The Greyhound is a sleek, contoured dog built for speed, with a deep chest and muscular back. The head is long with almost no stop, and the muzzle tapers. The small rose ears are folded back. The neck is long and graceful. The front legs are absolutely straight. The feet are hare-like. The hindquarters are very powerful and muscular with an arched loin. The long tail is carried low and has a slight upward curve at the end. The short, smooth coat comes in all dog colors. Shedding varies. AKC Greyhounds tend to be about 10 to 20 lbs. heavier than NGA Greyhounds.
The Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world and can reach speeds of more than 40 miles per hour. Pictures and remains of dogs from the Greyhound family have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Brought to England by traders before 900 AD, the Greyhound has historically been used for hunting and later for racing. Today there are two main types of Greyhound: National Greyhound Association (NGA) Greyhounds are used primarily in dog racing and are bred exclusively for speed, while AKC Greyhounds are show dogs and companions, and are bred to conform to the AKC standard. In the past after retiring from a racing career, Greyhounds were often destroyed. Now Greyhound adoption groups, track adoption programs, and racing Greyhound owners select the most even-tempered, gentle racers for placement into homes, with excellent success. Many retired racers become wonderful pet companions.
Sensitive, sweet, and loyal. Intelligent, but can be willful. Though they may be reserved with strangers, Greyhounds are very affectionate with those they love and trust. Many Greyhounds do well with considerate children of any age. When raised from puppyhood, socialize well at an early age to prevent timidity. Generally quiet and docile when not hunting or racing, some Greyhounds make excellent therapy dogs. The Greyhound has a powerful chase drive, and may also have a strong hunting instinct. Ex-racers tend be very pack oriented because they have grown up with other dogs (non-racers may have this tendency as well). Greyhounds enjoy comfort and will make themselves at home on furniture if permitted. Be clear and consistent about the rules.