From 'The Simpsons' to the buses that ply the highways of North America, the distinctive sleek silhouette of the greyhound is easily recognizable. However, most people do not know the fascinating and lengthy history of these dogs. Greyhounds are an ancient breed dating back approximately 5,000 years and are the only dogs named in the Bible (Proverbs 30,v.29-3 1 King James Version). They have changed very little since their beginnings.

Greyhounds evolved in the Middle East, which for the most part has wide, flat terrain. As their quarry was mainly gazelles and antelope, the dogs needed to be able to see them well in advance and then chase them down, speedily. Instead of the keen nose of other breeds of hunting hounds, greyhounds have incredibly keen eyesight, and fall under the category of Sighthound. Greyhounds are also the fastest dogs in the world. They can reach speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour, for distances up to half a mile. This unbeatable combination of keen eyesight and phenomenal speed made them esteemed hunting partners. Throughout their history, greyhounds have been the companions of kings, and the inspiration of artists and writers alike. Their graceful likeness has been immortalized on coats of arms, seals, coins and stamps. In ancient Egypt, the status of the greyhound is noteworthy. These dogs were considered members of the family, and only royalty was allowed to have them. The birth of a greyhound was second only to the birth of a son. Upon the death of a greyhound, it was mourned by its family members and buried in the family tomb. These dogs were held in such high esteem that they were never sold, but would be presented as gifts to honoured foreign guests, and would be transported upon the backs of camels.

Continuing the tradition, today's British royal family has been very involved in the greyhound breed. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, received a gift of two greyhounds (1968 and 1979) whose winnings and stud fees would go directly into his special Charity. The dogs were Camira Flash, winner of the English Derby in 1968,  and Playfield Royal.  The late Princess Margaret had regularly been seen at the White City greyhound charity events and the late Diana, Princess of Wales attended her first charity event at Wembley racetrack in 1988, a race in which a greyhound named Hardy King, owned and bred by HRH the Princess Royal, finished unplaced in an open race. 

The origins of the name "greyhound" has many theories, but remains unclear. For many, the assumption is that refers to the dog's colour. However, there are relatively few greyhounds that are grey. It has also been theorized that it is a derivative of the the following words: Greek Hound; Great Hound; or Gaze Hound. In the end, the actual colour of a greyhound becomes secondary to its gentle grace, and combination of intelligence and sensitivity.