Health & History

Greyhounds have played many roles from noble hunting hound, pedigree sport dog, blue-collar icon, racing dog, and more recently as pet companions. The privileged position of greyhounds as prized hunting companions for more than 2000 years was transformed into sports commodity within just 150 years.  

Greyhounds have been valued historically for their hunting prowess and were selected for their ability to independently sight, chase and out manoeuvre fast moving prey such as deer, foxes and hares.  

You’ll fall in love with your retired racing greyhound because generally they are:

CHARMING: They're discerning and inclined to appreciate the finer things in life like the warmest fleeces and the softest beds. They tend to be gentle in how they interact with people and have a reputation of being unobtrusive indoor companions.

COUCH POTATOES: Despite their athleticism greyhounds have a reputation for being couch potatoes. You can satisfy your greyhounds need for stimulation with a lot less time and energy than with many other breeds and they’re often happy to sleep the day away while you’re away at work.

REWARDING: You’ll be guiding your greyhound through all of these ‘firsts’ and have the satisfaction of seeing their growth as they settle into life as a pet

You might find your retired racing greyhound hard to live with because generally they are:

A FLIGHT RISK: they are genetically predisposed to enjoy and be good at independently hunting and chasing animals. Don’t take their design for granted, it still applies once their racing days are over and they begin the next chapter of their lives as pets.

INDEPENDENT: unlike some other breeds, they’re unlikely to constantly dote on you, hang on your every word, or beg for another game of fetch. You might be faced with the fact that your need for attention and affection is higher than your hound’s need for it.

SENSITIVE: They need a gradual introduction to life as a pet and are not cut out for harsh conditions, invasiveness, or rough housing play. They can easily be overwhelmed in busy households without their own safe space to decompress.

Please take a moment to read through our most frequently asked questions and breed information to make sure that adopting a greyhound is the right choice for you. 

  • Greyhounds are a large breed weighing an average of 30.5 kg, although females are typically smaller than males.  
  • Greyhounds have a 270-degree range of vision; they can see objects behind them and up to 1km in front of them.  
  • They can reach speeds of up to 60 km per hour and are considered the fastest of all dog breeds.  
  • Greyhounds tend to live longer than many similar sized dogs, and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
  • Greyhounds are free from many common heritable diseases such as hip-dysplasia that affect other purebreds due to a lack of popular sires (male parent), resulting in more genetic variability. 

 

Most greyhounds will have only known racing and kennels life. The change in what their new family will expect from them is huge. Here are some things from their previous life to bear in mind: 

  • They have typically lived in a rural environment.  
  • Days have a set routine; feeding and exercise occur at set times each day. 
  • They have their individual kennel space so sleep is undisturbed. 
  • They have always had other greyhounds nearby. 
  • They are handled regularly for nail clipping, examined for injuries and even massaged. 
  • They travel long distances by car, often in an enclosed trailer or crate.  
  • They are taught to chase a white fluffy lure – either made of sheepskin or a synthetic material. 
  • They are never taught to sit or lay down as that could result in a very slow start! 
Breed

You’ll fall in love with your retired racing greyhound because generally they are:

CHARMING: They're discerning and inclined to appreciate the finer things in life like the warmest fleeces and the softest beds. They tend to be gentle in how they interact with people and have a reputation of being unobtrusive indoor companions.

COUCH POTATOES: Despite their athleticism greyhounds have a reputation for being couch potatoes. You can satisfy your greyhounds need for stimulation with a lot less time and energy than with many other breeds and they’re often happy to sleep the day away while you’re away at work.

REWARDING: You’ll be guiding your greyhound through all of these ‘firsts’ and have the satisfaction of seeing their growth as they settle into life as a pet

You might find your retired racing greyhound hard to live with because generally they are:

A FLIGHT RISK: they are genetically predisposed to enjoy and be good at independently hunting and chasing animals. Don’t take their design for granted, it still applies once their racing days are over and they begin the next chapter of their lives as pets.

INDEPENDENT: unlike some other breeds, they’re unlikely to constantly dote on you, hang on your every word, or beg for another game of fetch. You might be faced with the fact that your need for attention and affection is higher than your hound’s need for it.

SENSITIVE: They need a gradual introduction to life as a pet and are not cut out for harsh conditions, invasiveness, or rough housing play. They can easily be overwhelmed in busy households without their own safe space to decompress.

Please take a moment to read through our most frequently asked questions and breed information to make sure that adopting a greyhound is the right choice for you. 

Fast Facts
  • Greyhounds are a large breed weighing an average of 30.5 kg, although females are typically smaller than males.  
  • Greyhounds have a 270-degree range of vision; they can see objects behind them and up to 1km in front of them.  
  • They can reach speeds of up to 60 km per hour and are considered the fastest of all dog breeds.  
  • Greyhounds tend to live longer than many similar sized dogs, and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
  • Greyhounds are free from many common heritable diseases such as hip-dysplasia that affect other purebreds due to a lack of popular sires (male parent), resulting in more genetic variability. 
Background

 

Most greyhounds will have only known racing and kennels life. The change in what their new family will expect from them is huge. Here are some things from their previous life to bear in mind: 

  • They have typically lived in a rural environment.  
  • Days have a set routine; feeding and exercise occur at set times each day. 
  • They have their individual kennel space so sleep is undisturbed. 
  • They have always had other greyhounds nearby. 
  • They are handled regularly for nail clipping, examined for injuries and even massaged. 
  • They travel long distances by car, often in an enclosed trailer or crate.  
  • They are taught to chase a white fluffy lure – either made of sheepskin or a synthetic material. 
  • They are never taught to sit or lay down as that could result in a very slow start!