This purebred is truly a versatile and peaceful breed that will enjoy a play-date at Doggy Daycare, a long walk at the end of a day, or just curling up on your couch as you read a good book! The Greyhound is your dog!
This is an ancient dog, dating back 5,000 years ago found in Egyptian and Greek artwork and paintings. It was imported to Great Britain in the tenth century where the breed became popular. The breed made its way to the United States in the sixteenth century where it was developed into a coursing and racing dog, however, Ireland has established itself as having the world's top Greyhound breeders. In Great Britain, the breed was owned by commoners and royalty, however in the eleventh century, commoners were forbidden from owning a Greyhound. Queen Elizabeth I reversed the law more than 500 years later.
This breed is a Sighthound and originally bred to course and hunt deer. Lure coursing (with Rabbits) and racing became popular around the 1920's. The Greyhound was commercialized into racing where it is still a huge controversial industry amongst Animal Activists and the racing industry throughout the world.
The Greyhound's height is 27-30 inches and they can weigh between 60-88 pounds. The breed is tall, slender, and muscular with a large chest area. Their body is built for speed. Their head is small and lean with ears that fold and dark eyes. Their long tail curves upward. The breed is referred to being a Hypoallergenic dog due to their short, smooth fur with no undercoat, so shedding is very minimal which makes this breed very tolerable for pet allergy sufferers. They have a wide range of color variations such as: white, brindle fawn, black, red and gray (blue), and any other type of color combination.
The Greyhound is an excellent breed around children that are respectful towards dogs. They are intelligent and can pick up quickly on training (making adopting an easy transition), however they are also sensitive, so gentle and positive training is best for the Greyhound. Many Greyhounds that come from the racing tracks to be adopted into new homes, have spent an upward of 20 hours a day in a crate and therefore take to crates very well. Sadly, during the transition of being adopted this breed can suffer from severe separation anxiety and does best with another Greyhound or another dog in the home, but can adjust with patience and understanding from their newly adopted pet-parents (seek professional training assistance if your Greyhound suffers from separation anxiety). This is a prey driven dog, sometimes they do not do well with smaller animals, but this is not always the case. This breed is a NON-aggressive breed. Though they are often shown wearing a muzzle during a race, this is more to prevent nipping at the finish line when they are most excited after chasing the lure. Another bonus of this FANTASTIC breed, they are not big on barking! The Greyhound is a very loving, gentle, loyal, intelligent, and friendly breed!
Their activity level is LOW to MODERATE. The Greyhound can be quite the couch potato and is sometimes a better choice for apartment/condo living then many other breeds. Although they enjoy a good sprint in a field or backyard, this breed does not need a lot of exercise. This breed will need a walk for 30-45 minutes once or twice a day. They prefer a calm environment and will require a leash or fenced in-yard when outside, as they do have a strong prey drive and the slightest movement of a squirrel or other small critter will send them off into a sprint.
A typical life span for the Greyhound is 10-14 years. Health concerns are: Anesthesia Sensitivity, Bloat, Osteosarcoma (Bone Tumors)
As you begin looking for a Greyhound, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues? By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
See you all next week with another Purebred Star!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe