HistoryFor thousands of years greyhounds have been bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. They were not intended to be solitary hunters, but to work with other dogs. Switching from hunting to racing has kept this aspect of their personality very much alive. The fastest breed of dog, greyhounds can reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour, and can average more than 30 miles per hour for distances up to one mile. Selective breeding has given the greyhound an athlete's body with the grace of a dancer. At the same time, the need to anticipate the evasive maneuvers of their prey has endowed the Greyhound with a high degree of intelligence. During the middle ages, the ownership of greyhounds was limited to the nobility due to their ability in hunting but this started changing in the 1800’s. CharacteristicsThe greyhound has a long neck and head, with a barely noticeable stop, or bridge to his nose. The ears are small and usually folded flat back against the neck. Their ears have a variety of poses, from straight up, to laid back flat against their neck ("rose bud" ears), to semi-pricked ears like a Collie's. The back is long and muscular with an arch over the loin. The deep chest and narrow waist give the greyhound its distinctive silhouette. The legs are long and powerful. The feet are small and compact, with well knuckled toes. The tail is long and curved. The coat of a greyhound is short and smooth. Greyhounds come in an endless variety of colors, including white, fawn (tan), cream, red (rust), black, blue (gray), many shades of brindle, and with patches of these colors on white. Their most common color is brindle, black tiger stripes on a lighter background. The most common brindle is fawn, and most have a black mask. Their coat length differs from dog to dog, and some will have a thicker, teddy bear coat while others have a short, slick coat with just some feathering on the buttocks. They have virtually no body fat. In general, greyhounds are very clean and do not require a lot of grooming.Three separate breeding lines exist: racing, coursing and show greyhounds. Racing greyhounds are bred for speed, coursing greys for a combination of speed, endurance, and courage, and show greys for appearance. A show greyhound typically stands 26-30 inches at the shoulder and weighs 60-85 pounds. Females average around 10 to 15 pounds less than males. The average lifespan is twelve to fourteen years. Track greyhounds are usually 25-29 inches and 50-80 pounds. The AKC standard specifies 65-70 pounds for males, 60-65 for females as ideal. The modern coursing dog is 20 percent heavier than his ancestors 30 years ago. Modern track dogs are considerably more flat-sided than the greyhounds of pre-modern coursing days.you Are Greyhounds Grey?Many people assume Greyhounds got their name from their gray color. It is believed that their name came from another source. It may have come from the Latin gradius, referring to its foremost grade of dogs. Many greyhound owners would assert that it is simply because greyhounds are great hounds. Grey greyhounds (also referred to as blue) tend to be rare because at one point it was thought that grey greyhoundswere slower than other colors, therefore breeders tended not to breed the grey dogs. This has been disproved over time but they (grey greyhounds) still are rare. Greyhounds come in 18 different colors with grey, pure white, and chocolate the rarest colors.