Dogs looking similar to the Greyhound dog breed have been depicted in ancient art from thousands of years ago. As a sight hound, the Greyhound has origins from the ancient Middle East. Greyhound-like dogs are depicted on early Egyptian drawings as well as classic Greek and Roman wares. Probably during Roman expansion, they Greyhound-like dog breed found his way to Britain. By Saxon times, this dog breed was well established.
The Greyhound dog breed was kept by both commoners and nobility alike. He helped the commoners catch food and joined the nobility on the hunt by coursing deer. In the 1800′s the Greyhound dog breed was popularly used by the upper class for coursing hare in competition. The popularity of such competitions spread to the lower class and betting on such races became commonplace. In the 1920s, the chasing of a mechanical lure replaced the old fashioned way of Greyhound racing. Greyhound racing remains popular today.
While Greyhound racing is more humane than pit fighting, the treatment of the Greyhound dog breed after he was no longer able to race was appalling. Oftentimes, he was left to starve to death or brutally killed. Animal activists and rescue groups like the Greyhound Protection League have changed all that. Now Greyhounds who are no longer able to race are placed in loving homes to live out the rest of their lives.
The Greyhound dog breed is super-fast. He can run at over 35 miles per hour. Being fast, you would think that he is a hyper dog who requires a lot of maintenance if kept as a pet. This is not true. The Greyhound dog breed is extremely gentle, calm, and docile. He is good with children and other pets (although due to his instinctive nature to chase, he should be carefully introduced to small pets). The Greyhound dog breed only needs moderate daily exercise which can include a daily walk or short sprints in a game of fetch.
The Greyhound dog breed has an independent nature which can sometimes make him somewhat more difficult to train than the people-pleasing dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever dog breed. However, he is a people-pleaser too and responds very well to positive reinforcement training. As a calm dog breed, the Greyhound is also a relatively quiet breed. He is not much of a guard dog and is not generally inclined to barking.
The Greyhound dog breed stands about 26 to 29 inches tall and weighs about 60 to 70 pounds. He is graceful, slender, and strong. He has a deep chest and his hindquarters have good muscle definition. He has a long narrow muzzle and head with small folded ears. His tail is long and tapering and his feet are hare-like. Hare-like feet in dogs are feet which have longer toes. This is common in fast-running dog breeds like the Greyhound dog breed.
The Greyhound dog breed has a short and smooth coat which only needs occasional brushing. He can be any color like black, gray, red, or fawn. He can be solid or with patches of color. And he can be varying shades of brindle. The American Kennel Club puts no restriction on color for the Greyhound dog breed.
As with most purebred dogs, the Greyhound dog breed tends to acquire some genetic health issues. Like most large dog breeds, gastric torsion is a risk for the Greyhound dog breed. Be careful about what he eats and don’t let him run immediately after eating. The Greyhound dog breed also tends to develop arthritis and other rheumatic disorders. Bone cancer is also a concern.
If you are considering bringing a Greyhound dog breed into your family, you couldn’t have chosen better. Despite his large size, he is a great house pet and will do well with every member of your family. But rather than buy a Greyhound dog breed, please consider adopting one. There are thousands of Greyhound dog breeds all over the US retiring from their racing days and in need of a good loving home.
For more information on the Greyhound Dog Breed, check out “Greyhounds, Barron’s Complete Pet Owner’s Manual“