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Greyhound

They’re sleek and speedy when they need to be but they are also renowned for embracing down time, Greyhounds have had a recent resurgence in popularity. Is a Greyhound the dog for you? 

There are images of dogs that have a remarkable resemblance to Greyhounds within the tombs of the Egyptian pyramids and with that they are thought to be the oldest purebred dog. That said, the modern Greyhound is thought to have origins in Europe.

With amazing vision and speed, they served as assistant hunters and companions throughout the ages, before becoming racing dogs. With increased attention on Greyhound racing industry practices, more and more Greyhounds are being retired into the role of companion, one which they are very well suited to. 

Greyhounds are a large dog, weighing between 25 to 40kgs and with heights up to 76 cm. Females are usually smaller than males. They come in all colours such as black, white, brown, tan, brindle and combinations of colours.

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Origin

Great Britain 

Bred for

Sighthound – coursing (hunting), racing  

Size 

Weight 25 to 40 kgs, Height 68 to 71 cm

Colours

All colours

Life expectancy

10 to 14 years

Coat

Very short smooth coat 

Temperament 

Loving, clam, sensitive

Exercise requirements

High 

Best suited for 

Active households 

Apartment Friendly

Yes, if they get adequate exercise 

Personality

Despite their reputation of being the fastest dog, Greyhounds are surprisingly lazy. They value exercise but were bred to do short sprints, so tend not to have a lot of stamina. As puppies they can be quite rambunctious and benefit from training. They are often placid and can be timid with strangers. As sight hounds with an instinct for hunting, it is important to take care if introducing them to other small animals and may not be the right dog for a household with other small pets such as cats, guinea pigs or birds. They often do enjoy the company of other dogs. They generally aren’t very noisy and if receiving appropriate exercise, can live quite happily in apartments. 

Grooming

Greyhounds have a very short, soft coat that sheds. Minimal grooming is required, but weekly brushing with a grooming mitt will help distribute natural oils through the coat as well as stimulate blood flow to the skin. Make sure your Greyhound flea and tick control all year round. 

Feeding

When choosing a food for your Greyhound, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Make sure that you feed a large breed puppy food to your Greyhound puppy to give them the best start in life. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Common health concerns 

Greyhounds are prone to gastrointestinal issues including canine haemorrhagic gastroenteritis, colitis as well as diarrhoea and vomiting. As a large breed dog with a deep chest, Greyhounds are also susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes bloated with food and gas. 

Arthritis is common as the Greyhound ages, particularly if they have been racing dogs in the past. Greyhounds are also prone to various cancers including osteosarcomas (bone cancer).  

The five most common reasons for a Greyhound to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data (from 2019) include:

Rank

Condition

Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)

1

Accidental trauma (broken bones and wounds)

$385

$7,353

2

Musculoskeletal problems (lameness, spinal pain, myositis, rhabdomyolysis)

$273

$3,323

3

Gastrointestinal tract problems 

$303

$5,125

4

Cancer (eg osteosarcoma, sarcoma, lymphoma)

$587

$8,902

5

Arthritis

$199

$3,152

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Greyhound names

Most popular names

  1. Buddy
  2. Lola
  3. Stella
  4. Coco
  5. Molly
  6. Sally
  7. Betty
  8. Bonnie
  9. Evie
  10. Harley

Most popular female names  

  1. Lola
  2. Stella
  3. Coco
  4. Sally
  5. Betty
  6. Bonnie
  7. Evie
  8. Maggie
  9. Millie
  10. Missy

Most popular male names

  1. Buddy
  2. Harley
  3. Max
  4. Monty
  5. Ned
  6. Percy
  7. Rusty
  8. Teddy
  9. Alfie
  10. Archie

Did you know?

Greyhounds were dogs of nobility during the middle ages, and “commoners” weren’t allowed to own one. 

Where can I get a Greyhound?

There are a number of Greyhound rescue organisations who can help you give an ex-racing Greyhound an amazing home. 

References

  1. American Kennel Club, Greyhound, Accessed on 11/11/20
  2. Wikipedia, Greyhound, Accessed on 11/11/20
  3. Jeffers, J, Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption of California, Inc, Accessed on 11/11/20

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Noah
Noah
Bei Bei
Bei Bei
Meeka
Meeka