The Greyhound is a breed of dog, a sighthound which has been bred for coursing game and Greyhound racing. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a Greyhound is “…. a breed of tall slender graceful smooth-coated dogs characterized by swiftness and keen sight…”
The Greyhound is a gentle and intelligent breed whose combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allows it to reach average race speeds in excess of 64 kilometres per hour (40 mph). Greyhounds have very short fur, which is easy to maintain. There are approximately thirty recognized coat colours, of which variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red and blue (gray) can appear uniquely or in combination.
Greyhounds tend to be quiet, gentle, and loyal to owners. They enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs. Whether a Greyhound enjoys the company of other small animals or cats depends on the individual dog’s personality. Each Greyhound that comes into the care of NCGL is tested for these individual situations that could arise in a potential forever home.
Greyhounds live most happily as pets in quiet environments. They do well in families with children as long as the children are taught to treat the dog with politeness and appropriate respect. Greyhounds have a sensitive nature, and gentle commands work best as training methods.
A common misconception regarding Greyhounds is that they are high energy dogs. In retired racing Greyhounds, this is usually not the case. Many Greyhounds can live comfortably as apartment dogs, as they tend to have low energy indoors and sleep close to 18 hours per day. In fact, due to their calm temperament, Greyhounds can make better “apartment dogs” than smaller, more active breeds. Of course, this is not the case for every Greyhound – they are all individuals. Some can have quiet severe separation anxiety so are not well suited to being alone in an apartment for long periods. In addition to testing for suitability with small animals we test them for separation anxiety.
NCGL recommends that owners keep their Greyhounds on a leash whenever outdoors, except in fully enclosed areas. This is due to their prey-drive, their speed, and the assertion that Greyhounds have no road sense. However, a good run at least once a week is important, especially for younger Greyhounds, and suitable areas can usually be found. Due to their size and athleticism, it is recommended that fences be at least 5 to 6 feet high, to prevent them from jumping out.