The Greyhound, the fastest dog in the world

The queen, tea at four, and a posh-accented greyhound. To talk about the greyhound is to delve into the history of the British Isles and his set of crowns. His great skill for hunting and his elegant bearing earned him the protection of the nobles and its survival to this day.

Its evolution as a breed at the hands of the British aristocrats generated a race dog so fast that exceed 90 km per hour. And despite the fact that this is the vision of the greyhound that prevails in the minds of our English neighbors, there are more and more voices that denounce their situation and get them to change the mechanical hare for a good nap on a chesterfield sofa.

greyhound, greyhound, whippet, illustration


The origin of the greyhound is located in the Middle East, with the Phoenicians being responsible for introducing Egyptian sighthounds into Europe around the 10th century BCE. How it came to the British Isles is already more complicated to define, as there is no historical record.

The main theories point two possible routes of entry. The first points to Celts, who brought the sighthound from the mainland to the islands during their territorial expansion in the 4th century BCE. While the second considers that it would have been through arab merchants, fixing the sloughi as a direct predecessor. Be that as it may, upon arrival in the Islands they were crossed with other breeds existing in the territory, like shepherds and molossi.

The Middle Ages It was not an easy period for the greyhound and he was on the verge of to become extinct because of the severe famines. Thanks to the protection of the nobles and the clergy, it survived and came to be considered the dog of the aristocracy. In the 10th century CE, his social ascent had a normative reflection and established the death penalty as sentence before the murder of a greyhound, as well as exclusivity in its possession and in hunting the royalty.

In the late 16th century CE, from hunting large and small game such as deer, fox and hare, the greyhound began his transformation as a racing dog, being Queen Elizabeth I one of the main promoters. These competitions began to become popular in the following centuries, reaching their peak between the 18th and 19th centuries.

During these centuries, the spanish greyhound came into play Y became one of the parents of the current greyhound. Greyhounds and greyhounds began to breed with the aim of getting faster dogs to compete with on the track. And they got it. Today, the greyhound is the fastest dog breed in the world.

Currently, greyhounds continue to be exploited for greyhound racing, being abused and sacrificed for not being the fastest of your category. This situation is increasingly visible to society thanks to the intense work carried out by numerous organizations that defend their rights and fight for the prohibition of greyhound racing.


The official greyhound standard was established by the International Cynological Federation in 2010. Classified in group 10 section 3 as short-haired sighthounds, their physical characteristics are:

Greyhound Characteristics

  1. Hope of lifetime: between 10 and 12 years.
  2. Size: big.
  3. Height: between 68 and 76cm.
  4. Weight: between 25 and 45kg.
  5. Complexion: slim and muscular.
  6. ExtremitiesLegs: long, the hind limbs with wide and muscular thighs and the forelimbs are straight and thin.
  7. Eyes: oval, oblique and preferably dark.
  8. Snout: strong and well defined jaws.
  9. Ears: small, folded in the shape of a rose and fine texture.
  10. Jaws: strong with scissor bite.
  11. NeckAppearance: Long and muscular, elegantly arched.
  12. Line: long, low and fine (strongest at the base, decreases as we approach the tip, slightly bent).
  13. Hair: fine and tight.
  14. Coat colors:
    • Black.
    • White.
    • Red.
    • Blue.
    • Tawny.
    • Light fawn (sand).
    • Tabby.
    • Any of the above stained with white.

The greyhound has been genetically selected to run at high speed. His body is slim, but very muscular, with a rounded and bulky musculature that transmit power.

His ability to run at high speed is not only reflected in his constitution, your heart is unique. This organ is larger than those of other breeds, allowing it to pump a large amount of blood throughout its body at any given time. Also, to complement this feature, the greyhound have a higher number of red blood cells, perfect for distributing more oxygen with each beat.


The greyhound is a friendly, noble and relaxed dog., but it is also independent and reserved. Due to these characteristics, it can be shown indifferent to strangers, both humans and canids, so their socialization should not be neglected during the critical period (the first four months of life).

It is important to keep in mind that greyhounds they are very sensitive dogs and they can easily enter learned helplessness if punishments are used as part of their education. The learned helplessness supposes a blockage for the animal, which ceases to show behaviors due to the fear of being punished again.

As they have been dogs destined for the hunting prey on the move, regardless of their size, have a strong hunting instinct. It is very difficult for a dog to respond to your command when it has gone into instinct, so you have to pay special attention when you walk with your greyhound to avoid circumstances that might trigger it. For example, avoid going through a colony of cats when you take your dog loose on the street and, to release it safely, look for wide and limited spaces so that it can run in a controlled manner.

Despite his great physical strength, Greyhounds are very calm dogs that just need a little daily exercise. As their energy is explosive, it is enough for them to run for a short period of time, so their ideal exercise routine would be a half-hour walk with a few minutes of running.


The greyhound can be affected by a series of pathologies more frequent in their racial group:

  1. Gastric torsion.
  2. Gastric dilation.
  3. Coronary diseases.
  4. Progressive retinal atrophy.
  5. Thyroid.
  6. Hypersensitivity to chemical compounds.
  7. Greyhound cramp.


the greyhound does not require great care being a short-haired dog. A basic hygiene and take care of your hair health during shedding periods.

His skin is very thin Y It can tear easily, so you should avoid elements that can get caught while playing or doing physical exercise (for example, brambles). Also, having very thin skin and short hair, suffer in cold climates, so you have to keep them warm so they don't get sick.

You must also have a special care with the tail, which being very long and thin can crack or break with an impact.

As with other dogs, it must visit the vet regularly for your vaccination, deworming and health checks. You should also maintain a stable routine of daily walks and feeding.


Are you one of the lucky ones who shares your couch with a greyhound? Well, don't wait any longer to share your experience with us. Go ahead and leave us a comment telling us your story. We can't wait to meet her!

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