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This very ancient breed is the fastest dog in the world and can reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour (65 km/h). Carvings of the Greyhound were found in tombs in Egypt dating back to 2900 B.C. They are thought to have originally descended from the Arabian Sloughi and brought to England by traders before 900 AD. They were one of the first dogs ever to be shown in a dog show. The greyhound’s natural quarry is the rabbit and hare; however it has also been used to hunt stag, deer, fox and wild boar.

The dogs speed along with its keen eyesight helped it excel at its work. The dogs were able to chase and catch the pray without stopping to rest. Today there are two types of Greyhounds being bred. Show lines which conform to the written standard and racing lines bred for speed.

After retiring from a racing career, these dogs were often destroyed. With the dedicated efforts of Greyhound Rescue this practice has greatly reduced and the most mellow tempered Greyhounds are found homes. The Greyhounds talents include hunting, sighting, watchdog, racing, agility, and lure coursing.


The Greyhound is a tall slender dog. The head is long and narrow, wide between the ears, with a long tapering muzzle. There is no stop. The small rose ears are held back and folded and are semi-perked when they are excited. The eyes are dark in colour. The slightly arched neck is long. The legs are long with the front legs being perfectly straight. The chest is wide and deep. The long tail tapers with a slight upward curve. The short, fine coat comes in all colours.


The Greyhound is brave, and devoted. Intelligent, laid-back, charming and loving, but their character is often undervalued because of their reserved behaviour towards strangers and even their master.

They are sensitive to the tone of one's voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner, however they will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. Allow to mix well with both humans and other dogs from an early age to prevent timidity. As a rule, they are gentle and even-tempered - both racing lines and show lines. Most Greyhounds have a definite prey drive. It is instinctive for these dogs to chase anything that moves quickly.

They are extremely fast and some will kill cats and other domestic animals, although this is not the majority (only about 20% of ex-racers are too "keen" on chasing prey to ever be safe with small animals). About 10% can be left straight away with other small animals due to low prey instinct, and the rest can be trained to leave cats and other small animals while in the home alone. They seldom present difficulties with other dogs and are normally good with children, though they do not usually like rough-house play, and would not be a good choice for young children who are looking for a play mate. Indoors, these dogs are calm and sociable to a point where they can even be considered lazy. They bond strongly with their own people, have tremendous stamina, and do not bark much.

Show lines tend to be of a different body style than racing lines, and are often more angulated. Racing lines are bred for performance, but often a good by-product is friendly, outgoing dogs, which make great family pets when retired from racing. Greyhounds are not particularly vigilant. Show lines tend to be a bit heavier and bred more for temperament than racing lines, which are bred for speed. However racing lines also make wonderful pets.

There are plenty of adoption groups in the UK for these gentle, loving dogs to find a home when they retire from racing. Retired racing Greyhounds are not usually difficult to house train. They are already crate trained from the track, so it doesn't take them long to learn that they are not to "go" in the house. The Greyhound needs an even tempered, fair but firm owner who knows to act as alpha pack leader to the dog. A Greyhound who knows his place in his pack and what is expected of him is a happy Greyhound.

Height, Weight

Height: Dogs 71-76cm Bitches 68-71cm.
Weight: Dogs 29-32kg Bitches 27-29kg.

Health Problems

Greyhounds can be prone to bloat. It is better to feed them 2 or 3 small meals rather than one large one. They are sensitive to chemicals, including insecticides. They are also prone to hypothyroidism.

Living Conditions

The Greyhound can live in a flat or small dwelling if they get enough exercise. They are relatively inactive indoors. Greyhounds are sensitive to the cold but do well in cold climates as long as they wear a coat outside. Do not let this dog off the lead unless in a safe area. They have a strong chase instinct and if they spot an animal such as a rabbit they just might take off. They are so fast you will not be able to catch them.


Greyhounds that are kept as pets should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground in a safe area. Greyhounds love a regular routine.

Life Expectancy

Greyhounds that are kept as pets should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground in a safe area. Greyhounds love a regular routine.


The smooth, short-haired coat is very easy to groom. Simply comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo only when necessary. This breed has a normal moult.

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