Other names: English Greyhound
First bred as a hunting companion and a racing dog, the Greyhound has become a popular family pet. Although capable of a top speed of up to 40mph, the greyhound is a placid and gentle breed that prefers to spend most of its time relaxing. Greyhounds are most happy in quiet, relaxed environments. These gentle animals make excellent pets for families with small children and other dogs.
Key facts about the Greyhound
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
Although there is no scientific evidence, there are suggestions that greyhound-like dogs existed as long as 4,000 years ago. Reference to these animals appear in ancient Egyptian culture, and they may have been used as hunting dogs by Celtic tribes from 5th and 6th century BC. The first reports of the modern greyhound appear in the 18th century. It was then officially recognised by British kennel authorities in the 19th century. Since then, the Greyhound has had a long and illustrious career as a hunting companion and racing dog.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 10 - Sighthounds
Section 3 : Short-haired Sighthounds
Physical characteristics of the Greyhound
Female : Between 27 and 28 in
Male : Between 28 and 30 in
Female : Between 62 and 73 lb
Male : Between 62 and 73 lb
A greyhound’s coat can be one of any 30 recognised colours, including white, brown, black, fawn, grey, and blue/grey.
Type of coat
Short and smooth with some shedding.
Eye colour varies, although it’s likely to be dark brown or a darker green.
Greyhounds have lean, muscular frames with a deep chest, powerful legs, and a flexible spine. Greyhounds are dolichocephalic, which means they have a long, narrow skull and an elongated muzzle.
Good to know
Because of a greyhounds sensitivity to pesticides, speak to your vet before using any flea collars or sprays. The same goes for any ticks treatments.
The Greyhounds long, lean physique isn't suited to hard surfaces; make sure they have a nice, comfy bed made from soft material.
Greyhounds have unique blood chemistry. They have a high amount of red blood cells, and their livers have lower levels of certain enzymes. If your Greyhound has any blood tests, make sure your vet is aware of your dog's unusual blood chemistry as it can to misdiagnosis.
Greyhounds can appear a bit aloof and unfriendly towards strangers, but they’re very affectionate and extremely loyal to members of their own pack; this includes owners, young children, and other pets.
Greyhound puppies are full of energy and love to play, although they tend to mellow as they get older. Despite their athletic frames and blistering pace, adult greyhounds are a bunch of couch potatoes.
Although breed for high-energy, intense activities, Greyhounds tend to be calm and docile pets who prefer the quiet life. They rarely get overexcited by houseguests and tend to adapt well to new situations and environments.
The Greyhound has a high-level of intelligence and responds well to training. However, because of their gentle nature, handlers and owners should always use gentle commands combined with reward-based training methods.
With its excellent vision and athletic physique, the greyhound is tailor-made for hunting. Anyone who has ever seen a greyhound race or a coursing competition will know just how quickly this dog can move and how determined they become once they’ve locked onto their target.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Greyhounds are neither fearful or wary of strangers, they’re just not that interested in them. This doesn't mean that the greyhound is shy or nervous, they just prefer to stay out of the spotlight and will rarely, if ever, display the attention seeking behaviour associated with more playful and energetic breeds.
Greyhounds are definitely one of the most independent dog breeds. As long as they get one good exercise session per day, greyhounds are content to spend the rest of their time lazing about in their own company. This "you do your thing and I'll do mine" approach to life makes the greyhound an excellent pet for busy people with hectic lifestyles.
Behaviour of the Greyhound
Greyhounds have a strong independent streak and are very comfortable with their own company. In fact, the vast majority of greyhounds prefer a little bit of “me time” and are happy to be left alone for hours at a time. These qualities make greyhounds a good choice for people living the 9-5 life.
Easy to train / obedience
Greyhounds respond best to gentle, reward-based training methods. As long as you stick to these techniques, it won't be long before you have a very well-trained and very obedient greyhound. You’ll also need a little bit of patience as greyhound puppies tend to be extremely boisterous, meaning they can struggle to focus on a specific task. So keep the training sessions short and fun.
Greyhounds are not known for being loud or consistent barkers. In fact, Greyhounds are one of the less vocal breeds. They rarely bark, howl, or whine.
Tendency to run away
Although they're unlikely to run away, Greyhounds are very capable of doing so. As well as being excellent sprinters, greyhounds are pretty good at jumping and can easily leap over a 3-foot fence. It's also a good idea to keep them on a leash in unfamiliar environments. Greyhounds have an exceptionally high prey-drive, meaning they'll chase after anything small and furry, and you're going to have a very hard time trying to catch them!