Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: England
Average Size: 70-75 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 30-40 kg
Average Life Span: 11-13 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium
The Greyhound is a well-known sighthound breed with roots in both England and Egypt. Though the breed was developed and brought to its current status in England, evidence of a sighthound strongly resembling the greyhound can be seen in Egyptian carvings and artwork dating back to nearly 3,000 B.C.
This breed’s main purpose was to chase small game such as hare, which the breed can do successfully, covering a large amount of land in a short period of time. The Greyhound is renowned for its speed and agility, which is often showcased in Greyhound races throughout the world. Rescue and adoption programs have helped make retired Greyhounds a popular choice for pets, as this breed is no longer used in racing once it is past its peak. The breed’s popularity throughout the world increased in the beginning of the 20th century.
As a working hound dog, the Greyhound is extremely useful to hunters, with its speed and sense of smell working together to form a powerful breed. Older Greyhounds are also beloved by owners around the world for their warm demeanor and surprisingly docile temperament.
Greyhounds have a remarkably slender physique, which allows them to run at a fast pace. It is also a very flexible and muscular breed. They are an average of 70-75 cm in height and 30-40 kg in weight. The breed has dark eyes and small ears that are set back on the dog’s head. It has a long, narrow head with no visible stop. Its tail is long and thin, tapering at the end with a visible curl.
The short, sleek coat of the Greyhound can be one or more of dozens of colours. The most common colours seen in a Greyhound’s coat include white, black, gray, brindle and fawn. This breed does not shed a great deal and is a breed to consider for those with dog allergies. In addition to its short hair, the Greyhound has thin skin, so it should not be exposed to extreme temperatures for a prolonged period of time.
While the Greyhound is young, it is crucial that it receives sufficient exercise. Nothing will tire it out as thoroughly and efficiently as laps around a racetrack, though it will also be happy jogging or walking at a fast pace. As the breed gets older, its need for exercise diminishes greatly. Racing Greyhounds are used to spending a majority of the day in cages, so the breed is inherently content to spend time at rest. They are calm and even-tempered, content to receive an average amount of daily exercise while spending the remainder of the day in a relaxed state. It has a sweet nature and is not prone to barking.
The Greyhound, if socialised well, will get along with people and other dogs. It has a playful and intelligent nature and is well-suited for a home with kids so long as it is treated gently. Since Greyhounds were bred to chase small animals, it may view cats as prey, so it does best in a household without small animals.
Racing injuries are among the biggest health concerns for the Greyhound, as it otherwise a strong breed. It is sensitive to anesthesia and insecticides. It should also be fed small meals several times a day to avoid gastric torsion.
To provide the Greyhound with maximum comfort and to reduce joint and arthritis pain as it ages, this breed should have a soft and warm place to sleep indoors.
A healthy Greyhound lives an average of 11-13 years.
Greyhound Organisations in Australia
Greyhound Adoption Program of Queensland
Greyhound Organisations in the UK
American Kennel Club – Italian Greyhound
Greyhound Organisations in the US
Italian Greyhound Club of America
The Whippet and Greyhound Club of South Australia inc
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