Greyhound Race


Since ancient times, competitiveness and gambling sports have existed in the customs of humans. The greyhound race is a competition where a series of canines of the greyhound race run through a track following an artificial hare. Although the practice has been around for a long time, it has been banned in several countries.


What is a greyhound race?

A greyhound race is a competition between greyhounds . The dogs race to the finish line while chasing an artificial hare and sometimes a real hare . For a greyhound to win it must first reach the finish line.


What is the greyhound race?

In greyhound racing, dogs travel an oval circuit at high speed while chasing a free one, which in many cases is artificial and in this way the animals can never catch it.


These races are very popular in many countries of the world. In Spain and Argentina they have a wide fan base despite the fact that in some parts of the world the practice is not well regarded.

Greyhound racing characteristics

The main characteristics of a greyhound race are:

  • The greyhound breed of dogs is disregarded for being very athletic and fast.
  • Males generally weigh between 27 and 40 kg and are 71 to 76 cm tall. For their part, females tend to be smaller, weighing between 27 and 34 kg and measuring between 68 and 71 cm.
  • The greyhounds have a very short and easy to maintain fur. They have a very active and intense hunting instinct , always alert to any action to act as a predator.
  • Since their creation the tracks or dog tracks have been oval.
  • The hare is usually mechanical on an electrified rail although royal hares are sometimes used.
  • Most of these race animals are bred to be champions and to produce income through gambling, when the canines have no potential to compete they are abandoned.
  • Greyhounds are trained to chase the mechanical hare. It runs along the inner edge of the track.
  • Greyhounds reach high speeds when running, can be severely injured in falls, and even die.


There are records of greyhound racing in Egyptian documents, dating from 5000 BC. Later this activity was welcomed by Islamic and European countries.

In Great Britain greyhounds were used to hunt hares and for public entertainment. At first the greyhounds were ridden by monkeys for racing .

The first greyhound racing was in London in the year 1876 , the boom declined rapidly and it was not until 1920 that the sport emerged in a modern way with race tracks and betting.

In 1926 , the Greyhound Racing Association was founded in Manchester by Charles Munn, Lyne Dixon and Chitchley. By the end of 1927 there were already 40 tracks in Great Britain.

In 1939 the Spanish Greyhound Federation was founded , which organizes sport in 3 modalities: open field, track and mechanical hare. Currently the dog track does not exist.

In 1986 the mechanical hare modality began to be used in Spain.

Types of greyhound racing

  • In the field with mechanical hare: the dogs wear a number and their muzzles and run after a hare.
  • In the open field: 2 dogs compete hunting a hare and 5 judges on horseback follow the race to qualify it.
  • On the obstacle course: the dogs must jump the obstacles and travel the tracks from 210 to 1100 meters, up to 8 dogs participate, each one with a number and with a light muzzle.
  • On the track: they are straight tracks of 500 or 800 meters, in these races English breed dogs participate.


The sports related animals have always generated controversy since there are many cases of animal abuse. In the case of the greyhound race, the main controversies are due to the fact that when they end their useful life, they only live approximately two more years of life. By retiring and not producing any type of income, they become burdens on their owners, who are often killed, many are abandoned and some are sold for experiments. At best, the owners keep them on their farms to serve as studs or give them up for adoption.

However, in view of the cruelty experienced by many greyhounds destined for racing , this practice has been prohibited in some countries such as Argentina in 2016, through a congressional vote. Additionally, many humane societies have dedicated themselves to the task of rescuing, adopting, or securing a home for greyhounds.

Greyhound racing curiosities

  • The keep-him type collars were created, of the semi-choke type , because the head of the greyhound is very thin .
  • It is one of the fastest dogs that exists.
  • In English the breed is called Greyhound .
  • The Whippet breed is a smaller version of the greyhound, although the relationship between the two breeds is not yet known.

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