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"born to race"


This breed stands 26-30 inches and weighs 60-90 pounds. It can be any color from white to black, and any pattern from solid to pinto to brindle. Bred for sight hunting, the greyhound has a deep chest for great heart and lung capacity, slender legs for speed and agility, well-developed muscles for endurance, and slender head with wide nostrils for more effective breathing while running. These specific traits make the greyhound the fastest breed of dog, with an estimated top speed of 45 mph.

Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings dating back to 2900 B.C. show what appear to be greyhounds attacking deer and other prey. The first complete description of the breed was written by Ovid, who lived between 43 B.C. and A.D. 17. Greyhounds were developed as a sight hunter in the arid and semi-arid lands of North Africa and the Middle East, and were specifically bred for increased speed. Greyhounds were introduced into America by the Spanish in the 1500's, who used them to "guard, hunt, intimidate and punish their enemies" (Indians). Greyhound racing, once a very popular sport in the United States, grew out of the custom of watching greyhounds chase hares and other prey. There are several ideas as to the origins of the name "greyhound," including: a derivation of Graius, an ancient Greek word meaning "Grecian;" the old British word grech or greg, meaning dog; or, simply from grey for the predominance of that color in the breed.

Greyhounds make good pets, but must have a relatively quiet household as they are somewhat distressed by noise and commotion. They get along with children past the toddler stage and other dogs, but generally see cats as prey and will usually chase them if given the chance. Taking a greyhound on a walk requires great care and a strong leash, because even a well-trained greyhound has a tendency to run off after anything that looks like prey, and an unrestrained dog can be blocks away before the owner has a chance to realize what has happened.


American Kennel Club
Dog Owner's Guide

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The Robinson Library >> Dogs

This page was last updated on 09/28/2018.