The Greyhound: A Complete Guide

While most associate the greyhound with racing, there is much more to this breed. Instead, they make for wonderful companions who will shower you with love and affection on a constant basis.

Originally bred to chase after rabbits, foxes and other small animals, hence them being listed as a sighthound, it was their obvious speed that led to them being turned into racing dogs.

This is actually one of the more ancient breeds of dog with their origins harking back to the time of Ancient Egypt.

The greyhound has been loved and desired by a number of major historical figures. Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, and even General Custer adored them, so you will certainly be in some worthwhile company.

That being said, what are the key details that you should be aware of?

Greyhound Puppies – Before You Buy…

Greyhound
The Greyhound is a loving and affectionate pet.

Prior to purchasing a greyhound puppy, there are several key points to consider. After all, you want to provide your puppy with the best possible start to life.

  • First, can you provide the level of exercise that they required?
  • Do you know what their temperament is like?
  • How big will they grow?

There are so many questions, but it is all easier to understand than you think.

What Price are Greyhound Puppies?

The price for greyhound puppies will depend on whether you are looking at the show variety or the racing breed. Also, the price clearly varies according to your location as well as its breeding.

A pup at 16 weeks old that has not been raced yet can cost anywhere between £350 to £1500 in the UK. The higher price applies when it has a strong pedigree, especially within racing.

In the US, the price is between $800 to $1500, and once again the breeding is going to determine the final price. That is why it is important to check their family lineage as this affects the price.

How to Find Reputable Greyhound Breeders?

No matter your reason for purchasing a greyhound, you want to deal with a reputable breeder.

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can locate these individuals, and you are strongly advised to use these methods.

The first step is to contact the Kennel Club. This will immediately reduce your chances of encountering a poor breeder.

Not only do they have a list of breeders that they have deemed to be fit for the purpose, but they will actively help you to locate and contact them.

Also, a personal recommendation can be another useful method, but you still need to trust your source.

When you do find a reputable breeder, then you need to meet at least one of the parents before buying. If they refuse to do this, then go elsewhere.

This allows you to examine their temperament and to see if it fits with what you are looking for. Failing to do this will mean you are taking a chance, and considering there are so many good breeders out there, then this would be a bad move.

Even though the Kennel Club can be trusted, do still conduct your own due diligence first. If they do not meet your checks, then go elsewhere.

3 Little-Known Facts About Greyhound Puppies

Greyhound
The Greyhound is a great company.

Greyhound puppies are adorable, but there is so much more to them than merely training them to run fast. In fact, here are three little-known facts.

  • Introducing them to strangers and dogs is essential.

A greyhound puppy needs to be socialised as early as possible, or it may lead to problems.

A greyhound can have the potential to nip at other dogs throughout their life, but making them feel more comfortable around other dogs can reduce the chances of that happening.

  • Expect stubbornness from the puppy when training it.

From a very early age, the puppy will often adopt an attitude of only wanting to do something if it knows it will get something it likes from it.

This leads to the stubbornness that can be frustrating for the owner as they feel the need to repeat the same thing over and over again.

  • You might have difficulty making them sit.

This is something that is not just limited to a greyhound puppy, but they will often have real difficulty with being able to sit.

The sitting position is completely alien to them, and they appear to struggle to comprehend what is being asked. This can result in some seeking to balance on their tail, which is not too elegant.

However, even though they can have their difficult phases, a greyhound puppy will prove to be an absolute delight to own.

Physical Traits of the Greyhound

People will often have a clear idea of what a greyhound looks like. However, if you are planning on having one as a pet, then a more in-depth understanding of their physical traits will undoubtedly help.

After all, you need to know what you are in store for as that puppy grows.

The greyhound has been regarded as being a rather elegant breed. Its stance and poise are seen as being quite stately, which may account for it having been so popular with the elite in society.

They exude a sense of being full of energy, and an anticipation that at any moment they could just burst into action and chase down something that caught their eye.

They are gentle and graceful in their movements, which surprises people, and will glide around your home without any problems. They do not shed too heavily either, but require a coat when the weather is cold.

How Big is a Full-Grown Greyhound?

The size of a full grown greyhound is going to depend not only on the sex, but also if you have a racing greyhound or a show greyhound.

In general, there is only a slight difference between the two with a show greyhound occasionally being the taller of the two.

For a racing greyhound, you are looking at an average height of between 25 to 29 inches. Also, the male tends to be closer to 29 inches.

The show greyhound will have an average height of 26 to 30 inches.

From a weight perspective, then there is a real difference between the sexes.

The male will often weigh between 65 to 80 pounds while the female is 50 to 65 pounds. The racing breed will generally be closer to the lower end of the scale as you are left with pure muscle and nothing else.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Greyhound?

While knowing how long your greyhound will live for is not an exact science, there is a general consensus as to their life expectancy.

That consensus has their life expectancy at between 12 to 15 years, but there are different factors that can influence this life expectancy.

In order to help, we have covered the most common health problems later on as being aware of them can make a significant difference.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Greyhound

Greyhound
The Greyhound can be very lazy.

A greyhound is an intelligent breed, and it is also regarded as being very gentle.

There is generally little aggression shown to other dogs thanks to their initial reason for breeding, which was hunting in groups.

They are also typically non-aggressive towards humans, but there are some exceptions.

It will not be unusual for them to walk away from an irritating situation whereas other breeds could growl or even snap at the dog or person.

This desire to walk away is also shown with how they prefer quiet individuals and little noise as they are extremely sensitive.

If there is tension in the air, then they will sense it, and that is only going to depress them and put them on edge.

The only potential problem is with cats and small dogs. Thanks to their hunting pedigree, they could react and chase after them, which is why keeping them muzzled is so important.

The Greyhound’s Diet

Forget the idea that a greyhound needs to be fed an extra special diet due to its athletic prowess as that is not the case. That being said, you must be careful with what you feed it for basic health reasons.

Generally speaking, and the amounts vary depending on the size of the dog, a greyhound should eat between 250g to 300g of meat per day. Consider chicken, beef, turkey and fish for meat, but only use the real stuff.

You should also provide them with vegetables. They love carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, and even broccoli. For a treat, offer them some fruit but avoid dried fruit as it can cause kidney failure.

Also, between 2.5 and 4 cups of dry food per day for males and 1.5 to 3 cups for females per day is important. Do note that this should be given in two meals.

Do try to provide them with the best quality dog food that you can afford. This applies across their diet.

The cheaper names contain a less nutritional value, and this could have a negative impact on their health. This applies to both wet and dry food.

Also, tinned food can contain fillers, so do look for specialist brands either in stores or via your vet.

A healthy body for a greyhound is if you can see a waist. Also, if you can feel its ribs without trying too hard. However, if you can see their ribs, then they are underweight.

How Much Exercise Does a Greyhound Need?

Exercise is one of the first things to spring to mind when anybody thinks about a greyhound.

However, the good news is that it can be easier to contend with their exercise requirements than you think. In fact, they require less exercise than a number of other breeds.

A greyhound is a sprinter; it is not a distance runner. Yes, allowing it to run at times is beneficial, but this is a dog breed that can also live quite comfortably in a small apartment.

Your main concern is that it does require a good daily walk. If you yourself love jogging, then your greyhound could also become the perfect training partner for you as it will have no problem in keeping up.

Look at even doing two 20 minute walks per day and this should be sufficient.

Failing to take your greyhound for a walk on a daily basis can lead to boredom. If your greyhound does become bored, then it can lead to some negative and destructive behaviours.

Greyhound Health and Conditions

A greyhound, like any breed, can be prone to certain health conditions even though there is no guarantee of them developing.

One of the main concerns is bone cancer. Unfortunately, this does claim the lives of a number of greyhounds, so the signs should not be ignored.

Furthermore, they can suffer from an issue with their gastrointestinal system known as bloat. In some instances, this can be fatal in a number of hours.

If you adopt a greyhound that was retired from racing, then it may suffer from osteoarthritis as a result of its career. It may also suffer from wear and tear on the disks in its spine leading to it experiencing pain.

They are also susceptible to muscle and ligament injuries, often due to their build, and their feet can develop painful corns on their pads as well.

An extra thing to be aware of is that a greyhound is also highly sensitive to the effects of anesthesia. This does require specialist knowledge from a vet, so checking in advance is best.

This may sound like a lengthy list, but it is due to their racing pedigree and their specific build.

If your greyhound is simply taken out for a walk, then the chances of those skeletal issues happening will diminish greatly.

Prior to getting a greyhound, seek health clearances for both the dog and the parents. The clearances should include.

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Thrombopathia
  • Eye check

My Final Thoughts on the Greyhound

Forget the idea that a greyhound is only for racing as that is not the case.

Instead, what you will have here is a loving and affectionate pet that is loyal, calm, and just amazing company.

Yes, they do require a significant level of exercise, but is that a real problem for you?

Just remember that they will actually prefer to sleep rather than anything else, so as long as you can give them a comfortable place to do that, then they will be quite content.

You will be surprised at how lazy they can be, but they are wonderful around children and are relatively quiet as well.

Their short coat leads to reduced shedding as well, so they can also prove to be useful for people with allergies.

Owning a greyhound can be fun, and just training it for racing is undoubtedly from a bygone era.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

4.5
Cost to Buy
8
Cuteness Level
8.5
Family Safety
7.5
Friendliness
3.5
Health Concerns
7.5
Life Span
5.5
Exercise Required
5.5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.3 / 10

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