These sleek dogs, bred for racing, originated in the times of the Old Testament. Their speed, loyal companionship and striking looks have kept them popular through the ages.
Greyhounds are the fastest of all dogs, with a top speed of 45 miles per hour. In fact, the only mammal faster than the Greyhound is the cheetah.
Unfortunately, when their racing prime is over (usually between the ages of 2 and 5), Greyhounds are often euthanized. Rescue groups and efforts have increased over the years to reduce the euthanasia number and increase the adoption of retired racers.
- Affectionate, calm, mellow and sweet natured
- Despite being racing dogs, they are not as high energy as you may think
- Sensitive dogs who must be part of their family’s life in order to be truly happy; separation anxiety will likely occur if left alone too long or too often
- 60-75 pounds
- 26-30 inches at the withers (shoulders)
- Pet parents who work long hours or are out of the house often might want to consider two Greyhounds, since they will keep each other occupied
- Thrive in both the city and country as they are highly adaptable to their pet parents’ routines
- Good with with respectful, gentle children; puppies can be mischievous and rowdy, and ill-suited for children (by adopting an ex-racer you can avoid the mischief of a puppy)
- Retired racing Greyhounds make excellent pets, but since they are used to an isolated racing existence, they will need time to warm up to a new family and comforts of a good home
- Homes must be kept at a warm temperature due to their thin coats
- Rarely bark; despite their perception as hyperactive, they are actually quiet, calm dogs
- Eager to please and open-minded to training; respond best to a firm but gentle, encouraging, fun approach
- Teaching the “Come” command is essential, given their natural chase instinct
- Unassuming, easy dogs who need low-to-moderate exercise and a comfortable couch to claim as their own
- Two 30-minute walks per day are enough to keep them fit and content
- Pay extra attention when they are let off-leash, since they will chase small prey or livestock faster than you can say “Stop”
- Black, white, red, blue-gray, tan and brindle or any shade with white markings
- Low-maintenance, short-haired coat requires a mere rubdown with a hand glove to remove dull hairs
- Thin coat means they will need a dog coat for cooler temperatures
- Healthy, but can be genetically prone to eye problems and bloat
- Sensitive to anesthesia since their livers cannot process all barbiturates
- Racing dogs or ex-racers are likely to face strains and fractures to foot or leg bones
- 13-15 years
- Visit the Greyhound Club of America to learn more about this breed and find a rescued dog in need of a home.