Temperament
Greyhounds have a docile and easygoing nature.  They are truly companion dogs and enjoy being with people.  They are tolerant and most greyhounds get along well with children.  They will usually walk away if a child becomes overbearing.  But, even greyhounds have limits and should be supervised around young children.

Greyhounds enjoy the company of other dogs and most of them get along with cats.  Some greyhounds do have a high prey drive and need to be in a home without small dogs or cats.

Because greyhounds sleep an average of 18 hours a day, they are often referred to as "45-mph couch potatoes."

Greyhounds are strictly indoor pets.  They do not have enough body fat to protect them from the extreme nature of the elements.  Therefore, they need to be in air-conditioning in the summer and in the heated house in the winter.

Age
Greyhounds are usually between the ages of 2 - 5 years old when they are retired from racing.  They are retired either because they are not fast enough or due to an injury.  With proper care, they have a life expectancy of 10 years or more.

Weight & Height  (average)
Female Greyhounds
               50 - 65 pounds
               23 - 26 inches at the shoulder

Male Greyhounds
               65 - 85 pounds
               26 - 30 inches at the shoulder

Color
Greyhounds come in a variety of colors.  They can be brindled (striped), ticked, solid or a combination of colors.  Colors include black, white, red, fawn, and blue.  The most common color for a greyhound is brindle, with blue (gray) being the most rare.

Food
While racing, greyhounds are fed a high-protein diet.  After retired, they need to be fed a high-quality diet.  Greyhounds do tend to have sensitive stomachs, so foods containing artificial coloring need to be avoided.

Greyhounds should be fed twice a day (morning and evening).  They usually eat between 3-6 cups of food daily.

Because of the greyhound's deep chest, we suggest using elevated bowls for food and water to aid in digestion.

All-Star Greyhounds has begun feeding Merrick to our foster dogs with excellent results.  Merrick's foods, treats and snacks are made in the USA in their own facilities, and contain no ingredients from China.  Merrick uses no fillers, byproducts, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives.  To learn more about dog food ingredients and the importance of feeding a premium dog food, please go to Dog Aware.

Grooming
Greyhounds require little grooming.  They do need to have their toenails trimmed regularly (every 2-3 weeks).  They do not have a "doggy smell," so they do not need to be bathed often.  Some greyhounds do need to have their ears flushed with an ear wash occasionally.

We do see teeth and gum issues with greyhounds, possibly due to their diet while racing and genetics.  It is important to maintain good oral heath to prevent other illnesses.  Things you can do to keep your greyhound's mouth healthy:  feed a premium diet, brush teeth regularly, provide items for the greyhound to chew on and get necessary dental cleanings.

Exercise
Greyhounds love to run and the easiest way to exercise a greyhound is to let it run and play in a fenced yard.  Most greyhounds learn to play with toys and enjoy tossing them in the air.  Some like to run with a "stuffy" in their mouth.  One of the most enjoyable ways to exercise a greyhound is to take it for walks.  Be prepared - Greyhounds are people-magnets and will attract all kinds of attention.  They are sprinters, and with training they can build endurance and go for a jog.

Housebreaking
Racing greyhounds are kennel-trained not to soil their crates and are turned-out several times a day to relieve themselves. It is a rather easy transition to teach the greyhound to think of your house as its crate.  At first, you will need to take your dog out frequently.  Soon you will recognize your greyhound's signal for needing to go out.  As with any new dog, you should expect a few accidents.

Crates
Greyhounds live in crates during their racing careers.  We do suggest crating newly-retired greys in the beginning.  A crate can provide a source of comfort and security to the dog.  It can also be used as a tool to assist in housebreaking.  As the greyhound adjusts to its new lifestyle, it can be weaned off of the crate.  Many greyhound owners use baby gates to keep their greyhounds in a certain room while the owner is away from the house.

Muzzles
Greyhounds wear a muzzle during a race to determine the outcome in a photo-finish and it also helps protect them from possible injury.  Greyhounds can be very competitive and do like to "nip" each other while running.  Therefore, it is a good idea to muzzle greyhounds when several are playing together.  A greyhound wearing a muzzle is similar to an athlete wearing a mouthpiece or a bicyclist wearing a helmet.

Medical Care
Prior to adoption, All-Star Greyhounds will provide the following veterinary services:  spay/neuter, dental cleaning, heartworm test, worming, and vaccination update (if needed).

Proper medical care will help your greyhound live a long and healthy life. You will need to provide:

  • Monthly heartworm prevention (Heartgard Plus, Interceptor or Sentinel)
  • Annual heartworm test
  • Annual physical exams
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Annual fecal test
  • Dental exam and cleaning
  • Emergency care when needed

You will want to verify that your veterinarian is familiar with Greyhounds and their special medical needs, especially with anesthesia.  Greyhounds have different blood values than other breeds.  What may appear to be a normal blood count in a greyhound, can actually mean an infection.  To learn more about the greyhounds blood values, please read this article written by Dr. Suzanne Stack, D.V.M.

Flea Products & Chemicals
Greyhounds are very sensitive to chemicals and pesticides.  If flea treatment is necessary, be sure to use flea sprays and shampoos that contain pyrethrums.  

NEVER use a flea collar on a greyhound -- they can be fatal.  Some greyhound-safe flea products are:  Advantage, Frontline, and Adams Flea Spray. When in doubt about a flea product, please consult your veterinarian.

Lawn Chemicals and ice melting products can be harmful to any pet.  Greyhounds are very susceptible to chemicals, therefore, it is suggested not to use any chemicals around the dogs.  If absolutely necessary to use lawn chemicals or ice melting products, use extreme caution.  Many Lawn Companies also have all natural, non chemical, lawn products, but you will have to ask for them.

Expenses
The following is a list of expenses that you will want to consider when determining whether to adopt:

  • Adoption Fee
  • Premium Dog Food
  • Monthly heartworm prevention
  • Crate
  • Dog beds
  • ID dog tags
  • Flea protection
  • Dog toys
  • Dog treats
  • Annual veterinary services
  • Emergency veterinary services
  • Elevated dog bowls
  • Dog coat
  • Boarding (while on vacation)

Stakes & Dog Chains
NEVER tie a greyhound to any stationary object or clothesline-type run. They are sight hounds and will chase nearly anything that moves.  Greyhounds can reach a speed of 40 mph in 3 strides.  Serious injury or death could result if a greyhound ran at full speed and was jerked to a stop.

Adjustment Period
Living in a home is a new experience for retired racers.  Everything is new -- people, sounds, smells, dog beds, food, other pets, stairs, windows, glass doors, etc.  To help our retirees adjust to their new lives, All-Star Greyhounds initially places them in foster homes.  This is a family that has a greyhound living in the home.  We have found that the newly-retired greyhounds adjust to retirement life easier and quicker if they have another greyhound as a companion.  The "foster" greyhound can take cues from the other greyhound and learn house manners.

There is an adjustment period whenever a dog is placed in a new environment.  Your greyhound will look to you for guidance to help it adjust to its new surroundings.  Let your greyhound know what is expected of him or her and get it on a schedule.  Greyhounds are very intelligent and learn quickly.

Given patience, love and understanding, your greyhound will settle into its new life of retirement and reward you as a wonderful and loyal companion.