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 dogs, “aficionados,” can tell you that the Greyhound dog breed is known for its speed. But what most folks won’t be able to tell you about is the Greyhound’s 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. Aside from being swift, they can also make 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 a product of English breeding, it’s essential to understand that the Greyhound breed comes from a long line of sighthounds representing some of the very oldest of all domesticated dog species in the world. The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians bred these early hounds. It is even believed that Cleopatra also owned many of these “kinds” of dogs.
Now, back then…
These guys were bred to be show animals built for speed. Speed, which was used to hunt small games over several different continents! And while it’s probably impossible to identify precisely when sighthounds, in general, were first domesticated, Egyptian artifacts dating back as far as 2900 B.C. prove these “types” of dogs have been with us for around 3000 years. Most 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 for hunting game such as deer, stag, boar, and fox. Current theories seem to agree that Greyhounds were first brought to the U.K. by the invading Roman Army around 55 B.C. During this time, their natural abilities soon made them a valuable asset to the people of the time, so the breed soon found a home in England.
They were soon popular in the U.K. and loved by the royals and nobility. Queen Elizabeth I loved these dogs. Eventually, 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.
Modern times, these magnificent animals are probably best known for their “racing” abilities rather than hunting skills. This is mainly due to the invention of the “mechanical lure,” which imitates a rabbit, which triggers these guys’ 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 usually placed in loving homes, proving once again how great these guys can be as family companions rather than just racing dogs. While 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 helpful.
As said earlier, the Greyhound was initially bred as a fast-hunting dog. This is why you should be able to notice immediately that they are closed, sleek, athletic, and blessed with great stamina. These guys can cover 45 miles in an hour. So, 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 much for his size, these guys will still 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 shed a ton, that would be a lot of work to keep up with. Their coats also come in shades of brindle or white with a striped pattern, much like an African dog.
Personality and Temperament
Greyhounds are serious, intelligent, and 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 they are constantly scanning the horizon, looking for some tiny little critter to go and chase.
Which is why…
You will want to be sure to train your Greyhound puppy right away so that they will know how to behave around other animals and any minor children. You’ll also want to ensure you only use positive reinforcement with your Greyhound because these guys are susceptible dogs and can become timid when mistreated.
If you have a toddler or a small child, waiting for them to get a little older before you bring a Greyhound home is better. 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.
Potential Health Concerns
Greyhounds are remarkably healthy, but like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to specific genetic conditions. 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 you should worry about when bringing a Greyhound puppy home.
It would be best to do a few things to ensure 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…
I also recommend that any new pet owner look at what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy. Suppose your new pet suffers from an injury or illness in the future. In that case, you won’t be on the hook for 100% of their medical bills, which can be pretty 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, please check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.