Greyhounds were amongst the most highest-favoured of all dogs; Pharoahs and other Egyptian, Asian and African leaders had images of their dogs engraved into their tombs dating as far back as 4000BC. They were used for coursing large game: antelopes, wolves and deer. During the ensuing centuries, Greyhounds became extremely popular and spread through the near East and Europe, eventually arriving in Britain where they became a status symbol, so much so that in 1016 only the elite were allowed to own a greyhound. The Canute Law depicted 'No meane person may keep any greyhounds.' Indeed, they are the most common heraldic dogs to be found in the coats of arms of both Charles V of France and Henry VIII of England. They were then used in coursing hares, but only as a sporting event as neither the owner nor his guests would eat the kill. Later track racing took over which again proved them to be the fastest dogs on earth: only the cheetah can beat them for speed in the animal world!
Greyhounds are the racehorses of the canine world, incredibly fast and aristocratic, graceful and elegant. Generously proportioned and upstanding, these dogs are symmetrical and strongly-built. With their long, straight forelegs, they cover the ground in low, free strides at great speed, being propelled by muscular hindlegs which come well under their bodies.
Greyhounds come in all colours: black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle or any of these colours with white.
Bitches measure between 68 to 71cms at the withers, weighing 27 to 30kgs, dogs between 71 to 76cms,weighing between 30 to 32kgs.
Because of the greyhounds explosive physical abilities, they are prone to injury. They are also known to be sensitive to drugs, especially sedatives. Adopted Greyhounds will need regular dental care as their teeth are generally badly neglected. Additionally, extra teeth are common in some Greyhounds.
Greyhounds belong to the hound group and are used for racing, coursing, as a companion and in the show-ring.
They are relatively small eaters and will therefore not cost a lot to feed. Grooming requirements are negligible but they can be prone to leg injuries which could cause veterinary bills.
These dogs are calm and social indoors and can even be rather lazy. They are intelligent and sensitive dogs who can make ideal family pets if given the right owners! Whilst they are gentle by nature, their natural hunting instinct is always present and owners must be willing to take on the necessary responsibilities that go with the breed. They are affectionate with their families although can be aloof with strangers. They normally get on well with other dogs in the household but cat owners should exercise extreme caution. They are loving and well behaved dogs and are particularly good with children. Because of their nature as sprinters, Greyhounds have relatively low endurance and should be given the opportunity to sleep should they so desire!
Greyhounds are fairly easy to train and can learn almost all commands. They can, however, choose to totally ignore you if they have their eyes set on a prey!
Suitability for Children
Overall Exercise Requirement
Whilst Greyhounds can be classified as possibly the most athletic of all domestic dogs they do not necessarily need copious amounts of exercise. Two 20 minute walks a day will usually suffice. A high fenced garden is a necessity as they are great jumpers. They must never be allowed off the lead in public places, unless very well-trained, as it is in their natures to chase anything that moves! Always remember that these are the fastest of dogs and can reach speeds of 64km/h.
Suitability as a Guard Dog
Ease of Transportation
Level of Aggression
Other Animal Compatibility
One of the easiest breeds to look after with regard to their coats. An occasional brush over is sufficient.