For two thousand years, Greyhounds have been bred to hunt by sighting and then outrunning their prey. They are the world’s fastest breed of dog. They possess graceful, athletic bodies. A Greyhound at top speed is breathtaking. Greyhounds are not only fast, they are also sensitive, intelligent and very loyal.
More recent breeding for racing has not altered the basic characteristics of the Greyhounds, but has increased their general health and soundness. The end result is one of the most pleasant of breeds. Unfortunately, for these animals, however, their suitability as pets is not widely known. We are attempting to change this misconception.
The Greyhound’s devotion to people is legendary. Retired Greyhounds seem especially grateful to their owners for their new home. They have not experienced the constant love and attention a permanent home and family can bring to them. They thrive on this love and attention, and return it tenfold.
Greyhounds available for adoption through Rocky Mountain Greyhound Adoption, Inc. are usually between the ages of two and five years. However, we do occasionally have dogs as young as 18 months and as old as ten years looking for a good home. They stand from 26 to 29 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh from 50 to 80 pounds, with the females usually smaller than males. Greyhounds come in every color, including: red, black, white, fawn, and many shades of brindle (tiger striped), as well as broken mixtures of any color of brindle with white.
Questions and Answers
How long do Greyhounds live?
Greyhounds are a healthy breed and their life expectancy is normally between 12 and 14 years.
Are they good with children?
Yes, better than most breeds. Greyhounds are very patient dogs, but they do not want to be harmed by a child, or anyone else. They tend to walk away from problems rather than confront them. Of course, like all dogs, Greyhounds have their limits. Children should always be taught to respect any animal’s feelings. Also, no dog should be left unattended with babies or very small children.
How are they with other pets?
Greyhounds were bred to be sociable and work with other Greyhounds when hunting. Racers are raised and live in the company of other Greyhounds. They are not aggressive and usually accept most other dogs. Most Greyhounds can learn to live with cats as well. But, they are hunters by nature and some dogs are unable to distinguish between cats and the small, furry animals they are bred to hunt. Nonetheless, Greyhounds will come to accept almost any animal once they learn the other pets are members of the family “pack”.
Are they housebroken?
RMGA Inc. attempts to foster as many dogs as possible, mainly to establish good housebreaking habits. However, we do not have enough foster homes to provide this service to all dogs. Greyhounds are “kennel broken” which means they know to relieve themselves “outside” and keep their sleeping areas clean. This knowledge is readily transferred to their new homes, but dogs which have not been fostered must be taught where it is acceptable to relieve themselves. Whether the dog has been fostered or not, they should be taken for frequent walks during the first several days and watched closely to prevent “accidents”. A few simple precautions, which we will share with you, usually make the initial “break-in” period relatively painless for all involved.
Are Greyhounds adaptable to living out-of-doors?
No, Greyhounds are strictly inside, house dogs. They have very short coats, with little to no body fat which makes them ill-equipped for life out-of-doors. Inclement weather cannot be tolerated by these dogs. Their grace and moderate temperament make them ideal house pets. If you want a dog which will spend most of its time out-of-doors, the Greyhound is not for you.
Will Greyhounds walk on a leash?
Yes, and most Greyhounds have already been broken to the lead. Greyhounds prefer to walk on a slack lead, and for dogs of their size, are unusually easy to handle. They respond well to touch and voice commands as well. We recommend to anyone adopting a Greyhound, to invest in basic obedience lessons. These dogs are eager to learn and easily trained with patient, positive reinforcement.
How much exercise do they require?
About as much as any other large dog. They should be walked several times a week unless they are provided with a fenced-in yard in which they can run and play. Older dogs are more sedentary, but really enjoy walking. Most Greyhounds make excellent jogging companions, but must be slowly introduced to long distances.
Do Greyhounds shed?
They have short coats and very slight undercoats. Regular brushing, especially in the spring and fall, is all that is necessary to keep shedding to a minimum. Greyhounds really enjoy being groomed.