Do Greyhounds Need a Lot of Exercise?

By Brian Cooper •  Updated: 05/14/22 •  6 min read
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One of the questions I get asked most by my friends is do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise?  I think outside of “is she fast”, that’s the next most asked question. 

The key phrase here is “a lot” and I’ll tell you why that’s the most important thing to remember when it comes to figuring out how much exercise a Greyhound needs daily.

Greyhound Exercise: Quality vs Quantity

I’ve had a few Greyhounds in my time as a Dog Dad and I always worry about getting my dogs too much or too little exercise.

Not every breed is the same when it comes to an exercise routine so there is no one-size-fits-all method.  But in the case of Greyhounds, I think for the most part you should not worry about quantity but rather quality.

We often wrestle with the idea that more is better, but when it comes to exercising your Greyhound I truly believe the type of exercise is more important.

When it comes to dogs, you’re limited when it comes to exercise types since they don’t make doggy treadmills (at least I don’t think they do) and because most don’t have pet work out areas in their homes.

And although putting a weight lifting belt on our Greyhounds and making them pull weighted sleds across the yard is probably doable, I’m doubtful it would work.

That’s why you have to let your Greyhound exercise like a Greyhound and not a Siberian Husky pulling a dog sled in the Iditarod. 

Let Your Greyhound Run!

For those of you who are blessed with a Greyhound in your home you’ll know that they have massive spurts of energy followed by hours upon hours of laziness and sleepy time.

But it’s those spurts of energy you have to take into consideration when you’re questioning the amount of exercise Greyhounds need. 

“Why” you ask?  Did you ever see a Greyhound’s spurt of energy? Did you ever partake in watching Greyhound “zoomies” in the backyard? 

If not, it’s a sight to behold.

I would venture to say my Greyhound ‘Brittany’ expends more energy in 5-minutes outside after dinner than most dogs use up all day. 

I’ve never seen a dog run so fast in such a short period of time and actually get FASTER as she continues zooming. 

An after dinner trip outside to do her duty turns into how fast can I run back and forth across the yard (aka ZOOMIES) without LOSING her dinner.

It’s an amazing site and she absolutely enjoys it so much too!

Greyhound Exercising and Burning Calories

Studies have shown that most dogs will burn about 0.8 calories per pound per mile when they are doing their normal neighborhood walks. 

So an average Greyhound who weighs 65lbs would burn about 50-calories on an average one-mile walk.

I don’t think these calculations are an exact science and that’s why you only see estimations when it comes to determining calories burned. 

But how do you determine how many calories your Greyhound is burning when it comes to 5-minutes of zoomies in the backyard? 

That’s tough to figure out so based on the other calculation I would venture to say it’s probably right around the same since it’s quick bursts of running across short distances. So what does that tell me?

That to me is an indication that my Greyhound is probably getting as much exercise in those few minutes of zoomies as many other dogs are getting on their daily walks with their human friends.

And again, if you’ve ever watched a Greyhound run around the yard (see cool video below), you’ll understand that this is probably way more true than not. 

So now that I’ve explained how a Greyhound zoomie is probably very equivalent to a daily dog walk, now we need to figure out the answer to ‘Do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise.’

And my answer to that is they need exercise, but not a “LOT” of it.  And here’s why…

Walking Your Greyhound vs Greyhound Zoomies

I would venture to say most people agree that walking your dog 1-2 times per day is probably the right amount of exercise to keep them strong and healthy.

But guess what? 

The ideal exercise routine for your Greyhound could be either a 20-30 minute walk around your neighborhood or it could also be a few minutes of crazy zoomies around your backyard every day. 

Now most Greyhounds enjoy a good walk around the neighborhood as they’re nosy social creatures who like to venture around and meet other people and dogs.

But, there’s nothing like 10-15mins of crazy zoomie action on a daily basis to keep them dog-fit and happy.

And we all know Greyhounds were born to run!

My Greyhound Exercise Recommendation

So here’s what I would do. 

Because there is simply NO WAY I’m running around the neighborhood with my Greyhound Brittany (mainly because I can’t run 45mph without having multiple heart attacks), I would try and mix in a few walks with a LOT of zoomies.

Now I can’t make Brittany do a zoomie, but I can tell you with 100% confidence that if I send her into the backyard, she will ABSOLUTELY do zoomies until I ask her to settle down.

My bet is your Greyhound might be the same!

TIP:  Make sure you have a Dog Shammy Drying Towel near the door so when your Greyhound comes inside after doing zoomies, you can wipe their paws off. They tend to dig into the grass and dirt so muddy paws are common after zoomies!

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And her smiling face is always a good indication that she’s doing what she loves so I’m totally cool with her running around like a nut every day. 

Plus, there are just too many days where I would rather not walk around the neighborhood for one reason or another (i.e. weather, nosey neighbors asking questions, cars flying around, etc.)

So my backyard ends up being the Greyhound Treadmill and I love it!


So there you have it. Do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise? 

No, not really.  They just need to run around like they normally do and it’s totally OK if that amounts to only 10-15 minutes a day.

Greyhounds love to run and sleep and are the most chill dogs you’ll ever meet.

That’s their nature……they eat, run like a cheetah for a few minutes a day and then sleep the ENTIRE rest of the day.

It’s who they are… let them get their exercise with  lots of zoomies and the occasional walk.

They’ll love you for it!

Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper is a 'Greyhound Dad' and is the founder of Rescued Greyhounds. His Greys "Gill" and "Brittany" are his inspiration and his mission is to teach about and promote the adoption of Greyhounds. He also has over 40+ years experience with many other breeds including Toy Poodles, Collies and Border Collies.