If you are familiar with greyhounds, it is probably because you know they are lightning fast at the racetrack. Tall, lean and muscular, these hounds are built for speed. It will probably surprise you then, to learn that this swift breed’s nickname is the “45 mile-per-hour couch potato.” Yes, that’s right, this animal is probably happiest curled up on your couch for 20 hours of the day. Is there anything else about the greyhound you didn’t know?
Due to depictions and tracings of lean, smooth-coated dogs, the breed’s origin is romantically connected to Ancient Egypt. Other studies show the greyhound is closely related to herding dogs from Europe. Greyhounds are easily recognizable by their thin, long bodies and heads. They usually grow to be 28-30 inches tall, typically weighing between 60-80 pounds. The name itself is slightly misleading, as their markings are often black, white, grey, fawn, brindle, or any combination of these colors.
Though greyhounds are popularized by their affiliation with the racetrack, greyhounds must find a place to call home once they retire (usually between the ages of 2-4). Organizations all over the world actively place retired racers with people seeking great pets. Greyhound owners will be quick to testify to their loyal, sensitive nature. Here are just a few more reasons why greyhounds make fantastic pets.
- They are lazy. While they love to get out and run when the opportunity arises, most of their time is spent lounging around the house.
- They are very easy to crate train.
- They do well in families with children.
- They will accept their role as pack dog and not insist (through bad behavior) on being the alpha dog.
- They are not aggressive.
- They have short, soft hair which requires no grooming and little maintenance.
- They do very well in smaller spaces (e.g. apartments) as well as larger homes.
In addition to all of the above, the greyhound is a fine choice for coursing and show competitions. The versatility a greyhound provides comes as a surprise to most. Those that are well aware of this breed have a response to the rest: If it’s not a greyhound, it’s just a dog.