Greyhound – Elegant and Super Fast Dog Breed

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Greyhounds were bred for hunting in the open, due to their incredible speed. Discover why this breed is so fast and why they should avoid extreme temperatures.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
2 feet, 1 inch to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder
50 to 85 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Greyhound is a noble and gentle breed, known for its impeccable running abilities. This breed is known for thousands of years.

Due to their unusual appearance, they have been an object of fascination for kings, poets, and artists.

Quick Facts

Real name: Greyhound
Other names: English Greyhound
Origin: Europe/Eurasia
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: Male 27 to 40 kilograms (60 to 88 lb), Female 25 to 34 kilograms (55 to 75 lb)
Height: Male 71 to 76 centimetres (28 to 30 in), Female 68 to 71 centimetres (27 to 28 in)
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Color: Black, Black Brindle, Grey, Blue, White, Red, Parti-Color
Coat: Short coat

Greyhound History

Greyhound history began in Egypt 5,000 years ago. They are known in Egyptian culture as dogs who guarded pharaohs.

They are also seen on cave walls. Greyhounds were bred to protect, chase, detect, and even dispatch the fleet-footed wildlife of Egypt’s deserts. The rumor has it that Alexander the Great took this breed to the Moscow of the Tsars.

It’s important to note that modern Greyhounds derive from the Greyhound stock, and they were as such first registered int he 18th century.

In the 19th century, they were included in public studbooks, to be from there registered in kennel clubs. Originally, Greyhounds were bred for hunting in the open where their speed and amazing eyesight were essential.

Fun fact: Greyhound is the only dog mentioned in the Bible.

Greyhound Physical Appearance

Unusual – this is how the majority of people describe this breed. Their bodies are long and narrow, and some would even describe this breed saying that they look as if they were starving.

Greyhounds are tall, with an also narrow and long head, fairly wide between the ears. Teeth are always strong, while ears are small and thrown back and folded.

Eyes are dark, intelligent, and bright. This dos might look malnourished, but they are far from that because their body is well-built and muscled.

The chest is deep and wide, while the ribs are well-sprung. The tail is long and tapering with a slight upward curve. The coat is smooth, short and firm in texture. Hindquarters are long and muscular.

Greyhound Personality

Greyhounds are pack animals, and they thrive in groups. They can be aloof and very affectionate to their own pack. They are calm, people-pleasers, and overall easy-going breed who can stay alone for few hours.

Even today, they are widely used for racing.

During their races, Greyhounds always wear muzzles, which makes people believe that they are actually aggressive dogs. However, this is far from the truth. Muzzles are always worn to prevent any injuries, and they are removed once the race is over.

Since they are so fast, people think that they need hours of exercise. This is also a common misconception about this breed.

Greyhounds are built to sprint, not behave strong endurance. Simply said, they are bred for sprinting. However, when it comes to Greyhound puppies, they have to be tough on how to utilize their energy. Otherwise, you can expect destructive behavior, or they can be extremely hyperactive. Overall, this breed requires a more experienced owner.

Greyhound Health

Greyhounds are susceptible to extreme temperatures and environments. They have really sensitive skin and long these bones, which makes them prone to various accidents.

Simply said, they must be well-cared for, and more than other dog breeds. They don’t have a lot of fat in their bodies, especially ex-racing dogs, meaning that without the fat, their bodies are not capable of fight-of any temperature changes.

Overall, Greyhound is a healthy dog breed. Just like any other dog breed, they can inherit some genetic treats, and there are few health conditions that they might be prone.

Since they are deep-chested breeds, Greyhounds are prone to bloat and gastric torsion. That being said, owners must be careful and to react to the first sign of bloat, and ask for medical help.

They are also prone to a specific condition named Greyhound neuropathy, that is specific to this breed only.

Other disorders might include eye condition or some cardiac conditions.

If you are buying your Greyhound from a breeder, you should get medical certifications about the dog. If they are not offered to you, you are not dealing with a responsible breeder.

Still, you should take your Greyhound to the veterinarian as soon as you buy or adopt a Greyhound, puppy or an adult one.

Recommended health test for Greyhounds:

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Greyhound Polyneuropathy NDRG1 DNA Test
  • Cardiac Exam

Hereditary illness in Greyhound is rare, and their life span is up to 14 years. Their sleeping area is also essential for their health.

They must have soft bedding, otherwise, they are prone to painful skin sores. This breed has unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians wh are not familiar with the breed.

Their blood is often used as universal blood. Since they don’t have undercoats, it’s unlikely to trigger anty allergies in humans. Because of this, they are also more sensitive to extreme temperatures, both cold and cold. This is why they should always be housed inside.

There is also a specific reason why they are so fast. The key for this trait lies in their light but muscular body, enormous heart, and high percent of the fast-twitch muscle of any breed. They also have double suspension gallop, next to the extreme flexibility of its spine.

“Double suspension rotary gallop” is what describes their speed the best.

Greyhound Grooming

This breed is vert thankful when it comes to grooming.

Since they don’t have an undercoat, grooming and especially brushing is easy. Their coat is short and smooth and requires little grooming next to regular ear and teeth check, and nail trimming.

They have long and strong nails that grow fast, and they should be trimmed regularly if not worn down naturally. As you may know already, long anil can cause severe discomfort.

So, as soon as you hear that your dog’s nails are making a sound while walking, it means that the time to trim nails is long passed. Check for gums weekly, and keep with the food that’s good for your dog’s teeth.

Check ears for build-up wax and clean them properly. No need to bath your Greyhound often, unless he got himself into a messy mud or similar.

If you want to have a healthy and happy Greyhound, you should think about nutrition, next to proper and regular grooming.

That being said, serve your Greyhound a high-quality food adequate to his age. Puppy and senior dogs won’t eat the same food, they need different nutrition.

Greyhounds need food that’s rich in proteins and come with high calories. Also, learn about human food safe for dogs, and what you should know about raw food and the BARF diet.

Always check with your veterinarian about the right food. If you think that your dog doesn’t eat enough or that is overeating and heads toward obesity, consult your veterinarian.

Greyhound Training

Training a Greyhound can be a really frustrating experience if you are a first-time dog owner. Dog experts even advise that first-time dog owners should avoid this breed. It’s mandatory to understand their origin and temperament.

This breed was developed to pursue game sight rather than by scent. In the games, they had a full right to make a decision on their own, unlike other types of hunting breeds.

They should be socialized from an early age, or they will remain independent and stubborn.

They should also be supervised around children, and if possible, be trained for ‘children moves’ such as pulling before the child arrives. If you have toddlers it’s important to teach them not to approach a dog while eating or drinking water.

Greyhounds get bored quickly, so make sure that training lessons are short and sweet.

Greyhound is a gentle dog, with a high need for sensitivity, so he will only respond to a positive approach in training, and never a harsh one.

They are also real team players. Greyhounds prefer to do things together with you than to do something for you. They also tend to be reserved with strangers, but they are very affectionate with their family members.

The Bottom Line

Greyhound is a tall and elegant dog with a sleek easy-care coat and chill temperament. The breed is not known for heavy shedding so that brushing will be smooth and enjoyable.

This dog is athletic, strong-build, and extremely calm. So, if you want a dog who is calm and polite with other dogs, and reserved to strangers than Greyhound might be the breed for you.

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