20 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT GREYHOUNDS
It’s not too soon to start celebrating Greyhound Adoption Month, which starts tomorrow on April 1. With that in mind, let’s look at some fun facts about the breed. See if you knew that:
1. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Greyhound as an official dog breed in 1885. They are classified in the Hound dog breed category.
2. Greyhounds have amazing eyesight. They can see their prey from over ½ mile away. Because they have a narrow head and wide spaced eyes, their total field of vision is 270 degrees, while a human’s total field of vision is 180 degrees.
3. According to the website worldsfastestdogs.com, the fastest recorded time of a Greyhound dog belongs to Fanta, whose top speed was recorded at 50.5 miles per hour in 2013. Usain Bolt, arguably the fastest human, was clocked in at 27.8 mph, his best time.
4. The Guinness World Record for the Highest Jump by a Dog, is held by a Greyhound named Cinderella May, aka Soaring Cindy, who cleared 68 inches. That’s over 5.5 feet!
5. Greyhounds are gentle - they are considered to be one of the top ten most gentle dog breeds. Because of their naturally kind temperament, Greyhounds make perfect canine companions for children, other dogs, and some are even fine with cats.
6. The average male greyhound is between 28 and 30 inches tall and weighs around 65 to 75 pounds. The female greyhound weighs less than the male or about 60 to 65 pounds, and stands about 26 to 28 inches tall.
7. Greyhounds have a short coat, are medium shedders, and are easy to groom. They have very little oil in their coats, and therefore have almost no doggy odor.
8. Greyhounds come in 18 primary colors and over 55 different color combinations. Gray is now the least common color because at one time it was thought that gray dogs ran slower and the color was all but bred out. Brindles are the most common because at one time only noblemen were allowed to own a Greyhound, so poachers and peasants favored brindles as they were easier to hide.
9. A group of Greyhounds is called a “leash”, and in antique hunting parlance, a “brace”. Friends call it a “hound-up”!
10. India is home to several breeds closely related to the modern Greyhound:
- Combai or Kombai
- Mudhol Hound
- Rampur Greyhound
11. When running, Greyhounds spend 75% of their time in the air, due to the double suspension rotary gallop, described last week.
12. A Greyhound uses its tail like a rudder when running.
13. During a 30-second race, 100,000 watts of waste heat energy is produced by one dog, enough to bring 600 ml of tap water to boil in 2 minutes. A Greyhound can lose up to 5 pounds in a single race.
14. Continued careful breeding and handling over the years have made the greyhound a most intelligent, affectionate companion. With the advent of greyhound track racing, as well as dog showing, the breed diverged into show and racing types, with the racing type by far the more populous. In recent years a concerted effort to find homes for retired racers has raised the public's appreciation of the breed's great pet potential.
15. For every Greyhound registered with the AKC there were 150 registered with National Greyhound Association. The NGA number is going down as more and more race tracks in the US shut down live racing and fewer dogs are being bred for racing.
16. The Greyhound is usually tolerant of children and, being non-aggressive, will most often walk away from provocation rather than snap or growl. Young children should be supervised with dogs, but the Greyhound is as good as any other breed and even better than most, because of their gentleness. They have been around people all of their lives and are generally very people-oriented.
17. There have been two past U.S. Presidents who have owned Greyhounds. George Washington, the 1st President of the United States, owned several Greyhounds – one was named Cornwallis, named after General Cornwallis, one of the top British Generals during the American Revolutionary War. Washington’s massive Greyhound, named Azor, accompanied him at all times during the American Revolution. Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, owned a Greyhound named Grim.
18. From 1927 to 1936, the Lincoln Motor Company featured a Greyhound dog as the hood ornament on their vehicles.
19. On the animated sitcom television series, “The Simpsons”, the family dog is a Greyhound named Santa’s Little Helper.
20. There have been several movies throughout the past 20 years that have featured Greyhounds. In the 1997 movie, “Good Will Hunting”, Minnie Driver’s character- Skylar- bet on the winning racing dog at the Wonderland Greyhound Park. In “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007)- Julia Roberts character- Joanne Herring- is the proud owner of Greyhounds. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Adam Lerner, in the 2011 movie, “50/50”, is the proud owner of Skeletor, a retired racing Greyhound.
These are just some of the amazing and fun facts about Greyhounds. Next week, we’ll take a look at the medical differences in Greyhounds compared to other breeds.