The greyhound is a large hound dog that’s known for its slender physique and short, glossy coat. The breed reaches 30 inches tall and weighs between 60 and 70 pounds.
Greyhounds are affectionate, gentle, and good around children. While intelligent, these dogs can be difficult to train because they like to do things their own way. They thrive with owners that are firm and consistent with training.
These dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Greyhound Dog Quick Summary
- Greyhound Appearance
- Greyhound Dog Origins
- Greyhound Dog Personality and Temperament
- Taking Care of a Greyhound Dog
- How to Train a Greyhound Dog
- Greyhound Dog Price
- Should You Get a Greyhound Dog?
Greyhound Dog Quick Summary
|Breed Group||Hound dog (sighthound)|
|Height||27–30 inches overall|
|Colors||Black, fawn, blue, brindle, red, white, liver|
|Coat||Short and smooth|
|Life Expectancy||10–13 years|
|Temperament||Gentle, laid back, intelligent, independent|
|Shedding||Low to moderate|
Greyhounds are large dogs with slender, agile builds, deep chests, and long necks. Their smooth coats come in various colors, including black, fawn, red, and blue.
Height and Weight
Greyhounds grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 70 pounds. Males are typically larger than females, though the exact size of these dogs depends on their genetics, age, and lifestyle.
At eight weeks old, greyhound puppies weigh between 5 and 15 pounds. Greyhounds grow rapidly and reach their full adult size within 18 months.
Greyhounds have smooth, short, single coats that come in a wide range of colors. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes the following colors and combinations:
- Blue fawn
- Blue brindle
- Red brindle
- White and black
- White and red
- Black brindle
- White and blue
- White and black brindle
- White and blue brindle
- White and blue fawn
- White and red brindle
The AKC also accepts ticked, black mask, and parti-color markings. The most common greyhound colors are brindle, black, and fawn, while the rarest colors are blue and solid white.
The greyhound is considered the fastest breed in the world, able to reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The dog gets its impressive speed from its powerful quarters, streamlined physique, flexible spine, and double suspension gait. The paws are also narrow and hare-like, allowing for better traction while running.
Greyhound Dog Origins
Greyhounds are one of the oldest dog breeds in history, and their roots trace back to Ancient Egypt. They were common companions of pharaohs and were developed to be fast hound dogs that could detect, chase down, and capture wild prey. The dogs were even revered as gods and often mummified alongside their owners.
The sport of greyhound racing began at the start of the 20th century when Owen Patrick Smith invented the artificial lure. While greyhound racing rapidly gained popularity, it has been on the decline in the last few decades due to its association with animal cruelty. The sport is now illegal in over 40 states.
Today, greyhounds are popular family companions and appear in several other dog sports including lure coursing, agility, and conformation shows.
Greyhound Dog Personality and Temperament
Greyhounds are affectionate, gentle, and noble dogs. Despite their large sizes and athletic builds, greyhounds are easygoing and love to snooze throughout the day. They can happily live in apartments, as long as they’re exercised regularly and receive plenty of mental stimulation. Greyhounds are quiet, reserved around strangers, and rarely make a fuss.
While intelligent, greyhounds are sensitive and have a stubborn streak, which can make training them difficult for first-time dog owners. These dogs also have a high prey drive and should always be supervised around other pets or small children.
Socialization and training from an early age help curb the greyhound’s prey drive and prevent behavioral issues.
Taking Care of a Greyhound Dog
Caring for a greyhound is relatively easy, as long as their individual needs are met. Greyhounds should be brushed weekly, exercised daily, and given lots of attention throughout the day.
Greyhounds should be fed 2 to 4 cups of kibble per day, split into two separate meals, with the total amount depending on activity level, metabolism, and size. Energetic dogs should be fed more than those that spend their time lounging around.
Food should be appropriately sized, contain at least 18% protein, and be rich in nutrients. These dogs have sensitive stomachs, so introduce new foods gradually. Provide fresh water at all times.
Greyhounds have low-maintenance short coats made up of thin hairs. They shed lightly throughout the year, but experience periods of moderate shedding during fall and spring.
This breed only needs weekly brushing and washing every few months, or whenever it’s dirty, to keep the coat and skin in healthy condition.
Trim the greyhound’s nails if they aren’t wearing down naturally, and brush the dog’s teeth a few times per week to prevent dental issues. Use dog-friendly toothpaste.
Although greyhounds are athletic, they’re laidback dogs and only require 60 minutes of exercise per day, split into two separate walks. Supplement this exercise with playtime to strengthen your bond.
Fetch is a particularly ideal activity for greyhounds because it allows them to stretch out their legs and act on their prey drive in a healthy manner. Greyhounds enjoy short sprints and are well-suited to lure coursing.
If their exercise needs are met, greyhounds can happily live in apartments.
Greyhounds are intelligent dogs that require at least 30 minutes of mental stimulation per day in the form of toys, obedience training, and learning new tricks. Puzzle games help keep greyhounds entertained when you can’t play with them.
Common Health Concerns
Greyhounds are generally healthy dogs, with an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. However, they’re prone to the following health conditions:
- Bloat: A condition that occurs when the dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or liquid, then expands and twists. Bloat causes severe abdominal pain and can be life-threatening without immediate treatment
- Periodontal disease: A progressive disease caused by bacteria buildup and poor dental hygiene. Symptoms include bad breath, receding gums, and missing teeth. Prevent gum disease by cleaning the dog’s teeth regularly
- Hyperthermia: A condition when the dog’s body dangerously overheats. Symptoms include excessive panting, dehydration, drooling, and seizures. Dogs suffering from heatstroke should be gradually cooled down and immediately taken to a vet for further treatment
- Bone cancer: A disease when a malignant tumor develops in the bone. Symptoms include a visible lump, limping, pain, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Treatment typically involves amputation and chemotherapy
- Arthritis: An inflammatory disease that affects the joints. Symptoms include mobility issues, stiffness, pain, and swelling. Arthritis is managed with anti-inflammatory medication and lifestyle changes
Greyhounds are known to have bad reactions to certain anesthesia drugs. Always discuss treatment concerns with a veterinarian.
How to Train a Greyhound Dog
While intelligent, greyhounds are moderately difficult to train because of their independent streak. They respond well to positive reinforcement and a consistent, firm training approach. Use high-value rewards, keep training sessions brief, and turn training into a game to engage stubborn greyhounds.
Training and socialization should begin as early as eight weeks old. Start with crate training, housebreaking, and basic obedience. Greyhounds take longer to housebreak than other breeds, so be patient and don’t get frustrated. Expose greyhound puppies to all kinds of people and animals to help them become well-behaved adults.
Never use punishment-based methods to train greyhounds. These dogs are sensitive, and punishments can cause them to become anxious, stressed, or even aggressive.
Greyhound Dog Price
Greyhounds are an expensive breed, and puppies usually cost over $1,500. Adopting an adult from a rescue shelter is a cheaper option.
How Much Is a Greyhound Dog?
A greyhound puppy typically costs between $1,500 and $3,500 from a reputable breeder. However, this price can be even higher if the puppy has rare coloration or an excellent bloodline. Greyhounds used for racing can cost over $10,000.
Greyhounds can be found at a more affordable price in rescue shelters, with adoption fees typically between $150 and $500. There are several greyhound-specific rescue organizations in the United States that can assist you in your search for the perfect companion.
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Greyhound Dog?
Expect to pay between $100 and $200 per month to raise a greyhound. This amount takes into account food, grooming, healthcare, and toys. Using dog sitters, trainers, and dog walkers will increase the monthly cost.
The first year of owning a greyhound dog is more costly than other years because of first-year expenses like puppy vaccinations, neutering, a bed, crate, and training tools.
Should You Get a Greyhound Dog?
Greyhounds are noble, gentle, and quiet dogs that make wonderful family companions. However, greyhounds can be difficult dogs for certain people and lifestyles. This breed needs an owner that can properly manage the dog’s stubbornness and care for the pet daily.
Greyhound Dogs Are Suitable for:
Greyhounds are ideal companions for families that have plenty of time to walk, play, and train a dog throughout the day. Despite their large size, greyhounds can happily live in apartments, as long as they have enough space to comfortably stretch out and snooze. Greyhounds get along well with laidback, responsible children.
The best owners for greyhounds are people that are patient, use positive reinforcement measures, and know how to properly deal with stubborn dogs.
Greyhound Dogs Are NOT Suitable for:
Greyhounds aren’t suitable for owners that can’t meet this breed’s exercise needs, can’t play with their pet regularly, or people who work long hours. Left alone for long periods, greyhounds often become anxious and exhibit destructive behaviors.
Greyhounds aren’t the best choice if you’re after a sociable, outgoing dog that will be completely comfortable around strangers. Greyhound dogs also have a high prey drive, so they shouldn’t be kept with small animals.
Greyhounds can’t tolerate abrupt changes and do best with owners that can keep to a schedule.