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Greyhound Breed Summary

Loving, Friendly, High-Energy (but also sleepy), Doting Doggies

It’s thought that Greyhounds could date back almost 4,000 years, they have been depicted by the Egyptians in Artwork, a Roman poet and they are the only type of dog that have been cited in the Bible! They first made their way to Europe during the Dark Ages and were extremely respected for their hunting skills, in fact one King stated that it was forbidden to own a Greyhound if you lived within 10 miles of his forest in order to protect Royal Preserves. They continued to spread across the world, becoming more and more popular, which wasn’t necessarily in their favour. This is because of Greyhound racing, which massively took off in the States. Many dogs were abandoned or even euthanised if they didn’t perform well on the track (whine…).

Kennel Club Group Hound
Lifespan 9-11 years
Height (at the withers) Males 71-76cm (28-30 inches) / Females 68-71cm (27-28 inches
Weight Males 27-40kg (60-88lbs) / Females 27-34kg (60-75lbs)
Coat Fine, Close, Very Short
Colour Various Including Black, Brindle, Blue, Fallow, Fawn, Red, White, or any combination with White
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Osteosarcoma; Neuropathy; Congenital Deafness; Bloat; Skin Irritations Of The Tail; Spinal Injuries; Esophageal Malformations; Drug Sensitivity
Other Names English Greyhound

This breed is truly lovable, due to their friendly attitude towards ‘hoomans’ and also other dogs as well! They are extremely loyal and affectionate towards their families and are never aggressive towards strangers (they just want to be loved!). They do, by no surprise, have huge amounts of energy but also love to sleep. Because they are bred to be sprinters, they prefer short and brisk walks as opposed to long runs which would be extremely tiring for them. Their energy levels also make them excellent participants in sporting contests, such as obedience and agility. Surprisingly, they also make good apartment dogs, as long as they are taking out on daily walks and given plenty of attention. 

The Greyhound is an ancient breed. Greyhound type dogs can be traced back 4,000 years to the times of ancient Egypt, where they were depicted in their art. They were also mentioned in the Bible in Proverbs 30:29-31, written about by the Greeks, and lauded by the Romans. The Roman goddess Diana was frequently shown with a Greyhound at her side. The breed was highly prized by the elite well before the Middle Ages. Killing one was punishable by death, and in some places commoners were banned from owning them. 

At some point during the Middle Ages, the Greyhound reached Europe, where they became a status symbol. They’re a sighthound, traditionally used for hare coursing, and were used as hunting dogs. Their ability was so highly considered that, to protect the royal game reserves, no-one living within ten miles of one was allowed to own a Greyhound. By 1016, Canute Law stated that only nobles could own one of these dogs. Over time, the breed even became a heraldic symbol, found on the coat of arms of such royals as Henry VIII and Charles V of France. All modern, pedigree Greyhounds can trace their lineage back to the 18th century as private studbooks were kept, demonstrating how important their pedigree was considered to be, even then.

Today, the Greyhound is far better known as a racing dog, rather than a hunting dog. Coursing, better known as Greyhound racing, has a long history. The first coursing club was founded in 1776 in Swaffham, Norfolk, although there had been organised events before that. The Waterloo Cup, the classic coursing event, has taken place since 1836, at Altcar, near Liverpool. In 1858 the National Coursing Club was founded in the UK, which still controls coursing today. It created the first Greyhound Stud Book in 1882. The following year, the Kennel Club recognised the breed, initially demanding that show and working Greyhounds were listed on separate registers. 

The Greyhound travelled to the Americas very early, introduced by Spanish explorers and British colonists. With abundant prey, including jack rabbits and coyotes, they thrived. The breed was one of the first to be shown in America, and was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The first official Greyhound coursing race in America took place in 1886, with the National Coursing Association in the United States founded in 1906. 

Greyhound racing remains popular today, but it is shrouded in controversy. In the UK alone thousands of unsuccessful or older Greyhounds are discarded by the racing industry. The Greyhound Trust rehomes around 4,500 each year, but many more a