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A tall, leggy and elegant dog. Friendly, outgoing, affectionate and amenable, usually loving the company of people and great around children. Docile and relaxed indoors, loves to run outdoors. Great for first time dog owners and a very wide variety of household types. Likes to get on the furniture/bed and snuggle, with or without humans.

Minimum Exercise:

Exercise/Activity Level: Moderate to low. 2 half hour runs a day at the bottom end, but they will easily do long hikes and jogs. Normally very good on lead (leash).

Size: 24 inches – 32 inches

Weight: 50lbs to 90lbs

Colour: All including particolour (white with patches)

Town or Country: Both

Low Allergy: Yes

Best Suited for: Any household, with or without children, with reasonable living/garden space and moderate time for exercise. Good for first time owners.

Group: Hound

Originally From: Africa (Mesopotamia) - One of the most ancient breeds, tracing ancestry to the earliest civilisations. Taken to South America by Columbus, and into Britain by the Romans.

Original Purpose: Hunting deer, wild boar and game (rabbits, hare).

Living Space: Moderate – very quiet indoors and curl up small. Don’t need a big garden. Some sunbathe, but they tend to only spend time outdoors if their owners are there too.

Coat: Short, soft, single coat.

Grooming: Minimal. Smooth over with a grooming glove & clip nails.

Children: Generally high, and they tend to be very gentle.

Sociability with strangers: Generally high

Sociability with animals or other dogs: Generally high with other dogs. Check if getting from rescue as an adult on reactions to small dogs and cats. Should not be homed with smaller furry creatures due to prey drive.

Trainability: Generally high, especially with treats. But they don’t sit because this is not comfortable for them.

Noise Level: Extremely low – rarely barks, but has an array of happy noises

Known Health Issues: Bad teeth, later onset of arthritis from racing, bald thigh syndrome and some bone cancers.

Lifespan: Hardy and tough. 11-15 years on average.

Special Needs: Very low body fat % = 1. Do not leave or kennel outside 2. Must have a coat in cold/wet weather 3. Vet must understand the much lower anaesthetic requirements of greyhounds 4. Take care in heat - can easily get heat stressed/heat stroke above 20 C/70F.

Introduction to greyhound types

The greyhound falls into 3 distinct types:

  1. Racing – the lightest built
  2. Coursing – more strongly built for open field terrain
  3. Show – a slightly different build from both above

The coursing type is the ‘original’ greyhound, which hunted deer with kings and noblemen.  These greyhounds were capable of galloping 20 miles with riders on horseback.  The smaller racing greyhound was ‘designed’ in the 19th century to handle the sharp corners of the oval racetracks.

Show greyhounds are different again – usually taller and stockier build, and no longer used for their original functions.   They can also be a different temperament.  The best bred show greyhounds will exhibit all the best characteristics of the racing and show types.    Send article as PDF