Retired Greyhound Trust
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About Greyhounds

Do you want to find out more about greyhounds?

Greyhound Facts
History of Greyhounds
Life After Racing
Finding the Right Greyhound

Some facts about Greyhounds

about_img1.jpgGreyhounds come in a variety of colours:  black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle or any of these colours broken with white.

Males are usually bigger and slightly taller than the females - the typical height of a dog measured at the shoulder is between 28"-30", bitches are around 27"-28".  They are a pedigree breed and normally stay fit and healthy into their teens.

In terms of temperament, there is little to choose from between the genders. The breed is typically intelligent, gentle, affectionate and even-tempered. They are quite laid back and docile, yet despite possessing remarkable stamina and endurance need only two twenty minute walks each day. They are often described as 'couch potatoes', requiring less exercise than average dogs. Most greyhounds walk quietly on a lead without pulling.

Because their coats are short and smooth, they don't get too dirty and can come back from muddy walks relatively clean, generally requiring little grooming.

Greyhounds get along with children, the elderly and often live happily with other pets, including cats.

A short history of the Greyhound

It is interesting to note that the Greyhound is one of the oldest breeds in existence, and has been traced back thousands of years to the early cave drawings. It is also the only dog mentioned in the Bible.

The greyhound was the dog of the pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, the dog of the kings of Ancient Greece and of the landed gentry and nobles in England. According to H Edward Clarke, greyhounds can be traced back 4000 years. Originating in Southern Arabia, the greyhound was introduced to Britain via the least that is what is believed to have happened.

An illustrated manuscript in the British Museum dating to the 9th Century depicts a chieftain and his huntsman with two greyhounds.

Greyhound racing is believed to have begun in 1876 in Hendon North London.

Greyhounds were introduced to the United States in the mid 1890s, primarily to control jack rabbits on the mid-western farms.

What happens to greyhounds at the end of their career?

Approximately 8,000 greyhounds retire from racing each year, typically between three and four years of age. Many never make the grade or retire at a much younger age as a result of minor injury. A great many owners will adopt greyhounds into their homes or arrange for them to live out their retirement at a kennel.

The Greyhound Trust works extremely hard to encourage owners to take their responsibility for their dogs seriously, and we also encourage the public to consider taking on retired greyhounds.

Help a greyhound in need.jpgSurprising, but true....

A greyhound is the original low-maintenance companion animal. Despite their well-deserved reputation as formidable athletes, they do not require large amounts of exercise: the vast majority are perfectly content with two short walks a day and they just love to relax on a comfortable bed.

They are short haired dogs and require little grooming. Many people who suffer from an allergic reaction to dogs in general may find that greyhounds do not have this effect.

Greyhounds are placid animals and therefore are particularly good with children; they also make excellent pets for the elderly because they do not require large amounts of exercise.

Older dogs, whilst perhaps not as appealing as younger dogs, still make excellent pets, and are even more grateful for your love and attention.

Adapting to a new environment Billy and Pela.jpg

Most retired racers have lived exclusively in kennels but will adapt extremely quickly to the more physically comfortable environment of your home. 

They may need house training, but if given regular opportunities to relieve themselves outside, they quickly learn appropriate behaviour - all dogs have a natural disinclination to soil their living area.

Greyhounds can and do live harmoniously with cats so don't be discouraged by those who say it is an impossibility. Contrary to popular belief, some greyhounds are 'cat-proof' and can be homed straight into a house that has cats.

Even those who show initial desire to chase can be de-schooled relatively quickly with firm, constant discouragement.

How do I find the right dog for me?

We have branches nationwide.  Most of them have websites showing dogs which they are seeking to home. You should visit the kennels and get to know several dogs before making your decision.  We do get to know the temperament of the greyhounds in our care, so we can find the right one for your family.

All our greyhounds homed are neutered, vaccinated, wormed, flea treated and come with 4 weeks free insurance with Petplan.

You will be home-checked and then follow up checks are done after homing the greyhound to make sure things are working out for both yourself and the greyhound.

If you are unable to adopt a greyhound but would like to help in another way check out the rest of our site!