The Greyhound is a fantastic beast — or at least J.K. Rowling, one of their biggest fans, thinks so. And it's not hard to see why: in addition to their incredible speed (these dogs can accelerate to 45 mph in 30 feet), they also have great eyesight. Their field of vision is 270 degrees, which is twice the human range. But it's not just their athleticism that makes their fans cheer for Greyhounds.
These babies were born to run; it's true. But they're also excellent companions—lovable, sweet, and charming lapdogs, even if they don't exactly fit in your lap. (They'll possibly still try…)
The Greyhound is among the oldest breeds of dogs — so ancient, in fact, that this breed gets name-dropped in the Bible. Bred as coursers and originally from Great Britain, these large-sized and medium-energy dogs can grow to between 60-70 pounds and live an average of 10-13 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||10-13 years|
|Date of origin||Ancient times|
|Original function||Coursing hares|
|Today's function||Lure coursing|
|Average size of male||27-30 Weight: 60-65|
|Average size of female||27-30 Weight: 60-65|
|Energy level||Medium energy|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Shy|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Low tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A GREYHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Greyhounds are intense, sweet and even-tempered. They are devoted companions, very family-friendly, and they often get along well with children. Greyhound fans joke that this breed is so great you'll end up “chipping” if you get one—meaning you can't have just one. They also have very distinct ways they express themselves. Greyhounds “chatter” their teeth and often lean into you when they're pleased.
WHAT IS GREYHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Their strong prey drive is no joke — if you want this puppy to coexist peacefully with cats and other small pets, you'll need to socialize them early. Even then, some Greyhounds will never be able to live safely with small animals. If you're one of those heroes who rescued a retired racer, cat ownership is possibly not an option. Be sure to ask any rescue group whether their Greyhound has been cat-tested, if you're looking for one to share you with felines.
These natural athletes will, of course, need space and room to run. But they're more than happy to lie around the house with you once they've had enough exercise. And that's not hard to do. Greyhound energy comes in short bursts and they're usually pretty mellow otherwise. They're also not especially barky, which makes them a surprisingly good apartment dog as long as you live close to a dog park big enough for them to sprint through.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A GREYHOUND?
Greyhounds are a biddable breed, but they're smart and get bored quickly. Their incredible speed makes early, consistent work on recall essential. This canine cannonball isn't a great candidate for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area — anything small and fast is likely to catch their attention and inspire them to take off.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO GREYHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Greyhounds are a wash-and-go breed. Their sleek, smooth coats don't require much grooming — just give them a weekly brush down and bathe them as needed. They're fairly light shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO GREYHOUNDS HAVE?
This is a generally healthy breed. Some Greyhounds develop hypothyroidism or bone cancer. These dogs are especially prone to bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment.
Your Greyhound is first and foremost an athlete and may injure herself running or playing. Keep an eye out for pulled muscles, foot injuries, tail breakage, or tears in their taut skin.