|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The Greyhound, a sprinter by excellence, has become a beloved companion dog over the years.
The protagonist breed of this article has ancient origins and may boast about being one of the fastest dogs in the world. We are talking about the Greyhound: a true sprinter. A golden athlete but also a trusted friend.
It belongs to the hound family (all formidable runners), and is also known as short-haired Greyhound. From the hound, obviously, it gets all its main traits: long legs, lively eyes, and a pretty sweet character. Do you want to know how fast the Greyhound can run? Its average speed is 63 km an hour, and it may reach 73 km/h in a straight line. A true flier!
It goes without saying that a breed of these qualities has been widely used through the centuries as a hunting dog. Nowadays, however, the Greyhound does not have to spend lots of time in hunting sessions: it may dedicate itself to a sporting life. It may be used especially in dog tracks or coursing competitions (an activity associated with the Anglosaxon tradition that will be described later).
Let’s take a step back in time and try to get to know the origins of this dog breed a little better. It is not simple, since this dog is apparently quite ancient. In fact, physiological testimonies are usually kind of confusing, sometimes conflicting, but they all agree that its roots have really ancient origins.
Let’s try to “juggle” between different sources. There are those who relate this breed to the Celts. In this case, this breed might have started spreading throughout Europe around 5 centuries BC. But, where did the Celts find them? Apparently, from Africa, more in detail, the Greyhound might derive from a North-African hound , perhaps the Sloughi, and others claim it is the Saluki.
Another version of history, however, would associate this breed to ancient Egypt: in fact, it might be related, or simply an ancestor of the Tesem, a beloved breed by the piramid peoples. It might have been imported to Europe, particularly to England and Greece, thanks to the Fenician maritime markets.
A third version would take us to the end of the 12th and 13th centuries. In this case, it might have been the Crusaders, coming from the East, and they brought Greyhound specimens to Europe, where in general terms experienced a fast and constant rise.
After Different Versions…
The Greyhound actually found a home immediately in high rank European palaces, where it was used for hunting by noblemen. It seems that even Queen Elisabeth I was a huge fan of this dog breed! Always in a nobility environment, this breed has also become famous thanks to its success in sport activities, in this case, coursing races may be mentioned.
Nowadays, it consists in a simulated hunt, where dogs chase in couples a fake prey running on a path of 500 to 1000 meters, and it is carried out in natural lands without any obstacles or dangers for the dogs.
In the 19th century, the prey was not fake. In fact, 2 dogs had to chase a hare that was left free in open terrain. As one can imagine, during this activity bets were extremely common! And everyone would bet on the Greyhound.
We also advise you to look for this attractive and elegant dog in paintings from many ages. Renowned painters have immortalized this great athlete with British roots, for example, Brueghel the Old, Botticelli, and Pisanello.
Greyhound: Physical Characteristics
Let’s look into the structure of this dog, usually admired by painters as an aerodynamic model with great class. This short-haired Greyhound is large, obviously with a toned body.
How much can an athlete like the Greyhound weigh? It tends to not exceed 70 lb (32 kg), and no less than 60 lb (27 kg) in adults. A female Greyhound’s height varies between 27 and 28 inches (68 and 71 cm), while in males it may reach 30 inches (76 cm).
Of course we are talking about a compact and aerodynamic dog, and one that is also muscular and attractive. It is quite proportionate, with an almost perfectly symmetrical and balanced shape: similar to a beautiful motorcycle. Its chest is big and its thorax is deep, but with slightly leaning shoulders so as to be able to plow through the air very fast. It moves like a perfectly greased and elastic mechanism.
It moves fast, in a natural and elegant way. The way it moves is truly impressive. Even its coat, or its bodywork, is “technical”, based on its love for running: short, shiny and frictionless hair.
We can find Greyhounds in the following colors:
- Bluish grey
White markings are allowed and colors may combine. The head is small and long, and it stands tall strongly. Its snout is dark. The eyes are slightly oal and dark, almost always with a cheerful and smart expression. All its craneum is compact, but this does not mean that the jaw is not imposing and fearsome.
The Greyhound is truly an trustworthy friend and a friendly companion dog, as well as an incredible athlete. In fact, it is a calm and sweet breed, which usually becomes really attached to its owner and all its family, even children.
It is balanced, and will never be too intrusive. However, you should know that it loves to live close to its owner, mutually supporting each other, especially if you raise it in that way. So, whatever you do, it will remain and will want to be wherever you are, even the bed.
Nevertheless, we would like to emphasize that it is not an ill-mannered dog, it also knows how to stay in its place and is trained properly. Despite being vigilant and agile, if you leave it alone without any kind of stimulus, it might become lazy (after all, it is used to the nobility´s amenities!).
You should know that due to its size its life expectancy is of around 13 years. This dog tends to be extremely healthy and does not get sick very easily: in short, it is an athlete in every sense.
It should not cause any trouble, not even for common diseases like hip dysplasia. However, one should pay attention to feeding, only if it is not stimulated enough, since it would spend too much time resting. In this case, due to the appearance of its cranium and stomach, pay special attention to the time your dog spends eating: you should be concerned if it eats too fast and make sure it swallows correctly, it might suffer from gastric torsion.
Other than that, you should know that the Greyhound adapts practically to any family and accepts other animals in its home very easily. Besides, especially in the US, this breed is used for pet therapy, precisely due to its characteristic affection and love. This is definitely a runner with a sweet and tender heart.
Greyhound: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
It is not a dog that is hard to find. You should not encounter any trouble to find an Greyhound that is perfect for you. The price of an Greyhound puppy may vary from 900 and 1200 dollars, or 700-1000 English pounds.
Always remember to request all pedigree papers, which is fundamental. It allows you to verify the dog’s breed purity. An animal with pedigree has certain characteristics that belong to its breed and differentiate it from others.
Now that we have cleared all the important aspects, you can go and find your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
In addition to the Greyhound, there are other types of sighthounds recognized:
Long or wavy sighthounds:
- Borzoi (Russian Sighthound)
- Afghan Hound
- Saluki Hound
- Irish wolfhound
- Scottish Greyhound (Deerhound)
- Azawakh (African Greyhound)
- Spanish Greyhound
- Polish Greyhound
- Magyar agár (Hungarian Greyhound)
- Miniature Italian Greyhound
- Sloughi (Arabian Greyhound)