Greyhounds are beautiful dogs who are often misunderstood. Because they are well known as working dogs in the world of racing, they may get overlooked and not seen as the affectionate, gentle giants that they are. And they are not only lovable, they are special! You might not know it, but if your dog has ever had emergency surgery, a Greyhound may have saved its life. Greyhounds are known as the K-9 universal blood donor because over 85% of their species have a blood type which can be used in all other dog breeds. There are Greyhound rescues who safely harvest a pint of their blood for veterinary blood banks to save dogs around the world.*
April is National Greyhound month. As dog racing laws change across the United States, and Greyhound racing was voted out and ended in Florida at the closing of 2020, many breed-specific adoption centers opened as more dogs became available. Adopting a Greyhound is quickly becoming common as pet parents seek a unique rescue dog, with approximately 18,000 Greyhounds being placed in homes annually. Greyhounds have been around for thousands of years, so you can bet there are many reasons why adopting one could be right for you.
Greyhounds have a fairly long life span of approximately 10-13 years.
They make great family pets and generally get along well with children.
They are loyal and affectionate.
They were bred to hunt in packs, so they exhibit minimal aggression toward most dog breeds.
A Few Things to Consider Before Adopting
Greyhounds are racing dogs. Often Greyhounds are retired from racing facilities. Ask if your dog was retired due to age, injury, disposition, or other event. Healed injuries can manifest in other ways as dogs age, so it is good to know what to expect in the future.
Racing Greyhounds can be prey-driven. Ask about their temperament around smaller dogs and cats. Many Greyhound adoption agencies have their dogs fostered to distinguish personality traits in advance so they can be placed in the right homes. They can be trained to be around small animals, but it is good to know in advance what the dog’s baseline is with training.
Greyhounds are racing dogs! Yes, they love to run and have been clocked at 40mph! But that doesn’t mean that they are frequent high-energy dogs. They are also known to be big couch potatoes, so keep that in mind when considering them as house buddies. They can live in smaller spaces if they have their exercise outlets made available.
Greyhounds can have history. If you are considering adopting one of these gentle giants, follow this link for questions to ask.
Greyhounds are genetically predisposed to certain diseases. While it is true that most dogs do not manifest these diseases, it’s good to know what to watch for and to test in any breed of dog. Check out this link for more specifics.
If you want to find a rescue where you can adopt a dog, volunteer, or monetarily support, here is a short list of local Greyhound adoption locations:
*To Read more about dog donor blood banks, go to the Greyhound Health Initiative at: https://www.greyhoundhealthinitiative.org/blood-bank/