What Makes The Greyhound So Quick?

The Greyhound is the second fastest mammal in the animal kingdom behind the cheetah, which is why it became the perfect choice when animal racing picked up popularity some 200 years ago.

The Greyhound is designed to be as fast as possible, and there are a number of adaptions that have given it its speed.

Lean Build

Any creature in the animal kingdom that exhibits extreme speed will almost always have a long and lean body, and this is the same with greyhounds. They’re packed with plenty of muscles that give power to their gaits, and they’re one of the leanest breeds in the world. Greyhounds also tend to have less body fat than many other breeds, which keeps their weight down and allows them to attain their breathtaking speeds, on top of their smaller size and low wind resistance.

Longer Legs

While even very tiny dogs are often very fast and nippy enough to make sharp, abrupt turns to reach their top speed, maintaining that speed requires long legs, which the Greyhound has. These lengthy, slim legs enable the greyhound to cover ground at extreme velocity, and their elevated stomachs and tight shoulders enable them to hit their top speed without causing any damage.

Their Lungs and Hearts

Greyhounds are tall and very slender, with tight bodies–but their chest space is relatively big when considering the general size and the dog’s build.  A big lung capability means it has big lungs, which naturally enables the Greyhound to efficiently oxygenate their blood and sustain elevated running rates as well as maintain speed for longer. However, the top velocity of the Greyhound can only be kept in brief spurts as they are built for short bursts speed rather than endurance running.

Their Heads

The greyhound’s lengthy, straight nose and big ears further allow the greyhound to inhale and process a larger quantity of air for each breath of air, giving their muscles more oxygen to work with. The long neck of the breed enables them to lower their heads when running, keeping their wind resistance to a minimum and allowing them to accelerate to higher speeds.

Spine and Hindquarters

The Greyhound’s hindquarters muscles are lean and long, giving the dog plenty of energy to propel itself forward at a run and very rapidly cover large spaces in relatively little time. The superior oxygenation facilitated by the body’s muzzle and lungs helps power these muscles and prevent the burning pain that accompanies energetic muscle exercise that’s often associated with high speed. Despite this, the animals are known for developing spinal and hip problems as they get older, which is one of the reasons the sport is being banned in many countries, making many people turn to other forms of betting, such as online baccarat in Canada.

The Double Gallop

All these features combined provide the Greyhound with the perfect anatomy and build to be a canine record breaker–but their unique running gait itself, which most other dogs don’t display, enables the Greyhound to incorporate all these variables into an effective, high-speed gait that’s known as a double suspension rotary gallop.