulder, but only weigh between 60 to 70 pounds, which is far lighter than most other dog breeds of the same height.
Due to their calm and relaxed indoor temperament, Greyhounds are able to adapt to most sizes of homes. There are many Greyhound owners who live in all sorts of properties, from single-bedroom apartments to multi-acre villas.
The only real requirement of a Greyhound is a fenced outdoor space where they can run at full speed. If this need is fulfilled, a Greyhound is more than happy to stay in whatever kind of home their owner has, so long as they’re able to stay warm and cozy. Greyhounds are indoor dogs, since their short coats are not meant to protect them from the elements.
- Greyhounds have remarkable eyesight and field of vision, being able to see almost behind themselves.
- The Greyhound can sometimes be confused with the Italian Greyhound, which is a completely different dog breed.
- It’s easy to housetrain Greyhounds, and they respond very well to crate training.
How can I take good care of my Greyhound or Puppy?
Greyhounds tend to be gentle, non confrontational dogs so long as they are properly socialized. If you are getting a Greyhound puppy, start with socialization work immediately after bringing them home. Because they are so sensitive, introducing new situations and experiences gradually is the best approach. Doing this early and consistently is the best way to ensure that your Greyhound grows up to be even-tempered and calm.
Greyhounds may not weigh a lot relative to other dogs, but they still need premium-quality dog food to fulfill their energy needs. If you are getting a Greyhound from a reputable breeder, they will likely have recommendations for the brand of dog food to give. Some of the more active Greyhounds may require a high-protein dog food to maintain muscle mass. Your veterinarian may have specific recommendations for your dog, depending on their health condition.
Greyhound puppies brought home at 8 weeks old will have to be brought to the vet multiple times over the next couple of weeks. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on a specific schedule for your puppy based on their development and the common transmissible diseases in your area. Follow your vet’s advice to give your Greyhound puppy the best start in life.
Most Asked Greyhound Questions
+How Much do Greyhound Puppies Cost
Greyhound puppies for sale from registered breeders can cost anywhere from $1500 to $2500, and dogs with a racing pedigree may go for even more than that. Testing needs to be done to ensure the overall health of both the mother and the puppies before the sale of any dogs, and the cost of those tests is usually included in the price of a Greyhound puppy. Ethical breeders will make sure that any puppies sold are free from health issues and have a good temperament.