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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Greyhound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Greyhound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Polish Greyhound

One of the fastest animals on earth, Greyhounds wonʻt waste any time winning your heart or taking over your bed! This ancient dog breed, developed to hunt by sight rather than smell, also makes a devoted family pet.

Breed Overview


27 – 30 inches


60 – 70 pounds


10 – 13 years


Black, blue fawn, blue, brindle (blue, red, black), white, or these colors with white

Suitable for:

Anyone looking for an affectionate and adaptable dog, equally happy to lounge on a couch or sprint after a ball


Independent, gentle, noble, good with other dogs

Greyhounds are capable of fitting into a wide variety of living situations, even when theyʻre adopted as adults, a common situation. If youʻre ready to learn more about the Greyhound, youʻve come to the right place! Keep reading to discover details about these long-legged hounds and what you can expect if you welcome one into your house.

Greyhound Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Greyhound Puppies

Greyhound puppies can be hard to find. Because Greyhound racing is such a big business, most breeders are looking to produce racing dogs rather than pets.

Many organizations are dedicated to rescuing and re-homing retired racing Greyhounds. If you are willing to adopt an adult Greyhound rather than purchase a puppy, youʻre likely to find many in need of good homes.

If you want an affectionate and adaptable dog, the Greyhound may be for you. They will as happy to lounging on a couch as they would be sprinting after a ball.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Greyhound

greyhound standing on grass
Image By: nonmisvegliate, Pixabay

Mellow and sensitive, yet independent, Greyhounds are a unique mix of temperament traits. Though they are intelligent dogs, theyʻre bred to work and hunt with minimal direction from humans. This independent nature can make them a challenge to train. Greyhounds are fun-loving and quite entertaining to live.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Overall, Greyhounds make good pets for families. They are tolerant and gentle by nature, sturdy enough to handle playing with rowdy kids. However, any dog should be supervised around children, especially if you donʻt know whether they were properly socialized to kids early in life. Greyhounds can be suspicious and aloof towards strangers but loving towards all members of their family.

Greyhounds are also highly adaptable dogs, making them a good choice for busy families with unpredictable daily lives. They donʻt need a rigid daily routine like some other, higher-strung breeds. Most adult Greyhounds, especially retired racers, are used to spending time alone so they often tolerate time on their own better than some other breeds.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Originally, Greyhounds were bred to hunt in packs and this heritage means the breed generally gets along well with other dogs, especially dogs of similar size. Small dogs might be viewed as prey so take extra caution introducing them to a Greyhound.

Racing Greyhounds are used to spending a lot of time with other dogs and usually fit in well to multi-dog households in retirement. As always, be sure to take your time and supervise new fur friends carefully as they get to know each other.

Due to their strong prey drive, Greyhounds arenʻt always the best choice of a housemate for cats or small pocket pets. Dog-savvy cats, who donʻt behave like prey, may be able to live safely with a Greyhound. However, youʻll need to take extra time to socialize the cat and Greyhound with each other and carefully monitor their interactions.

To avoid stressing out small exotic pets, itʻs best to keep them separated from a Greyhound should you chose to have such a mixed pet household. Even if your Greyhound completely ignores them, many exotic animals are stressed by even the sight of a predator like a dog.

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Things to Know When Owning a Greyhound:

Think you might have room in your home and heart for a fast running, hard snoozing Greyhound? Hereʻs what you need to know before taking the big leap into Greyhound parenting!

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

To keep a Greyhound healthy and fit, feed a nutritionally balanced, quality diet. Depending on how active your Greyhound is, they may require a higher protein food to keep up with their energy needs. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right diet and calculate the proper amount to feed to keep your Greyhound at a good weight. Itʻs especially important to involve your veterinarian if you decide to feed a homemade diet to make certain you include all the vitamins and minerals your Greyhound needs to thrive.

Exercise 🐕

Greyhounds are sometimes called the “worldʻs fastest couch potatoes,” because although theyʻre one of the speediest animals alive, they donʻt have as much energy as you might assume. Like all dogs, they should get daily exercise, such as a brisk walk or chasing a ball. However, you wonʻt need to devote a good chunk of your day to tiring out your Greyhound. About an hour a day of exercise should do the trick and then itʻs probably right back to the couch for them!

If you can do so safely, your Greyhound would love the chance to have a full-speed run now and then. Keep in mind you should never let a Greyhound off-leash except in an enclosed area. If you do, you may find yourself left in the dust while your dog takes off (at 45 mph!) in pursuit of an unlucky rabbit or squirrel.

Image By: Herbert Aust, Pixabay

Training 🎾

Because they were developed to hunt fast and without much direction from humans, Greyhounds can be challenging to train. Theyʻre used to making their own decisions and require patient, gentle guidance as they learn. Short, positive training sessions will be most successful.

Greyhounds are sensitive dogs who wonʻt respond well to rough training methods. Reward-based training focused on working with your Greyhound rather than making them work for you, should bring the best results.

Reportedly, some Greyhounds can be hard to housetrain. However, this could be because so many Greyhounds are adopted as adults and often come straight from life in a racing kennel. Housetraining an adult dog is always a bit more challenging than a puppy, especially one not used to living in a house!

Grooming ✂️

Despite their short coats, Greyhounds are not considered a hypoallergenic breed. They shed regularly but not excessively. Weekly brushing with a hound glove or rubber curry brush can help keep the shedding under control and the coat healthy. Regular nail trimming is also a must. Bathe your Greyhound as needed, keep their ears clean, and brush their teeth daily if possible.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Greyhounds are one of the healthier dog breeds when it comes to inherited conditions. Responsible breeders will make sure to only breed dogs who are free of any known genetic conditions. If you adopt an adult Greyhound, you might not be able to find out much about their history, so itʻs important to be aware of possible health problems to look out for.

Minor Conditions
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Greyhound neuropathy
  • Osteosarcoma

Serious Conditions:

Like all large, deep-chested breeds, Greyhounds are at risk of bloat, a life-threatening medical emergency.

A neurological condition called Greyhound neuropathy also occurs in the breed.

Greyhounds commonly get a bone cancer called osteosarcoma.

Minor Conditions:

Greyhounds are prone to an eye condition called Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

Itʻs recommended that breeding Greyhounds are tested for the gene causing Greyhound neuropathy. They should undergo heart and eye screenings as well to ensure they are as healthy as possible.

Male vs Female

When choosing between a male or female Greyhound, you wonʻt find many differences to impact your decision. Males are usually larger, as with most dog breeds.

Some Greyhound owners report that females can be a bit more standoffish than males, but every dog is an individual and this wonʻt always be the case.

Male dogs are more likely to mark than females but neutering usually helps nip this bad habit. With female Greyhounds, you’ll need to plan on dealing with a messy heat cycle twice a year or getting the dog spayed.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Greyhound

1. They are the fastest breed of dog.

At full sprint, a Greyhound can run as fast as 40 – 45 mph. They run so fast, in fact, that their feet only touch the ground 25% of the time at top speed!

2. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs.

The earliest ancestors of Greyhounds date back 5,000 years, to the deserts of ancient Egypt. They served as hunting companions to the pharaohs, and later as status symbols for other ancient nobles.

3. They have eyes in the back of their head.

Well not literally, but because of the shape of their head and eye placement, Greyhounds can actually see whatʻs behind them. They can also see as far as a 1/2 mile into the distance. Rabbits and other prey donʻt stand a chance against a Greyhound!

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Final Thoughts

Whether racing after a ball or lounging upside down with their feet in the air, Greyhounds are determined to live life at their own pace. One of the few purebred dogs that are almost always acquired as adults, Greyhounds present a unique opportunity for pet lovers. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the Greyhound or any breed you’re considering for purchase or adoption. Owning a pet requires plenty of love but also the responsibility of a lifetime commitment to your new family member.

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Featured Image Credit: Ewelina Lesik, Shutterstock

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