The Greyhound is well known as a sight hound, capable of running at great speeds. His instinct is to chase and kill, therefore great care must be taken when small animals are around. With humans he is usually gentle, affectionate and very loyal to his owner. He is a large dog who needs to be given the opportunity to run free in order to channel his energies. He has a very short coat which is easy to care for.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.8% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS17
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Some risk of limb fractures due to running at high speeds (particularly if used for racing).
Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision) (annual testing); Primary lens luxation (annual testing).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Greyhound Neuropathy (exercise intolerance and muscle weakness).
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Pattern baldness on the thighs
- Onchodystrophy (painful symmetrical nail bed disorder causing the nails to fall off)
- Adverse reaction to the drug, Thiopentone.
- Post operative bleeding
- Growth plate fracture
- Greyhound meningoencephalitis (autoimmune disease)
- Cancer: osteosarcoma (bone cancer); melanoma (skin)
- Chronic superficial keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)
- Hypertension (high arterial blood pressure
- von Willebrands Disease (blood clotting disorder)
- Hyperthermia and rigid paralysis after exercise
- Cutaneous vasculopathy (thrombosis with deep, slow healing ulcers of the skin)
- Polyneuropathy (exercise intolerance and muscle weakness) (see DNA tests above)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: