The Greyhound is one of those dog breeds that is pretty easily recognizable by most folks. And, unlike most other “types” of dogs, even the most casual of dog “aficionados” will be able to tell you that the Greyhound dog breed is known for their speed.
What most folks won’t be able to tell you about is the Greyhounds ancient origins which date back to early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and talk about the Greyhound dog breed because there is just so much more about this breed that folks really ought to know about. Because aside from the fact that their really fast, they can also make really great pets for the right family.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Greyhound Dog Fast Facts
Country of Origin: England
Original Purpose: Hunting
Height: 27 to 30 inches tall
Weight: 60 to 70 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Dog Group Classification: Hound group
Origin of the Greyhound dog breed
While “technically” the Greyhound dog breed is generally considered to be a product of English breeding, it’s important to understand that Greyhound breed comes from a long line of sight hounds which represent some of the very oldest of all domesticated dog breeds in the world.
These early hounds were bred by the Romans and Greeks, and by the Egyptians as well. It is even believed that Cleopatra herself owned many of these “kinds” of dogs as well.
Now back then…
These guys were breed to be show animals, they were built for speed. Speed which was used to hunt small game over several different continents!
It’s probably impossible to identify exactly when sighthounds in general were first domesticated, there are Egyptian artifacts dating back as far as 2900 B.C. that prove these “types” of dogs have been with us for at around 3000 years. Most of which are believed to be the direct descendants of the Arabian Sloughi, a powerful hunting dog.
These ancient sighthounds were slowly developed in the Greyhound breed that we know today, where they were used to hunt game such as deer, stag, boar and fox.
Seem to agree that Greyhounds were first brought to the UK by the invading Roman Army back around 55 BC. During this time, their natural abilities soon made them a valuable asset to the people of the time which is why, the breed soon found a home within England.
They were soon a popular breed in the UK, loved by the royals and nobility. Queen Elizabeth I loved these dogs.
Greyhounds were brought to North America by British and Spanish colonists. So, it’s pretty safe to say that they were one of the first dog breeds to immigrate to the New World which is why it’s only appropriate that they were also one of the first dog breeds to be “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club way back in 1885.
In modern times, these magnificent animals are probably best known for their “racing” abilities rather than their hunting skills. This is mainly due to the creation of the invention of the “mechanical lure” which imitates a rabbit which triggers these guys natural instinct to chase and hunt.
For many years, the Greyhound dog breed was often misused within the dog racing industry and often neglected once their “usefulness” ended. The good news is that now “retired” racers are often placed in loving homes proving once again how great these guys can be as family companions rather than just racing dogs.
Many may argue that “racing dogs” is unethical, we here at IndulgeYourPet prefer to avoid that controversy but will state for the record that any time you use a dog to perform a task, it is the owner’s responsibility that these dogs maintain a high quality of life for their entire existence not only when they are useful.
Physical Characteristics of the Greyhound
As said earlier, the Greyhound was originally bred as a fast hunting dog. This is why you should be able to notice immediately that they are fast, sleek, athletic and blessed with great stamina. In fact, these guys can cover 45 miles in an hour.
Needless to say, the Greyhound Racing Dog is a marvelous physical specimen. He is not to be trifled with. He is a very tall and sleek dog and can reach up to 27-30 inches in height. And while he doesn’t weigh all that much for his size, these guys are still going to weigh in at about 70 pounds which isn’t too shabby.
These guys have a short, smooth coat that does not require much grooming because given how big they are, if they did shed a ton that would be a lot of work to have to keep up with.
Their coats also…
Come in various shades of brindle or white with a striped pattern, much like an African dog.
Greyhound personality and temperament
Greyhounds are serious, intelligent dogs, and are generally friendly dogs with a very non-aggressive demeanor. They have a very loyal nature and can be friends with anyone.
But be warned…
Because these guys also have a strong independent streak, and like cats, have a strong prey drive. So, while it may appear like your Greyhound is just “chillin” you better believe it that he or she is always scanning the horizon looking for some small little critter to go and chase.
Which is why…
You’re going to want to be sure to being training your Greyhound puppy right away so that he or she will know how to behave around other animals and any small children.
You’ll also want…
To make sure that you only use positive reinforcement with your Greyhound because these guys are very sensitive dogs and can become timid when they are mistreated.
If you have a toddler or a small child, it’s better to wait for him or her to get a little older before you bring a Greyhound home. These dogs tend to snap when someone irritates them or teases them, as small children are known to do. Never leave a small child unsupervised with any dog.
Greyhound Health Issues
Greyhounds are remarkably healthy, but like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain genetic conditions. Just make sure that any greyhound puppy you adopt or buy from a breeder has been through DNA testing and other medical tests.
Specifically, here’s a list of the health issues that you should worry about when bringing a Greyhound puppy home.
- Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
Greyhounds have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
There are a few things you need to do to make sure that your dog has a long, healthy life.
- Watch what he eats
- Make sure he gets enough exercise – hire a dog walker to take him out for long walks every day if you don’t have the time for it.
- Get medical help from an experienced vet on time if you suspect anything wrong with your Greyhound’s health.
- Get Pet Insurance for Greyhounds
We here at IndulgeYourPet…
Also like to recommend that any new pet owner take a look at what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy as well. This way if your new pet does suffer from an injury or illness in the future, you won’t be on the hook for 100% of his or her medical bills which can be quite expensive especially when treating a condition like Bloat which Greyhounds are susceptible to.
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “Best” pet insurance policies in the industry, feel free to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.