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Are Greyhounds Good With Kids?

Child walkng with dog outdoor. Big cute greyhound dog walking with baby boy

Are Greyhounds Good With Kids?

The greyhound is a fast and extremely athletic breed of dog. Due to their speed and athletic nature, greyhounds are often used for racing. However, once retired, this breed makes an excellent choice for a family pet. They are known for their calm, sweet nature and high intelligence. Today, we will discuss if greyhounds are good with kids and what you should consider before making a greyhound the newest addition to your household.  

About the Greyhound 

Italian greyhound standing on a field of green grass.
Retired racing grey hounds make for calm and sweet pets.

©Alexandra Morrison Photo/Shutterstock.com

History and Uses 

The greyhound, also referred to as the English greyhound, was originally used for hunting desert wildlife in Egypt 5,000 years ago. They are also present in Greek and Roman mythology, as well as in the Bible. They have a long reputation and association with royalty and aristocracy. However, in the 19th century, this breed was mainly used for racing due to its incredible speed. 

Size and Physical Appearance 

Male greyhounds reach between 28-30 inches in height, and females reach between 27-28 inches. Males weigh between 65-70 pounds and females weigh between 60-65 pounds. Their average life expectancy is between 10-13 years. 

This breed has a long and narrow head, small ears, and a long, muscular neck. It is a muscular, thin dog with very long and powerful legs. Its coat is short and fine and can come in various color patterns and markings. 

How Much Energy Do Greyhounds Have? 

Greyhounds Greyhound Racing Dog Racing Racecourse
The greyhound is the fastest breed of dog.

©Nipun Maduwantha/Shutterstock.com

Greyhounds are not overly excitable dogs. They tend to be calm and are content to lounge around the house. They are considered to be good watchdogs and are relatively open to strangers, both of which make them a family-friendly option. With that being said, they are very athletic and have more energy than many other breeds. Giving them multiple opportunities to exercise their muscles and put their athleticism to good use is important. 

Greyhound Personality Traits 

The Americal Kennel Club describes the greyhound as gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered. While these dogs have an independent spirit, they make great companions and are very graceful. They are highly intelligent, making them easier to train than other breeds. Their high intelligence also makes them require occasional mental stimulation to thrive in their environment. They are not too noisy but have relatively high energy levels. With their gentle and graceful nature, greyhounds appear to be a good fit for kids.

Are Greyhounds Easily Trained?

While greyhounds are playful dogs, they are very smart, making them easier to train than other dogs. They are easier to train as adults rather than puppies because of their difficulty with recall when they are young. However, socializing them when they are young will help with training them for adulthood. Socializing them when they are young also plays a role in how good your greyhound will be with kids.

How to Train Your Greyhound

You should socialize your greyhound from a young age, particularly with small animals and children. Greyhounds can easily become bored, so keeping your training sessions short and to the point is best. Additionally, the greyhound is a sweet and gentle dog, so your training sessions should reflect that. They do not respond well to harsh training sessions. While they are good at doing jobs, greyhounds are not as eager to please as other dog breeds. This means that they prefer doing things with you rather than for you. 

How Old Should Your Child Be When You Get a Greyhound? 

Beautiful young blonde woman running in the field with her greyhound dog.
While greyhounds are family-friendly dogs, they are recommended not to join families with young children under four.

©Jose Luis Carrascosa/Shutterstock.com

Many greyhound adoption centers, such as Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions, will not sell a greyhound to a family with a child under four years old. Greyhounds are bigger dogs and are quite muscular, making them strong. Although they are mostly calm, having a big dog around a small child increases the risk of accidental injury for both the child and the dog.

You also want to ensure that your child is old enough to understand basic rules of respect when interacting with the dog. For example, not tugging on its ears or tail, not sticking their hands in the dog’s food dish, or not waking the dog while it is sleeping. Additionally, greyhounds have skin that tears easily and is sensitive, and rowdy toddlers may be too aggressive towards the dog. For your child's safety and the new furry addition to your home, it is recommended that your child be at least five years old. 

Are Allergies an Issue With Greyhounds? 

Another reason that greyhounds are a great option for families and kids is that they don't shed as much. Although greyhounds are not considered hypoallergenic, their coat is fine, so they shed and spread less dander than dogs with double coats. If someone in your household has a severe allergy, they may still pose a threat to them. However, if someone has a mild allergy and can tolerate being around dog dander, greyhounds may be a better option for your family than a dog with more fur. While this breed does have a reputation of being less of an allergy concern than other dogs, if you are concerned, it is always best to check with your physician. 

General Tips for Owning a Greyhound 


While the greyhound is considered a generally healthy breed, it is prone to bloat. Bloat is a sudden and life-threatening condition usually accompanied by twisting of the dog’s stomach. Additionally, this breed suffers from a condition called Greyhound neuropathy. In addition to regular veterinary care, The American Kennel Club recommends the following tests for your greyhound:

  • Greyhound Polyneuropathy-DNA TestCardiac Exam 
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation 


Their short and fine coat does not require much grooming. Make sure to bathe them and trim their nails regularly; they should be fine. Additionally, check your greyhound's ears weekly for any buildup. 


While your greyhound may be content to lay around on the couch, they are capable of incredible speeds and should have the opportunity for regular exercise. Playing fetch in the yard and frequent walks should be routine parts of their schedule. If you let your greyhound off leash, ensure it is in a safe and fully fenced-in area. The greyhound will not be able to resist pursuing prey or wildlife around. 


Be sure to feed your greyhound a high-quaility dog food diet. They typically require a higher calorie intake than other dog species. If you are ever uncertain about a specific food for your dog, contact your veterinarian. 

Pros and Cons of Owning a Greyhound 

– Low-maintenance dogs
– Quiet and not over-territorial
– Limited shedding
– Not aggressive
– Tolerant and calm dogs
– Must be regularly exercised
– Prone to certain health issues, including sensitive skin
– Difficult to train as puppies

The Verdict 

While there may have been some debate in the past about greyhounds being good family dogs, people’s opinions are changing, and so is the image of the greyhound.  So, to answer the question, are greyhounds good with kids… yes. Greyhounds are a great addition to a family with children; however, they do better in families where the children are older. If you want to add a greyhound to your family, we recommend that your child is at least five years old and understands how to handle the dog respectfully. It is important to prepare your family and your home for the addition of your new furry friend. Once you do so, have fun adopting your greyhound and adding this new kid-friendly dog to your family.

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