Famous Greyhound Owners

Throughout history many famous people including royalty have owned greyhounds. In the past they were used for hunting and coursing but it appears that they were also regarded with much affection as pets by their owners.

King Henry VIII (1491-1547)
King Henry VIII adopted the greyhound as his personal standard and it remains the symbol of the House of York today. He owned many greyhounds and was a great lover of hunting and coursing. He was also the first person to wager on the sport.











Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
While horse racing is known as the sport of Kings, greyhound racing is the sport of Queens. Queen Elizabeth I was a great lover of greyhound coursing (the pursuit of game) which is the precursor of today’s racing and owned several greyhounds herself. She was concerned about the unfair advantage the dogs had over the game so in 1561 she ordered “The Laws of the Leash” to be drawn up. They included that the prey was to be given a head start before the dogs were “slipped” or released.


Sir Joesph Banks (1743-1820)
Banks was the English botanist that travelled with Captain Cook on the Endeavour. On this voyage he also took along two of his greyhounds. They reached Botany Bay in April 1770 so his greyhounds were the first to ever set foot in the country. Banks made several references in his journals to his dog chasing kangaroos and other Australian icons.







Prince Albert (1819-1861)
Prince Albert was the husband of Queen Victoria. His favourite dog was a black and white greyhound called Eos who he got as a six week old puppy. Eos can be seen in several paintings commissioned by the Queen as gifts for her consort. The dog is buried under the slopes at Windsor and is the subject of at least two statues.

General George Custer (1839-1876)
It is said that USA army officer General Custer often travelled with at least 14 greyhounds plus a collection of staghounds and foxhounds. The dogs were often referred to affectionately and in great detail in his personal journal and letters to his wife. His favourites were called Byron and Tuck. On the eve of Custer’s disastrous defeat at the battle of Little Big Horn, he held a coursing meet with 40 greyhounds in attendance.








Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson’s greyhound is called Santa’s Little Helper and has appeared frequently on episodes of the animated television series “The Simpsons” since 1989. During the course of the show he has fathered puppies, passed obedience school, had surgery for bloat, become the Duff Beer mascot and trained as a police dog.

 Bo Derek
Actress Bo Derek best known for her movie roles in “10” and “Tarzan” owns several retired greyhounds and is a great supporter of some of the USA adoption programmes. One of her first Playboy pictorials was photographed by her husband on a beach along the Colorado River. The 12-page spread featured photos of her and her pet greyhound jogging, sunbathing and swimming in the river. As they were all nude we are unable to show you those photos here but you can google them if you are curious.








 Cesar Milan
The dog whisperer adopted recently adopted a greyhound called Argos from a man who had rescued him from hunters in Spain. He had a broken leg which is now healing well with daily therapy. Argos has become a valued member of Cesar’s “pack”.

JK Rowling
The author of the Harry Potter books adopted 4 year old Sapphire from a greyhound adoption group in Scotland as a companion for her jack russell. The group received a great surprise when a significant donation was added to the adoption fee cheque.





Dr Harry Cooper
Australia’s favourite vet has been a long time greyhound fan having owned race dogs and operated a veterinary practice specialising in greyhounds and horses. He is a patron of The Greyhound Adoption Programme.

Charlie Watts
The Rolling Stones drummer and his wife own an Arabian horse stud farm in Devon in the UK. They have numerous dogs including several retired greyhounds.



Todd Mckenney
The entertainer and TV personality has adopted two dogs from Greyhounds as Pets; Chrissy and Joe. He is a great supporter of the programme and regularly takes the opportunity to promote the breed in the media.