Few dogs are as awe-inspiring as the greyhound. This fantastic dog can reach incredible speeds (up to 45 mph), making it the fastest dog breed in the world. People originally bred these impressive dogs to chase hares, foxes, and deer. That made them fast. However, it wasn't until people started racing them (a sport now outlawed in most of the United States) that this breed began to reach the top speeds of which it is capable today.
If you're considering adopting a greyhound as a pet, you should know that these make for fantastic companions. Here are five reasons why the greyhound should be at the top of your list of dog breeds to have!
The Greyhound Is a Gentle Dog
Greyhounds are well-known for being mild-mannered, quiet, clean, and very gentle. They're friendly and love to be around people. Furthermore, unlike some dogs, these pups are relatively reserved. They likely won't be getting up and running around people. Instead, you'll probably find your greyhound sitting peacefully, waiting for people to approach him or her.
If you have company over often, you may hesitate to get a dog because of that fear of your pet behaving in inappropriate ways. With a greyhound, you likely won't have to fear that! They'll be gentle, pleasant, and reserved! They're also the best affectionate dog breed for families especially if you have children.
There's Almost No Better Dog For Children
Due to its gentle nature, the greyhound makes a perfect family pet. Because of their historical place at the track and chasing down wild game, they don't have a lot of reason to "dislike" or show any particular animosity towards children. On the contrary, because of their easy-going temperament, greyhounds tend to enjoy being with kids! Kids also love greyhounds, as their speed, slenderness, and desire to exercise make them the perfect companions for your energetic children!
With that said, if you're planning on having a greyhound in a home with little children, ensure that you wait until they know how to behave around animals. All dogs have teeth, and all dogs can bite. It's just that some, like the greyhound, don't have much of an inclination to do so.
These Dogs Can Live Almost Anywhere
Although these dogs can run 40mph, they will be just as happy in an apartment as a big home with lots of space to run. That's why these dogs have the well-earned nickname of the "40-mph-couch-potato." Being so versatile makes these dogs perfect for households who live in an apartment now but might move to a house later, or those in a home that might want a condo. Either way, your dog can come with you and be perfectly happy!
If you don't have much space, your dog will need to go out for a walk and exercise, but they don't crave it as much as many other dogs. They'll be happy cuddling up with you and watching some TV!
The Greyhound Has Minimal Grooming Needs
Greyhounds need minimal grooming. A quick weekly brush and an occasional bath are all this dog requires. As with every dog, they'll need nail trimming and ear cleaning too. Compared with other dogs, like the Poodle, taking care of the greyhound's grooming is a piece of cake!
Incidentally, since this dog has short hair and requires such little grooming, it tends to be an acceptable choice for families with allergies. It's not as hypoallergenic as other dogs, but it's a dog with relatively little fur and tends to cause fewer allergic reactions as a whole.
These Dogs Are Relatively Healthy
The greyhound breed as a whole tends to be relatively healthy. Few ailments plague this breed, and, as such, you should expect a 10-14 year lifespan.
With that said, there are some diseases to which the greyhound is susceptible. They can get bone cancer. Their skin is also relatively delicate, and they have short hair, so lacerations and cuts are not uncommon.
Greyhounds can have a genetic disorder called "greyhound polyneuropathy," which is a recessive gene disorder. Symptoms of muscle weakness and abnormal gait first show up around 6-9 months and progress to where the dog usually must be euthanized in its first year of life. If you're buying greyhound puppies, make sure you have a copy of a gene test that shows that your dog does not have that condition.
How Can I Get a Greyhound?
Greyhounds make for excellent family pets. If you're considering getting a greyhound, you should know that most of the dogs available are retired racing dogs. You'll find these in the many greyhound adoption shelters all around the United States. This method is, by far, the best way to get a greyhound (or greyhound mix) since it gives the dog a new lease on life. Fans of The Simpsons may remember that Santa's Little Helper was a racing greyhound. You can adopt a dog like that!
There are also greyhound puppies available at rescues and breeders. These are much rarer, however than finding a racing dog. Due to their value as racing dogs, greyhound puppies can cost as much as $4,000 for a well-bred, fast dog (most of the time, though, you'll pay about $1,000). Before going to a respectable breeder, please check your local shelters first. When you adopt a dog, you're helping save many more dog lives!
Greyhounds make for near-perfect pets! If you would like one for your family, consider adopting one or visiting a reputable breeder. You'll be happy you got one!