What You Should Know About the Greyhound Dog Breed
Learn more about the fastest dog breed, including their personality, physical traits, and health requirements.
With their lean structure and long legs, it’s no surprise that Greyhound dogs are the fastest dog breed. These speedy, elegant hounds were designed for hunting fast prey and have been muses for kings, pharaohs, poets, and artists.
Their gentle, sweet-tempered nature combined with an independent spirit also makes these graceful hounds popular with families. Keep reading to learn more about the affectionate, noble Greyhound.
Where are Greyhound Dogs From?
Approximately 5,000 years ago, Greyhounds were recorded playing racing games and hunting in Egypt. These “hounds of the pharaoh” were bred for hunting at high speeds, detecting prey, and chasing even the fastest creatures down.
The Greyhounds’ beauty was widely revered throughout Egypt and continued throughout history, with Alexander the Great and the Russian Tsars adoring this elegant dog breed.
Later, Greyhounds became one of the first dog breeds to appear in American dog shows and were recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
The Greyhound dog breed can reach speeds as high as 45 miles per hour, making them the fastest dog breed on Earth!
As a result of this fantastic feat, it’s no surprise that Greyhound dogs are built for high-speed chase, and every part of their body supports this task.
Greyhounds have long, lean bodies with narrow, aerodynamic skulls. They have a deep inverted S-shaped chest made even more prominent by meeting their tightly tucked waist.
Most male Greyhounds stand between 28 and 30 inches tall and weigh between 65 and 70 pounds. Female Greyhounds are slightly smaller at 60 to 65 pounds and around 27 to 28 inches tall.
As for their coats, Greyhounds can have a black mask, ticked, partial-color, or solid markings. Greyhound dogs come in many colors – including black, red, white, blue, and many other combinations. Their coats are smooth and short, making grooming needs minimal.
Greyhounds are loyal, gentle companions with an independent streak. While they are affectionate with their families, it’s important to note that they are independent and won’t always follow a child’s whims.
Greyhounds can be stubborn and may not come when called – especially if there is anything of interest, such as small animals, in the area. Greyhound parents should always be careful to have their dogs leashed as it’s not unheard of for Greyhound dogs to take off running.
On the positive side, Greyhounds are typically good with other dogs and children. If raised with cats, they’ll likely get along with them too.
In terms of training, Greyhounds learn quickly but are easily bored. The Veterinary Centers of America recommend reward-based training to engage your Greyhound during training sessions.
Greyhound Breed-Related Health Issues
Greyhounds are a healthy and hardy dog breed. However, their specific build does make them more susceptible to certain health conditions.
Like many deep-chested dogs, Greyhounds are prone to gastric dilation-volvulus complex, also known as bloat. Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with air, building pressure in the body. This pressure can prevent blood from circulating through the body properly and returning to the heart, eventually leading to shock and possible fatality.
At this time, veterinarians are unsure why bloat happens, but it is found at higher rates in dogs with deep chests. Common signs of bloat include restlessness, an enlarged abdomen, retching, and excess salivation. If you notice these signs, immediately contact your veterinarian or take your dog to the nearest vet clinic.
As a result of their lean build and lightweight bones, Greyhounds are among the most susceptible dog breeds to osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. This type of cancer eats away at healthy bone tissues, causing the bones to weaken over time.
Many Greyhound owners first notice the signs of osteosarcoma when their Greyhound dog becomes suddenly lame or develops hard swelling at the cancer site.
Unfortunately, osteosarcoma is a very aggressive type of cancer, but early and fast treatments from your dog’s veterinarian can make a big difference.
Greyhound Breed Care
Greyhounds have short, smooth coats that shed little and require minimal grooming. Pet parents can maintain their greyhounds’ coats with a quick weekly brushing and occasional bathing.
Due to their short hair, Greyhounds have little protection from cold temperatures. If you live in a cold climate, provide your Greyhound with a coat to help them stay comfortable.
Feed your Greyhound at least twice a day to keep them satisfied and minimize fast eating in large quantities.
Otherwise, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and plenty of time with their favorite humans are all key to creating a great, healthy lifestyle for your Greyhound. Routine veterinarian checkups with blood work to screen for disease and physical examinations are other excellent ways to support your Greyhound’s quality of life.
Greyhounds have a need for speed. They need regular, moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk or jog, or sprinting within an enclosed area daily to stay content as a housedog.
Greyhounds are also highly intelligent and independent dogs, so they need plenty of mental stimulation to prevent boredom and the destructive behaviors they may develop to cope with their boredom.
Games, exercise, and teaching your Greyhound tricks are excellent ways to stimulate your dog mentally. Puzzle toys are another great way to provide your dog with endless hours of entertainment.
Greyhounds are naturally lean, so weight gain isn’t always noticeable. As a Greyhound parent, you should regularly examine their ribs. You may be overfeeding them if you can’t easily feel their ribs. A high-quality diet served in the right quantity supports your Greyhound’s fun antics and gives them plenty of energy for running.
Picking the right food for your dog at an affordable price point and the convenience you need for your busy lifestyle can be challenging. Sundays’ food simplifies this process by providing human-grade ingredients, no synthetic additives, and a 90% meat diet. Our affordable food requires no prep and is gently air-dried to lock in optimal nutrient levels.