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Easily among the most recognized breeds in the world, the Greyhound also numbers among the least understood by those who only know it from its fame as the fastest dog on the planet, mascot for a large busline. subject of countless works of art or other similar stabs at celebrity. The elegant lines and well known speed of the Greyhound leave many with the impression that it is a dog of exceptional energy.  Indeed, it is and will generally require great spaces to receive proper exercise.  When that exercise is done, and in the comfort of their home, they are generally quiet making them an excellent companion for those families seeking a gentle athlete of unparalleled proportion.

If you or someone you know is about to get a Greyhound, you'll definitely want to look into the DixiePets Greyhound Essentials Pack.  Everything that new Greyhound loving home will need.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): HoundsSighthound Height: racing variety often smaller but usally varies from 25-30 at the shoulder
Weight: 60-70 pounds Longevity: early teens
Colors: all color patterns are acceptable Coat type: smooth and straight
Recognized Registries: AKC, UKC, FCI, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: Exceptional elegance in a smooth coat. Long neck, deep chest and roached topline promise an animal of exceptional speed and the Greyhound delivers. Alert, gentle expression belies the general temperament of a wondrous companion.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high outside; quiet inside with enough exercise
General Nature: exceptional and quiet
  with Children: good with well behaved children
  with other pets: generally good
  with dogs: generally good
Socialization requirements: moderate to high
Ideal home characteristics: one that guides with confidence and understanding, adequate exercise is mandatory, this is not a jogging partner unless additional off leash exercise is available
Temperament Notes: very maleable temperament means that a confident and assured family will be able to mold a dog of unique disposition. Alternatively, a less sure, chaotic and inconsistent home could just as well develop a dog that is a total neurotic.
Training requirement: Moderate. A very agreeable personality. May not be reliable off leash to recall due to sighthound nature.
Trainer notes: Easily trained and easily harmed, the Greyhound is intelligent and sensitive.  Harsh techniques or even techniques that are unfair and confusing will destroy the happy working attitude.  Be willing to spend time assuring that your dog understands your preferences, only then should the mildest of corrections be necessary when the possible infraction occurs.  This is not the breed for someone who considers themself reactive or of a high temper.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: ancient
Country of Origin: deserts of the middle east
Original Function: staghound, coursing hound, hare, gazelle
History: Art and documents dating back as much as 7000 years show the greyhound as a court favorite and in the hunt pursuing stag, gazelle, hare and more.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: incorrect head, ears and proportions, the racing greyhound differs greatly
Health Notes: bloat, canine hip dysplasia
Health Testing: OFA or Penn Hip
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had greyhounds?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • What guidance would you offer in the areas of socialization and training?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What is your purpose for breeding this litter?
  • How did you choose your breeding stock?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What health clearances do you get for your breeding stock?
  • What do you consider proper Greyhound temperament?
  • What health problems exist in the breed?
  • What would you consider characteristics of an ideal Greyhound home?
Web Sites: - Rescue with the Greyhound Club of America - Rescue dedicated to the wellbeing of former racing greyhounds.

Other Resources
Breed standard:

The Greyhound Standard as per the National Canine Association:


The Classic Greyhound is a fleet galloper, aristocratic in demeanor and elegant yet powerful in appearance. Quality, flexibility, balance and athleticism are abundant and unmistakable. One of the oldest breeds, the Classic Greyhound has hunted game from hare to boar to stag all over the globe. Centuries of diversity of game and terrain have resulted in a range of size and style in the breed. The Classic Greyhound maintains a functional balance between extremes of power and beauty: strong, agile, confident, yet never cumbersome, low on leg, plain or common; beautiful, but never frail, weak nor insubstantial. All parts should flow smoothly together forming the distinctive but unexaggerated curves and smooth transitions that are the hallmark of the breed. There should be a strong and instant impression of noble bearing.

HEAD ? The head is long with a flat skull and moderate width between the ears. Muzzle and jaw are long and well chiseled, but strong enough to grasp prey. The back skull and muzzle approach nearly parallel planes as viewed from the side. The stop is slight, and there is little or no development of nasal sinuses.
Faults: Coarse head, heavy head, Roman head, downfaced head, prominent flews, snipey muzzle, lack of underjaw.

TEETH ? The teeth are strong, of good size, well aligned and form a scissors bite (preferred) or a level bite (acceptable).
Severe Faults: Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.

EARS ? The ears are small, fine and rose-shaped. The ears are normally carried back with the top edge of the ear level with the top of the skull but when alert are lifted and resemble gull wings
Faults: Low set, high set and close together; flat, heavy ears, prick ears.

EYES ? The eyes are almond-shaped, keen kind and intelligent. While darker eyes are preferred, dilute coat colors are often associated with lighter eyes, which should be in shades harmonious with the coat color. Both eyes are of the same color. The overall expression is valued more than the detail of eye color. A superior specimen must never be overlooked for a lesser animal on the basis of eye color alone.
Faults: Blue or blue-flecked eye(s). Both eyes not the same color.

NECK ? The neck is long and elegantly arched, flowing and widening into the shoulders. The neck must be strong enough to serve as a fulcrum at the gallop and capable of stooping to prey.
Faults: Short, thick, throaty neck; spindly, poorly attached neck.

FOREQUARTERS ? The shoulders are as well laid back as is consistent with speed and have good flat muscle without being loaded. The upper arm should be of approximately the same length and angle as the shoulder blade, allowing for a front assembly that has the profile width necessary for greater muscle attachment. Elbows are well attached, not projecting or loose from the body, nor pinched in but set well under the dog and in line with the top of the withers. Front is filled, showing no hollow between the front legs, but not so filled as to create a prominent forechest.
Faults: Upright or forward-set front assembly, as neither allow for adequate muscle attachment nor are they properly laid back on the body; lack of front fill, extreme forechest.

LEGS ? Front legs are long, straight, strong and are of good substance, with bladed bone consistent with aerodynamics. Pasterns are of moderate length with slight spring. Elbows, pasterns and feet turn neither in nor out whether standing or moving.
Faults: Round, heavy cumbersome bone; weak, bird-like bone; crooked legs, bowed legs, over at the pasterns, weak pasterns.

FEET ? Front and rear feet are more hare than cat-like, more oval than round. Well knuckled-up toes, thick pads and strong nails are crucial for good running gear.
Faults: Flat, loose feet; too-tight inflexible feet.

BODY ? The body must simultaneously convey a look of strength and elegance, power and agility. The back is broad and muscular, with ribs well sprung from the spine. The ribs extend well back on the body and descend to form a modified egg-shaped ribcage if seen in cross section. The depth of chest on an adult reaches the elbow but not below, as extreme depth interferes at the gallop. Chest space comes more from depth and length than from width. The body must be capacious enough for good heart and lung room but never so wide as to resemble a draft animal. There must be a gentle but defined rise over powerful, muscular loins. The underline flows into a tight tuck-up, adding to the ?S? curve look of the body. The length of the dog in back or in the loin may vary, as long as the proportions always look strong, purposeful and capable of the double suspension gallop. The entire length of the topline from the withers onto the back across the loin and ending in the croup must be cohesive, strong and flowing. The distance from withers to elbow is equal to or less than leg length from elbow to ground. The length from sternum to buttocks, in combination with the height of the dog, results in an outline ranging in appearance from square to slightly longer than tall. The Classic Greyhound must always look the part of a fleet hound, neither low and heavy nor frail and up in the air. He must display the gentle curves and distinctive outline (topline and underline) that distinguish him from other breeds.
Faults: Barrel ribs, shallow ribs; narrow or pinched chest. Arch starting too far forward on the body, roached topline, or wheel-backed topline, as each of these interferes with extension at the gallop and transmission of power from the rear to the front; flat topline is atypical. Length of body either too short or too long-coupled for easy, sustained galloping.

HINDQUARTERS ? The croup is long and slightly sloping. Thighs should be heavily muscled, matching the well muscled second thigh in length. Stifles are long and well bent. Hock joint is well bent, with hocks straight and well let down. Stifles, hocks and feet point straight ahead. The natural stance puts the hock behind the dog. The rear should give the impression of being capable of propulsion and agility.
Faults: Cowhocks, sickle hocks; rears that are over-angulated, under-angulated or poorly matched to the front assembly.

TAIL ? The tail is long, fine and tapering, with a slight upward curve towards the end. The tail should flow smoothly from the croup, and must be strong and flexible, as it is the visible manifestation of the spine and is used for balance at the gallop. The tail is carried low even at the trot. Long tails are often prone to injury and broken tails or missing tips may be viewed as honorable scars.
Faults: Gay tail carried above the back.

COAT ? The coat is fine and smooth. Scars are immaterial. Coat color is immaterial. Neither color nor markings should affect judging. Markings may sometimes mislead the eye, requiring hands-on examination of the actual structure beneath the markings.

GAIT ? The working gait of the Classic Greyhound is the double suspension gallop. The Classic Greyhound trots in the style of a galloping hound in a light, elastic, low-stepping and open gait with effortless timing and good forward movement. There are no exaggerations or wasted movements either in the front or in the rear. Coming and going are each clean and easy, tending towards convergence of the legs as speed increases.
Faults: Hackney action, erratic movement, restricted movement.

TEMPERAMENT ? Classic Greyhounds are not often given to public displays and may appear reserved in public. In the ring, showmanship (use of ears, intense baiting) must never be confused with true quality. Quiet excellence must be preferable to flashy mediocrity.
Faults: Shyness or aggression.

SIZE ? Since the Classic Greyhound historically hunted prey in scope from hare to wild board and stag, there is an allowable and understandable variation in size in the breed. The Classic Greyhound must not be mistaken for a Whippet nor a Great Dane but instead always demonstrate his own true type. Whatever the size, bitches are feminine, dogs are masculine and all should display balance, harmony and quality.

The foregoing describes parameters for the ideal Classic Greyhound. Deviations from this ideal should be penalized according to the extent of the deviation, always keeping in mind the contribution of the feature to the historic, original purpose of the breed. Flaws of a cosmetic nature must be weighed less important than structural faults. Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be penalized unless they affect balance or soundness.

Males have two normal-sized testicles descended into the scrotum.

General symmetry, quality and balance - 20 points
Head and neck - 15 points
Chest, shoulders and front legs - 15 points
Body - 15 points
Hindquarters - 15 points
Movement - 15 points
Feet - 5 points

Version of November 23, 2003 Greyhound Club of America Breed Standard

Breeder Ethics: - The closest thing the Greyhound Club of America seems to offer as Breeder Ethics

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