All Things Greyhound

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive about greyhounds. Read on to find out if a greyhound is the right breed for you!


What is the history of the greyhound?
Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dog known to man pre-dating ancient Egypt. Being sight hounds, they were originally used for hunting. They still are in some parts of the world.

Their athletic, muscular build allows them to attain speeds of up to 45 MPH. Greyhounds begin their racing career at 18 months of age, race until they can no longer compete, sustain an injury, or reach the mandatory retirement age of 5 or 6.

What qualities make a racing Greyhound a good pet?
They are friendly, affectionate, gentle, quiet, sweet, loyal, clean, loving, sensitive, trusting & good natured.

What is the average life expectancy of a Greyhound? Do they have health problems?
Most greyhounds are retired from racing at age 2-6, and the average life expectancy of a Greyhound is 12-15 years. Greyhounds have few of the congenital (in-bred) problems that plague other large breeds, such as hip dysplasia.

How big are Greyhounds?
Most greyhounds weigh between 50-80 pounds, with some smaller females weighing as little as 40-45, and some larger males as much as 90-100 pounds. Ex-racers normally stand between 26-30” at the shoulder.

Why are greyhounds are so skinny?
Greyhounds are bred as athletes, and are their healthiest when they are lean. You should be able to see 1-2 ribs. If their backbone and ribs are buried, they are too heavy, and this strains their joints and can shorten their life.

Why aren’t all greyhounds grey?
Greyhounds are bred for speed, not color, so any color is acceptable. Brindle (striped) dogs are common, as are fawn, red, and black dogs, or white dogs with any color patches. Grey is actually the rarest color.

Greyhounds are high energy, right? Hyper, and need a lot of room to run?
Actually, greyhounds are very low-energy dogs. Even when they are at the track, they are housed in crates for 20 or more hours a day, and race only twice a week, for about 30 seconds at a time. Greyhounds are the ultimate couch potatoes, and do just fine with potty walks 3 or 4 times a day, and perhaps a couple of longer walks a week. While many enjoy an occasional run in a FENCED AREA, they do not “have” to run to be happy. They love long naps on soft cushy beds and couches!

Are Greyhounds good with cats & other animals?
Like any breed, some are different than others. Some greyhounds have a high prey drive and aren’t safe with small animals, but most greyhounds are fine with other dogs, cats, and sometimes even birds or bunnies. As part of the foster process, we get to know how our interact with other animals, and match them up with adoptive families accordingly.

Are greyhounds good with children?
Often, this depends on whether the child is good with dogs! Greyhounds tend not to rough-house like some breeds, but enjoy affection and companionship from calm children. If a child becomes overbearing, they tend to walk away, rather than snap, but every dog has its limits. Children should NEVER be left unsupervised with any animal.

I want a running companion. Is a greyhound the perfect dog for me?
Greyhounds are sprinters, not distance runners. Some people have been able to slowly accustom their greyhounds to longer runs, but they won’t be doing any marathons!

Do I have to have a fenced yard? Can greyhounds live outside?
Greyhounds are housepets. They are too sensitive to weather to live outdoors. When outside, greyhounds must be on a leash or in a fenced yard at all times. You do not need a fenced yard as long as you are willing to walk the dog at least 3-4 times a day, rain, snow or shine, every day.

Do I have to groom my greyhound? Do they shed?
Any creature with hair sheds, but greys have a thin single coat that usually sheds minimally. They may shed more at certain times of year, and some colors shed more than others. An occasional brushing and nail trimming are generally all the grooming greyhounds need.

What else do I need to adopt a greyhound?
A cushy bed, a warm, safe environment, and a sturdy leash are all musts. Greyhounds also need coats, as their thin skin & low body fat make them susceptible to cold. Like all dogs, greys require yearly veterinary care. Oh yes…and a big heart and lots of love!