Hunting dogs were probably the first canines to be domesticated and developed by man because they helped provide him with food. Greyhounds have always been appreciated for their speed and cunning. Indeed, they are the world's fastest dogs, running at speeds in excess of 64kph (40mph).


Although very little is known of the origins of the Greyhound, its efficacy and grace were admired as far back as King Solomon. Images of them have been depicted in stone-age caves, as decoration on ancient Greek vases and in Egyptian pyramids. Through eons of time, this breed was the favourite of royalty. Known in Britain since before 800AD, killing a Greyhound in the time of Hywel of Wales meant death to the perpetrator.

As hunting habits changed, the Greyhound was only used for coursing hare (now illegal). However, in 1926. the first Greyhound Stadium was opened in Manchester. England, and racing soon became a popular sport, although it is declining now.


Greyhounds are gentle and affectionate dogs. Intelligent and easygoing by nature, they are easily trained and take up very little room in the home, despite their size. However, they are genetically programmed to chase small animals, like dogs and cats, so every endeavour must be made to prevent this, especially if you adopt a doe that has retired from the race track...

must know

Breeders of Greyhounds report no serious health faults within the breed. This is generally a very healthy dog to own.


Strongly built, muscular dogs. Greyhounds come in a range of different coat colours. The ideal height for dogs is 71-76cm (28-30in); bitches are slightly smaller at 68-71cm (27-28in).

Strangers 3/5

Will warn but no aggression

Temperament 4/5

Friendly, playful

Exercise 5/5

Plenty including walks and free running

Grooming 1/5

Only once a week

Other dogs 3/5

Be careful with very small dogs


Good all-round family pet

General care

Being the ultimate canine athlete, the Greyhound needs plenty of exercise, including free running, and should be fed the collect amount of nourishing food. Their coats are fine and short and are "easy care"; they need brushing only once a week, followed by a smoothing with a hound glove.

Gallery of Greyhound