Adopting A Greyhound

History and origin: One of the most ancient breeds, this sight hound was used by the Egyptians to run down rabbits and gazelles on the open plains of northern Africa. The Greyhound is a pure bred, which means he has not evolved from crossings with other types. Unfortunately, this breed is often used as a racing dog and is often destroyed after a short, impersonal career.

Description: The Greyhound is a large, sleek dog, standing at about 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing 60 to 70 pounds. Lean and agile, he was bred as desert hunters and has virtually no body fat. This allows him to tolerate heat well, but it makes him a poor choice for cold climates. His coat is a short, shedding type that requires regular brushing with a hound glove to keep it shiny. Colors include white, brindle, gray, and tan, among others.

About the breed: The Greyhound is a sweet, sensitive dog that can be aloof with strangers if not socialized properly from an early age. Normally quiet, it can be a good apartment pet as long as he is getting enough exercise. Though breed for speed, he is basically lazy and enjoys nothing better than lying on the sofa for hours at a time. He is a friendly, good-natured breed who is affectionate to his owners and very gentle with children provided there is no roughhousing. The Greyhound learns rather slowly. Training should be positive and done in small steps so as not to confuse him. The Sit command is hard for this breed to master. Confidence-building is important in the training of a Greyhound. He can be aggressive toward small dogs and has a high prey drive toward cats, rabbits, and other small animals. Like most sight hounds, the Greyhound has little padding on his body and can get pressure sores if he is not provided with something soft to lie on. He does not tolerate cold climate and must be kept warm or he may get sick. He makes a great jogging partner and is normally very well behaved on leash. If you like a sweet, quiet, sensitive dog that will love you and yet be content to just being by himself, then a Greyhound is the right dog for you.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is about 1 ½ and 2 ½ cans of high quality dog food (13.3oz) mixed with biscuit or 12-16oz of minced or chopped meat. You may pamper this breed by giving him crumbled brown bread and a small drink of milk.

Ideal home: A quiet, predictable home is the best environment for a Greyhound. He can live in an apartment if he is exercised daily. His owner should be calm and confident and not use overbearing training methods. Nervous, cautious types will only worry this sensitive breed. The owner must be a patient leader, as the Greyhound takes longer to train than other breeds. Small animals in the home may be a problem due to his strong prey drive. The Greyhound owner should not be a person who needs a clingy, overly affectionate dog.