Group: Hound Group
– Show Greyhounds: From 26 to 30 inches
– Racing Greyhounds: From 25 to 29 inches
– Show Greyhounds: From 60 to 85 lbs.
– Racing Greyhounds: From 50 to 80 lbs.
The Greyhound is among the oldest of the purebred dog breeds, dating back to the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Originally, Greyhounds were the companions and hunting dogs of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and the Midieval European aristocracy. The Greyhound is a Sighthound or Gazehound – one that hunts by sight rather than scent.
Unlike many other modern day breeds, the Greyhound has barely changed from its ancestors. Throughout history, Greyhounds were bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. This has resulted in their athletic bodies, grace, and agility, and is what makes them attractive to racing which did not begin until much later in the breed’s history. The Greyhound track racing industry in America began around 1919 when the first circular track opened in Emeryville, California.
As the fastest breed of dog, a Greyhound can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour, and can average more than 30 miles per hour for distances up to one mile.
When not racing, the Greyhound is quiet, gentle and docile. He can be somewhat aloof toward strangers but, generally, he is friendly to most people. He thrives on human companionship and attention, and is affectionate to those he knows, making him a wonderful family companion. He is very intelligent and adaptable, and can usually make a life changing adjustment from racing kennel to loving home with relative ease.
Contrary to popular belief, the Greyhound does not require an excessive amount of exercise. However, it should be kept in mind that this is a dog who loves to run and must be given that opportunity. If you are considering bringing this breed into your home then a large fenced yard is a must. It should also be noted that, because the Greyhound is a running/hunting breed by nature, he should never be trusted to run loose or stay in an unfenced property. He will instinctively give chase to anything from a squirrel to another dog.
The Greyhound’s coat is short and fine with no undercoat; therefore, minimal grooming is required.
In the United States, the vast majority of Greyhounds are used in the racing industry and are registered with the National Greyhound Association and, according to the Greyhound Club of America, less than 200 dogs per year are registered with the American Kennel Club. The AKC registered dogs are bred for showing, coursing, and a variey of other sports and activities, and, of course, as loving family companions. Although both racing Greyhounds and AKC registered Greyhounds are the same breed, they are rarely interbred.
Important Note to Those Considering a Greyhound: Greyhounds typically have a short racing career and, since their lifespan is between 12 to 15 years, there are almost always adult dogs looking for adoption into loving homes. The Rescue section includes Greyhound Rescue Organizations from across Canada with most of the retired dogs coming from the U.S.
The Greyhound breed is known to be exceptionally healthy and not subject to many of the genetic/hereditary problems found in other breeds. However, like all members of the Sighthound family, the Greyhound is sensitive to a number of anesthetics. It is very important to discuss this with your Veterinarian in advance of any required surgery. For additional information, see: Anesthesia and your Saluki from the Saluki Club of America.
One other issue that can be of concern in the Greyhound breed is Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Greyhound. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada’s Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.
Additional Health Resources:
- International Greyhound Research Database
- Canine Inherited Disorders Database – Greyhound
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- Health and Nutrition — Growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- AKC Canine Health Foundation — Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- OFA – Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene — HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet — Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
- Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
- Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
- New Greyhound Owner Guide — From Rocky Mountain Greyhound Adoption
- Greyhound-Data — Greyhound-Data provides information about Greyhounds from all over the world and drawn from the last four centuries — including race results and pedigrees.
- Race for Adoption — The original concept for this project was inspired from an idea by Dennis McKeon, a lifelong racing professional and greyhound breed enthusiast. Dennis’ idea was for a group of adoption supporters to buy a race dog and all the dog’s race winnings would be donated to selected adoption agencies to help fund their ongoing efforts in rehoming retired racers. — This website includes excellent information about the breeding, training, and racing of Greyhounds.
- Lure Coursing Information
- Whippets and Other Sighthounds — A very informative website dedicated to Sighthounds explaining why a Sighthound thinks and acts differently from other breeds of dogs.
- Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
- Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.
Online Forums / Discussion Groups:
- Greytalk.com — Greytalk’s online community consists of over 2000 members and represents a rich and varied diversity with members from many countries throughout the globe. Greytalk provides people with a unique, fun and informative place to discuss the many facets of owning retired racing greyhounds. Although Greytalk is geared, primarily, toward racing greyhounds, owners of all breeds are welcome.
*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org
*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.