April is Adopt a Greyhound Month! 50 Amazing Facts about Greyhounds

Three Greyhounds Sleeping in Dog Beds in Family Room

April is adopt a Greyhound month and the perfect time to celebrate our fast moving canine friends.

If you are considering adopting a Greyhound, check out these 50 fantastic facts and then seek out a rescue near you!

1. Greyhounds are the only breed of dog mentioned by name in the bible.

2. They are also the oldest dog breed known to man.

3. The first records of this majestic breed date back to 2751 B.C. where their likeness is carved into Egyptian tombs.

4. The first written account can be credited to Ovid, who wrote about them in many of his tales from 43 B.C to 17 A.D.

Greyhound on the Path

5. They were first recognized by the AKC in 1885.

6. However, they were first introduced to America by Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s.

7. George Washington was the proud owner of a Greyhound named Azor, who accompanied him everywhere.

8. General Custer was also a Greyhound fanatic, and had a pack of about 40 that he hunted with, raced, and took with him during his travels.

9. Greyhounds are part of a group of dogs called Sighthounds.

10. Sighthounds hunt by sight and have amazing vision.

Brown Greyhound in Park

11. Greyhounds are beautiful sleek dogs that come in 15 different colors and patterns.

12. Greyhounds have a special universal blood type.

13. This makes them perfect as blood donors, and many clinics have volunteer greyhounds that come in to give blood regularly.

14. The skin of a Greyhound is much thinner than other breeds, which makes them susceptible to cuts and tears.

15. The average lifespan of Greyhounds is 10-12 years.

16. Most male Greyhounds weighs about 60-88 lbs and females weigh in at 60-75 lbs, though there are some racers that fall above and below those guidelines.

Greyhound on a Rock Outside

17. When performing surgery on a Greyhound a vet must be careful with the dosages of anesthesia as they metabolize certain ones differently than other breeds of dogs and using too much can be deadly.

18. Greyhounds are also very sensitive to pyrethrin-based flea products, so make sure your flea prevention is free from this common chemical before you use it.

19. This breed has a unique blood chemistry and their blood work results are often misinterpreted. Be sure to have a Greyhound knowledgeable vet look at your dog’s blood work if you believe something is abnormal.

20. Osteosarcoma is one disease that Greyhounds seem to be prone to. Keep an eye on your grey as he gets older and be sure to take him in for regular vet check ups.

Loved by the Famous

21. Rutherford B. Hayes has a Greyhound named Grim.

22. King Henry VIII was a huge lover of Greyhounds. So much so that he added them to his standard, and they are to this day the symbol of the House of York.

Greyhound on Bed

23. Queen Elizabeth I was a huge lover of Greyhound coursing and even proposed the “Law of the Leash” in 1561 that stated all prey animals used in coursing must be given a head start.

24. Bart Simpson has a Greyhound named Santa’s Little Helper that appears in several episodes over the course of the show.

25. Bo Derek is a known advocate for the breed and owns several retired racers. Her first pictorial in Playboy was of her and her Greyhound running and sunbathing on the beach.

26. J.K. Rowling adopted a Greyhound named Sapphire as a playmate for her Jack Russell.

27. Other notable Greyhound owners and lovers are Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Jack Dempsey, Cesar Milan, and Trent Reznor.

Racing to…Sleep?

28. While many people believe Greyhounds to be extremely active dogs they are actually quite inactive with many sleeping 18 or more hours a day.

29. This love of sleep makes Greyhounds great apartment dogs!

Greyhound Sleeping on the Couch

30. For the few hours Greyhounds are awake, they want to be with their owners.

31. This breed is extremely affectionate, and most love to be right at their owners side cuddling.

32. While Greyhounds don’t bark as much as many breeds, they do something called “rooing, which is where the dog howls/yodels when it is excited, sad, or at the beginning or end of the day.

33. It is very important for all racing Greyhounds to have their own space, like a crate.

34. While at the track each Greyhound has their own kennel, and it can be hard for them to adjust to being suddenly woken up or having to eat around others.

35. Some Greyhounds fresh off the track suffer from something called sleep startle aggression. This is when someone startles a sleeping Greyhound and the dog wakes up and becomes aggressive.

Greyhound Wearing a Coat Indoors

36. Sleep aggression is a form of fear aggression, these dogs have never been in an extremely quiet home where they were able to be startled before, it’s important to let your Greyhound sleep in his kennel until you feel he has fully adjusted to the home.

Training

37. Greyhounds make great pets! They are calm, loving, smart, loyal, and extremely beautiful.

38. They are also very sensitive, so be sure to use positive training methods or your dog could become fearful or disengaged.

39. This breed is very food motivated, so using treats like these can make training easy!

40. Greyhounds can be great with other dogs, cats, kids, and even small animals, but use caution when introducing them and go slowly.

Two Greyhounds Cuddling with Eyes Close Together

41. Even though your Greyhound may love your cat, you can never trust him with a running cat or small animal outside.

42. Greyhounds have been bred for centuries to chase and catch small running game, so when they see a small animal running their instincts take over and they give chase.

43. Use caution when exercising your dog off leash as this propensity to chase can cause your Greyhound to take off after a hare or a bird and be gone before you know it.

Black Greyhound in Yard

44. If your dog does get away don’t chase him, instead fall on the ground and begin rolling around while making high pitched noises, this will get your dog’s attention and have him running to check on you.

45. They Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog, able to reach speeds of up to 43 mph.

46. According to the AKC the Greyhound is only the 152nd most popular breed, but their statistics only take into account the dogs that are registered with them. Racing dogs make up the majority of pet Greyhounds and they aren’t registered.  

Greyhound on the Beach

47. There are two types of Greyhound. Hot bloods and cold bloods. Hot bloods are those bred for racing, and each one has tattoos in his ears to represent his date of birth and when he was tattooed in relation to his siblings. Cold bloods are dogs that are bred for showing or to specifically be raised as pets.

48. Conformation can vary slightly between the two types with hot bloods being more athletic and barrel chested and cold bloods being more refined and delicate.

49. All racing Greyhounds are trained to wear basket muzzles during races and when they are turned out to play because their skin is so thin that they can easily injure one another while playing or in the heat of the race.

50. Greyhounds are one of very few breeds that lack an undercoat. This makes them less likely to trigger allergies in people allergic to dogs, and it also helps them avoid the dreaded “dog smell.”

Three Greyhounds Walking on Path in Woods

Greyhounds are amazing dogs, and there are ones waiting for homes all across the world.

If you are interested in adopting a Greyhound there is likely an adoption agency near you, if there isn’t, the Sighthound Underground Adoption Agency is a great place for you to start looking.

Bonus: For more information on Greyhounds and their Spanish cousins the Galgo Espanol, go here and here


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