By LifeLearn

"The Fastest Dog on Earth"

Photo of Greyhound


For centuries, racy sighthounds were – and still are – bred by diverse societies to help chase game. Many of the British nobility kept Greyhounds. Employed in hunting, the dogs' speed and keen vision helped fill stewpots in many areas of the world.


Aloof with strangers, the Greyhound enjoys familial attention, but is not demanding. Greyhounds are perfectly content to lie on a cushy bed and watch you doing your household chores. Retired racing Greyhounds are particularly appreciative of their new life of luxury after hard times at the track. Leisurely walks on leash will suffice during the day, with an occasional chance to run in a safe, sturdily-fenced environment. Greyhounds will chase cats, bunnies, rodents, and other temptations (including tiny dogs), so care must be taken that smaller pets, and surrounding fauna, are kept safe. If these dogs escape from a secure enclosure, they can be gone in the blink of an eye.


Close-coated, the Greyhound comes in a rainbow of colors. A litter might sport spots, brindles, and solids; shades of whites, blacks, browns, or grays. The small ears are folded back in an efficient, aerodynamic style. The long tail is subject to injuries. The Greyhound's back is arched over the loin, giving her flexibility and strength to gallop with awesome bounds.


Lure coursing is fun. Prepare to be astounded at how fast your dog goes! Clicker or other positive-reinforcement training brings the best results. Hounds are seldom competitive in formal obedience events, but they do like to please. Although slim and trim, they'll snap up a steak – or a cupcake – in an instant. Greyhounds do their grazing on kitchen counters. Owners learn to keep countertops free of food, thawing items in the microwave or on top of the fridge – although that may not be impossible to reach!

Grooming & Care

Trim nails and you're done. Use the time saved in grooming to massage your dog and enjoy a special bonding experience.

Health Concerns

Ask whether parents are certified by CERF and free of von Willebrand's Disease (vWD, a bleeding disorder). The deep chest can cause bloat. Many sighthounds have a sensitivity to anesthesia. Because of this and the possibility of vWD, be sure to consult a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about the breed.

Famous Greyhound

Mick the Miller, who ran a 525 yard course in 30 seconds; Santa's Little Helper on “The Simpsons.”

Ideal Owner
Activity Level Moderate
Schedule Full-time (but no overtime)
Personal Style Easygoing and casual
Training Style Patient, Positive
Home Anything goes with enough exercise
Children Gentle and respectful kids
Experience Not necessary
Quick Facts
Size Large
Grooming Easy to care for - brush weekly
Exercise Moderate - needs to walk or play every day
Training Does not respond to harsh methods
Temperament Gentle, Reserved, Sweet
Challenges Can't be trusted off-leash; will chase small animals
Height 27 to 30 inches
Weight 60 to 70 pounds
Life 10 to 12 years
Home Alone Fine with lots of exercise first
With Kids Fine with older kids
With Strangers Reserved
Availability Highly available - check breeders and consider breed-rescues
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