Breed Spotlight – Greyhounds

(IMO) One of the most underrated breeds of dog in existence is the greyhound. Most people think of greyhounds as racing dogs and while most are used for racing, many retired (and some not born to racing kennels) greyhounds go on to live very long lives with families. Some, go even further than that. Some have gone on to acting careers like Winnie and Mia who co-starred with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in “Charlie Wilson’s War”.

Greyhounds make great pets and are quite often referred to as “big cats” or “cats in a dog costume”. They have a very short coat so they do not shed that much, are typically not barkers, are smart enough to understand some obedience, and while they do love to be with their people they are independent enough so they are not on you 24-7.

Most greyhounds are born into racing kennels and the vast majority of greyhounds are retired when they still have many years left in their lives. This has paved the way for the largest and most successful breed rescue organization in the USA, the Greyhound Pets of America.

Most of these greyhounds go on to live with families but some go on to bigger and better things. Service Dogs for Service Men is the first service dog organization in the USA to exclusively use rescued greyhounds for their program (dogs donated by Greyhound Pets of America – Florida / Southeast Coast Chapter and the Palm Beach Kennel Club).

In Seth Rogen’s film, “50/50” Adam’s girlfriend, Rachel, adopts a greyhound (from rescue) to help him heal. While Adam is reluctant at first, Rachel convinces him to give the dog a try. Skeletor is a retired racing greyhound played by William and Denver who are 9 1/2 year old litter mates. Before their acting debut both were prize winning show dogs. In the beginning Evan Goldberg (producer) was against it and wanted a “cute and cuddly” dog but Will Reiser fought for the greyhounds and had some brought in to show the cast and crew how well they’d work out for the film.

As I said before, greyhounds are highly underrated. I don’t know why, it could be anything from their looks to the fact that they’re not a cute and cuddly lap dog (even though they tend to think they are!) or widely recognized as a shepherd but their versatility and train-ability should allow them to be the next rising star breed.

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