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Greyhound Breed Information | Doggie Matchmaker

Updated on February 4, 2013
The tall and slender greyhound is sure to turn heads on the street.
The tall and slender greyhound is sure to turn heads on the street. | Source

With his long, sleek frame and incredible speed, the greyhound (a.k.a. English greyhound) holds a place of his own in the dog world. Graceful and dignified, tall and serene, he is sure to turn heads on the street. The greyhound is an ancient breed associated with aristocrats and royalty. Built for the hunt, this athletic sighthound is the fastest of all the dog breeds, reaching an average of 40mph within a mere 6 strides. Controversial to many, the greyhound is raced for sport due to his natural skill on the track.

Standing approximately 27 to 30 inches, the greyhound is a trim breed typically weighing between 60 and 70 lbs. An unlimited variety of options are available in coat including brindle, spotted, and solid patterns in shades of red, white, fawn, blue, and black. The smooth greyhound does not have an undercoat and so may be less likely to trigger allergies in people. His fine coat and minimal amount of fat make him unable to tolerate cold, so owners should be sensitive to his temperature.

The greyhound is calm and quiet in temperament, seldom barking, and rarely aggressive. Many owners compare the greyhound to a cat due to his reserved and independent nature. He is both devoted and intelligent, preferring a restful home with set routine. Despite his speed, the greyhound does not need excessive amounts of exercise. He should be allowed a good run several times a week, but more often than not he is content to curl up in a soft place. He is peaceful with most other dogs if properly socialized, but due to his strong prey instinct he may want to chase other small pets. Caution and training will be needed to ensure the safety of cats and other small animals in the home.

With his light, muscular frame, the greyhound is the fastest of all the dog breeds.
With his light, muscular frame, the greyhound is the fastest of all the dog breeds. | Source
Don't let these eyes trick you into letting him have his way. The greyhound owner must be consistent to succeed in training.
Don't let these eyes trick you into letting him have his way. The greyhound owner must be consistent to succeed in training. | Source

Training a Greyhound

As with all breeds, the characteristics and traits of the greyhound affect his training needs. A sensitive dog, the greyhound responds best to a soft-spoken voice and gentle hand. Praise and rewards will motivate more than correction. With this in mind, here is what you should focus on in training:

Independent Nature – The greyhound’s independent nature is part of what makes him unique, and can be appealing to many prospective owners. In training, however, this may sometimes translate into a “what’s in it for me?” attitude in your pup. Let your dog know that he must be obedient whether he wants to or not through absolute consistency.

Timidity – Due to his naturally reserved personality, the greyhound will need proper socialization to keep him from becoming too timid. Let your pup experience many new people and places, taking him with you on excursions and introducing him to animal friends.

Chasing Tendency – It is in the greyhound’s blood to chase small, quick moving objects, so teaching him basic obedience commands like leave it, come, and stay are crucial to gaining control when your dog wants to run. The more obedient your dog is at home, the more obedient he will be when a squirrel runs past him at the park, so take the time to train your dog well. If you have small pets in your home, you must teach your greyhound to leave them alone to ensure a peaceful co-existence. Because of this innate desire to chase, the greyhound should not be allowed off leash unless in a fenced in enclosure. A dog moving away from you at 40mph is impossible to catch, so keep your dog safe through this simple precaution.

The adult greyhound is calm and quiet indoors.
The adult greyhound is calm and quiet indoors. | Source

Greyhound Health Concerns

Greyhounds typically live between 10-12 years, giving their owners many years of loyal companionship. They are overall a healthy breed, but can be susceptible to bone cancer (Osteosarcoma), bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus), and skin allergies. Owners can help prevent bloat by feeding their greyhound three small meals a day rather than one large meal. Many greyhounds experience stomach upset in times of stress or abrupt change in routine. For this reason overly loud, active homes may not be suited to the greyhound. Because of their slender, thin frame, greyhounds may also develop skin sores from lying on hard surfaces. Adequate bedding should eliminate this concern.

The elegant greyhound has an air of class and sophistication.
The elegant greyhound has an air of class and sophistication. | Source

The Greyhound in Fashion

A dog is a long-term commitment and should never be picked based on trend, popularity, or appearance alone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this lovely breed in fashion.

With his slender physique and aristocratic pride, the greyhound exudes sophistication. He brings a touch of elegance with him wherever he goes, gracing those around him with his exquisite style.

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria favored this breed in the mid-1800s, naming their favorite pet greyhound Eos. Owners of this breed today include Bo Derek (actress), J.K. Rowling (writer), Todd McKenney (entertainer), and Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones drummer).

Now consider this compatibility questionnaire:

Do you want...
Are you ok with...
A world renowned runner, famous for his speed?
Providing an enclosed area for your dog to safely run free?
A quiet companion who's calm in the house?
A potentially timid friend who is sensitive to change?
An independent partner who is dignified and smart?
A somewhat reserved companion who may question the value of your requests?
A smooth and graceful creature that is easy on the eyes?
Having a partner that will chase after other cute animals?
A tall and slender frame with an elegant build?
A fairly delicate breed susceptible to skin sores and bloat?
Before committing to a greyhound, these questions must be carefully considered.

Perfect Greyhound Names

If you have come to the conclusion that the greyhound is your perfect match – congratulations! It is a truly unique and gorgeous breed. I offer you these suggestions as inspiration in your search for the perfect name:

If you want something that lends to the elegance of the breed, perhaps Adelaide, Alice, or Eloise will do for a girl, Edmund, Alfred, or Charles for a boy.

If you want to play off the greyhound’s great speed, skip the expected Blaze, Bolt, or Bullet and go with something more unique like Vitesse (speed in French) for a girl or Bon Vent (Godspeed in French) for a boy.

Solid black beauty.
Solid black beauty. | Source


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    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 5 years ago

      Thanks, Suhail! Adopting a retired race dog can be a great option for those who want a greyhound.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 5 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very nicely written. Voted up.

      I haven't seen many greyhounds other than in hare coursing, but the ones I have seen do look calm dogs and I am comparing them with their cousins - the Afghan hounds and the Salukis.

      Btw, I have taken many pictures of greyhounds in coursing competitions. I do want to see live racing though. And its here they land into trouble. The ones retired or weeded out sometimes end up in rescue centres and are available for adoption. However, I know many people who would continue to honour their greyhounds long after they are officially retired. In that case, they become their house pets and companion dogs.