a tall thin dog that can run very fast and is used in races
Origin and usage
The word greyhound likely originates from the ancient word ‘grighund’. In Old English, the word was ‘grighund’ or ‘greghund’, depending on the speaker’s native region (West Saxon or Anglia).
Greyhound is a breed of dog that originated in Europe. Greyhounds are typically tall and lean, with long, thin legs that allow them to run very fast. Traditionally, greyhounds were bred to chase game like deer and rabbit. Because of their great speed, they also became popular racing animals in some parts of the world.
Greyhounds are gentle, calm and intelligent dogs, affectionate and loyal to their owners. They rarely bark, have short coats that are easy to maintain and, contrary to popular belief, are not hyperactive nor do they require extended periods of exercise. In fact, greyhounds are often described as laid-back or even lazy – some can sleep for up to 18 hours a day! These dogs make wonderful family pets, and many charity groups work to find suitable, loving homes for retired racing greyhounds.
The name greyhound may suggest that all dogs of this breed are grey in colour, but there are actually more than 30 officially recognized colour variations including white, brindle, black, red, fawn and blue-grey. These colours can appear in a greyhound’s coat alone or in any number of combinations.
“I had this funny family. At one end, they were breeding dogs in south-east London – for greyhound racing – and at the other, my uncle was living in Downing Street. And I would actually go to Downing Street, which didn’t strike me as funny.”