Greyhound Dog Breeds
A very popular dog breed among the rescue scene lately has been the Greyhound. Greyhound dog breeds are worked hard from a very young age and many find their way to rescue shelters after a life of racing.
This has led to the growth of Greyhounds as family dogs. If you’re considering bringing a Greyhound into your family, check out our breed guide below.
What’s a Greyhound?
The Greyhound is an ancient breed of dog. We can find depictions of these dogs in ancient Egyptian art; Roman poems; and they are even mentioned in the Bible. These dogs have always been associated with royalty and high society.
Looking at a Greyhound today, it’s easy to see why they were so prized. They are large with narrow, aerodynamic bodies. As such, they are amazing sprinters. Some of the best Greyhounds can reach speeds of up to 43 miles per hour. Compare that to Usain Bolt’s world record top speed of 27.8 miles per hour.
That crazy speed must come from somewhere, and that somewhere is their build. They are very slender and aerodynamic, but they are on the large side too. Greyhounds grow to be about 28 inches tall and between 60 and 88 pounds. That’s a lot of mass moving at 43 miles per hour!
The Greyhound’s head shape is as unique as their body. It’s long and narrow as well. It’s almost difficult to tell where their head stops, and their neck begins because this dog has such sleek lines.
Greyhound Dog Breed Temperament
For as good as this dog is at the track, you would think they are giant balls of energy. But as you can learn from any Greyhound dog breed’s owner, these exceptionally fast dogs are couch potatoes. When they are not sprinting, they are resting.
That’s kind of the idea though. Greyhounds will save up their energy for times that they really need it. Then they’ll let it all out in a short blast. This is what made them great sighthounds. They’re can see prey even before you’d be able to. Then they’ll be running full blast before you could even get their name out of your mouth. That’s one of the reasons why a Greyhound should never be taken out off-leash. Their prey drive is just too strong.
Once you give a greyhound the exercise they need, which isn’t as much as you’d think, they are content to lounge around. They can be called somewhat catlike because they’re content hanging out by themselves. They’re very independent, but also very friendly. A Greyhound can be somewhat aloof with strangers, but they’ll quickly warm up. Greyhounds are affectionate with their family and are likely to snuggle like a smaller dog would.
Greyhound Medical Issues
Overall, Greyhounds are generally healthy, but there are some medical issues that can come up with Greyhounds. Not all Greyhounds will get these conditions, but it’s important to consider when looking for Greyhound dog breeds.
It’s suspected that Greyhounds are sensitive to anesthesia because they have a very low body fat percentage. A normal dose of anesthesia for a dog this size is able to kill a greyhound.
Hypothyroidism can lead to problems like infertility, obesity, mental dullness and lethargy. It’s caused by low levels of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Even if a dog has hypothyroidism, they can still live a happy life but will likely have to take medication for the remainder of their life.
This is a form of bone cancer that is treated very aggressively, usually with amputation when found in the limbs.
Also called bloat, this occurs when gas and air build up in the stomach and cause it to twist. The normal intervention is surgery as this condition can be life threatening.
Common Greyhound Dog Breed Mixes
Because the Greyhound is such an impressive and friendly dog, many people have mixed this breed with other dogs with interesting results. Here are some of the more interesting Greyhound breed mixes.
- Greyador | Lab – If you can imagine the loving temperament of a Greyhound and the loyalty of a Lab, you get yourself one heck of a family dog. They also come in all sorts of colors depending on that color the Lab parent was. This mix make a great companion and guard dog.
- Italian Greagle | Beagle – While the Greyhound may be a sight dog, the Beagle is a scent dog. This makes the Italian Greagle an excellent dog to take out on hunts, but they also make great family dogs. They very loyal and affectionate toward their families.
- Italian Greyhuahua | Chihuahua – This dog gets the long, thin legs of the Greyhound parent and the tall bat like ears you might find on a Chihuahua. They are dependant, but still fun loving and playful. They’ll be your constant companion.
- Pootalian | Poodle – Mixing the Greyhound with a Mini Poodle usually produces a dog of small to medium size. The coloring and fur usually match more closely to the poodle and can be curly or wavy. This means that a Greyhound/Poodle mix can make a great dog for someone with allergies. Even at a smaller size, these dogs are sprinters and love to play.
Dogs Related to Greyhound Dog Breeds
While Greyhounds are rather unique, there are some breeds that are closely related to them. Here are a few breeds that you may also consider if you like the Greyhound:
- Whippet – You can think of the Whippet as a “mini-Greyhound.” This breed shares the characteristic “inverted S” that is common in greyhounds but in a smaller size, about 25-50 pounds.
- Azawakh – This breed shares the long, sleek body of the Greyhound. Though they are native to different areas. This is an African dog that is used to chasing gazelle through the desert. These dogs are fierce hunters and dutiful protectors.
- Saluki – The Saluki was another favorite of the ancient ruling classes. These dogs are slim and leggy but are also very balanced. They are dignified and independent, and make very loyal pets.
If you’ve been considering a Greyhound for your family, you should have a little more information to go off now. If you are prepared to work with their extreme bursts of energy, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal and loving companion.