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Greyhound Facts

Every year thousands of Galgos (Spanish Greyhounds), Spains most mistreated breed, are abandoned or killed after outliving their usefulness. They are bred for hunting. Amigo is one of these abandoned dogs. A well-intentioned lady in the Netherlands adopted Amigo online from a Spanish shelter but it turned out not to be a great match. She wasn't a strong leader and Amigo became aggressive on the leash; he attacked several neighborhood dogs and had to wear a muzzle when being walked.

Amigo is a greyhound looking for a new home. With the help of Cesar, he will find the perfect match. (View larger version)

Photograph by 360 Powwow, LLC / Belen Ruiz Lanzas

  • They are tall, slender dogs with a lean muscular body, deep chest and noted for swiftness and their keen sight and used as a racing dog — the fasted dog in the world. Greyhounds can reach average race speeds of 39 miles per hour.

  • Greyhounds are an ancient breed of sighthounds, or gazehounds, which specialize in hunting their quarry by sight rather than scent.

  • Greyhounds originated in Ancient Egypt and were originally bred to hunt large game including antelopes, wolves and deer. The greyhound found its way to America with the first English settlers.

  • Greyhounds are also known as Italian greyhound or Galgos in Spain.

  • The greyhound coat is normally short, fine and close and comes in a range of colors.  The skin is thin and susceptible to cuts.
  • Greyhounds appear to be the most ancient dog breed. “Greyhound” comes from a mistake in translating the early German name Greishund, which means “old (or ancient) dog,” not from the color gray.

  • The oldest known dog bones were found in Asia and date as far back as 10,000 B.C. The first identifiable dog breed appeared about 9000 B.C. and was probably a type of greyhound dog used for hunting.

  • Greyhounds are the only dogs mentioned by name in the Bible. Proverbs 30, verses 29-31.

  • Breeding Greyhounds for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century.

  • Whippets were also bred as a racing dog, as an alternative to the greyhound because they are smaller and cheaper to keep.

  • In 1014 AD the English Forest Laws stated that only noblemen could own and hunt with greyhounds. To kill a greyhound was punishable by death.

  • Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII kept greyhounds.

  • The Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1885.

  • Generally, greyhounds are unable to sit. Some can manage to sit, but for most, it is physically impossible or at the very least extremely uncomfortable. In most cases the legs are too long and "muscled up" for a sit position to be achieved.

  • A greyhound has stereoscopic vision. This means that it is best suited to seeing moving objects. They often don't see stationary objects - so when calling your greyhound back to you, you are best to be moving around. That way they can see and hear you.