Greyhound dog breed profile
These pups’ lounge-about nature makes them great apartment dogs.
Whether your dog is a purebred greyhound, or a greyhound mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you’re considering adopting a greyhound and want to do some research on the breed first — we can help you there.
Even though it’s common to believe greyhounds are super active pups because of their problematic and inhumane racing backgrounds, we’re here to let you in on a secret. This dog breed likely prefers to lounge around instead of run. But that’s not all you need to know.
What’s the average size of a greyhound?
Male and female greyhounds vary in size, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian, says. Typically, male greyhounds are between 28 to 30 inches tall, while females are 27 to 28 inches tall. But when it comes to greyhounds’ weight, they’re usually 60 to 70 pounds, she adds.
What do greyhounds look like?
Greyhounds have smooth, short fur that can grow in a variety of colors like black, blue, red, brindle or other combinations, Dr. McCullough explains. Even though Greyhounds aren’t known for shedding, they’re still not a hypoallergenic dog breed, she shares. If you’re allergic to pets, it may be a good idea to check in with your doctor for allergy medication before welcoming a greyhound into your life.
What are greyhounds’ personality traits?
This dog breed makes great apartment roommates for many reasons. Not only are they known for being quiet (so you likely won’t have to worry about barking complaints), but they’re also low-energy.
“Greyhounds may be well-suited for apartment living as they are less active than other breeds and enjoy sleeping for most of the day,” Dr. McCullough says.
But don’t let that lounge-lizard energy completely fool you — greyhounds are athletic but only for shorter periods. And if you have a big family, greyhounds are likely a great match. They’re known for being friendly, independent and gentle. However, you may want to monitor greyhounds around smaller pets like rabbits or rodents.
“Greyhounds are generally good with other dogs, but they have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for homes with smaller pets,” she says.
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Greyhound health issues
All pets are at risk for developing health issues, but some specific conditions are known to affect greyhounds. For example, greyhounds commonly experience sensitivity to flea medications and anesthesia, Dr. McCullough says.
According to Dr. McCullough, here are some conditions that you can ask your veterinarian about at your greyhound’s first vet visit:
Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV)
GDV is also known as bloat, which happens when a dog’s stomach fills with air or fluid and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply to the stomach. The symptoms include abdominal pain, extreme lethargy, decreased appetite, retching, weakness and sometimes dogs collapse, Dr. McCullough says. GDV is usually treated with surgery, which is followed by intensive nursing care.
Neuropathy is a nerve disorder that’s passed down through genetics (with unfortunately no treatment options). Look for muscle atrophy (or when it seems like the muscle is wasting away) and incoordination as symptoms, Dr. McCullough says.
Hip dysplasia happens when one or both of a pup’s hip joints become loose. Dr. McCullough says to watch out for lameness, swaying, atrophy of the back leg muscles, difficulty laying down or getting up or being reluctant to climb stairs or jump.
“Treatment for hip dysplasia depends on the severity and can include pain medications, joint supplements, steroids, holistic and alternative therapies like acupuncture, physical therapy, laser therapy and in some cases, surgery,” she adds.
Sometimes osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer that some breeds are predisposed to, appears with a sudden or slow limping or firmness may be felt in an affected area, Dr. McCullough explains. This condition is treated through amputation to an affected area and chemotherapy.
Adopting a greyhound dog
Are you interested in adopting a greyhound, greyhound mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners.
Because of their complicated and problematic racing backgrounds, retired greyhounds are often found in rescue shelters. If you are lucky enough to rescue a greyhound — or regardless of how your pup came into your life — Dr. McCullough has some tips for welcoming them home.
“Pet parents should do their research on greyhounds by talking to their veterinarian, other greyhound pet parents and greyhound rescue groups,” Dr. McCullough recommends. “Ensure they have all of the necessary supplies and time to properly acclimate their new pet to their home environment, including training and socialization.”
The Dig is the expert-backed editorial from Fetch Pet Insurance. We're here to answer all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park.
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