8 Fun Facts About the Fastest Dog - Greyhound

8 Fun Facts About the Fastest Dog - Greyhound

Author WDF Staff


Greyhound is one of the most elegant dog breeds out there. This fascinating dog breed is unique in many characteristics, and there are plenty of Greyhound fun facts. These dogs are a part of the sighthound family and were used for hunting for more than 3 thousand years. Here are some fascinating Greyhound facts.

1. Fastest dog breed

This is a reasonably known fact, but it needs to be said. Greyhounds are the kings of speed in the dog world. Some breeds come close, but Greyhounds muscular body will most likely prevail. They were used for hunting small, agile animals, so speed was a sort of necessity for these dogs.

greyhound runs

Greyhounds can run up to 45 miles per hour, making them illegal in school zones. These dogs might have been fast while hunting, but when dog racing started gaining popularity, breeders started selectively breeding these dogs. They mated only the fastest males and females, so the whole breed developed even more impressive running skills.

If you are interested in other dog trivia, check out this article - Top 10 Most Bizarre Dog World Records.

2. Ownership restriction

Many dog breeds had a similar fate as the Greyhound. At one point in Middle Ages, only noblemen were allowed to own and use these dogs for hunting. The ownership was so strict that no commoner was allowed to have or breed these dogs. At one point, commoners that were convicted of harming a Greyhound could have been scented to execution.

greyhound female

This is a similar fate to at least two other breeds; the Akita Inu and the Scottish Deerhound. At one time in history, only the nobles and royals were allowed to have them. It might have been a sign of respect towards those breeds, but it nearly caused them to become extinct.

3. Famous amongst royalty

It is easy to imagine an old English Middle Age royals hunting with a couple of guards and Greyhounds by their side. These dogs were extremely popular among British royals, and they even home some prominent owners. KingHenry VIII loved coursing and even had a large number of Greyhounds in his royal kennel.

Probably the most famous British Greyhound lover was Queen Elizabeth I. She loved coursing and even introduced the so-called “Law of the Lease.” This law meant that the prey was released earlier to make the game more fun and interesting.

greyhound retired

4. They can run; they just don’t usually want to

Greyhounds might be fast, but they are lazy. More and more of these dogs play a role of a family pet, and they have moved away from the role of a speedy hunter. Their sprinting ability remains, but if they can choose, they will choose not to run. In fact, they are known to be big couch potatoes.

Greyhounds have many impressive skills, and one of those skills is their ability to lounge in a cozy pet bed. They might have been fierce hunters, but these days they are mostly on the hunt for the softest spot on the couch.

greyhound laying

5. They are not the best swimmers

Greyhounds are very talented runners, but what they make up in the running, they lack in swimming. These dogs are notoriously bad swimmers. They have no body fat that would help with their buoyancy, and most Greyhound puppies will simply sink like a rock. You need to be very careful if you have a pool and a Greyhound because there were accidents where the dog fell into the pool and drowned.

brindle greyhound running

Just like humans, some dogs can like water activities, and some may not. The same is with these dogs. Some of them might be bad swimmers, but they will love playing in the water and around it. Owners need to make sure their dogs are safe, and most Greyhounds should have a dog life jacket on them while in water. Here is an article that can tell you all about dog life jackets - Dog life jackets.

6. These dogs can’t sit properly

Greyhounds are pretty thin, and they don’t have much body fat. Most of their bones are clearly visible, and because of that, these dogs don’t like sitting. They feel incredibly uncomfortable in that position. They hate it, and if it’s up to them, they will choose to stand or lay down.

greyhound yawning

Greyhounds have a specific “style” of sitting. Their rears rarely even touch the ground when they want to sit. Their tail is in their way, and their long muscles prevent them from doing it comfortably.

7. Crystal clear vision

All dogs can see some colors, but they see them a lot darker than we can. Greyhounds are a part of the sighthound family that had to rely on their sight for hunting. Not only are they the fastest dog breed, but they also have one of the best visions in the canine kingdom.

greyhound eyes

These dogs have a larger field of vision than most of the breeds because of their unique placement of eyes. Humans have a field of view of about 180 degrees, while these dogs have a field of view of about 270 degrees. Some say it is almost like they can see what is going on behind them.

If you want to know how dogs see the world, check out this article - Are dogs colorblind?

8. Low maintenance breed

Some breeds require a lot of grooming, bathing, and other forms of care, and Greyhounds are definitely not one of those breeds. These dogs are easy-going, and they don’t need much to be happy. They are naturally very clean and have a thin coat that doesn’t insulate them well from the cold weather. It is a good idea to get your Greyhound a sweater or a coat if you live in a colder climate.

greyhound racing

One more awesome thing about these dogs is that they are pretty quiet. Some dogs are known to be nuisance barkers, and that can be rather irritating. Greyhounds are lazy and quiet. If you provide them with enough daily walks and physical activity, they will remain this way. They make ideal roommates, and sometimes it’s like they are not even there.

It is good to remind ourselves that there are many older Greyhounds in shelters across the world. After they are done racing, some owners decide they don’t have any use for them and discard them. If you are interested in getting a Greyhound, check your local shelters first.

World Dog Finder team

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