The fastest running dog of all the canine species is the Greyhound. Because of their great speed, many Greyhound owners use these animals as racing dogs. In this case, the lifespan of a Greyhound depends on how long he can maintain his ability win. After too many losses, some owners will opt to euthanize their animals. For those Greyhounds lucky enough to be rescued, they can be rehabilitated for family pets.

If you decide you'd like to give a rehabilitated Greyhound a home, consider speaking with a trained rescuer about the issues these types of dogs may have. When training a Greyhound to race, they are taught to chase a mechanical rabbit. Many times Greyhounds will have difficulty discerning the mechanical rabbit from a small child or other pet, and will erroneously give chase. Rehabilitated Greyhounds make much better pets when they are not given the opportunity to interact with children and other pets. Being full grown at the time of their rehabilitation, unfortunately does not mean they are house broken and will likely need extra time and patience to learn what is expected of a pet.

The American Kennel Club classifies the Greyhounds as a member of the Hound Group, which first made their appearance in ancient Egypt. There they were taught to hunt down game. After making their way to England, they developed into favored animals with British noblemen who, realizing their speed and ability to turn coin, began racing them. This trend continued when Greyhounds crossed the seas to America.

Large, sleek and strong with narrow bodies, Greyhounds are muscular with long lithe tails and dark eyes. Where most dogs of a specific breed are categorized by their unique color, the Greyhound breed can be a variety of different colors.

Though not known for their energy, Greyhounds are popular for their impossible speed. When not racing, these dogs can be found lazing away in the shade, storing what energy they have for their next race. Greyhounds need plenty of room to run, in a well enclosed area. However, animals that live in more confined spaces like apartments will eventually acclimate themselves to walking on a leash.

Typically Greyhounds are amiable, companionable pets that enjoy time spent with their families playing. Greyhounds are affectionate dogs and love to be close to their owners. They love children and delight in playing with them, and are generally gentle and good natured enough to play with other animals as well. Because the Greyhound's instinct is to prey, it's advisable you watch them closely around other pets and children. Though they are loveable dogs, their natural instincts drive their actions.

Greyhounds require good quality food to sustain their bodies and provide energy. They are notorious for their tendency to bloat, so Greyhound owners must carefully monitor their food intake and make certain they are not eating too much. It's recommended, for the overall health of your pet that they be allowed to eat numerous smaller meals instead of a couple larger ones. It's always a good idea to speak with a veterinarian; they will be able to provide the best information about how to care for your Greyhound, along with recommending a vitamin supplement that will keep your pet in good health.

Luckily Greyhounds don't shed much at all. This is because they have a short coat, which makes grooming for these animals relatively simple. Greyhounds shouldn't need to be brushed more than once a week, and a good rule of thumb is to have their nails clipped by a professional when they begin to sound like tap dancers.

Deciding to become the owner of a rehabilitated Greyhound may seem daunting at first, but with patience and devotion, these dogs can make an excellent addition to any family.

About the Author: George Adams is a staff writer at Pet's Digest and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including Recreation Digest.