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Breed Groupgreyhound: Hound

Height: Not specified in breed standard

Weight: 50 to 70 pounds, sometimes moreLife Span: 10 to 13 years

Nicknamed the 40-mph-couch potato, Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, affectionate dogs who can fit into almost any home. They love a cushy sofa and they are satisfied with a 20-minute walk.

Did You Know the Greyhound is an Easy-Care Dog?

A description written in 1486 is a poetic notion of just how a Greyhound should look: “A Greyhound should be headed like a snake and necked like a drake, backed like a beam, sided like a bream, footed like a cat and tailed like a rat.”

Under the racy exterior of the Greyhound is something that would surprise almost anyone: beneath those long, sleek, utterly iconic lines is the soul of what rescue groups call the “40 mph couch potato.” The path these fast dogs prefer is the one that leads to the softest spot on the most comfortable piece of furniture. Despite their large size, Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, affectionate dogs who can fit into almost any lifestyle, from a condo in the city to the largest suburban or country home.

The Greyhound is an easy care dog. His smooth coat comes in a near-infinite range of colors and patterns. He does shed, but his grooming needs are minimal. All that he needs is a quick weekly brushing, a bath when he gets into something, regular nail trimming, and ear cleaning.

Although a small number of Greyhounds are bred for the show ring, the majority of pets in America are former racing dogs. In fact, there are currently more ex-racers in homes than there are dogs still racing (approximately 120,000 Greyhounds live in homes, compared to 55,000 Greyhounds on the track).

Most families interested in a Greyhound will adopt a retired racetrack dog. There are very few non-racing Greyhounds bred in the United States and a very large supply of ex-racers in need of homes.

Other Quick Facts About the Greyhound

The Greyhound has a long, narrow head; small ears; dark eyes; a long, muscular neck that is slightly arched; a broad, muscular back; a deep chest; a long, fine, tapering tail; and a short, smooth coat that can be any color or pattern.

Greyhounds are the fastest of the dog breeds. They have been clocked at 44 miles per hour, which along with their restful attitude has earned them the nickname “40-mph couch potato.”

President Rutherford B. Hayes, in office from 1877 to 1881, kept several dogs in the White House, including a Greyhound named Grim.

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