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Greyhound ~ Breed Profile

Bred for sport and yet gentle house dogs, the Greyhound is a breed worthy of a place on anyone’s couch.

The ideal Greyhound home comes equipped with a large sofa (for the dog to stretch out on & sleep the day away) and a 15-20 minute daily walk or activity to keep them happy.

If you have other pets in the home (like cats) make sure you select a Greyhound that is pet friendly or if a rescue as passed an assessment for this.

In return for providing a happy hound home, you’ll get a polite, well-mannered dog who despite being physically big and skinny is a total softie at heart.

So many Greyhound owners become smitten by the breed and consider them the ideal companion.

Breed Characteristics & Traits

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years. Greyhounds are classed as a large breed, and happily they live longer than the average for large breeds.

Height: 69-76 cm (27-30 inches)
Weight: 27 -32kg (60-70 lb)
Colours: A wide variety of colours including black, white, black & white, fawn, red fawn, blue, red & brindle (including fawn, red, light and blue brindle).

Care / Grooming Requirements: Greyhounds do shed hair, but not profusely. The short coat of the Greyhound requires regularly brushing to keep it in good condition. Their nails grow quickly and benefit from being worn down by walking on firm surfaces – alternatively, be prepared to clip the nails regularly.

Greyhound Breed Profile & Style File on Puppy Tales

History of the Greyhound

Country of Origin – The origins are unclear, indeed lost in the mists of time, but Egypt, Greece, or Turkey all have links to Ancient Greyhounds.
History – Illustrations on Egyptian tombs dating back 5,000 years, suggest the breed originated in the East. They made it to Britain around 900 BC, where they were popular with noblemen (and poachers) as hunting dogs.
Dog Group/Type – Hound; Sighthound

Temperament / Personality

  • Quiet and gentle is a good summary of the average Greyhound’s temperament. This breed limits their physical exertions to running, and the breed has a reputation for being placid rather than aggressive.
  • They are notoriously laid-back and well mannered, and the dog equivalent of the person who apologises to the furniture when they walk into a table. However, the fragile skin of the greyhound, their boniness and lack of padding make them prone to injury around young children.
  • One aspect of greyhounds that can lead to misunderstandings is how they express stress. When pursued by an active toddler, the stressed greyhound is likely to flatten their ears and keep the tail low – signs that can be misinterpreted as aggression.
  • Some greyhounds do not get along with cats or other pets in your home.  If you have other small pets, it’s important to make sure that you’re matched with a Greyhound that’s pet friendly.

Celebrity Greyhounds

With a long breed history, it’s not surprising that Greyhounds have lived in the households of Gods, Royalty, Authors, Actors and musicians alike throughout the centuries.  The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra reputedly owned Greyhounds, as indeed did Tutankhamun (1).  King Henry VIII adopted the Greyhound as his personal standard, and the dog is still a symbol of the House of York to this day (2).  General George Custer loved his dogs, and he had many of them – the first documented dog that belonged to the Custers was one named Byron, an English Greyhound(3).   Lady Greyhound was a marketing mascot of the US Greyhound Lines bus company in the 1950s – here she is at the Barbers! (4).

Even the Cartoon, Bart Simpson has a greyhound named Santa’s Little Helper (5).   Leona Lewis the UK Singer, Songwriter and X-Factor Winner loves her Greyhound Freddie & advocates for Greyhound adoption & rehoming (6). Brad Pitt adopted a stray Greyhound off the streets of Argentina when filming the movie, Seven. He named the rescue Blanco (7).  Tea Leoni and her kids with their white Greyhound (8).

Celebrity Greyhounds

Other Greyhound owners include – Cesar Millan, he adopted a Greyhound he called Argos – perhaps after the dog in the Odyssey; Sir Joseph Banks brought his two Greyhounds on his voyage in the Endeavour with Captain Cook in 1770 (these were the first Greyhounds, and likely domestic dogs, to arrive in Australia!); Model, Actress & Singer Twiggy advocates for Greyhound adoption & rehoming; Author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, adopted a rescue Greyhound to go with her Jack Russell terrier.

Living / Exercise Requirements

  • Greyhounds are built for speed not endurance. Their lithe physique with lack of fat cover and a thin skin makes them ill equipped for life as an outside dog. Greyhounds need comfy places to rest their bones, and form a greyhounds eye-view of the world, the sofa or your bed look absolutely perfect – if it’s comfy enough for a human then it’s ideal for a greyhound.
  • Greyhounds love to run, but counterintuitively, they don’t need as much exercise as other large breeds. They are used to sudden bursts of explosive running, and once they’re done, they’re done.

Health Issues

The greyhound as a breed doesn’t have some of the common larger breed problems like hip dysplasia. However their thin skin is particularly fragile and tends to tear easily.  Another interesting quirk of the breed is they have a low pain threshold. They may scream loudly with even the smallest trauma, including simple procedures such as annual vaccinations.

Shopping for Your Greyhound

Who doesn’t love shopping for their dog?  These are some of our favourite finds for Greyhounds owners and lovers!

Shopping for your Greyhound

1. Gorgeous Greyhound Watercolour Print  2. Pewter Greyhound Earrings  3. Red & White Polka Dot Greyhound Dog Coat  4. Greyhound etched coffee mug  5. Leather Greyhound Collar & Lead  6. Silver Greyhound Christmas Ornament  7. Personalised Greyhound Stationary

Shopping for your Greyhound

1. Dapper Greyhound Pullover  2. Dog Art – Greyhound print  3. Greyhound Pillow 4. Personalised Greyhound Cookie Cutter 5. Cute Greyhound Hat 6. Greyhound Wall Clock  7. Sterling Silver Greyhound Necklace

Special Talents

  • Greyhounds are intelligent and respond well to training.
  • Greyhounds have amazing eyesight and the breed hunts by sight rather than scent.
  • It needs to be said that this breed we associate with breath-taking speed, is a supremo at being a couch potato. Greyhounds run from necessity, but deep down, they’re happiest when chilling on the sofa or cuddled up in bed.

Your Greyhound

So what about you? Have you adopted a Greyhound, or do you have links to the breed? We’d love to photograph them for Project Dogalogue and hear some personal stories about life with these elegant dogs!

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Kerry is 'Top Dog' here at Puppy Tales. With her own adored dogs, she completely gets that your four legged furry buddy is absolutely part of the family. That they sleep on the bed, that you want to take them everywhere, that you plan holidays so they’re included & that their presence makes your life incredible.

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Dog Mum Kerry Martin is the editor and photographer at Puppy Tales.

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