If you want to meet people when you’re out on a walk with a dog, there is no other dog I know of that gets the amount of attention a greyhound does. Everywhere you go people point and stare and hope you pass by them so they can ask questions or find out more about this gorgeous creature. As the fastest dog on the planet and the 2nd fastest accelerating land animal on the planet, people are always curious about this regal breed that can attain a speed of 45 mph from a standing start its first 3 strides. What allows the greyhound to reach that type of acceleration, is its lean but extremely muscular build, biggest heart, and greatest area of fast-twitch muscle associated with any breed as well as the double suspension gallop and also the extreme versatility of the spine.
Walking one of these “lightning bolts on a leash” is like walking with a celebrity, almost everyone you meet wants to know more about them and for most it is the first time they have actually had a chance to see one up close and personal. Common remarks are; they’re so soft or they’re so gentle and placid.
Some people ask about the tattoos in the ex racing greyhound’s ears. There are 2 numbers, one in each ear. One is the track number, the other is the year they were born and the order in the litter. With these, you will find the whole pedigree all the way back to the end of the 1800’s. Some people say the number does not prove birth order as most owners do not mark them in order. I don’t know, maybe some do and some don’t. In any event, to find that dogs pedigree, log on to http://www.greyhound-data.com, type in the number and presto…there it is!
Another question I hear from people is about the size of the greyhound’s heart…a greyhound’s heart weight ranges from 1.18 to 1.73% of their body weight, which is higher than an elite racehorse at 1.0-1.3% of its body weight. Other types of dogs have a heart weight equal to 0.77% of their body weight, and compare those to 0.5% for humans. So you can see the greyhound has the highest blood volume of any athlete, relative to its body size. All this means that the Greyhound heart is not only larger and more efficient than any other dog’s, but outperforms that of a thoroughbred racehorse.
One other thing I am asked frequently and something that is very important to some people deals with dog odor. Well, due to incredibly small sebaceous glands, the short hair and very low body fat, Greyhound’s exude little or no characteristic “doggy odor”. You can have three or four greyhounds in your home and not notice them near as much as you will that one Lab or Shepard, Doberman, etc. This also transforms into more domestic tranquility as greyhound’s are very affectionate dogs towards those that they know and trust. For centuries different greyhounds have been allowed to hunt and race together, so aggressiveness towards other dogs and people has been almost totally eliminated from the breed. This also means that owning several Greyhounds can be a calmer experience than having those breeds listed above (and many others) that will engage in continuous “pecking” as puppies.