Everything You Need to Know About the Greyhound Dog

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Athletic, super fast, and beautiful, Greyhounds are a highly popular dog breed. These dogs have a fun sense of humor and they're full of personality, so they can make a great addition to your home. When you welcome a Greyhound into your home, you'll also be bringing in a dog with a history that's thousands of years old.

There's another great reason to get a greyhound: You may be helping out an ex-racing dog in need of a home. Many rescue groups work to help rehome greyhounds in need. You'll be helping out a dog who needs a loving home while getting a great pet in return.

Greyhound History

One of the oldest dog breeds known to man, evidence of the Greyhound's long history is present across the globe. According to the American Kennel Club, the first documented evidence of its presence comes from the Valley of the Nile, in the Tomb of Amten. Egyptologists trace the tomb to the Fourth Dynasty, which places it between 2900 and 2751 B.C.

There are a variety of theories regarding the origin of the name "Greyhound," ranging from a derivation of the word "Graius," meaning "Grecian," to the old British word for dog, "Grech" or "Greg," to the historical prevalence of gray as the breed's leading color.

Historically, Greyhounds have been used as hunters due to their great speed - they are the fastest breed of dog, reaching top speeds of over 40 miles per hour - and keen eyesight. Spanish explorers brought Greyhounds to America in the 1500s for this very purpose.

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Over time, the breed became increasingly popular as a hunter and companion and was among the first breeds at American dog shows. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, the first Westminster Kennel Club Catalog from 1877 lists the Greyhound as an entry of 18. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

In modern times, the Greyhound is best known as a racing dog, with Greyhound racing occurring around the world, and, for the lucky retired racers, as a companion animalThe average lifespan of a Greyhound is between 10-12 years.

Greyhound Characteristics

So, is a Greyhound the right dog for you? If you're looking for a canine pal with a unique personality, a quirky sense of humor, and a lot of affection to give - on his or her terms - you might have found your next best friend.

For someone willing to approach training with good humor, prepared for the ongoing vigilance required to supervise and exercise a dog with a very high prey drive, and who's charmed by a dog with a distinctly cat-like personality, the sweet, spirited Greyhound can make a wonderful companion animal and family pet.

Be prepared to provide your Greyhound with plenty of daily exercise. Most Greyhounds cannot be exercised off-leash in open spaces; according to Grey Save, when these dogs run at top speed, they can't hear their owners' commands calling them back. Greyhounds are also sight hounds, so the sight of prey a half mile away can prompt these dogs to suddenly take off.

Health Issues

As you research the breed, the health problems that should be on your radar include bloat, a condition in which the stomach expands with air. Vetsreet.com tells us,

"This can become the more serious condition, gastric torsion, if the stomach twists on itself, cutting off blood flow."

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Retired Racing Greyhounds

Many of the pet Greyhounds out there today are, in fact, retired racing dogs. If you're interested in adopting a Greyhound, you can learn more about the process here. You'll not only be getting a wonderful companion, but you'll also be saving a life. Win-win!

The Greyhound dog breed also has reason to celebrate. According to an article in The Washington Post,

"The Committee to Protect Dogs called Amendment 13, which was approved by 69 percent of voters this week, "a knockout blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century." Florida hosts 11 of the 17 active dog tracks in the United States, but the industry will be shuttered in the state by January 2021, meaning some 6,000 dogs will need new homes."

It's a great time start considering bringing this wonderful breed into your home! There are plenty of greyhound rescues and adoption groups working to rehome racing dogs, as well as plenty of Greyhound puppies that won't make it to the track. Greyhound owners at rescue groups will be happy to talk with you about the breed and their energy level.

Do you have a Greyhound? Let us know or show us in the comments section below!

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