A medium to large sized Greyhound
Greyhound Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)27-30in (68-76cm)
Weight60-71lbs (27-32kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan10-13 years
Energy LevelLow
Litter sizeVaries
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftLow

The greyhound is a very fast and agile dog with a slim build. The body has a deep and wide chest, flexible spine, long and powerful legs, arched loins and a long thin tail. The head is long and narrow with a tapering muzzle, small perky ears and dark eyes. The single coat is short and fine, and the colouring can be of any colour, not just grey.


Greyhounds are quiet and gentle-natured dogs, despite possessing great speed and agility when required. They can become anxious if left alone for long periods of time but don't tend to bark much, and make loyal companions and loving family pets. Intelligent but sensitive, these dogs are probably best suited to experienced dog owners rather than novices. Greyhounds get along well with older, more considerate children, and can be okay with other animals as they are not usually aggressive. The muzzles often worn during racing are only there to prevent injuries resulting from dogs nipping each another in the excitemt during and following a race. As they have high prey drives they may chase smaller animals though. These sociable creatures are usually friendly around strangers and so don't make ideal guard or watchdogs.

History & Skills

Greyhounds are an ancient breed with roots in the Middle East, and they were even mentioned in the Bible (Proverbs 30:29-31). The more modern greyhound originates from Great Britain and may have roots stretching back to the 6th century BC, with their name coming from the Old English word grighund. Hund translates as hound, while the meaning of grig is unclear but does not mean grey as they were bred in many colours. Often used by commoners for hunting to provide food and by the nobility for sport, King Canute's Forest Laws of 1014 banned all but nobility from keeping greyhounds until the law was repealed some 400 years later. When the Industrial Revolution made many working class people wealthy, they were able to indugle in what was once a sport of the nobility: coursing. This is the development, breeding and preparation of racing dogs as well as the race itself, and greyhounds were the perfect choice. These days greyhounds coursing and racing is as popular as ever, and these calm creatures are popular as companions and family pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Greyhounds tend to live between 10 to 13 years, unless steriods have been used during their racing careers, and are pretty healthy dogs with few hereditary diseases. Some of the health issues that have been noted include bloat, osteosarcoma and esophageal achalasia. These dogs have rather thin skin, and so without adequate bedding can develop skin sores. In addition, they have unusal blood chemistry that allows larger quantities of oxygen to move faster from the lungs to the muscles, are sensitive to insecticides such as flea spray, and are sensitive to anaesthesia. Also they have low percentages of body fat and thin skin, and so are sensitive to temperature extremes.


Greyhounds are thin-skinned with short single coats, and so they are low shedders and thus suitable for those suffering with allergies. As a result their grooming requirements are very low. They will simply need occasional brushing with a soft brush, and a wipe down with a damp cloth. The ears should be checked regularly and kept clean to reduce the chance of any infection setting in.

Exercise & Environment

Greyhounds are very agile dogs and it is common to assume they are hyperactive and need a lot of exercise. In reality they are generally pretty calm and do not need extended periods of daily exercise because they were bred for sprinting rather than endurance, and so can turn on the speed if and when required such as on a racetrack. Greyhounds can even be suited to small homes, such as apartments, and tend to live indoors with their families because their thin skins and low body fat means they are unsuitable for living outdoors. A daily walk plus access to an outdoor area will be required as with most dogs. The walk should be carried out on the leash and outdoor areas will need to be secure because these dogs have high prey drives, great speed, no road sense and can jump pretty high too.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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