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Breed Standards : Sighthound & Pariah Group : Greyhound


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Official UKC Breed Standard
Revised May 1, 2008
@Copyright 1930, United Kennel Club, Inc.

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The Greyhound is considered to be the oldest pure breed in existence. Various theories estimate it to be as much as 7,000 years old, but it is generally accepted to be about 4,000 years old. As far back as pre-Christian times, the Greyhound had become a world traveler, having been taken to Europe, including England, throughout Greece and to the Orient.

The breed has been used for coursing since the beginning of recorded history, and has retained its form and ability to the present day.

The Greyhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1914.


The Greyhound is an athlete; powerful, balanced and elegant, with a long head and neck, clean shoulders, deep chest, arched loin and sound legs and feet. The breed possesses remarkable speed, agility and stamina.


Intelligent, affectionate, gentle and even tempered.


The head is long and moderately wide.

SKULL - The skull is flat, and there is a slight stop.

MUZZLE - Long and powerful with well chiseled jaws.

Fault: Coarse muzzle.

TEETH - A full complement of strong, white, teeth meet in an even bite.

EYES - The eyes are oval shaped and dark in color. The expression is bright and intelligent.

EARS - The small, rose-shaped ears are fine in texture. When the dog is at rest they are thrown back and folded. When the dog is excited, they are semi-pricked.


Long, muscular and well arched, blending cleanly into the shoulders.


The shoulder blades are long, wide, well laid back and well separated at the tips. They are muscular without being loaded. Shoulder blade and upper arm are equal in length.

FORELEGS - The forelegs are long and straight. The elbows are free and set well under the shoulders. The pasterns are of moderate length and slightly sloping.


The chest is deep and capacious, providing plenty of heart room. The ribs are deep, moderately well sprung, and carried well back. The back is broad and muscular. The loin is powerful and moderately arched, with good depth of muscle. The flank is well cut up.


The hindquarters are wide, long, muscular and powerful.

HIND LEGS – The upper and lower thighs are wide and muscular. Upper and lower thighs are equal in length, and 20% longer than the shoulder blade. The stifles are well bent and the hocks are well let down and turn neither in nor out.


The feet are of moderate length, with compact, well knuckled toes and strong pads.


Set on rather low, the long tail tapers toward the end and is carried low, with a slight curve.


Fine and close.



Disqualification: Albinism.


Efficient, long reaching and low, with a minimum of wasted motion, and converging towards a single track.


Males 27 to 29”, 65 to 75 pounds

Females 26 to 28”, 60 to 70 pounds


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.