Greyhounds were originally bred as hunting dogs to chase hare, foxes, and deer. Canines in this dog breed can reach speeds of 40 to 45 miles per hour, making them the Ferraris of the dog world. Not surprisingly, Greyhounds made a name for themselves as racing dogs and are still used in racing today. They also participate in many other dog sports, including lure coursing, conformation, obedience, and agility. Beyond their grace and speed, people love them for their sweet, mild nature.
Dog Breed Group:Hound Dogs
Height:2 feet, 1 inch to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:50 to 85 pounds
Life Span:12 to 15 years
- Although a Greyhound puppy is an adorable addition to your family, many sweet adult Greyhounds are available for adoption after their racing days are over. Every year, many “retired” racing Greyhounds are abandoned, euthanized, or sold to laboratories, but they can adapt wonderfully to home life and give you many years of companionship. Before you put your name on a waiting list for a Greyhound puppy, check out the world of Greyhound rescue.
- Because of their thin coats, Greyhounds can get the shivers. If you live in a cold climate, buy a warm coat for your dog to wear in snow or rain.
- A Greyhound should never be allowed to run off leash except in a securely fenced area. Greyhounds have a strong prey drive and will take off after a rabbit or squirrel before you even see it.
- When Greyhounds aren’t socialized — exposed to many different people, places, and situations — they can become timid and have problems adapting to changes in schedule or environment. Take the time to socialize your dog or puppy.
- Greyhounds are generally a loving breed and affectionate to their people. Usually this friendliness extends to strangers, but they can be aloof with some or all strangers.
- Although many believe that this breed is made to run and has the destructive energy to go with it, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Greyhounds are generally docile and quiet, and they’re world-class nappers. They do well in apartments and homes with small yards because of their low indoor energy.
- Muzzling Greyhounds, especially retired racing Greyhounds, is a common practice. Greyhounds will nip at other dogs and can hurt smaller dogs and animals if their prey drive takes over. Many rescues recommend muzzling adopted Greyhounds, at least until they get settled into their new homes and you have a better idea of their temperament.
- Greyhounds are low to average shedders depending on the time of the year and the individual dog, and they require minimal grooming. The lack of a heavy coat leaves their skin vulnerable to scrapes, tears, and nicks.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.