While Ancient Egypt has depictions of dogs resembling greyhounds, the Greyhound was actually developed in Great Britain. It was a popular hunting dog for royalty, and used to hunt swift prey such as deer. The breed is considered the fastest dog, with speeds of up to 45mph clocked. Greyhounds are now used for a variety of functions, including racing.
Greyhounds feature a sleek, lanky body with a narrow chest and long legs. They have short, close to the skin fur, and a narrow tail. Even the ears and long snout of the Greyhound give him the appearance of being aerodynamic. The Greyhound is a Sighthound, meaning it relies on sight and speed for hunting down prey, rather than scent such as the Bloodhound.
Despite having been bred for speed and hunting, Greyhounds are notorious couch potatoes. They have an affectionate, loving and playful personality, making them a great pet for families. Their sense of humor and playfulness has also given the Greyhound the loving nickname of being a “cat in a dog’s body”.
Greyhounds live on average 10 to 12 years, slightly under average compared to other dogs their size. Health concerns include osteosarcoma (bone cancer), thyroid issues and bloat or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV). Many racing greyhounds are also prone to physical injuries and may be retired early due to them.
The coat of the Greyhound is one of the easiest to care for. Their short coats need occasional brushing, while rubbing with a curry comb can help stimulate the skin and prevent skin issues. Care should be also taken to check the Greyhound’s ears regularly and clean to prevent infection.
While intelligent, Greyhounds have a bit of a reputation being hard to train. They are naturally well mannered, but can be difficult to train to do basic obedience outside their natural instinct to hunt and chase. Positive reinforcement, rather than harsh training methods, usually gives better training results.
While they may be known for hunting and racing, the Greyhound is actually a bit of a couch potato and requires little actual exercise. However, it is still a good idea to take him for outdoor adventures such as a daily walk, or even fun activities such as field trials or agility.