Adoptions to Date : 2,200 Greyhounds

The Greyhound Breed

Below is a small informational write-up to teach about the greyhound breed:

Greyhounds are the oldest breed of dog known to man and are mentioned in the bible.  A female greyhound is 23-26 inches and weighs 50-65 pounds.  Male greyhounds are 26-30 inches and weigh 65-80 pounds.  They come in many colors such as brindle, fawn, white, blue, and several shades and combinations of these colors.  They are members of the sight hound family and can see up to a mile away.  They are built for speed and can reach speeds up to 40-45 mph within 2-3 strides.  For this reason they must never be let off their leash, unless they are in a securely fenced in area.  The average age of a greyhound at the time of adoption is 2-5 years old, and they can live to be 12-14 years old.

​​For the first eight weeks of a greyhound puppy's life they stay with their mother.  From the moment they are born the puppies are given attention from their breeders, owners, and trainers to get them used to being handled.  Once weaned the litter is moved together into their own kennel within the same building as their mother, often the kennel next to their mother.  When the puppies are moved into outdoor runs, their mother is moved with them.  The puppies play, eat, sleep, and grow together.  They learn to chase and run with and from each other.  Formal training does not start until their bones are fully developed, to start too early would  be dangerous to the puppy.

​At 12 to 14 months the pups are moved into a kennel so that they can get used to life in a racing kennel.  They have to adjust to living in a crate that is 33" wide, 43" deep, and 32" high, and being turned out four or five times a day.  At this point the pups are in separate crates, however, they do get to see each other during turnout times.  They will spend their next months running in a coursing or sprint field, learning to chase a lure, and finally to running on a real track.

​Around 18 months of age the greyhounds are sent to a racing kennel at a track.  By this time they are accustom to kennel life and the schedule of a racing kennel.  They will normally race twice per week.  If not, they are exercised on a sprint pad to stay in racing condition.  A typical diet for a racing greyhound consists of meat, pasta, rice, and vegetables with vitamins and electrolyte supplements.  Males generally receive three pounds of food and females two and a quarter pounds per day.

On the day of a race a greyhound will start with a first turnout.  They are then weighed and thoroughly checked over; nails, ears, checked for sore muscles, etc.  Then they are given their morning meal and wait for their time to race.  An hour and a half before post time they are taken to the paddock.  Their second weigh in is overseen by a veterinarian, a judge, and other officials.  The veterinarian will also observe the greyhound as they are walked to holding crates, walk the track to ensure safety, and check any greyhounds at the trainer's request.

At race time, the leadouts take the greyhounds to the paddock where tattoos are checked by officials and have their racing blankets fitted.  The leadout will then put the greyhounds muzzle on and lead them to the starting boxes.  One by one the greyhounds are placed into their starting boxes prior to post time.  After the race the leadout will hand off the greyhound to their trainer.  The trainer then takes the greyhound to be cleaned in a cool down area equipped with showers.  They are inspected by kennel staff for any injuries and may be given a rub down to prevent sore muscles.  After they rest in the cool down kennel, they are fed and turned out.

Greyhounds are couch potatoes and do not need room to run.  They are built for speed, not endurance.  You do not need a backyard to have a greyhound.  If you do not have a backyard, you will need to walk them at least four times per day.  They are also very dedicated to humans.  They will bond to your family within days, even though their adjustment to home life may take a couple of months. 

They are pack animals and will look to you to become the alpha of their pack.  If you do not provide this for them, they become confused and will assume the alpha status.  It is very important that you become their alpha and give them the structure they need.

To learn more about greyhounds, click the Greyhound FAQ button at the top left of the page.