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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Greyhound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 26" - 30"
  • Weight
  • 60-70 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors
    • Tendency to bite

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

English greyhound


It is believed that the Greyhound originated in Ancient Egypt.

Date Of Origin

This breed originated over 4900 years ago.


The Greyhound as a breed dates back so far that there are traces of it on almost every continent in the world. The oldest record of it is from 2900 B.C. on Egyptian carvings in tombs. After that, in 43 B.C. the first complete description of the breed was recorded by Roman writer, Ovid. By the tenth century the breed was imported to Great Britain, where it became popular among both commoners and royalty. In the eleventh century, commoners were forbidden from owning the breed; this law was reversed by Queen Elizabeth I more than five hundred years later. By the eighteenth century the breed had regained its popularity and a number of coursing clubs were established. The Greyhound was believed to have arrived in the U.S in the sixteenth century with Spanish explorers. Over time it was developed as a coursing and racing dog; commercial Greyhound racing was introduced in 1920. The majority of U.S. non-AKC greyhounds are part of this controversial industry.


The greyhound is a large, muscular and sleek dog. It is powerful and built for speed, being long-limbed and narrow. It has a long, lean head and neck; deep chest; and powerful hindquarters. The small, fine ears are folded and it has dark eyes. The long tail tapers to an upward curve. It has a short smooth coat that may be of any color.


The greyhound gets along with almost everyone, including children and other dogs. It has a strong prey drive and may be untrustworthy with small animals. It is affectionate, gentle, intelligent and playful. It is a couch potato at home and a runner in the field. Because most greyhounds available as pets are retired racers, they may need special training to adapt to home life.


Its greatest gift is its speed. Centuries ago it was used in the hunting of deer and wild boar; it could catch them and pull them down without stopping. It is also an incorrigible enemy of domestic animals, especially cats and geese. Today the greyhound is mostly used on racetracks, chasing mechanical rabbits. The greyhound is not adaptable to apartment life and it absolutely requires long, daily runs.

Health Concerns

Anesthesia sensitivity, bloat.

Additional Information

Greyhounds make wonderful pets and generally fit well into any household.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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