Dog Breed Profile – Greyhound

Dog Breed Profile – Greyhound

By Stephanie Bayliss


There are conflicting opinions regarding the origin of the Greyhound, from the Celts who believed that they came from Greece, to the Romans who believed that they came from Gaul (in Western Europe), with many varying opinions inbetween.

There are ancient pictures which date back to 6000BC in the city of Catal-Huyuk in present-day Turkey, depicting dogs very similar in type to Greyhounds. Pictures from 4000BC found on a funery vase in Iran also depict Greyhound-like dogs which suggest that these dogs were held in the highest regard. Ancient artists tended only to depict images of religious or social importance.


Greyhounds have an extremley elegant and graceful appearance; slender but also strong. They are propelled by extremely strong hindquarters; when they run it appears effortless and truly beautiful.

It is a pleasure to watch these dogs race, with their long neck and face set on their long, slender frame.

Greyhounds come in a massive variety of colours; Black, red, white, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle or any of these colours broken up with white


Despite what most people think, these dogs can be real couch potatoes! Although they are capable of short bursts of speeds of upto 64km/hr, they are not blessed with great amounts of endurance, so love to get home after walkies and sleep it off!

They are great family pets; kind and gentle with their families and very affectionate. They may be a little aloof with strangers, but never nasty.

However, their history must be remembered; they were bred to course and race and therefore have tendencies to chase and catch small things; this can include smaller dogs, cats and other small pets. They must be very carefully socialised with smaller dogs and extreme care should be taken around cats.


With their short coats, they will only require a very minimal amount of time spent on grooming.


Two 20 minute walks a day is ample for these dogs – they particularly enjoy getting home to relax after their walkies!! Real care should be taken with allowing these dogs off lead – unless they are EXTREMELY well trained, they are liable to run off and chase any small thing that moves – and at 64km/h, there is no chance you’ll be able to catch them!!

Health Problems

Greyhounds can be prone to injury when expelling their pent up energy! They don’t really suffer from any genetic diseases; they can be a little sensitive to drugs although vets should be aware of this if treating them.

Stephanie has written many articles on dogs. Visit Kennel Corner for more Dog Breed Profiles and other interesting dog resources, including a Dog Obedience School Directory.

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4 people thinks stuff!

  1. thank you it was very usefull but please can you include the inteligence

    Comment by julian on May 1, 2007 5:01 pm

  2. Hi Julian. How about this?

    Gentle, intelligent and affectionate. Greyhounds are very good-natured and gentle with people of all ages. They are an intelligent breed and use their own initiative, especially if they believe they are given pointless instructions. They need gentle and persuasive handling. They tend to quite cautious with strangers but get on well with children.

    That’s from another post in this Greyhound category.. over here:

    Comment by HART (1-800-HART) on May 1, 2007 8:19 pm

  3. What a nice succinct description of the “Grey”.

    I have only recently acquired two ex-racers aged 2 & 4. They were in a deplorable state when they arrived. The two year old hadn’t actually raced but has the ear tattoos that indicate he is Irish, as is his companion who has raced.

    It is most rewarding two adopt such magnificent dogs and to see the progress they’ve made in 3 short months. One of them had received appalling treatment and was in a state of terror when he arrived. He is now much more confident and content.

    But, and there’s always a but, any one intent on adopting needs to be aware that if they come from racing kennels, you’re basically taking on two fully grown puppies! All the faults of puppies come with them.

    Now it doesn’t take long to get through this “delayed puppyhood” but it came as something of a shock to me! It seems that the early kennel life and race training denies them of the freedom to express their puppy ways.

    They have to be taught what is their’s, and what isn’t.

    They arrive as kleptomaniacs and will gather items of interest in their nest. In our case it’s our lounge so we were more than a little perplexed to find watering cans empty wine bottles and other bits of garden debris on the settee! They now have got the message that we have our own ideas about suitable home decor!

    With that in mind, I would heartily recommend them as pets with the caveat that your comments about cats and letting off lead are heeded.


    Comment by Ray Davies on November 9, 2007 4:56 am

  4. Hi Ray! Thanks for describing puppies in here! I can practically see them redesigning your living room šŸ™‚

    Comment by HART (1-800-HART) on November 9, 2007 8:55 am

What do you think?


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