As the fastest dog with a distinctive lean body, greyhounds are well-known for their history of hunting and racing. However, greyhounds have been also been the personable companions to many prominent figures throughout history, including General A. Custer, General George Washington, and President Rutherford B. Hayes. Although it is no secret that greyhounds make wonderful pets, knowing the breed’s traits and understanding their background as a former racer are necessary for choosing whether this would be the right pet to open your home to.
|Other Name||English Greyhound|
|Size Type||Large Dog Breeds|
|Breed Group||Hound Dog Breeds|
|Life Span||10-12 Years|
|Temperament||Athletic, Gentle, Social, Intelligent|
|Height||Female: 26–28 inches Male: 28–31 inches|
|Weight||Male: 59.4–88 lbs Female: 26–34 kg|
|Colors||Gray, Black, Blue, Brindle, Red, Fawn, White|
The Greyhound is a tall, slender dog built with aerodynamics in mind with a long narrow head that is wide between the ears and possesses a long tapering muzzle. With the small rose ears that are slightly held back and folded, the eyes are dark in color and the long neck is somewhat arched. While the front legs are perfectly straight, the long muscular hindquarters are curved and the tail tapers with an upward arc like a whip. Males usually are between 28 to 30 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 60 and 88 pounds. Females tend to be slightly smaller with a shoulder height of 27 to 28 inches and weight from 60 to 75 pounds.
Greyhounds come in a variety of colors and variations. In fact, the American Kennel Club recognizes a total of 30 colors for the breed, including black, black and white, blue, blue brindle, brindle, dark brindle, dark red, fawn, fawn brindle, liver, liver brindle, red, red fawn, red brindle, and white brindle.
Greyhounds possess a short, smooth coat that is firm in texture. Unlike other breeds, greyhounds have very little body fat and fine hair that makes them extra sensitive to extreme heat and cold. In colder climates or in the winter, it is necessary for greyhounds to wear a coat when traveling outdoors. With such a thin single coat of short hair, greyhounds do not shed every season and tend to be better tolerated by individuals with allergies.
|Good with Kids|
Good dental hygiene is absolutely essential to keeping greyhounds healthy because most arrive from racing tracks with a number of dental issues that need to be addressed. It is highly important that greyhound owners maintain their dog’s teeth by providing brushing at least three times a week with special toothpaste. As with many other dog breeds, monthly nail clippings and ear cleanings are vital for greyhounds. Besides being highly uncomfortable for the dog, long toenails must be trimmed to avert any painful breaks or splits.
The greyhound was brought by the Spanish explorers to the 1500s to help guard, hunt, control the rampant jackrabbit population, and intimidate enemies – the Native Americans. Due to growing popularity in the gaming ventures across Europe and the newly established Americas, the greyhound soon became a highly prized asset to participate in dog racing. After the first greyhound track was opened in Emeryville, California in 1912, 25 more tracks throughout the nation were opened within six years. With more than 3.5 million spectators attending races and grossing 3.5 billion dollars in wagers each year, greyhound racing quickly became one of the most popular spectator sports in America in the 20th century.
Considered to be in the top ten most gentle dog breeds, the greyhound is a laidback, charming, loving, docile, and even-tempered breed. Known for being a great pet and companion when their racing or show days are over, greyhounds form strong bonds with their owners. Most greyhounds also enjoy being around other dogs, cats, and older children who do not wish to engage in boisterous play. Despite popular belief, greyhounds are not in constant motion or hyperactive. While they do require outdoor excursions for a romp or dash to burn off some excess energy a few times daily, greyhounds will spend the rest of the day storing up energy and most likely being a couch potato. Greyhounds are often calm to the point of being considered lazy, sociable, intelligent, brave, and devoted.