Just like every other dog breed, Greyhounds are also unique in their own way. These dogs date back to the Dark Ages. This breed originated in Europe. However, it was not until 1885 that the American Kennel Club recognized Greyhound as a dog breed and categorized it under the Hound Breed.
It is a delicate breed with long, ground-breaking legs. It has a large chest with a thin, adjustable spine. The flexibility of the spine helps them to run at 64 kmph. The highest speed that can be obtained by a Greyhound is 70kmph. These racer breeds can live up to 10-15 years. While living with a Greyhound, you get to know various fun facts about them. With time, they can also turn out to be your personal favourites.
Top 15 Interesting and Fun Facts about Greyhounds:
#1: Greyhounds have the highest count of red blood cell
An interesting and fun fact about Greyhounds is that they have the highest red blood cells in their blood. The work of the RBCs is to carry oxygen to the muscles. Being active dogs, the blood easily runs through their veins at a high speed. While the RBC cells of other breeds survive for 60/80 days, Greyhound’s RBCs live for a longer life span (58/104 days).
Unfortunately, the breed lacks platelets. It has lesser platelets than any other dog breed. The platelet count of a Greyhound is 64,000/Âµl. Any breed that has packed cell volume (PCV) less than 45% may also have a chance of getting affected with anaemia.
#2: Greyhounds were owned by multiple US Presidents
An interesting and fun fact about Greyhounds is that even Presidents of the United States were fond of them. The 1st President of the United States, George Washington loved his Greyhound. He was named Cornwallis after the great British General Cornwallis who took part in the American Revolutionary war. The President also had another Greyhound dog named Azor.
Later, the 19th President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes, after winning the elections of 1876 decided to adopt Grim. He was a 2-year old greyhound and was one of the favourite pets of Rutherford. He also had a special ability of singing and was even sometimes accompanied by his mistress Lucy Ware Hayes. Unfortunately, Grim lived up to his name and died a tragic death. The President’s house was filled with condolences when people learnt about Grim getting hit by a train.
#3: Greyhounds are the fastest of all dog breeds.
Among the other running dog breeds, Greyhound is considered to be the fastest dog breed. This is also one of the interesting fact about Greyhounds’. The breed has long legs and lean bodies that make it easier for them to run at higher speeds. With just 3 strides, these dogs can reach a speed of 30mph.
The body of this dog breed is highly flexible. Their thin body pushes them forward. Therefore, they can run longer distances without much effort. When this dog breed starts running, it uses all its four legs by following the process of Double suspension Gallop.
They achieve full suspension at two times-
- When their forelimbs are extended towards the front and the hind limbs towards the back and
- When they tuck their all four limbs under their body. This way, it appears as if the dog is gliding through the air. This way, all the limbs touch the ground at separate times, never in unison.
#4: ‘The 40-mph couch potato’ is their best nickname.
Greyhounds being highly energetic dog breeds can stand or roam around the house for long time. But when it comes to sleeping, they start acting like a couch-potato. An interesting and fun fact about Greyhound is that they prefer sleeping more than anything else. These dogs are the opposite of what they seem. They can be the fastest dog breed in racing, but are cat-like when it comes to relaxing.
The reason for such behaviour can be due to the tight muscles of their body. These muscles make it difficult for the dog breed to sit or even touch the floor when completely exhausted. Therefore, they consider lying or standing to be a better option.
Spending quality time on a sofa or couch can also be a result of their original trait since they lived in kennels during olden times.
#5: Greyhounds have acted in multiple movies and animation series
Apart from being good racers and obedient beings, they have also excelled in the field of acting. Several Greyhounds have acted in films over the last 20 years. This can also be considered as one of the fun facts about Greyhound.
In 1997, Greyhounds were seen acting in a movie named Good Will Hunting. Actress Minnie Driver was assigned the role to play Skylar in the movie, where she bet on winning a dog racing competition with her greyhound at the Wonderland Greyhound Park. This film was also nominated for Oscar and even won the title of ‘Best original screenplay’. One of the other films where this breed enacted was Charlie Wilson’s War. Released in 2007, this movie had Julia Roberts who was a proud owner of Greyhounds.
Besides these, Greyhounds have also been depicted in animation series. A famous cartoon called ‘The Simpsons’ has an animated Greyhound named ‘Santa’s Little Helper’.
#6: They are used as a mascot by companies.
The Greyhound Company decided to rebrand their bus company into a high-class transportation option. For their new face, they decided to choose a three-month-old Greyhound puppy. So in the year of 1957, Lady Greyhound became the well-bred face of the company. This is one of the interesting facts about Greyhound dog breed. However, the real name of this puppy was Steverino. But, because the name lacked elegance, the company dubbed its name Lady Greyhound.
She became one of the popular dogs in the world. She had a collar made of rhinestone and always wore a tiara. She even appeared in a commercial show named ‘The Steve Allen Show’. Later in the year, she won the title of ‘Queen of National Dog Week’ due to her exemplified dogdom. She was also invited to an inauguration ceremony of a bus terminal in Detroit. A fun fact about this Greyhound is that she gracefully opened this ceremony by eating away the ribbon made of dog biscuits.
#7: Greyhound killing was a punishable offence.
Back in the Middle Ages, Greyhounds were at a point of extinction due to famines. However, clergymen tried their best to save this dog breed. During 1014, most of the nobles owned this dog breed on the demand of King Caunte of England. He established Forest laws that made it a punishable offence to kill or even hurt a Greyhound. This can be seen as an interesting fact about Greyhounds.
King Howel of Wales also implemented the same rule in his kingdom. In 1066, William the Conqueror forced more restrictions on the Forest laws. Commoners used Greyhounds of black, fawn and brindle colour while hunting. While, on the other hand, the nobles preferred Greyhounds of white or spotted colours so that it was easier to look for them in case they got lost. This makes it one of the interesting and fun facts about Greyhounds.
#8: Greyhound have unique vision.
Being sighthounds, Greyhounds have a great vision, compared to their sense of smell. They can easily identify stationary objects from a distance of ½ mile. This is because of the ‘virtual streak’, a horizontally aligned line in the retina, lined with ganglion cells. One of the interesting and fun facts about Greyhound is that they can even see what’s behind them.
These sighthounds have a vision of 270 degrees, while humans only have a peripheral vision of 180 degrees. This is mostly due to their unusual eye placement. Their eyes are widely spread on their thin heads making them look as if they have eyes behind their back.
#9: Greyhounds have a mention in the Bible.
One of the most interesting and fun fact about Greyhounds is that they are the only breed to be introduced in the Bible. In the proverb 30:21-31 King James Version: “There be three things which do well, yea, Which is comely in going; A lion, which is strongest among beasts and Turneth not away from any; A greyhound; A he-goat also.”, we find the mention of Greyhound dog breed.
The word ‘Greyhound’ means ‘grit in the loins’. This term was used by translators to describe the ancestors of Greyhound. Sometimes, these dog breeds were also replaced by roosters in the verse. Surprisingly, they have been mentioned about 14 times in the bible.
#10: Greyhounds lack an undercoat.
Almost every dog breed has an undercoat, especially the winter dogs have more of a thick undercoat. But a surprising and fun fact about Greyhounds is that they do not have any undercoats.
Greyhounds have a short hair type. Therefore, they are sensitive to heat and cold. But, a plus point about this hair type is that they do not have the doggie odour.. During the winter season, Greyhounds need a sweater to protect themselves from the cold. Having short hair also means that they require very less grooming and care.
#11: Royalty fancies Greyhound.
The elegance of Greyhounds makes them one of the famous dog breeds. A fun fact about Greyhounds is that they are treated by royalty and with great dignity. One of the best hobbies of King Henry VIII was to pet dogs. Greyhounds and Spaniel were counted among his favourite dog breeds.
The collection of Greyhound runs in the royal family. Queen Elizabeth, I was also a lover of Greyhounds. It was her love for dogs that she passed an act ‘The Law of the Lease’. This breed was also used by King Henry VII as a royal beast. Even to this date, a dog is still the symbol of the House of York.
#12: Greyhound are universal blood donors.
Greyhounds have a blood type that can be used to help many different dogs. An interesting and fun fact about Greyhound is that they are universal donors. They can share their blood to about 85% of dog breeds. They are also known as Dogdom’s Universal Donor.
Universal donors are essential in cases of blood transfusions. Among the eight blood groups, DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) 1.1 is the most ideal group. Breeds having this group can easily donate blood. Breeds like Boxers, Irish Wolfhounds, German shepherds and Pit Bull also share this same blood group. Sources confirm that Greyhounds have DEA 1.1 negative blood group.
#13. Greyhounds have a sport by their name
An interestingand fun fact about Greyhounds is that they have a competitive sport known as Greyhound Racing. This race is very popular in many parts of the world. It involves two types of racing- Coursing and track racing. The tracks for such races usually have a distance of 440 yards (1/4th of a mile).
The National Greyhound Racing Club organizes most of these races where several Greyhounds take part. The race distances are 230-1200 yards for both hurdles and flats.
Greyhounds were also considered to be the greatest athletes back in time. In 1926, Mick the Miller Greyhound got famous for his athletic abilities. He was also the best racer of all time. The record he set, i.e., winning 19 times in a row, was unbreakable and lasted for decades.
#14: Greyhounds have a connection with Mythology.
According to Mythology, Goddess Diana was a Roman analogue to a Greek Goddess Arthemis. She was considered the goddess of wildlife and hunt. Therefore several statues depict her with wild animals like deer and hunting hounds. A fun fact about Greyhounds is that they have also been depicted alongside Diana.
Other Greek goddesses are also portrayed with Greyhounds. Hecate, the goddess of wealth is often accompanied by a greyhound. God Pollux is also seen with his Hound company. The Greyhound dog breed has myth and mystery revolving around it that tries to grab more attention towards it.
#15: They existed during the Egyptian era
If we look into ancient history, we’ll find traces of Greyhounds. A fun fact about Greyhounds is that they existed in ancient Egypt for over 3500 years. During this time, they not only lived in Egypt but also travelled with the Greeks and Persians. There have also been found several carvings which depict that it was a greyhound-like dog breed that lived during that time.
These purebred dogs, being the oldest in time have significance in the Bible. Also, they were noted individually in the Book of Solomon. In ancient Egypt, the ancestors of greyhounds were used as companions and for herding. Surprisingly, the people were so close to their pets that if they died, the entire family would start to mourn.
Given above were the top 15 fun facts about Greyhounds that dog lovers barely knew. However, there are certain drawbacks to it. Greyhounds are no good swimmers, therefore it is best not to take them close to any water bodies. We may consider them to be born racers, but in reality, they were bred to help hunters. Their racing trait was not developed till the early 20th century.
You can surely consider these animals to be among the most gentle breed. They are highly affectionate towards families and make good companions for children. A parent can always count on his kid’s safety when he/she is with the Greyhound.
Q. What is the speed of Greyhounds in miles per hour?
The speed of Greyhounds is 45 miles per hour.
Q. Is Greyhound the fastest breed?
Many theories have confirmed Greyhound to be the fastest breed, but some also believe that Whippet is also as fast as them.
Q. What is the most special ability of greyhounds?
Greyhounds belong to the Sighthound group. Therefore, they have a very clear vision, even to their back. The eye placement of this breed provides them with a 270-degree vision.