Historical Highlights

-Famous people reported to have owned Greyhounds include: George Washington, Rutherford B. Hayes, General George Custer, Alexander the Great, Queen Victoria, Cleopatra, Frank Sinatra, Bo Derek, Babe Ruth, Betty White, and Ed Sullivan.


-In medieval Europe, only nobles were allowed to own Greyhounds and they were treated as cherished family members.


-Master McGrath, a legendary Irish coursing Greyhound, was so loved by all of Ireland, that the entire country went into mourning when he passed away in 1871.


-Greyhounds are historically known to be a gentle, loyal breed and are accepted by nearly all homeowner's insurance companies. Their gentle and quiet nature also lands them on lists of desirable pets for apartment dwellers.


-There are various explanations for the origin of the term "Greyhound". Some suggest that the earliest Greyhounds were mostly grey in color. Others maintain the term comes from the Old English "grei," meaning "dog," and "hundr," meaning "hunter." Another theory is that it's derived from "gre" or "gradus," meaning "first rank among dogs." It has also been suggested that the term derives from Greekhound, since the hound was introduced to England via the Greeks.


GPA logo

Fast Friend Facts

-Because of their lean, muscular body mass, Greyhounds must be indoor pets only. They cannot tolerate extreme weather conditions.


-Greyhounds are one of the fastest accelerating animals on earth, reported to be second only to the Cheetah.


-It is believed that in a 30 second sprint, a Greyhound's body produces enough heat to boil a cup of water.


-Greyhounds are known as universal blood donors, helping save lives of thousands of beloved pets annually.


-A Greyhound, Soaring Cindy, holds the Guinness World Record in the canine high jump category, with an astounding leap of 68 inches. Her world record feat can be seen on You Tube.


-Greyhounds are sensitive to certain medications, including some of the most common forms of anesthesia. Be sure to screen your vet carefully when choosing one for your hound. Care should be given when using tradional flea collars and other topical and/or oral medications.


-Greyhounds have "webbed" feet. This is thought to be a part of their natural aerodynamic body structure and assists in holding their traction while running on a sandy terrain.

GPA logo

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Grey Area

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

When you adopt a former racing Greyhound, you'll bring home a dog that is unique in the canine world. What makes Greyhounds unique is their wonderful dual nature -- they are both gentle, companionable dogs and extremely well-bred working athletes with a highly-developed instinct for the chase. Because racing Greyhounds have been bred, raised and trained as working dogs and have not spent time in a home before leaving the track, they require some time -- six weeks or so is the norm -- to make the transition from racer to pet, but they are highly intelligent dogs who learn quickly what is expected of them. For these reasons, we urge adopters to work closely with your adoption group, read everything the group gives you, and follow its advice closely, even if you have had dogs all your life.

Our "Grey Area" is here to compliment your adoption group's advice and experience; offering interesting Greyhound history, facts, Communique Archives and a Roundtable Roundup area where you will receive valuable tips and information
from National and its Chapters regarding various
topics of interest about this gentle and magnificant breed.

Roundtable Roundup


...on proper feeding and weight from John Parker, President, GPA-Atlanta/Southeastern Greyhound Adoption:
"One characteristic of the Greyhound that new adopters themselves will need to adapt to is its body structure. You may think that your new Greyhound is skinny and needs to be fattened up a bit, but this is usually not the case. Greyhounds are sprinters and are designed by Nature to be lean, muscled individuals. A few ribs should be visible, and they should have a tucked-up, well-defined waist. One good benchmark to follow is your Greyhound's racing weight -- this can often be obtained from his racing records that your adoption group may supply as part of your Greyhound's history, or you can also look him up at www.greyhound-data.com and get his racing weight, pedigree and race record there. Weigh your new Greyhound when you get him and strive to keep him at his racing weight. The key to adding, maintaining or losing weight is portion control -- measuring your Greyhound's kibble with a 1 cup measuring cup -- and avoiding "free" feeding, in which food is available to the Greyhound whenever he wants to eat. As a rule of thumb, Greyhounds weighing 60 pounds or less can maintain their existing weight on 3 cups per day of a premium kibble, while Greyhounds over 60 pounds may require 4 cups per day to maintain proper weight. These amounts can vary depeding on your Greyhound's indiviudal metabolism and level of exercise, but once you find your Greyhound's "maintenance portion," stick to it and he will hold his weight very well. Please remember that being overweight is harmful to your Greyhound -- it can cause him to have musculoskeletal problems and heart/lung problems which can shorten his life. Keep him at proper weight and fitness and maximize his time in your life."


...on exercise and dog parks by Tonya Beader, Compliance Officer, GPA/Tampa Bay:
"The popularity of dog parks is on the increase, and with it comes the responsibility you have as a Greyhound owner to make wise choices on behalf of your pet.. While visiting a dog park can be a positive and enjoyable experience for your hound, it is up to you to recognize the proper safety precautions associated with the use of the facility. The first thing you should do is know your Greyhound's health history. Your adoption group will be a vital resource for this information. Occasionally, there may be a previous injury that would make a "free roam" dog park undesirable for your hound. Make certain to survey the park itself, and become familiar with the rules. Next, you should make sure that your Greyhound is properly protected against disease and parasites that are associated with canines. Keeping your pet properly innoculated and up to date on heartworm/parasite medication is crucial in order to ensure that your 4-legged family member stays healthy and able to ward off annoying parasites and even life-threatening disease. Another important element in taking your Greyhound to a dog park is to carefully survey the park area itself, and take note of any possible dangers in the terrain and surroundings. Remember, you have adopted a sighthound that is capable of attaining a very fast rate of speed in a very short period of time. If there are obstacles or holes in the ground, there could be a potentially dangerous situation at hand. A fall or tumble while running could result in something as serious as a leg break...sharp or jagged objects could result in skin tears or puncture wounds. Finally, once you have made wise choices in all of the above, and you are confident of the rules and proper safety precautions, try to arrange your visit to the park when it is not over populated with other dogs, and there should be no integration of small breeds within the area. Your Greyhound may likely take off for an enjoyable run, and being in a crowded facility or with small dogs could present a potentially unsafe situation. Keeping all of the above in mind when choosing a dog park will assist you in maintaining your Greyhound's health and safety...and give you peace of mind as well."


...on routine care and maintenance by Alane Shultz, President, GPA/Springfield, MO.
"The most important maintenance routines for your Greyhound include good oral health with a daily brushing. Most greyhounds are good about doing this and are cooperative. Bones and raw food, chewies, knuckle bones or raw turkey necks are all good for taking off tartar and will help. Dental wipes are also helpful and easy to use. Veterinary cleanings should be done when needed. Decayed teeth should be removed. Bad teeth will make your dog feel bad just as with people. Bad teeth will cause gum disease and can damage their kidneys or heart. Get rid of bad teeth-your hound will feel reborn! Another good routine is to brush your greyhound....they love it, it feels good, and it keeps their skin and coat healthier. Don't forget to clean your Greyhound's ears occasionally, and last but certainly not least....keep their nails trimmed! Keeping nails trimmed allows better traction and footing. This in turn lessens the chances of pulling out a nail by catching them on tree roots or rocks or even breaking a toe. It also will lessen the chance of slipping or falling on hard surface floors, which can lead to multiple problems just as it does in people. Your hound can sprain a hock, get back, neck, or disk inflammation/damage or bruising trauma. Nails should be trimmed every few weeks! Learn to clip their nails yourself; consider using a dremel tool if you're not comfortable using clippers or get them to your vet often for a nail trim. (There are also mobile groomers that will do nail trimmings.) If you incorporate all of the above into the routine care of your Greyhound, you will have a healthier, and certainly more comfortable and happy pet!"

Communique Archives

  Fall2010 Winter2010