The Ultra-Fast Greyhound

descriptive textDog breed info
Weight: 60 — 70 lbs
Height: 26” — 29”
AKC Rank 2008 #127
Lifespan: 10—13 yrs
Group: Hound
Origin: Great Brittan

  • Breeders And Rescue Groups
  • Dog Health, Dog Illness, Medical Problems

    Dog Breed Info - The Greyhound

    A retired racing dog, now on a leash.
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    Breed Overview

    Origin: Ancient Times. Original junction, coursing rabbits. Today, racing, open field coursing, companion dog.

    The Grayhound is a non aggressive, calm, quiet, affectionate obedient, lovable dog. This is one handsome animal and one of my favorites. Lots of fun to work with.

    The Grey is one of the early sight hound's that could chase after game and outrun it. Similar dogs have been depicted since ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman times. The name might have come from “gralus,” meaning “Greek” or from Latin “gradus” denoting high grade. They were used for chasing rabbits for sport, and during the 1800’s, coursing became a consuming pastime. Early American immigrants often brought Greyhounds with them to the New World; here they proved adept at coursing on the open plains.Track racing began in 1926 and proved popular. Dogs were bred specifically for the racing events. This resulted in the fasted breed of dog. The AKC registered the breed in 1885. Retired racing dogs are now popular house pets.


    Intelligent and easy to train, eager to please. Responds well to clicker training and due to their sensitivity, positive reinforcement is a must.

    Crate Training

    Want to crate train your Greyhound? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems. Greyhounds lived in crates all during their racing years so they're used to them.

    Potty Training

    The English Greyhound puppy is not very difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

    If you have an older dog, it will have already been crate trained in the process of racing. Take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


    Known as “the worlds fastest couch potato,” she is calm, affectionate and extremely well-mannered. They are great with other dogs and pets IF RAISED WITH THEM. They tend to chase small things that move. They have been clocked at speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour. They are very sensitive, timid at times and reserved with strangers but will warm up in time. Despite their independent nature, they want to please their humans.

    If you happen to get a Greyhound with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

    A kind, loving breed. This Greyhound is now retired
    and like the one above, enjoys a good life as a family pet.

    Photo showing a closeup of the head and face of the Greyhound.

    Friendly Toward Other Dogs

    Fair. Grey's are not really aggressive and get along pretty well with other animals. There are three Grey's in my area and they all get along with my dogs. They love to chase balls.

    Friendly Toward Other Pets

    Sometimes.. The breed might prefer to be the only pet in the house, but CAN get along with a cat (or chase it) in some cases. You just have to try it and see. All dogs of a breed are not the same.

    If this dog is raised with the other pets, he will be okay with them, so get a puppy if you already have a house full of animals.

    Friendly Toward Strangers

    Fairly good with people. They can be very submissive until they get to know the person. Depends on the dog.


    Not overly playful but they do have their moments. 6 bars out of 10.


    Somewhat. They love their family of humans and crave human contact. The Grey makes a good family dog, loyal and friendly.

    Good with children?

    Yes, surprisingly good. Greyhound’s are laid back dogs that tolerate fairly well. Toddlers must be closely supervised and older kids need to be well mannered and educated on how to behave around "dignified" dogs. A great family pet.

    Good with Seniors over 65?

    Yes. The Greyhound can be a great companion for seniors. A quiet walk twice a day and this big mush will crawl up on the sofa with you. They are very loving, wonderful dogs and will keep the senior company on long winter nights. If longevity or training are issues, find a Greyhound Rescue group and adopt a 3 or 4 year old dog that is house training and knows a few commands. That will save some headaches.

    Living environment

    Apartment, farm, big city, all OK. These dogs were caged all their young racing life and are not used to having space so apartment living is fine as long as she gets out for walks.

    The Greyhound does not need a big yard. Take her for a walk instead. If given a yard, she'll just lie down and take a nap.

    This breed MUST have soft bedding to sleep on. Her large body is not protected by body fast and she needs soft cushioning. Additionally, the Greyhound must be kept warm. She’ll need a coat if in a cold climate and her bed should be in a warm part of the house, away from drafts.

    Energy level

    Moderate to low. The Greyhound is a super-fast racing dog that is a couch potato in disguise.

    Exercise needs, daily

    Several nice 1/2 to 1 mile walks daily will do it. Must be leashed. The Greyhound will chase any small thing that moves and hunt it down.


    Low. Some Greyhounds will bark if you enter their property but not always. Some come up to greet you. This is from personal experience.

    Guard dog

    No. They are too submissive, timid and friendly.


    Yes, but not much.


    Brush weekly to remove dead hair. Four times a week if shedding. Use a slicker or firm bristle brush from the pet store.

    This is a handsome dog. The Greyhound is not
    aggressive and makes a wonderful house pet.

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    Suggested Reading - The Greyhound
    Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

    • The first three books cover everything from history to training to caring for this breed. They are all good but some feature hard covers and more photos. There are more books on the market but they have much lower review ratings.

    • The book on the far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. Ir's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

    Greyhound Breeders

    In the event you decide to go looking for Greyhound puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
    Greyhound Breeders
    with puppies for sale.

    Greyhound Rescue

    In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Greyhound Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
    Petfinder - Greyhound Rescue - (Nationwide) If you do adopt one, you might want to check for the dog health records which could be useful later on.
    Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. Also, try online for Greyhound Rescue groups if you don't find anything close to you, as you never know what might turn up.

    Dog Health Issues For The Greyhound
    Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Greyhound by various vets.

    This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

    The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking, causing lameness and arthritis in the Greyhound. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    • Hemophilia—A lack of a clotting factor in the blood. The mutation responsible for canine hemophilia B is a lack of factor IX in the affected dogs and requires gene therapy. Obviously, if you find your dog is bleeding and the bleeding won't stop, you go to the vet, NOW.

    • Esophageal achalasia -Regurgitation of food before reaching the stomach caused by failure of the walls of the esophagus to relax enough to let food pass through.

    • Cutaneous asthenia—Hereditary, rare disease. Abnormally stretchy, fragile skin that tears, easily. Tearing comes easily such as the dog stretching. Little bleeding results and the torn areas heals with irregular scars resulting. Infrequently, lens luxation and loose joints may be found along with the white scaring. A skin biopsy is used for diagnosis. Your vet will advise what can be done, if anything, depending on the individual case.

    • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds like the Greyhound in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in dogs living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and it will scar, causing visual impairment.

    • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem.
      Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

    • Thrombocytopenia - Immune disorder. Inability to clot blood, abnormally low blood platelet concentration with accelerated platelet destruction. Platelets are necessary to stop bleeding. In this disease, the autoimmune system destroys it's own platelets. The dog will show lethargy, decrease in appetite, easy bruising and bleeding. Blood in the urine, noise or rectum can also be as hint to get to the vet. Treatment will come by way of medication and will take a looong time with unwanted side effects that will diminish when the meds are ended.

    • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy—Orthopedic bone disease in large dogs, 2 to 6 months old. Very painful and possibly caused by poor nutrition. There will be pain and swelling in the affected legs. Look for lameness or a desire not to move at all, and loss of appetite plus a high fever may also occur. Medication, bed rest and a special diet are usually given. The disease can be fatal.

    • von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

    • Arthritis.

    • Osteosarcoma—A leg bone cancer in large breed dogs of any age but usually in large, older dogs. Osteosarcoma in the limbs is “appendicular osteosarcoma.” The Greyhound will be in great pain as the disease destroys the bone from the inside out. The dog’s inability to walk will progress over only about 3 months time as the bone is destroyed by the tumor. Unfortunately, surgery to remove the leg is the only way to give your dog the only total relief needed.

    • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

    Other health issues could occur with your Greyhound. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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