7 Facts About Greyhounds You Probably Didn’t Know

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on May 18, 2023

The Greyhound, an epitome of canine elegance and speed, is renowned as a racing dog. However, these dogs are also beloved pets that have been human companions for millennia. Here are seven surprising facts about Greyhounds that you probably didn’t know.

  1. An Ancient Breed

Greyhounds are among the oldest breeds in history, with depictions dating back 8,000 years to early cave drawings in what is now Turkey. They’re also the only breed mentioned by name in the Bible (Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version). From ancient Egypt to Greece and Rome, Greyhounds were prized for their hunting prowess and noble appearance.

  1. Born to Run

With a streamlined body and long, muscular legs, Greyhounds are the epitome of canine speed. They can reach up to 45 miles per hour, making them the Ferraris of the dog world. However, despite their athletic prowess, Greyhounds are often referred to as “45 mph couch potatoes” due to their love of relaxation and sleep when they’re not racing.

  1. Double Suspension Gallop

Greyhounds are one of the few breeds that exhibit a double suspension gallop – a running style where the dog is completely airborne with all four legs off the ground twice in each stride. This unique gait allows them to cover more ground quickly and is a testament to their extraordinary agility.

  1. Unique Physiology

Beyond their speed, Greyhounds possess some physical characteristics that set them apart. Their large heart and high red blood cell count enable efficient oxygen delivery during high-speed chases. They also have a lean body and very low body fat, which means they often need dog coats in colder weather despite their seemingly large size.

  1. Sensitive Souls

Despite their athletic reputation, Greyhounds are known to be quite sensitive and can be somewhat shy. They tend to form strong bonds with their families and are known for their gentle, easygoing nature. Because of their sensitive nature, positive reinforcement works best when training them.

  1. Naturally Well-Behaved

Greyhounds are typically clean, quiet, and docile pets. They’re often considered one of the easiest breeds to house-train, and many can adapt well to apartment living. While they do need regular exercise, they’re usually content to lounge around the house, making them excellent companions for less active individuals or families.

  1. Highly Adaptable Retirees

Many Greyhounds are retired racing dogs in need of second homes, and they tend to adapt well to life as a family pet. Organizations that help rehome retired racers note that these dogs are typically quick to enjoy the comforts of home life and can get along well with other pets and children.

In conclusion, the Greyhound breed, renowned for its speed and grace, boasts a rich history and a host of surprising traits. From their ancient roots, unique running style, and distinctive physiology to their sensitive, gentle nature and adaptability post-racing, these facts about Greyhounds reveal a deep, multifaceted picture of the breed. Whether you’re an existing Greyhound owner or simply an admirer of the breed, these lesser-known facts serve to deepen our appreciation for these remarkable dogs.

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