Dog Breeds 101: Greyhound

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The Greyhound is considered to be the world’s fastest dog. Their long legs and light weight allow for this dog to reach an average running speed of about 40 miles per hour. There are several members of the Greyhound family: the Greyhound, Afghan Hound, Borzoi, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Pharaoh Hound, Saluki, Scottish Deerhound, and Whippet. Old Turkish Temple drawings have shown that the oldest type of Greyhound dates back to 6000 B.C.E. As people from this region migrated around the globe, they took these dogs with them. [1]

Compared to other breeds, the Greyhound’s fur is easier to maintain because of how short it is. It should also be noted that the Greyhound has very thin skin which may tear easily.

Greyhounds are best known for their impressive speed and acceleration. This dog has a highly flexible spine, long and thin legs, and a muscular build. Furthermore, the Greyhound has long webbed toes. Their toes allow them to better grip the ground to propel themselves forward. [2] Indeed, this dog’s body was built to run.

These dogs are a part of the Sight Hound or Gazehound Group. They hunt according to what they see rather than what they can smell. This means they have accurate sight and are able to see an animal moving up to a half a mile away. Their sight combined with their speed makes them perfect for hunting game such as rabbits. [3]

As pets, Greyhounds make wonderful and loving companions. They are known to be gentle, quiet and sensitive in nature. They can be happy living in families with children as long as these children treat their dog with respect and kindness. They actually love the company of both humans and other dogs. Greyhounds are also known to be devoted, brave, loving and charming. Furthermore, they are even-tempered, laid back, gentle, and intelligent.

However, Greyhounds are not guard dogs. These dogs rarely bark and their temperament toward strangers is based on whether their owners approve of them or not.

Compared to other active breeds, the Greyhound will thrive in an apartment. Surprisingly, they do not actually need extended physical activity every day. In fact, they can sleep for about 18 hours a day! For this reason, the Greyhound can be compared to the Cheetah: They both sleep all day in order to conserve energy for when they need to run at top speeds. [4]

Greyhounds are sensitive to bloating. For this reason, experts recommend owners feed their Greyhound two or three smaller meals rather than one large meal.

These dogs are also sensitive to the cold because of how short and thin their coats are. However, they can adapt to cooler climates if they are provided with warm jackets to wear. On average, a healthy Greyhound can live for about 10 to 12 years.


[1] Cynthia A. Branigan, Adopting the Racing Greyhound (John Wiley & Sons, 2004), p.1-3.

[2] Charlotte Wilcox, The Greyhound (Capstone, 2001), p.9.

[3] Charlotte Wilcox, The Greyhound (Capstone, 2001), p.6-8.

[4] D. Caroline Coile, Greyhounds: Everything about Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, and Training (Barron’s Educational Series, 2001), p.11.

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