Greyhound Breed Guide

Greyhounds, which are the fastest breed of dog, are tall and lean in build. They come in any color, including fawn, black, and red, and they often have white or brindle markings on their smooth, short coats. Their ears are small, their eyes are dark, and their tails are long and fine and curve upward slightly. These dogs range in weight from 60 to 70 pounds.

Greyhounds are one of the most ancient breeds known to man, and evidence of these dogs has been discovered in tomb carvings that date back to 2900 B.C. in Egypt.

Although they were bred to be sight hounds, Greyhounds are now primarily sweet and friendly family companions. They are gentle, quiet, and affectionate dogs, which makes them ideal choices for most families. Despite their size and speed, they don't require much exercise and are content to snuggle on the sofa.

Greyhounds are one of the most ancient breeds known to man, and evidence of these dogs has been discovered in tomb carvings that date back to 2900 B.C. in Egypt.

Greyhounds are calm and quiet dogs, which may be unexpected considering their extreme speed and physical ability. They are also very well mannered and make great housedogs and companions for families with children. They are good with other dogs and get along with most pets, if raised together. However, their natural hunting instinct means they tend to chase any small animal that runs by them.

Sensitive and timid dogs, Greyhounds prefer to live in calm and agreeable homes. They are eager to please, despite their inbred independence, and they crave love and attention from their human family members above all else. They very much enjoy hanging out with their family, watching television, playing games, and cuddling. They do not like being left alone for long periods, but they do well with other dogs for company.

While they don't need as much exercise as expected, Greyhounds do benefit from daily exercise. Long walks on a leash will do fine most days, but these dogs also enjoy an occasional sprint in a securely fenced back yard or a safe and secure field.

Greyhounds are generally healthy dogs, but they are at risk for certain health conditions. Esophageal achalasia, gastric torsion, and osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, are common in the breed. Additionally, these dogs have large hearts and frequently have heart murmurs. Some may also have elevated blood pressure. Even healthy Greyhounds may have low thyroid readings, low platelets, and lower or higher than normal values on certain blood chemistry levels. Because of this, Greyhounds should be seen by veterinarians with extensive experience working with the breed.

Fortunately, hip dysplasia is not common in the breed, and limping and other symptoms must always be investigated thoroughly to find their true cause. Certain racing injuries, such as toe and muscle injuries, are common in retired dogs, and Greyhounds are sensitive to anesthesia. These dogs also sometimes suffer from a condition called symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy, or SLO. SLO is a rare disease that may be autoimmune. SLO should be the first suspect when any nail issues are discovered.

Routine veterinary care, proper nutrition, regular exercise, timely vaccinations, and weight management help ensure Greyhounds live a full life of up to 13 years.

Greyhounds are typically well-behaved dogs that make great housemates. They are naturally clean, very quiet, and don't engage in much destructive or obnoxious behavior. The breed is large and independent, though, and will benefit from training early in life to ensure it understands basic command and expectations.

Younger Greyhounds, especially puppies, need a safe place to explore, run, and exercise. Because these dogs are so fast, they can get into trouble very quickly. They should never be allowed to run and play outdoors unless contained in a securely fenced yard.

Separation anxiety is one issue that owners of Greyhounds may have to deal with at some point. Many Greyhounds have spent their lives around other people and dogs, and they may become extremely uncomfortable and anxious when left alone. If a human family member cannot be home with these dogs most of the time, it is important to find a suitable canine companion to keep the Greyhound company.

The Greyhound's coat requires minimal care. An occasional brushing is generally enough to remove dead hair and keep the coat healthy and shiny. Grooming is best done with a rubber curry brush or hound mitt, and more frequent brushing can keep loose and dead hair off furniture and clothing.

Greyhounds rarely need bathing. In fact, the only time a bath may be needed is to remove a harmful or sticky substance from the coat. Using a shampoo designed for canines will help prevent skin irritation and ensure the coat is left smooth and fresh smelling.

The Greyhound's nails should be trimmed as needed, which is usually every few weeks. This breed is unusually sensitive about having its feet touched, and a professional groomer may be needed for nail clippings. The teeth should be brushed regularly to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and the ears should be checked weekly for excess wax or signs of infection. Redness, discharge, pain, or odor should be reported to a veterinarian right away.

Greyhounds are generally considered one of the most ancient dog breeds, and DNA evidence seems to support this belief. Evidence of the Greyhound's existence dates back to 2900 B.C. Throughout history, these dogs were primarily considered royal dogs, and in early times, only royalty was allowed to breed Greyhounds.

In England, as far back as the 9th century, breeders developed Greyhounds into impressive hunters of rabbits, deer, and foxes. The breed was brought to the United States in the 16th century by Spanish Explorers, who primarily used them as guard dogs. Greyhounds were among the first breeds recorded at dog shows in the United States.

Today, Greyhounds are kept as family companions most often in America, and the majority of Greyhound pets are former racing dogs. The dog has always been popular. In fact, the breed was owned by many famous Americans, including General George A. Custer and President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Greyhound in 1885.