Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Breed Profile: Greyhound

Greyhounds are sight hounds.  They see a little scurrying critter and are driven to chase it.  Designed  for speed; the Greyhound is muscular yet lean, powerful yet agile. Greyhounds have a deep chest for maximum oxygen intake, long legs, and a body design that enables the dog to contract and stretch his back to add extra propulsion to a double legged gallop.  The long tail works both as a rudder and a brake.

Some Greyhound Facts

- weight:  60-70 pounds
- height at shoulder:  26-30 inches
- lifespan:  10-13 years
- short hair:  solid, brindle and spotted in lots of colors: red, fawn, white, black, brown, blue

The origin of the Greyhound is often described as ancient.  Egyptian tomb carvings, circa 2900 BC display Greyhounds.  The Roman, Ovid wrote about Greyhounds in 43 BC. 

Greyhounds were plentiful in Britain during Saxon times.  Both nobility and commoners used Greyhounds to hunt game such as deer, fox and rabbit.  In 1014 Forest Laws prohibited all but nobility to chase game with dogs unless "lamed".  Commoners poached of course, but by the time the Forest Laws were repealed, some 400 years later, most commoners had turned to farming and were eating domestic meat.  Therefore, the commoners were now working farm and herding dogs.  Greyhounds were kept mostly by nobility for hunting and by the 1800's for the sport of lure coursing.

Lure coursing made it's way to the New World where formal tracks were developed and the live hare was replaced by a mechanical lure.

Greyhound Manifesto

- I'm a sprinter, not an endurance runner.  If you are training for a marathon and need a running buddy, get a Dalmatian

- sure I'm sweet and easy going.  I'm also a hound, so I've got an independent streak I plan to keep

- I need a coat in cold weather not for fashion but because I feel chilly

Greyhounds are affectionate with their people and with other dogs.  Interestingly, they get along well with little pets as long as they are raised with them.  Non family members who are small are considered game to be chased. 

Greyhounds come in two types:  show and racing.  The two types are not typically interbred.  The racers are smaller and faster than the show dogs.  Both types are sweet, reserved with strangers and occasionally timid.

See some nice pics

Next Breed Profile:  Weimaraner!


  1. Greyhounds make fantastic pets. They are noble, gentle, beautiful...the list goes on. It would be a dream come true if all retired racing dogs could find their forever loving homes, but due to perpetual overbreeding by the racing industry, this sadly is not the case.

    Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Greyhounds endure lives of nearly constant confinement, kept in cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. While racing, many dogs suffer and die from injuries including broken legs, paralysis, and cardiac arrest. And many greyhounds are euthanized every year, as the number retired from racing exceeds the number of adoptive homes.

    At racetracks across the country, greyhounds endure lives of confinement. According to industry statements, greyhounds are generally confined in their cages for approximately 20 hours per day. They live inside warehouse-style kennels in stacked cages that are barely large enough to stand up or turn around. Generally, shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding.

    An undercover video recently released by GREY2K USA shows the conditions in which these gentle dogs are forced to live:

    For more information on injuries these dogs suffer, please view:

    Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries and individuals that do them harm.

    V Wolf Board Member, GREY2K USA

  2. I know someone who has one. A quite likeable dog.