10 Incredible Greyhound Facts

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: September 10, 2022
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The English greyhound, or just greyhound, is a breed of dog, a sighthound developed for both greyhound racing and game coursing. Retired racing greyhounds have become increasingly popular as family pets due to the increase in their widespread adoption.

According to definitions, greyhounds are “S-shaped” sighthounds that are tall, muscular, smooth-coated, have a long tail, and have sturdy feet.” Unlike closely related sighthounds, like the Italian greyhound, greyhounds are a distinct breed. For 10 incredible facts about greyhounds, continue reading.

1.      Greyhounds Have a Variety of Coat Colors

greyhound standing tall on path outside

The greyhound is considered to be the fastest dog in the world.

©iStock.com/Natalia Timchenko

Greyhounds come in over 55 different patterns, with 18 base colors to choose from. Gray canines are the rarest because they were bred out of existence due to a false belief that they were slower than other colors. Since only nobility was allowed to acquire greyhounds, commoners and poachers gravitated toward brindles due to their greater camouflage.

2.      Greyhounds Burn So Many Calories When They Run, They Lose Weight

Calmest dog - greyhound standing in the field

The greyhound is both the fastest and calmest dog in the world.

©iStock.com/Photography by Adri

Your dog can burn roughly 3.75 calories per pound of body weight if he is healthy enough to run for a full half-hour. In one study, dogs were put on a treadmill and walked through water tanks to measure their heart rates.

One dog can generate 100,000 watts of waste heat energy during a 30-second run, sufficient to boil 600 ml of tap water in two minutes. In a single race, a greyhound can lose up to 5 pounds.

3.      While Running, Greyhounds Spend Most of Their Time in the Air

Dog Facts for Kids: A greyhound

The incredibly fast greyhound uses ‘double suspension gallop’ as they run.

©Liliya Kulianionak/Shutterstock.com

Due to the double suspension rotary gallop previously mentioned, greyhounds spend 75% of their time in the air while running. When running, a greyhound utilizes its tail as a rudder.

Did you know that greyhounds use this ‘double suspension gallop’ as they run? If you see the dogs running, you might notice that they take up all four feet twice. Once with their legs out straight, and again with their legs tucked under their torso.

4.      They Have a World Record for Highest Jump

Dog in Martingale Collar

Most greyhounds can rapidly jump over a 5-foot hurdle.


For a long time, Cinderella May, also known as Soaring Cindy, a greyhound, held the Guinness World Record for the Highest Jump by a dog, clearing 68 inches. That is more than 5.5 feet! One of the canine breeds that can jump straight up or over high hurdles is the greyhound.

Most of them can rapidly jump over a 5-foot hurdle, but some can’t. Despite how absurd that seems, another greyhound broke that record! A greyhound named Feather set a 2017 Guinness World Record for the highest jump, clearing 6 feet, 29 inches (191.7 cm).

5.      They Are Considered One of the Kindest Pets

greyhound vs Italian greyhound

Thanks to their inherently gentle demeanor, greyhounds are the ideal canine companions for kids, other dogs, and some cats.


One of the top ten most gentle dog breeds is the greyhound, known for its gentleness. Thanks to their inherently gentle demeanor, greyhounds are the ideal canine companions for kids, other dogs, and some cats. The greyhound has evolved into a highly intelligent, devoted pet because of careful breeding and management practices that have been maintained over time.

The breed split into the display and racing types, with the racing form being far more common as greyhound track racing and dog shows became popular. The public’s awareness of the breed’s outstanding potential as a companion has increased in recent years due to a determined effort to find homes for retired racers.

6.      Greyhounds Have Amazing Eyesight

Greyhounds can see 270 degrees around them. Over a half mile in front of them and behind them, they can see stuff. The stereoscopic vision of greyhounds makes them well-suited to seeing moving objects. It can occasionally be beneficial to shift your body while calling a greyhound.

7.      There Have Been Two U.S. Presidents Who Have Owned Greyhounds

George Washington owned several Greyhounds

When George Washington was president, he possessed several greyhounds, one of which he named Cornwallis after one of the most capable British generals during the Revolutionary War. Washington’s gigantic greyhound, Azor, served as his constant companion during the American Revolution. Former U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes owned a greyhound named Grim.

8.      Greyhounds Are Incredibly Tall

greyhound on white background

Greyhounds can measure up to 6 feet from the tip of the tail to the tip of the snout.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Enormous was a Miami-based greyhound who weighed 92 pounds, measured 6 feet from tip of tail to tip of the snout, and stood 33.5 inches at the shoulder. The typical male greyhound is 65 to 75 pounds and between 28 and 30 inches tall. The female greyhound stands between 26 and 28 inches tall and weighs 60 to 65 pounds less than the male.

9.      Greyhounds Have a Record Top Speed

Greyhound in the grass

Greyhounds have been known to reach speeds of over 40mph!

©Proshkin Aleksandr/Shutterstock.com

According to the website worldsfastestdogs.com, Fanta is the fastest greyhound dog ever recorded. In 2013, she reached a high speed of 50.5 mph. Usain Bolt, who is reputed to be the fastest man alive, achieved a high speed of 27.8 mph. Greyhounds have reached speeds of up to 41.8 mph, recorded in 1994 in Wyong, Australia.

greyhound in the grass

Greyhounds are a popular dog for films.

©Proshkin Aleksandr/Shutterstock.com

Throughout the past 20 years, greyhounds have appeared in several films. Skylar, a character played by Minnie Driver in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting,” placed a wager on the victorious racing dog at the Wonderland Greyhound Park.

Joanne Herring, played by Julia Roberts, is the ecstatic owner of greyhounds in the 2007 film “Charlie Wilson’s War.” In the 2011 film “50/50,” Adam Lerner, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is the ecstatic owner of Skeletor, a former racing greyhound.

The hood ornament on Lincoln Motor Company automobiles from 1927 through 1936 was a greyhound dog. The family dog on “The Simpsons,” an animated sitcom television series, is a greyhound named “Santa’s Little Helper.”

Related Animals:

Italian Greyhound

Great Dane


The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/BiancaGrueneberg

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyhound
  2. American Kennel Club , Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/greyhound/
  3. Dog Breed Info, Available here: https://www.dogbreedinfo.com/greyhound.htm