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Canis Lupus

Last updated: March 10, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit Neurodoc / Creative Commons

Extremely fast and athletic!

Greyhound Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis Lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Greyhound Conservation Status

Greyhound Locations

Greyhound Locations

Greyhound Facts

Common Name
Extremely fast and athletic!

Greyhound Physical Characteristics

Skin Type
11 years
32kg (70lbs)

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Greyhound as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Warm climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
60-88 lbs
Female weight
55-75 lbs

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The greyhound is the fastest breed of dog, and retired racing greyhounds make for calm and sweet pets.

The greyhound has the highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle of any breed. In spite of this reputation, retired racing greyhounds make for calm and sweet pets. It is also called the English greyhound to avoid confusion with the Italian greyhound. The breed is a hunting type and a sighthound whose ancient remains were discovered in modern Syria and dated 4,000 years ago. Originally, however, it was used for hunting desert wildlife by the Egyptian pharaohs 5,000 years ago. It has a history in coursing of deer, foxes and hare, and racing and companionship in England, Great Britain and the British Isles. Since its breed registration in 1885 by the American Kennel Club, it has enjoyed a following as a friendly, noble sporting show dog and pet.

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning Greyounds

Pros! Cons!
They don’t need much exercise.

They only need a 20-30 minute walk each day.
Hyperactive and destructive tendency

If the puppies don’t get enough play with the proper toys, they will mouth on various things in the house.
They get along with everyone.

They enjoy getting to know adults, children and other pets.
Sensitive skin

They need soft bedding to sit and sleep in. And since they’re vulnerable to extreme temperatures, they need to live indoors, especially when it’s cold. They also need to avoid sunburn.
They don’t trigger allergic reactions as much.

They have no undercoat, unlike other dogs.
Familiar vet

Their vet needs to know the breed to properly anesthetize them and treat their unique issues.

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Greyhound Size and Weight

This dog is tall, slim, graceful and a smooth-coated large dog with powerful, long legs under a deep chest, flexible spine and slender build. They have a height of 28-30 inches for males and 27-28 inches for females. Males weigh 60-88 lbs and females weigh 55-75 lbs. They both weigh on average about 70 lbs. Most greyhounds in family homes today are adopted as adult racing dogs. They are considered adults at 18 months.

Height Weight
Male 28-30 inches 60-88 lbs
Female 27-28 inches 55-75 lbs

Greyhound Common Health Issues

Greyhounds tend to be healthy and to live long lives of 10-14 years. However, there have been some cases of greyhounds developing esophageal achalasia, gastric dilatation volvulus (also called bloat), gastric torsion, heart and eye conditions, osteosarcoma, and corns on the paw pads. There is also a condition called greyhound neuropathy. They can develop Alabama rot if exposed to E. coli. If they are on hard surfaces, they develop skin sores. Flea collars, flea spray and other insecticides are not safe to use on them. If they are outside, they will have more health issues from exposure to extreme heat or cold, though they tolerate heat better than cold.

Some racing greyhounds develop an arched back — while they run, they extend their long legs and stretch their spines for a better stride to cover more ground in less time. An arched back makes it impossible for them to do so, although some dogs can run very fast. Recommended health tests for the breed are an ophthalmologist evaluation, a greyhound polyneuropathy NDRG1 DNA test, and a cardiac exam. In sum, common health issues with this breed are:

  • Dangerous conditions such as bloat, gastric torsion, or esophageal achalasia
  • Heart and eye conditions
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Greyhound neuropathy
  • Sensitive skin

Greyhound Temperament and Behavior

Notably, Greyhounds are docile, quiet, gentle and loving pets. They each have their own personality, with different traits and behavior depending on whether they were purely show or working dogs. Although many adopted greyhounds are retired racing dogs, they adjust very well as adults to their new homes. They don’t tend to bark or howl, but they are mistrustful of strangers. When they are not sprinting outside, they are couch potatoes at home, mostly relaxing or sleeping for 18 hours a day. However, it is difficult for them to be left alone for several hours, as they need a lot of attention and care. That’s because they enjoy being around people and other pets.

Health and Entertainment for your Greyhound

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As puppies, they are more demanding than as adults, with a need for playtime of 1 to 2 hours a day. Likewise, they need chew toys to learn not to mouth on people.

How To Take Care of Greyhounds

The most important decision in adopting a greyhound is whether it should be a puppy or an adult, because they are different in their needs and behavior. From there, new pet owners can learn about how to care for these dogs at various ages. The breed also has unique health factors that must be considered.

The Best Dog Food for Greyhounds

Most importantly, greyhounds demand a diet higher in fat, calories, and protein than some other dogs. More specifically, they need a high-quality dog food for their age.

Also, since this breed can be prone to heart issues, stay educated about the link between legumes in dog food and heart failure, and think about looking for legume-free dog food.

At first, puppies enjoy puppy kibble and pureed meat. Later, to meet the dietary needs of adults, feed them a mixture of dry food and chopped meat. In particular, they need 250-300g of meat a day. Like other pets, you should remember what human foods are safe for them to eat. Some examples of greyhound-safe fruit are bananas, apples, oranges, and watermelons. Also, vegetables they can eat are carrots, green beans, zucchini, cucumber, and cooked potato. Additionally, they can eat rice and pasta.

In our opinion at A-Z Animals, Victor Super Premium Dog Food – Performance Dry Dog Food – 26% Protein is the best dog food for Greyhounds.

With beef and chicken, this recipe delivers vital taurine that keeps the heart ticking and the eyes sharp. It’s expert-formulated with amino acids, omegas, and probiotics for immune system defense and balanced skin.

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VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food – Performance Dry Dog Food – 26% Protein for Active Adult Dogs – Includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Hip and Joint Health, 40lbs

  • PERFORMANCE DOG FOOD: Performance high energy dog food is a nutrient-dense dry dog food for adult dogs with high physical demands; this active dog food is formulated to promote stamina and endurance
  • 26% PROTEIN DRY FOOD: This gluten free, multi-protein dog food is a nutrient-dense formula with ingredients to promote digestibility, immune system function and healthy skin and coat
  • HIP & JOINT HEALTH: VICTOR Performance dog food is designed with added glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint health in active adult dogs
  • PROPRIETARY VPRO BLEND: Every VICTOR dog kibble formula begins with our exclusive mix of supplements, vitamins and minerals that have been designed to help maximize the genetic potential of every dog, regardless of breed, age, or activity level.
  • MADE IN THE USA: We proudly produce every bag of VICTOR kibble in our own Texas-based facility and do not waver in our commitment to high-quality nutrition. A majority of ingredients come from ranches, farms and other trusted suppliers who are within a day’s drive of our East Texas plant

Best Greyhound Insurance

The best insurance for your greyhound is a plan that allows them to see any vet, emergency clinic or specialist in the country. Importantly, it should have unlimited or no restrictions on coverage. Also, keep in mind that some insurance companies have exclusions for performance dogs.

Greyhound Maintenance and Grooming

This breed’s short coat goes through light seasonal shedding. It needs no more than a monthly bath and weekly rubdown with a damp cloth or grooming glove. Secondly, nails should be trimmed and ears cleaned regularly. Finally, you should brush their teeth every day with a special toothpaste formulated for dogs.

Greyhound Training

Greyhounds are playful and have a lot of wanderlust, but they are very smart and easy to train as adults. As puppies, they are more difficult to train since they have difficulty with recall. Like other sighthounds, they have a very strong prey drive and therefore tend to give chase, being able to see far ahead. When you practice letting them go off lead in a safe area, they will remember to come back. It becomes easier as they get older.

Greyhound Exercise

Greyhounds enjoy sprinting, with an average high speed of 45 mph. Part of their exercise is mental stimulation, so they could enjoy games or hidden treats. Other than a daily walk, they need an additional 30-40 minutes of exercise each day. They do well living in apartments if they get to be walked. If there is no yard, they will require more frequent walking. To burst off excess energy, greyhounds sprint in the backyard or through the house. Walk them in the early morning and evening to avoid sunburn, and wait an hour after feeding them before playing to avoid bloat or torsion.

Greyhound Puppies

Puppies are born in litters of 1-12. Like most breeds, during puppyhood greyhounds express mouthiness and the tendency to chew on, nip or play-bite. Mouthy dogs tend to use their mouths to hold or “herd” humans, so they need to learn to redirect it to chew toys. Greyhounds, like other mouthy breeds, love to play fetch, and they also enjoy chewing on stimulating and rewarding toys stuffed with kibble or treats. This breed needs a lot of attention and training during puppyhood.

Greyhounds and Children

Greyhounds need to be socialized from a young age with other animals and children. Although very people-oriented, the breed prefers quiet and soft-spoken families rather than a family that has very young children. Their skin tears easily, making it difficult for them to be around rowdy toddlers. Rather, they are independent while playing, being more self-motivated than other hunting breeds that require direction.

Dogs Similar to Greyhounds

Other dog breeds similar to the greyhound are the Russian Borzoi, the Persian greyhound and the whippet.

  • Russian Borzoi: Shares similarities to the greyhound including low-maintenance coats and child-friendliness, but the Greyhound is friendlier.
  • Persian greyhound: Both are apartment-friendly dogs with a high impulse to chase and catch things.
  • Whippet: Like the greyhound but smaller in size, whippets can live 12-15 years. However, this dog wants to jog with you, while the greyhound would rather cuddle.

Famous Greyhounds

  • General George A. Custer was famous for his love of and ownership of greyhounds. He traveled with about 40 hounds of various coursing breeds.
  • The United States’ 19th President, Rutherford B. Hayes, owned a greyhound named Grim.
  • Mick the Miller is the most famous racing greyhound in Great Britain. He became an icon of dog racing in spite of his short three-year career, winning 19 races in a row. After his retirement he became a feature of films and social events as a sports dog hero.

The most popular names for greyhounds refer to their speed. For either sex, the top five names are:

  • Comet
  • Jet
  • Dash
  • Turbo
  • Shadow

Top names for male greyhounds are:

  • Jack
  • Finn
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy

Top names for female greyhounds are:

  • Luna
  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Penny
  • Molly

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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What’s the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?






If you have kids or existing dogs select:

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How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.

I want a cuddle buddy!

About average energy.

I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!

All energy levels are great — I just love dogs!

How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
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How much chewing will allow?
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Greyhound FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How fast can a greyhound run?

A greyhound can reach an average race speed that exceeds 40mph and a full speed of 43mph in 98 feet. It can travel at about 68feet/second  for the first 820 feet of a race.

Are greyhounds good family dogs?

Yes, they are excellent with adults, children, and even other pets.

Are greyhounds high-energy dogs?

Outside of their exercise periods, greyhounds are known for being “45mph couch potatoes.” They are not high-energy dogs. Like most other dogs, they get periods of running called “the zoomies,” except greyhounds sprint. They prefer doing activities with humans, instead of for their humans.

Are greyhounds smart?

Yes, they are very intelligent. They are curious, playful, and sneaky pets.

Are greyhounds good first dogs?

Yes, they are good first dogs because they are so gentle and easygoing. they are not aggressive with people, other animals or other dogs.

What’s the difference between a greyhound and a whippet?

A whippet is basically a small greyhound descendant. It is famous for being the most friendly of all the sighthounds and are known for being great family dogs and getting along well with other dogs or cats. Whippets are good for people who want a greyhound but don’t have the space for the larger dog.

How much does a Greyhound cost to own?

If you are getting a well-bred greyhound puppy, you can spend anywhere between $2,500-$15,000. On the other hand, if you adopt an adult, the price will be the standard adult dog adoption rate. Caring for a greyhound can cost $800-$1,000 a year.

How long do Greyhounds live?

Greyhounds typically live 10-13 years.

Where does the name greyhound come from?

The scientific name of the domestic dog species is Canis lupus familiaris and includes any greyhound breed. The word “greyhound” does not have anything to do with the scientific name, but is thought to come from the Old English word grighund.

Are Greyhounds herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Greyhounds are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Greyhounds have?

Greyhounds are covered in Hair.

What genus do Greyhounds belong to?

Greyhounds belong to the genus Canis.

What is an interesting fact about Greyhounds?

Greyhounds are extremely fast and athletic!

What is the scientific name for the Greyhound?

The scientific name for the Greyhound is Canis Lupus.

What’s the difference between a Greyhound and an Italian Greyhound?

There are many differences between a Greyhound and Italian Greyhound. The Greyhound is much faster and larger than the Italian Greyhound, and Italian Greyhounds have slightly longer life expectancies.

What’s the difference between a Galgo and a Greyhound?

There are a few differences between the Galgo and the Greyhound. Galgos were bred for endurance hunting, while Greyhounds were bred for sprinting. Greyhounds are also larger than Galgos.

What’s the difference between a Greyhound and a Great Dane?

There are many differences between a Greyhound and a Great Dane. The Great Dane grows much heavier than the average Greyhound, while Greyhounds have a longer lifespan than Great Danes do.

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