April is National Adopt a Greyhound Month—a time dedicated to promoting Greyhound adoption and educating people about the Greyhound dog breed. So we wanted to do our part by sharing some fun and interesting facts about Greyhounds. Whether you’re looking to adopt a Greyhound or simply want to learn more about this beautiful breed, you’ve come to the right place!

Quick Facts:

  • Greyhounds were originally intended to be hunting dogs, as they can reach speeds of up to 40 to 45 mph.
  • Because of their speed, Greyhounds often participate in racing and many other dog sports.
  • A majority of Greyhound pets in America are former racing dogs. In fact, there are more ex-racers in homes than there are dogs still racing.
  • These dogs are known for their speed, grace, and mild nature.
  • The Greyhound is an ancient breed that originated in the Middle East and North Africa. They have been mentioned by Greeks, written about by the Roman poet Ovid, and depicted in Egyptian art.
  • Life span: 10-15 years
  • Weight: 50-85 pounds
  • Height: 2-2.5 feet tall at the shoulder

Temperament

Although Greyhounds were originally bred to hunt and race, these docile dogs love to nap! You might hear someone affectionately call this breed the “40-mph couch potato.” Their gentle, graceful, and quiet personalities make them a great fit for almost any lifestyle, from the city and suburbs to the country.

Most Greyhounds are patient around children and other pets, although this may vary from dog to dog. As with dogs of every breed, it’s important to teach children how to approach, touch, and behave when interacting with dogs. Greyhounds typically have a strong urge to chase, especially if a smaller animal is running away from them. For this reason, it’s important to supervise your Greyhound around smaller pets and animals. Gentle guidance and training are key with this breed, as these dogs can become very timid with mistreatment or harsh training.

Appearance

Even if you haven’t seen a Greyhound in person, you probably already know what they look like. These dogs have a sleek appearance with an aerodynamic build, a muscular back, long legs, a narrow head, and a long, tapering tail. When it comes to coat color, don’t let the name fool you! A Greyhound’s coat can be almost any color or pattern, including black, red, gray, blue, white, and even striped. These dogs have a short and smooth coat that is generally easy to care for, although they do shed. For this reason, they should be brushed on a regular basis to keep shedding under control.

General Care and Health

In general, a Greyhound’s grooming needs are minimal, including regular brushing, occasional baths, nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning.

Younger Greyhounds will need plenty of exercise, patient training, and socialization. Although they were born to run, many adult dogs prefer a low level of activity, but they often still enjoy a daily walk.

All dog breeds have the potential to develop certain health conditions. Although Greyhounds are generally healthy, they are prone to a few health conditions.

  • Many Greyhounds have a sensitivity to anesthesia, possibly due to the breed’s low percentage of body fat. It’s important to discuss this potential sensitivity with your vet before any procedure.
  • Greyhounds have a tendency to bloat, which occurs when the stomach expands with air. This can lead to a more serious condition called gastric torsion, which occurs when the stomach twists on itself and cuts off blood flow.  This condition requires immediate surgery.
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is common in large-breed dogs, including Greyhounds. This cancer usually occurs in one of the legs, leading to amputation of the limb. With treatment, dogs can happily live for some time.

Interested in learning more about Greyhounds or having a Greyhound of your own? It’s always wise to do thorough research to ensure that a particular dog breed would fit your lifestyle and be a good fit for your family. If you’re considering adding a Greyhound to your family, we encourage you to look into rescuing one of these affectionate dogs. Many adult Greyhounds are put up for adoption after their racing days are over, but they can still offer many years of loyal companionship.

Do you own a greyhound? What do you love most about these amazing dogs? Share your story with us in the comments below!