The Greyhound is a unique animal. They draw crowds and are the center of attention wherever you take them.
Greyhounds generally are not barkers, (which is beneficial in suburban and apartment environments,) and they are usually as friendly to strangers as they are with their own family.
The key to the speed of a Greyhound can be found in its light but muscular build, largest heart, and highest percentage of fast-twitch muscle of any breed, the double suspension gallop and the extreme flexibility of the spine. “Double suspension rotary gallop” describes the fastest running gait of the Greyhound in which all four feet are free from the ground in two phases, contracted and extended, during each full stride.
A running greyhound at full extension
In ancient times, to be presented with a Greyhound was considered the most prized gift one could receive. Persians believed that the Greyhound was permitted in the next world to give information and evidence about mankind. It was the Egyptians who first raced Greyhounds for sport in open fields with the wild hare as quarry and no rules of the game except speed. In the Early Kingdom, Greyhounds were considered to possess divine powers.
A very common misconception regarding Greyhounds is that they are hyperactive. In retired racing Greyhounds, this is usually not the case Greyhounds can live comfortably as apartment dogs, as they do not require much space and sleep close to 18 hours per day. In fact, due to their calm temperament and the amount of time they spend sleeping, Greyhounds actually make better “apartment dogs” than smaller, more active breeds.
The Greyhound is an ancient as the desert from which it sprung. For thousands of years they were the dog of choice by kings, queens, pharaohs, sheiks, and people of distinction. In early Arabian culture, the birth of a Greyhound was cause of great celebrations and second only in importance to the birth of a son. They were the only dogs permitted to share an Arab’s tent or ride atop his camel. They were also the only dog mentioned by name in the King James Version of the Bible.
Even though Greyhounds are large dogs, they can curl up in a remarkable small space. Some famous Greyhound fanciers were Cleopatra (the first lady of the Greyhound), Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and General George Custer.
Greyhounds are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Some Greyhounds have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma. Because the Greyhound’s lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, owners of companion Greyhounds generally provide soft bedding; without bedding, Greyhounds are prone to develop painful skin sores.
Due to the unique physiology and anatomy of Greyhounds, a veterinarian who understands the issues relevant to the breed is generally needed when the dogs need treatment, particularly when anaesthesia is required. Greyhounds cannot metabolize barbiturate-based anesthesia as other breeds can because they have lower amounts of oxidative enzymes in their livers. Greyhounds demonstrate unusual blood chemistry, which can be misread by veterinarians not familiar with the breed; this can result in an incorrect diagnosis.
Greyhounds have higher levels of red blood cells than other breeds. Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this higher level allows the hound to move larger quantities of oxygen faster from the lungs to the muscles. Greyhounds have lower levels of platelets than other breeds. Veterinary blood services often use Greyhounds as universal blood donors.
Greyhounds do not have undercoats and thus are less likely to trigger people’s dog allergies (they are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “hypoallergenic”). The lack of an undercoat, coupled with a general lack of body fat, also makes Greyhounds more susceptible to extreme temperatures; because of this, they must be housed inside.
These fleet-footed dogs are sight hounds. They can spot a moving object up to half a mile away. Their sprinting ability enables them to expend an enormous amount of energy in a short amount of time. They run at their fastest between 40 and 45 mph, making them the second fastest accelerating land animal on Earth, only behind the Cheetah. They can achieve that speed within their first three strides. Their ability to blend speed, coordination and strategy has made them great hunters. Like a forest of trees, Greyhounds are one of the earth’s valued treasures.
WHY ADOPT A GREYHOUND?
- They are extremely clean and do not have the “doggie odor” of other breeds. Genetically, in terms of hereditary health problems, they have few.
- They give, want, and need an unlimited amount of love, as they are very sensitive dogs.
- They are kennel broken, thus in most cases they house break easily.
- They are clean, easy to care for, and gentle.
- They love and enjoy children and seniors, a wonderful companion and house pet for the entire family.
- They are entertaining and amusing.
- They are young ( usually between 18 months and four years), healthy, lead trained, and instantly bond to their new family. Their life expectancy is between 12 and 14 years on average.
- They don’t need any more exercise then other breed. A daily walk or a romp in a fenced yard will do. They also make excellent jogging companions.
- They are very social and can learn to live with other pets (including cats) in your family.
- They come in many colors and stand between 26 and 29 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 55 and 85 pounds.
- They are examined, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, checked for heart worms, teeth cleaned, wormed, and groomed before adoption.