Typical bystanders’ Greyhound questions
If you are a Greyhound owner you are used to many questions about your hounds. The 2nd most common question after “I bet they need a lot of exercise?” is:
“How fast can they run?”
So, let’s have a look, so you can give a correct answer the next time you’re being asked.
What’s a Greyhound’s top speed?
- Greyhounds can run up to 45 mph or around 70 km/h
- Greys can reach their top speed in 6 strides
- They can maintain that speed for around 250 meters / 270 yards
- Greyhounds are born and bred to track and hunt prey in the open
- They are getting their speed from their large hearts, huge chest with big lungs, long legs, flexible spine, and fast-twitch muscles
- The heart rate can reach up to 300-360 beats per minute
- They are also some of the laziest dogs in the world if there’s nothing worth chasing to be found
- Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on the planet but will be outpaced over long distances by other dogs like huskies
- Other dog breeds clocked at speeds around 40 mph include salukis, deerhounds, and vizslas
How do Greyhounds run that fast?
The Greyhound’s style of running and gait are what allow them to run that fast.
Just like cheetahs, greyhounds run using a rotary gallop style. In this gait, each hind leg follows the foreleg and all four feet leave the ground. During each stride, the dog’s body contracts and extends, much like a spring.
Both animals also use a two-stage gait. In one stage their bodies and legs are stretched out parallel to the ground, and in the other stage their bodies are compressed with front and rear legs overlapping beneath the animal. This is when the legs pound the ground to push forward with speed.
So the Greyhound’s legs leave the ground two times: Once with all legs extended and once with the legs crossed under the body.
Are there faster animals than Greyhounds?
- Greyhounds are not the fastest animal on land
- The cheetah can run up to 75 mph or 120 km/h, which makes it the fastest land animal on our planet
- Even horses can run up to 55 mph or almost 90 km/h but need longer to accelerate to this speed compared to Greyhounds
Do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise?
This is one of the most common questions any Greyhound owner gets from people they meet when walking the dogs!
Although Greyhounds (and this might be true for most Sighthounds) can run very fast, they are also lazy as hell!
Depending on the weather and the age of the dog as well as the amount of space in their homes or if there’s a yard or garden available, Greyhounds are often happy and healthy with 2-3 walks a day of 20-45min each.
Our two Greyhounds don’t want to go out as much in Summer because they just don’t like the heat. As Greyhounds have less fur and less body fat, they have less insulation against outside temperatures and can tolerate high temperatures less well as other dog breeds.
We walk them twice a day in summer (30-45 min each time) and three times when it’s colder.
During the summer they can go out into the yard most of the time and stretch their legs or do a quick dash or Zoomies if they feel like it.
Greyhounds can easily sleep pretty much all day, like cats. They love to get up in order to get a belly rub, a treat, or some other kind of affection but then also return to bed without complaints if nothing exciting is going on around the house. If we have people over or take them on a trip and they don’t get to sleep close to 20h a day, they will get jet-lagged and sleep even more the following day.
The quick answer is: No, they don’t need a lot of exercises and much less than many other breeds.
If you have a patch of grass every now and then where they can go crazy and not run away or be injured by holes in the ground, or other hard to see obstacles like wires, etc, they will gladly enjoy the chance to chase each other or just run a lap just for fun.
Greyhounds can be fast but they can be sooo lazy, too!
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- Show everybody how fast your sleepy dog could be.
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How are Greyhounds as Pets?
Greyhounds usually are great pets. They love people, they get along very well with children and some of them even accept cats living under the same roof.
Of course, there are exceptions to this as some might have had negative experiences with people, children, or other animals, but most of them are really mellow and relaxed roommates.
Some people compare Greyhounds to cats and we have to say, it sounds true to us.
- sleep most of the day
- often don’t bark at all
- they don’t stink (if you feed them well)
- they love to snuggle
- are usually very gentle
That’s why they call them “Gentle Giants”
If you have a Greyhound you will know that it’s true:
Life is too short not to share it with a Greyhound! T-Shirt
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