Breed Greyhound

BreedsAbout the Breed: Greyhound

Gentle, sweet, and sensitive, the Greyhound enjoys short bursts of energy, but much prefers snuggling on the couch.

History

Greyhounds are the oldest purebred dog, with the first records of greyhound-type dogs appearing about 8,000 years ago. In ancient Egypt, greyhounds were revered as gods, and only royalty were allowed to own them. The greyhound is the only breed of dog mentioned by name in the Bible.

Personality

These dogs have a gentle spirit, more sensitive and passive than other dog breeds, and thus do not respond to harsh training methods or treatment. When fresh off the racetrack, they enjoy regular exercise, but will still devote plenty of time to naps. As they age, they are more comfortable with a lazy lifestyle, as long as they are in your company.

Sighthounds are not for everyone however; they are unique, almost cat-like in demeanor. They are not to be trusted off leash, unless in a secured yard. If you are not familiar with the breed, reading, research and interaction is strongly encouraged prior to bringing one into your home.

Best with:

  • A loving home that can provide exercise.
  • Owners willing to use positive training only.
  • Homes with a minimum 5 foot fence.
  • Owners committed to keeping their Whippet leashed.
  • Mature owners with some sighthound experience.

Not for:

  • An inexperienced dog owner.
  • Homes with unfenced yards.
  • Outdoor living.
  • Insensitive treatment.

Pros:

Easy going, beautiful, quiet, and trusting. Hypoallergenic for some people with allergies to other breeds; clean, no dog odor.

Cons:

  • Can sometimes be unsafe with livestock and small pets.
  • Can sometimes be aloof or timid.
  • Not suited for outdoor living.
  • Cannot be trusted off leash.

Characteristics

Size:

Greyhounds can vary, from as small as 45 pounds and 28 inches at the shoulder, to as large as 95 pounds and 32 inches at the shoulder. Females tend to be smaller, but this is not a rule.

Color:

Any color or combination of colors, including brindle (except black and tan).

Energy Level:

Moderate.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.

Children:

Most Greyhounds are good with well-behaved or older children.

Other animals:

Good with other animals (occasionally not cat or small animal safe).

Abilities:

Napping, leaning for pets, and more napping. Greyhounds also excel in lure coursing, agility, showing, barn hunt, and other activities.

Shedding/Grooming:

Depends on the dog, most shed very little; some shed more as they age. Occasional brushing and baths as needed.

Health:

Periodontal disease, cancer, irritable bowel, epilepsy; skin can tear easier than other breeds. Some come off the racetrack with tick-borne diseases.