The Greyhound is an ancient dog breed that is famous for being the fastest dog in the world. Their aerodynamic build and shockproof paw pads allow for these incredibly fast dogs to reach up to an astounding 40 miles an hour. In this article, we will be explaining everything that you need to know about the amazing Greyhound.
What is a Greyhound?
The Greyhound is a member of the American Kennel Club’s hound group. Specifically, Greyhounds are sight hounds because they use their keen eyesight to track down prey instead of their sense of smell.
Where did the Greyhound Originate From?
The Greyhound originated in ancient Egypt roughly 5,000 years ago. Over time, the Greyhound spread outside of Egypt to all other parts of the globe. It is believed that Greyhounds were present throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.
What was the Greyhound Bred For?
The Greyhound was originally bred to catch wild game, particularly wild hare. However, Greyhounds can also hunt larger animals such as deer and wild boar. Over time people discovered that Greyhounds were very good at racing and chasing things. As a result, many people have historically used greyhounds for sports like coursing and racing.
What Does a Greyhound Look Like?
Greyhounds are famous for their sleek build and aerodynamic features. Here we will be explaining what a Greyhound is supposed to look like according to the official breed standard with the AKC.
The Greyhound’s Coat
The Greyhound has a short coat that is smooth to the touch. This coat does shed regularly and can come in a wide variety of coat colors and patterns. These coat colors include grey, black, blue, red, liver, and white. Brindle and particolored coat patterns are also officially accepted in the Greyhound breed.
Other Unique Characteristics
The Greyhound has long legs and a slender body. This slender build extends to the Greyhound’s head and snout, which is very long and slender as well. The Greyhound has a long tail that naturally tucks between its legs. The Greyhound has rose-shaped ears that fold at the sides of the dog’s head.
How Big Does a Full-Grown Greyhound Get?
Male Greyhounds should be somewhere between 28 and 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Meanwhile, female Greyhounds will be slightly shorter at 27 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder.
A Greyhound should weigh somewhere between 60 and 70 pounds. Males are usually slightly heavier and larger than females.
How to Take Care of a Greyhound
Like with any other dog breed, the Greyhound has some needs that need to be met for them to be happy and healthy. Here is everything that you need to know about taking care of a Greyhound.
Greyhound Exercise Needs
Despite the fact that the Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, they are actually a dog with a moderate amount of energy. It is recommended that Greyhounds get around 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, and they should have the chance to run freely at least a couple of times a week.
Greyhound Grooming Requirements
Greyhounds have a short coat that should be brushed down with a hand brush or rubber curry brush once a day. This helps to remove dead hair. Baths can also help with this. However, it is recommended that you limit bathing your dog to around once a month if possible. This will keep your Greyhound’s skin healthy.
In addition to this, you should also brush your Greyhound’s teeth once a day when possible. Similarly, you will need to regularly trim your Greyhound’s nails if they are not filed down naturally. Greyhounds can be prone to ear infections, so they should be checked weekly and cleaned when needed.
Greyhound Dietary Needs
Greyhounds need about three cups of food per day. This portion should be separated into two 1.5-cup meals. It is important to mention that Greyhounds are prone to becoming overweight. As a result, you will need to be careful about not overfeeding them. Greyhounds are commonly allergic to foods containing corn, wheat, and soy products as well.
Are Greyhounds Easy to Train?
Greyhounds are considered to be a primitive breed, which also means that they are more independent and difficult to train. When training your Greyhound tricks and basic obedience commands, it is best to keep the process both fun and rewarding.
Are Greyhounds Easy to Potty Train?
However, Greyhounds are known to be fairly easy to potty train. This is mainly thanks to their instinct not to use the bathroom in the places where they sleep, eat, and relax.
What is the Greyhound’s Temperament
Overall Greyhounds are known to be independent, gentle, and noble dogs. Similarly, they are also known to be very affectionate and form strong bonds with their owners and the members of their families.
Are Greyhounds Good With Children?
Greyhounds are dogs that do very well around older children. However, they should always be supervised when around young children. This is because Greyhounds have a strong drive to chase, small, fast moving creatures. As a result, small, running children could trigger a Greyhound to chase and catch them.
Are Greyhounds Good With Other Pets?
Greyhounds tend to do well around other medium and large-sized dogs. However, small dogs and cats would likely result in a lot of chasing. Socializing your Greyhound with cats and small dogs from an early age is crucial if you want to have them around these pets without incident. Similarly, you should never let a Greyhound around pet rodents like rabbits or ferrets.
Are Greyhounds Aggressive?
Greyhounds are not known to be inherently aggressive dogs. However, they do have an incredibly high prey drive. This means that they are more likely to attack small, fast moving creatures. Unfortunately, this can sometimes include children, small dogs, and cats.
What Environment is Ideal for a Greyhound?
Greyhounds thrive when they have a space where they can run freely on a regular basis. As a result, Greyhounds tend to do better in a rural environment or a suburban environment with a large yard. Greyhounds also do much better in warm weather, and they will need a sweater or jacket when in the cold.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Greyhound?
The Greyhound has a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years.
Greyhound Common Health Issues
The main health concerns for the Greyhound are Hypothyroidism and Osteosarcoma. Additionally, Greyhounds tend to be susceptible to developing Bloat, a life threatening condition that involves the stomach being twisted on itself.
The good news is that Hypothyroidism and Osteosarcoma can be tested for through health and genetic testing. As a result, Greyhounds from reputable breeders are not likely to be affected by these conditions.
How Much Does a Greyhound Cost?
Greyhound puppies from a reputable breeder can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000 within the United States. However, there are many Greyhound rescues out there that have cheaper adoption fees. This could be an especially good choice for those who are willing to adopt an adult Greyhound.
Other Similar Dog Breeds
There are many other dog breeds that are similar to the Greyhound in drive, appearance, and temperament. Many sighthound breeds have very similar care requirements as well. Here we will be taking a closer look at the Whippet, the Ibizan Hound, and the Afghan Hound.
The Whippet is closely related to the Greyhound, and they are very similar in appearance. The main difference between these two dog breeds is that the whippet tends to be smaller than the Greyhound. The Whippet only weighs 25 to 40 pounds. Otherwise, the Whippet is very similar to the Greyhound in drive, temperament, and care requirements.
Unlike the Greyhound, Whippets tend to behave better around children and other dogs. However, many Whippets will still want to chase cats. Whippets are also energetic dogs that love to run freely. As a result, it is best that Whippet owners have access to a large, safe space for their dogs to blow off steam on a regular basis.
The Ibizan Hound
The Ibizan Hound is another sighthound that is similar to the Greyhound in appearance and temperament. These dogs are slightly smaller than Greyhounds, and their average weight is between 45 and 50 pounds. Ibizan Hounds are very energetic dogs that should have space to run and play freely. As a result, they may not be the best option for apartment living.
Ibizan Hounds have a very high prey drive and urge to chase after small, fast moving objects. As a result, Ibizan Hounds should always be supervised when around cats and other dogs. However, Ibizan Hounds are reported to be a bit better around children than Greyhounds are.
The Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is the Greyhound’s long-haired, more luxurious-looking cousin. However, do not let the differences in their appearance fool you. The Afghan Hound is still a sleek, sighthound under all of that silky hair. They are also very similar to the Greyhound in temperament and drive.
Like the Greyhound, Afghan Hounds love to run and chase things. This means that they are happiest when they have an open space to run, and they should always be supervised when around children and other dogs. Similarly, you should not be surprised when an Afghan Hound goes to chase a cat.
Unlike the Greyhound though, Afghan Hounds need quite a bit of daily grooming. This is mainly thanks to the breed’s famous long, silky hair. This hair should be brushed daily to prevent tangles and matting.
Finding the Right Breeder
Looking for a reputable and ethical breeder is important when looking to get any type of puppy. Here we will be explaining the things that every reputable and ethical Greyhound breeder will do. Additionally, we will also be listing some red flags that a Greyhound breeder is not reputable.
Things Every Good Greyhound Breeder Will Do
Every Greyhound breeder will care a lot about the health and temperament of their adult dogs and puppies alike. As a result, you will likely be able to clearly see this in a reputable Greyhound breeder’s practices. Here is a list of things that every good Greyhound breeder will do.
- All dogs are housed in clean, safe, and humane conditions.
- All puppies are up to date on vaccinations and deworming.
- All dogs are being kept in good health.
- All dogs are provided with the recommended exercise and mental stimulation for the Greyhound breed.
- All dogs are health tested before breeding (For Greyhounds this should be heart and eye evaluations from a veterinary specialist.)
- All dogs have received genetic testing before breeding. (For Greyhounds this should include malignant hyperthermia and Greyhound neuropathy.)
- All of the dogs that are being bred have good temperaments.
- All of their Greyhounds adhere to the breed standard. (AKA: They look like Greyhounds.)
- They perform in dog sports. (Racing, lure crossing, and agility is all great examples for Greyhound breeders.)
- Puppies are all well socialized from a young age. (Avidog and Puppy Culture are good socialization methods.)
- You are shown proof of your Greyhound puppy’s pedigree.
In addition to all of this, Greyhound breeders will always care a lot about where their puppies end up. As a result, you should expect that a good breeder is going to want to interview you to make sure that you will give one of their Greyhound puppies a good home.
Signs to Avoid a Greyhound Breeder
In addition to knowing the green flags for Greyhound breeders, prospective Greyhound owners should also know some Greyhound breeder red flags. This way you can accurately decide if a breeder is reputable or not. Here are some signs that you should avoid a Greyhound breeder.
- Puppies are sent home before eight weeks of age.
- You are not allowed to meet your puppy’s parents.
- You are not allowed to see where the breeder’s dogs are housed.
- As long as you have the money, no questions are asked before you bring the puppy home.
- The breeder does not health test their dogs before breeding them, or they will not show you official proof of health testing.
- Your puppy did not receive early socialization, or the breeder will not explain their socialization methods.
- Our puppy did not receive the proper preventative care from the breeder (vaccinations, deworming, etc.)
- Dogs seem sick or have undesirable temperaments.
- The breeder breeds many other dog breeds in addition to Greyhounds.
If you notice any of the above red flags in a Greyhound breeder, then this is a good sign that you should not get a puppy from them.
Conclusion (Is the Greyhound Right for You?)
The Greyhound is an amazing dog breed that is a good fit for those who are looking to have a unique and relatively low-maintenance dog. Although Greyhounds are high energy in that they should have access to an area where they can run around, they should be lazy and calm in the home when this need is met. Additionally, Greyhounds do well in homes with older children and other large dogs. However, they do have the tendency to chase small dogs, cats, and small children.