In spite of their obvious quickness and athleticism, Greyhounds are fairly mellow. Generally, they are calm and agreeable types, happy to hang out indoors for hours. However, Greyhounds are not lazy. Rather, they have noble and reserved personalities.
- 60 - 70 pounds
- 26 - 30 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- Active, sporty types
- Families with older children
- People with big back yards
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- Sleek and slim
- Quiet and mellow
- Devoted pals
- Super fast
What They Are Like to Live With
Greyhounds crave attention and family time. If everyone is gathering in the living room for a movie or a special occasion, these gentle and loving dogs will want to be involved. They are perfectly fine with strangers, but they are not the kind to jump up and down when someone new comes over. For this reason, they might not be the best choice for a watchdog.
Things You Should Know
Greyhounds, as everyone knows, are fast. And they love to run. If you can provide them with a big back yard, that’s ideal. If not, take them on lots of walks and runs. But be sure to keep them on a leash. If Greyhound see something they want (like a squirrel, for instance) they are gone before you can blink.
If you plan on being away from home for long periods of time, you should reconsider getting a Greyhound. They need attention and companionship to stay healthy and happy. If you can get a compatible dog companion for your Greyhound, that will make them very happy as well.
A healthy Greyhound can live as long as 12 years. They have few genetic health issues, but they are prone to bloat: Feeding them several small meals a day—instead of one big meal—will help. Their smooth, short coat is very easy to groom.
Greyhounds have been around for thousands of years, even appearing in ancient Egyptian artifacts and in the writings of the Roman poet Ovid. Beginning in the 9th century, records show English breeders developing the Greyhound into a hunter of deer, foxes and rabbits. They were brought to America in the 16th century by Spanish explorers who used them as guard dogs. Registered by the AKC in 1885, they continue to be a cherished companion in the U.S. and around the world.
The Look of a Greyhound
Greyhounds have sleek and muscular frames with a swift and sinewy look about them. They have long, narrow heads with thin muzzles, small folded ears and dark intelligent eyes. Their long, somewhat angular necks slope down to broad, deep chests with well-sprung ribs. They have powerful legs and long tails that curve slightly. Their short, neat coats can come in almost any color. Overall, Greyhounds carry themselves gracefully.
Talk About Greyhounds
Only let them off-leash in an enclosed area
We live in a two-bedroom apartment, have two retired racing greyhounds and two small birds. Shawnie and Carly get a walk 4-5 times a day. On the weekends we love to take them to a dog park and let them go. They will run and play and chase a ball. If the area is totally enclosed, we have no problem letting them off the leash.
They recall easily and always with a smile on their face.We give lots of love and attention, but we also make sure they get their alone time. This means that they are allowed to sleep, or what ever they want so as not to get stressed out in such a small area. My babies, or the girls, are a big part of my and my husband's lives, Our world rotates around our girls. I would not advise a Greyhound if you plan on having kids. But if the kids are grown up this is the perfect dog for you. It does not matter if you are in a apartment or a large house. They do nicely if you give them the chance. and will return the love twofold over the years.
~Karen Muller, owner of two Greyhounds
Living with Greyhounds
I have two beautiful greyhounds and just adore the breed. The above article is pretty much spot on, although I would definitely characterize greyhounds as lazy. They aren't called the 45 mile per hour couch potato for nothing!
They are so regal and elegant looking, but have such clownish personalities. They keep me laughing. And watching a retired racing greyhound discover the joys of retirement is a delight. They learn about toys and soft beds and playing. It warms the heart to see them just blossom.
They are fantastic family members. I jokingly call them the dogs for cat people because they are so low maintenance. They don't bark much, they don't need much exercise and their shedding is minimal. Mostly they just want to hang out with the family.
~Susan M., owner of two Greyhounds
The world's fastest couch potato
Having worked with retired greyhounds for more than 12 years, I've seen many of varieties across this breed and know I will never own another kind of dog.
They are incredibly loving and willing. They do need to be included in family activities as this is what they thrive on, but also do well alone at home while you work or go out. Therefore I would disagree that you have to have a lot of outdoor space. They are actually quite well known in the adoption community as great apartment dogs.
It is true that they are the world's fastest couch potato. Many people forget that while the greyhound has great athletic ability, they are sprinters and have been bred for centuries to wait. On hunts they were only used in the last minutes to sprint after the hare or other prey.
Additionally my experience has been that greyhounds are great with kids. The two that I have love small children and let them climb all over them. Even the occasional hard tug on ears, lips, and tails doesn't phase them.
One aspect that hasn't been mentioned is that they are house dogs.Greyhounds have been bred to be with people and have lived indoors since ancient Egypt.
While you do have to be careful when letting a greyhound off the leash, this can be done in an open area. It depends on how strong the hunting instinct of your greyhound is, but this can be trained out of them. For some dogs, like our most recent foster dog, this can be done in a day or two, and other dogs many take years to. But it can be achieved and once done you will find that your greyhound will never leave your side.
Overall greyhounds are extremely loyal, sweet, kind, and giving dogs with hearts of gold who love nothing more than making their owner happy.
~Lisa D., owner of countless Greyhounds