Greyhounds are the fastest dogs in the world, and second only to cheetahs in speed among land animals. They can hit a top speed of 45 miles per hour or a bit more, and average 30 mph for a mile. When a racing greyhound competes at a racetrack, he thinks that he is hunting, not racing. That's because greyhounds have been bred for thousands of years to chase after and catch their prey.
Greyhounds love to be in the company of other dogs. That's because they have been bred to hunt in packs, not alone. Greyhounds are intelligent. That's because, due to their speed, they were bred to make decisions while hunting far ahead of their humans.
The greyhound has a long neck and head, with a barely noticeable stop, or bridge to his nose. His ears are small and have a variety of positions from straight up, to laid back flat against their neck ("rose bud" ears), to semi-pricked ears like those of a Collie.
A greyhound's back is long and muscular with an arch over the loin. His deep chest and narrow waist give the greyhound his distinctive silhouette. His legs are long and powerful. His feet are small and compact, with well knuckled toes. His tail is long and curved. Greyhounds have approximately 2% body fat, giving them their reputation as the buff athletes of the dog world.
Coat and color
The coat of a greyhound is short and smooth. Greyhounds come in an endless variety of colors, including white, fawn (tan), cream, red (rust), black, blue (gray), many shades of brindle, and with patches of these colors on white. Their most common color is brindle: black tiger stripes on a lighter background. The most common brindle background is fawn, and most have a black face mask. Coat length differs from dog to dog. Some have a thicker, teddy bear coat while others have a short, slick coat with a thinner coat on the buttocks. In general, greyhounds are very clean and do not require a lot of grooming.
Three separate breeding lines exist: AKC, racing, and coursing greyhounds. Racing greyhounds are bred for speed, coursing greys for a combination of speed, endurance, and courage, and show greys for appearance. An AKC (show) greyhound typically stands 26-30 inches at the shoulder and weighs 60-80 pounds. Females average around 10 to 15 pounds less than males. The average lifespan of a greyhound is 12-14 years.
Track greyhounds are usually 25-29 inches and 50-80 pounds. Modern track dogs are considerably more flat-sided than the greyhounds of pre-modern coursing days. The modern coursing dog is 20 percent heavier than his ancestors 40 years ago.
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La Canada, CA 91012-0632
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GreySave is a completely volunteer-staffed Southern California-based Nonprofit Public Benefit Charity. All donations made to GreySave are tax deductible. Our 501(c)(3) # is 20-5442395. GreySave is supported primarily through fundraising events and donations/gifts from individuals, organizations and businesses.