Greyhound FAQs

Do Greyhounds need a big yard and lots of exercise?

This is a misconception. Ex-racers have been crated their entire lives, so they are used to confinement. They require very little space and make good apartment and condo dogs. They require regular walks to maintain good health and fitness. Many Greyhounds need a vigorous exercise session at least weekly. This could be a long walk or a sprint in a securely fenced area. There are playgroups and dog parks locally where Greyhounds can run in a securely fenced area.

Do Greyhounds get along with children?

Most Greyhounds are good with children, due to the breed’s calm and tolerant nature. Children must be taught appropriate behavior around any dog, and should always be supervised in interactions with any dog. The Greyhound is not a ‘rough and tumble’ breed. Some adoption groups will not place dogs into families with young children.

Do Greyhounds get along with other pets?

Proper introduction and socialization are necessary, but most Greyhounds will accept other family pets. You should discuss with your adoption group a particular greyhound’s compatibility with small dogs, cats, or birds.

Can they be kept outside?

The Greyhound, with its thin coat and lack of body fat, is an indoor dog. Just as you would be uncomfortable outside in hot and cold weather, so would a greyhound.

Do Greyhounds shed?

Greyhounds, like other shorthaired breeds, shed at a fairly constant rate throughout the year, but the amount will vary from dog to dog. One or two light brushings per week is usually all that is needed.

Are they housebroken?

At the racing kennels, the dogs learn not to soil their crates. When they come into a home environment, they can quickly be taught that the entire household is their new crate, and is also not to be soiled. If you walk your new dog frequently at first, and give lavish praise when the desired behavior occurs outside, it won’t take long for your dog to understand.

Do they make good watch/guard dogs?

Greyhounds are generally friendly with people, so they are not appropriate for this purpose.

How much do they eat?

Most Greys will eat between 4 and 6 cups of kibble per day, in 2 feedings.

Will they get any bigger?

Retired racers are fully grown, but weight changes after adoption are not unusual. Fresh off the track they are very muscular. Given the diet and exercise regime most have after adoption, most lose muscle and gain necessary body fat. The average size for males is 26-30 inches tall and 65-85 pounds. Females are smaller, usually 23-26 inches tall and weighing 50-70 pounds.

How fast do they run?

Greyhounds can sprint at speeds of 40-45 mph. Humans can run only about 27 mph (yet another good reason not to let a greyhound off leash in an unfenced area!).

Could I take a Greyhound jogging with me?

Greyhounds are sprinters, not joggers, but many can learn to jog. A greyhound will have to be conditioned for this, just as you conditioned yourself with longer and longer runs.

Do they have any medical problems specific to the breed?

Greyhounds are generally very healthy dogs. There are no diseases that are any more prevalent in this breed than in any other dog breed. In fact, hip dysplasia, a common affliction in other large breeds, is virtually nonexistent in Greyhounds. Since Greyhounds are athletes, they may have injuries related to their lives at the track, such as joint problems or arthritis. Racers sometimes need more frequent dental care than other dogs to maintain good health.

How old are Greyhounds when they retire, and how long do they live?

Hounds come off the track if they aren’t winning races, usually in the range of 2 to 3 years old. However, they can be as young as 18 months or up to 5 to 6 years old when they retire. Younger hounds are sometimes ready for retirement due to injuries, or a lack of interest in chasing the lure.

A Greyhound’s lifespan is comparable to other breeds of large dogs, generally 10-14 years.

How much does it cost to adopt a Greyhound?

Adoption fees vary between kennels, but generally between $200 and $300 in this area. The expenses covered by this fee are things such as spay/neuter, vaccination updates, and teeth cleaning.

Should I get a male or a female? What color?

Greyhounds vary in personality, but these differences are generally not based on gender. We recommend that you choose the dog that will best fit into your family, rather than choosing based on gender, color, or size.

Where can I get a Greyhound?

There are a number of adoption groups in North Carolina. Please see our General Adoption Info page for links. Each organization has its own adoption policies and procedures, so you may want to speak with several to find the best fit for your situation.

Bianca says: "Got questions? We've got answers!"
Bianca says: “Got questions? We’ve got answers!”

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Due to their thin skin, Greyhounds wear muzzles to prevent cuts from excited nips while running with each other at the dog park.
Due to their thin skin, Greyhounds wear muzzles to prevent cuts from excited nips while running with each other at the dog park.