Greyhounds can be bred for several reasons. They can be great loyal companions. They are also undoubtedly one of the fastest and most agile breeds of canine. This is why they are also bred for greyhound racing and hunting.
The greyhound is a very healthy breed of dog. One health issue this canine breed is at risk for, is cancer. Osteosarcoma is a cancer which has no cure. It is a cancer of the bone. This health risk is also seen in many other large breed dogs. The current treatment is amputation of the affected limb. The greyhound breed is also at risk of neuropathy. This causes a change in the greyhound’s gait. This is an inherited disease for which testing can detect it.
Selecting the right breeding pair is important when deciding what the breeder wants in the next generation. Normally, the sires of the litter are well known, while the dams, not so much.
Greyhounds Estrus Cycle
The greyhound’s estrus cycles differ from other breeds. Their estrus cycle occurs later in life than other dogs. It occurs close to or after the age of 12 months. Their cycle occurs every nine months. Other dog breed cycles normally occur every six months. Litters can range from single pups or up to 12. Normally the average is around eight puppies.
The increasing use of artificial insemination supports diverse breeding with greyhounds. Frozen semen can be shipped worldwide. There are currently three types of artificial insemination methods:
The least invasive method is having the semen placed directly into the female’s uterus.
Greyhound Breeding in the United States
Greyhound racing is a popular sport in the United States. There are always new tracks opening. Breeding numbers have been stable over the previous five years. American greyhound breeders seem to be breeding the correct amount of greyhounds for racing kennels. A well-bred greyhound can reach speeds of up to 40 or 45 miles per hour. Aside from racing, greyhounds are also bred for other dog sports:
- Lure Coursing
Greyhound Racing Retirement
When a greyhound retires after its racing career, they are adopted and re-homed. When breeding greyhounds, the welfare of the dog is paramount. Breeders are very careful with their breeding selections.
Greyhounds as a Companion
Greyhounds make an excellent pet and companion. They are well known for their loyalty and mild, sweet nature.