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Did you know that the Greyhound dog breed was originally bred as hunting dogs and were to chase after foxes, hare, and deer?
Because they needed to chase such fast animals, they are capable of reaching 40 to 45 miles per hour, making them the fastest dog breed!
So it’s no wonder that people have taken an interest in the Greyhound dog speed and have been racing them for ages. However, not only are they great hunters and racers, but they are sweet dogs to have as a family pet, too.
If you’re thinking about welcoming one of these pets into your family, you’ll probably want to learn a bit more about these graceful pups.
Greyhound Dog: Common Physical Characteristics
The Greyhound dog breed has a very distinct look to them. These dogs are sleek and athletic with a very thin coat.
When it comes to the color of the Greyhound, there are 30 recognized Greyhound dog colors.
These dogs will have variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red, and gray (blue). The dog can be a solid color or a variety of combinations of the colors mentioned above.
The typical Greyhound dog size is typically 25 to 29 inches high if they are racing, however, if they are show dogs, they’ll be between 26 to 30 inches—not a big difference, but it is worth noting.
The average Greyhound dog weight is dependent on the sex: males can weigh between 65 to 85 pounds whereas the female can weigh between 50 to 65 pounds.
If the dogs are racing dogs, they will be at the lower end of the weight range.
The Greyhound is dolichocephalic, which means they have a skull that is long in comparison to its size and the muzzle is long and narrow.
Greyhound Common Health Problems
The Greyhound is a healthy dog, but they can be prone to certain health conditions that you’ll want to be aware of.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have these issues, but it is a possibility.
- Anesthesia Sensitivity – Sighthounds like Greyhounds are sensitive to anesthesia and other types of drugs. What is a normal dosage of medication for regular dogs can kill your Greyhound because the breed has such low body fat.
- Hypothyroidism – Greyhounds with hypothyroidism will show signs of obesity, mental dullness, lethargy, irregular heat cycles, and droopy eyelids. The fur will become coarse and brittle, and it may even begin to fall out. Much like people, the condition can be treated with a daily thyroid prescription.
- Osteosarcoma – Though this condition usually affects large and giant dog breeds, this aggressive bone cancer can affect Greyhounds too. The first sign of the disease is lameness. However, it is important to have an x-ray completed to be sure. The disease is typically treated with a limb amputation or chemotherapy which can extend the life expectancy to 9 months to two years.
- Gastric Torsion (Bloating) – Bloat is caused by a sudden onset of gas or air in the dog’s stomach. This can cause the stomach to distend and twist up, which can cause death if it isn’t treated quickly.
Greyhound Dog Breed Temperament
In general, the Greyhound dog breed has a tendency to be indifferent to strangers and not pay them too much attention. However, when they are in their pack (you and your family), they are pretty affectionate. T
he typical temperament of these dogs are calm, docile, relaxed, and in general, pretty laid back.
When you see Greyhounds during a race, you may notice they wear a muzzle. This doesn’t mean that it’s because they have a tendency to get mean and fight, but that isn’t the case.
The muzzles are worn so that the dogs don’t hurt one another once the race is over and the “rabbit” is gone. The dogs are still working on an abundance of energy, and they can still be quite excited.
The Greyhound doesn’t need an abundance of exercise; they’re bred for bursts of speed rather than forgoing the long haul for an extended period.
Puppies haven’t been taught how to use their energy, so they can get a little destructive and be hyperactive. For that reason, the Greyhound dog breed isn’t for someone who has never raised dogs before.
How To Care For Your Greyhound Dog
Greyhounds tend to be low-energy dogs, despite being known for their speed and agility.
With that said, they do need to be exercised regularly to avoid boredom and destructive behaviors. It is a good idea to have a fenced-in yard so your Greyhound can run around and chase small critters but not run off.
It is highly recommended that you keep the Greyhound on a leash when walking because they do have a tendency to chase anything that catches their eye.
Also, when you are feeding the dog, be mindful of how much you feed them because they are prone to getting overweight—sometimes when a Greyhound has been “retired” from racing, they will gain up to five pounds.
When you’re training your dog, you will want to begin training as soon as you bring them home. They have a stubborn streak and will approach training with that “What do I get out of it” sort of mentality. They respond well to consistency, patience, and positive reinforcements like praise and food rewards.
The Greyhound dog breed can be a fantastic family pet because they are relatively low-key and they don’t require going above and beyond in terms of care. Because these dogs were bred for running, it’s wise to have ample space for them to run around.
While they may not need to run for miles each day, it is a good idea to allow them some release for all that energy they do have. If not, you’ll have a bored dog on your hands that can tear up your home and chew on everything!
If you’re wondering how much is a Greyhound dog before you seek out a reputable breeder, you can expect to spend anything between $500 to $1,500 for a purebred pup.