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  • Temperament: Gentle, Independent, Noble
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 151 of 194
  • Height: 28-30 inches (male), 27-28 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-70 pounds (male), 60-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Greyhound standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Greyhound head and shoulders facing left
Greyhound standing facing left
Three greyhounds running and chasing each other down a beach

HEAD

Long and narrow, fairly wide between the ears, scarcely perceptible stop, little or no development of nasal sinuses, good length of muzzle, which should be powerful without coarseness. Teeth very strong and even in front. Ears are mall and fine in texture, thrown back and folded, except when excited, when they are semi-pricked. Eyes are dark, bright, intelligent, indicating spirit.

BODY

Neck: Long, muscular, without throatiness, slightly arched, and widening gradually into the shoulder. Shoulders: Placed as obliquely as possible, muscular without being loaded. Chest: Deep, and as wide as consistent with speed, fairly well-sprung ribs. Back: Muscular and broad. Loins: Good depth of muscle, well arched, well cut up in the flanks.
Tail: Long, fine and tapering with a slight upward curve

FOREQUARTERS

Perfectly straight, set well into the shoulders, neither turned in nor out, pasterns strong.

COAT

Short, smooth and firm in texture.

HINDQUARTERS

Long, very muscular and powerful, wide and well let down, well-bent stifles. Hocks well bent and rather close to ground, wide but straight fore and aft.

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About the Greyhound

Greyhounds are the essence of the dog breeder’s credo “Form follows function.” From the narrow, aerodynamic skull to the shock-absorbing pads of the feet, Greyhounds are perfectly constructed for high-speed pursuit. The lean beauty of the Greyhound “inverted S” shape, created by the deep chest curving gently into a tightly tucked waist, has been an object of fascination for artists, poets, and kings for as long as human beings have called themselves civilized. Greyhounds are the template from which other coursing hounds have been struck.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Greyhound

Find a Puppy: Greyhound

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AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Greyhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

Feed the Greyhound a high-quality dog food appropriate to his age (puppy, adult, or senior). The breed typically requires somewhat higher calories and protein than some dogs. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

GROOMING

The Greyhound’s short, smooth coat requires little grooming beyond regular baths and weekly rubdowns with a damp cloth or hound glove. His strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort. The ears should be checked at least weekly for any buildup of wax or debris that could result in an infection, and cleaned if needed. The teeth should be brushed regularly—daily if possible—with a toothpaste formulated for dogs.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

The Greyhound is the cheetah of the dog world. While perfectly happy to lounge around the house all day, he is capable of amazing speed and energy when faced with potential prey—or the chance to chase a tennis ball or a coursing lure. Greyhounds require a regular schedule of exercise time and opportunities to (safely) run full-out. They must only be allowed off leash in a securely fenced area, as they may not be able to resist the urge to run off in pursuit of perceived prey.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Training a Greyhound can be frustrating for anyone who does not understand the genetic origins of the Greyhound temperament. As a sighthound, or coursing breed, the Greyhound was developed to pursue game by sight rather than by scent. They course game independently of humans, making decisions on their own, unlike other types of hunting breeds that require a bit of direction. A Greyhound should be socialized from an early age with small animals and children. Keep training lessons short and sweet, as the Greyhound will become bored very easily. With his mild, sensitive personality, he needs a gentle approach in training, never harsh. Greyhounds are more interested in doing things *with* you than *for* you. They are very affectionate with their families, though they tend to be reserved with strangers.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Greyhounds are overall very healthy dogs, although there are a few conditions the breed can be prone to. As are most deep-chested breeds, the Greyhound is susceptible to bloat and gastric torsion, a sudden and life-threatening enlargement of the stomach that is sometimes accompanied by twisting. Owners should be aware of the symptoms of bloat and seek medical attention immediately if they occur. A condition called Greyhound neuropathy seems to be isolated in the breed. Other disorders that can occur include cardiac and eye conditions. Responsible breeders screen their stock for conditions that can affect the breed.

 

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Greyhound Polyneuropathy NDRG1 DNA Test
  • Cardiac Exam

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

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History

Prehistoric art depicts doglike creatures and men chasing game, but the Greyhound story begins properly in Egypt some 5,000 years ago. The hounds of the pharaohs were designed to detect, chase, capture, and dispatch the fleet-footed wildlife of Egypt’s deserts. To the pharaoh’s subjects, the godlike beauty of these haughty hounds was an extension of their ruler’s divine majesty. And ever after, from the Macedonia of Alexander the Great to the Moscow of the Tsars, nobles looked a bit nobler with an elegant hound by their side.

Did You Know?

The Greyhound is the fastest breed of dog.
Theories of the name "Greyhound" range from derivation from Graius, meaning Grecian; the old British grech or greg, meaning dog; and the past predominance of gray as the breed's color.
Greyhounds were among the first at American dog shows, and they have an entry of 18 listed in the first Westminster Kennel Club catalog in 1877.
One of the most celebrated of many Greyhound owners in history was General George A. Custer. Custer was especially fond of coursing breeds - Greyhounds and "staghounds" - and traveled with a hound pack that numbered about forty.
The hare is the Greyhound's natural quarry.
The first knowledge of the Greyhound comes from the Tomb of Amten, in the Valley of the Nile, regarded by Egyptologists as belonging to the Fourth Dynasty, which in modern chronology would be between 2900 and 2751 B.C.
Rutherford B. Hayes owned a Greyhound named Grim.

The Breed Standard

HEAD

Long and narrow, fairly wide between the ears, scarcely perceptible stop, little or no development of nasal sinuses, good length of muzzle, which should be powerful without coarseness. Teeth very strong and even in front. Ears are mall and fine in texture, thrown back and folded, except when excited, when they are semi-pricked. Eyes are dark, bright, intelligent, indicating spirit.

BODY

Neck: Long, muscular, without throatiness, slightly arched, and widening gradually into the shoulder. Shoulders: Placed as obliquely as possible, muscular without being loaded. Chest: Deep, and as wide as consistent with speed, fairly well-sprung ribs. Back: Muscular and broad. Loins: Good depth of muscle, well arched, well cut up in the flanks.
Tail: Long, fine and tapering with a slight upward curve

FOREQUARTERS

Perfectly straight, set well into the shoulders, neither turned in nor out, pasterns strong.

COAT

Short, smooth and firm in texture.

HINDQUARTERS

Long, very muscular and powerful, wide and well let down, well-bent stifles. Hocks well bent and rather close to ground, wide but straight fore and aft.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
BLACK BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 279
BLUE Check Mark For Standard Color 037
BLUE BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 056
BLUE FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 036
RED Check Mark For Standard Color 140
RED BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 148
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199
WHITE & BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 202
WHITE & BLACK BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 328
WHITE & BLUE Check Mark For Standard Color 288
WHITE & BLUE BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 333
WHITE & BLUE FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 334
WHITE & RED Check Mark For Standard Color 214
WHITE & RED BRINDLE Check Mark For Standard Color 336
BLACK & WHITE 019
BLACK BRINDLE & WHITE 021
BLUE & WHITE 045
BLUE BRINDLE & WHITE 254
BLUE FAWN & WHITE 274
FAWN 082
FAWN & WHITE 086
LIVER 123
LIVER & WHITE 125
LIVER BRINDLE 332
RED & WHITE 146
RED BRINDLE & WHITE 149
WHITE & FAWN 207
WHITE & LIVER 212
WHITE & LIVER BRINDLE 335

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
BLACK MASK Check Mark For Standard Mark 004
PARTI-COLOR Check Mark For Standard Mark 038
SOLID Check Mark For Standard Mark 110
TICKED Check Mark For Standard Mark 013