1. Home
  2. /

  3. /

    Racing Hounds: Varieties and Their Distinctive Traits
Racing Hounds: Varieties and Their Distinctive Traits

Racing Hounds: Varieties and Their Distinctive Traits

The protagonists of greyhound racing are, unsurprisingly, greyhounds – hunting dogs of a unique breed, characterised by long faces, lean bodies, and slender legs. Running and speed are ingrained in their blood and genes, rendering greyhounds fast, nimble, agile, and cheerful.

Originating in the Arabian Peninsula and later migrating to Mesopotamia and Egypt, greyhounds accompanied crusaders to Europe, catching the eye of the nobility. They swiftly ascended to elite status, finding utility in royal hunting. Over time, unique breeds of greyhounds emerged in various countries, with nine distinct breeds participating in contemporary professional racing.

Greyhound or English Greyhound

An unparalleled runner, the greyhound Star Title set a record speed of 67.32 km/h in 1994. Their usual sprint distance in races is 300-350 m. Often referred to as "fast couch potatoes" in Britain, they enjoy lounging on soft mats outside of competitions.

Afghan Hound

Descended from shepherds and hunters, Afghan hounds display a stubborn disposition and a desire for leadership on the track. On the track, these long-haired beauties reach speeds of up to 40 km/h, delivering spectacular races. In daily life, they are affectionate and playful, displaying adoration for their owners along with a hint of jealousy.

Azawakh or African Hound

A rare breed, more common in Africa, France, and Germany. Attached to one owner, it exhibits a degree of distrust towards strangers. Known for excellent running capabilities, it excels in coursing.

Irish Wolfhound

The largest greyhound, weighing up to 55 kg and reaching a height of 86 cm. A national symbol of Ireland. Accelerating to 45 km/h in races, this breed, originally bred for wolf hunting, combines size with good-natured and intelligent traits, making it easy to train and a loyal friend.


With Greyhound lineage, the Whippet is one of the fastest greyhounds in the weight category up to 15 kg. Named after the English word "whip," it achieves maximum speed in the initial seconds after the start, displaying a passionate and emotional nature that may lead to him getting carried away by the chase and getting lost.

Leverette or Italian Greyhound

The smallest greyhound, up to 5 kg, with amazing power, energy, and speed beneath apparent subtlety. Bouncy and graceful, they love competing and hunting the mechanical hare. A favourite of monarchs and courtiers in Medieval Europe, they enjoy spending time in the owner's arms, communication and hugs. It is an extrovert.

Saluki or Persian Greyhound

Comparable to the Greyhound in speed but excels in endurance. Bred for hunting small game, they love the chase. In the UAE, where they love hunting, the Persian hound takes part in chasing gazelles. Persian greyhounds are afraid of the cold, but do not suffer from heat. It is also a very delicate and silent dog, it remains faithful and devoted to its owner without being overly demanding of attention.

Sloughi or Arabian Greyhound

Often likened to the Arabian horse in the dog world, slugi reaches speeds of up to 50 km/h and displays sudden changes in running direction. Avid hunters, good friends to their owners, and enthusiastic participants in dog racing, they possess a fine mental organization and a gentle disposition, tempered with a bit of self-will. Looks similar to the Azawakh.


Get the latest news to your inbox.

Subscribe to the newsletter

We value your privacy and promise not to distribute your email to third parties.