The Greyhound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs whose origin trace back over 8000 years to early cave drawings. Drawings like this were found in Egyptian pyramids and many people believe they were favorites with the Pharaohs. Other people, however, believe that they originated in ancient Greece, Africa, Turkey or even Middle East. Over the years, they came to Europe. They first arrived in England and became famous with the nobles, and thanks to England’s Cancute Laws, only the elite ware allowed to own a Greyhound. If someone was found responsible for the dogs’ death, they could be executed. In England they were first used for hare coursing, and later track racing took over.
FUN FACT: Greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world and can reach the speed of over 45 miles per hour. In the animal world, only a few animals can beat a Greyhound for speed.
Downside of their racing career is that many of them are given up for adoption after their racing days are over. Some of them are euthanized. So, if you are interested, you can check Greyhound rescues near you to see if there is any, as they call it, 40 mph couch potato waiting for a new home.
The Greyhound is a gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered. For thousands of years these graceful dogs have been an object of fascination for artists, poets, and kings.
FUN FACT: Greyhounds are mentioned in the Bible. There is a greyhound reference in Proverbs 30:29-31, which says: “There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A greyhound; and he goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”
Greyhounds are athletic and with their long legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build are perfectly constructed for high-speed pursuit. They are medium-sized dogs. Males are usually 28-30 inches tall and weight 65-70 pounds and females can reach height of 27-28 inches and they weight around 60-65 pounds.
Greyhounds have a short, smooth coat that is easy to take care of. The shedding is low to average. Brush your Greyhound regularly to keep the shedding under control. Their coat is very thin so their skin is vulnerable to scrapes, tears, and nicks. The coat comes in few different colors, including fawn, black, red, blue, gray, or white. They can also be various shades of brindle. Greyhounds’ coat can have some white markings which is permissible as a breed standard.
FUN FACT: Greyhounds’ have very little body fat and their coat is really thin so they can get the shivers. If you live in a cold climate, buy a warm coat for your dog to wear in snow or rain.
With Greyhound you should be prepared to give their teeth special care. They tend to have poor dental health, so regular brushing is a must. Trim your Greyhounds’ nails when needed.
Because they are the fastest dog breed in the world, Greyhounds are often believed to have a lot of energy that needs to be spent. But, the truth is that a Greyhound loves to sleep. This dog will find the softest spot on the furniture and sleep there most of the day. When they are outside, they love to run, but a moderate amount of daily exercise (which include running) should be enough to keep your Greyhound satisfied and fit. They can fit into almost any lifestyle, but the ideal environment is a place where the dog has regular access to a large fenced area where a Greyhound can run freely.
Greyhounds are intelligent and independent dogs with a wonderful temperament. They are friendly, never aggressive (some can be a bit aloof towards strangers), loyal and affectionate. Because it was necessary for them to hunt and run in groups, aggressiveness towards other dogs is almost completely eliminated from this breed. However, this does not apply to other animals. Greyhounds have a strong prey drive and they need to always be on leash or properly fenced, to prevent their attempts to take off after small animals. They have incredible eyesight with a 270-deegree field of vision and can spot an animal that is a half mile away. Still, with proper training it is possible for them to live with other pets.
Greyhounds form a special bond with their owners, love to be involved in everything that goes on in the family and are quick react to tensions in the home. These dogs are prone to suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone at home. They get along great with children. They can be a little wary and aloof around strangers.
Like every dog, the Greyhound needs early socialization. Socialization helps ensure that your Greyhound puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Greyhounds are independent and can be stubborn and thus need firm, confident owner to work with them regularly. While training a Greyhound keep in mind that these dogs can be very sensitive, so the harsh training is not accepted. Owners need to be calm yet possess an air of natural authority.
FUN FACT: Greyhounds often have problems with simple “sit” command. Because of their muscle structure, sitting is not natural for them and that position is not very comfortable, so you can often see them sort of balancing on their tail.
The Greyhounds’ Health:
Greyhounds are typically a healthy and long-lived breed with the life expectancy of 10-13 years. However, some Greyhounds have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, bloat, osteosarcoma (an aggressive bone cancer), and hypothyroidism (a thyroid condition that can treated with medication). They are sensitive to anesthesia and to drugs, including insecticides. Because of their lean physique, they need to be provided with a soft bedding to sleep on. Without bedding they are prone to develop painful skin sores.
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