Greyhounds are the oldest breed of dog with evidence of their life dating back 6,000 years. Pictures have been found in the tombs of the Pharoahs. It is obvious that they were revered and honored for the service they provided. During the Middle Ages, only noblemen were allowed to own them. They are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible and even Shakespere mentions them in his works. If you really want to learn about this noble creature, read "The Reign of the Greyhound" by Cynthia Branigan.

Initially the greyhound was a hunting companion for noblemen. The greyhound was a favorite of Cleopatra, England's Queen Elizabeth I, and Alexander the Great. For centuries, Greyhounds have been bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. They are the fastest breed of dog and their speed is breathtaking upwards of 40+ miles an hour. Years of being bred for speed have given them an athletic body that also has grace. Agressiveness has been virtually eliminated, since dogs unknown to each other hunted together. This created a serene, mannerly breed. The need to think fast enough to avoid accidents when running has given them high intelligence. Greyhounds were brought to America in the 1800's to help control the jackrabbit population, and they were also used by the U.S. Calvary to assist scouts. General George Custer reportedly traveled with a score of Greyhounds. Coursing evolved from an open field event to a race with a dummy hare in 1876 in England. It was further refined into a very popular spectator and gambling sport in the United States in the 1920's.
Statistics

Most Greyhounds available for adoption range in age from two to five years. They stand between 26 and 29 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds, depending on their sex. Greyhounds come in a variety of colors - ranging from black, to fawn, to red, or any shade of brindle, and even blue(grey)-- or a combination of these with white. You can expect to have a long and happy time with your ex-racer, given that their life span is estimated at twelve to fifteen years.

Love Required  

So easy to love. Retired racing Greyhounds have a short velvet, and smooth coat- no "doggie" odor- and minimal sheding. They are clean, gentle and good-natured, quiet dogs that get along well with children and other pets. Greyhounds were raised with their littermates where they competed for affection, they love becoming the center of attention. They are eager to please and respond positively to any attention given to them! They are grateful for their new homes, rewarding their owners with never-ending love and affection.

Hyper - NOT!!!!  

There is a common misconception among those unfamiliar with ex-racers that they are hyperactive. They are not! In truth, Greyhounds sleep alot. At the track, life consisted of a race that might last 30 seconds, every 2-3 days, followed by lots of time lying around in a crate. A common expression among Greyhound parents is that their pet is a "45 mph Couch Potato".

In Their New Home:  

Greyhounds received from the track have never lived in a house before, so initially, the dog may be disoriented in its new home. A new pet should not be left alone for the first few days. Greyhounds bond to people caring for them and need to feel secure and at ease. Petting your new dog and talking in a gentle manner decreases the Greyhound's insecurity and helps strengthen the bond between dog and owner. Greyhounds adapt quickly to all the new things in their life: riding in a car, climbing stairs, and playing with toys. Other "firsts" may confuse a Greyhound, but they will adapt and make the best pet you've ever had.

Housebreaking:

 
Retired Greyhounds have never been in a home, so they are not housebroken, but rather kennel broken. Walk them frequently at first. Praise them often. They will soon know that the outside is the place to go. Limiting the amount that they can roam in the house in the beginning should help the training process. Sometimes greyhounds never even have a problem and usually just one verbal reprimand will be enough so that it doesn't happen again.

Hot and Cold
 
Greyhounds adore running and playing outdoors in an enclosed area if it's available, but after playtime, they belong indoors. They have a coat like velvet, soft, huggable, and non-alergenic, which radiates heat off of their bodies. Their thin coat does not protect them against weather extremes. They also have very little body fat. Greyhounds are used to living in a heated indoor environment. If you plan to get in the extremes a cold coat is recommended for the heat and a coat for the cold. If you're wearing a coat, your greyhound probably should too.

Medical
 
Greyhounds are known to have a sensitivity to commonly used anesthesia, because of their low body fat and high muscle mass. Be certain that the veterinarian you use is familiar with ex-racing greyhounds and this sensitivity before you visit him for even the simplest of procedures.

Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid to AskThere
are two great texts on Adopting an ExRacer.

They are, Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood and Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan

We recommend these books to anyone who is thinking about adopting a greyhound.

Another greyt book is The Reign of the Greyhound which follows the greyhound through history from its earliest beginnings. Learn all about the oldest breed of dog. It's a greyt read.