The English Greyhound, or, as we call him, the Greyhound, is a truly legendary breed of dog. They are known all over the world, and even if people do not understand dogs, and do not even know the name of this breed, they have definitely seen these animals in the movies, dog racing, broadcasts, or just on the street.
Initially, these dogs were used for hunting (baiting) without long-range weapons – bows or firearms, for hares, foxes, and deer. Dog racing is also very popular now. Dahl’s dictionary tells us that the word greyhound means – “fast, agile, quick, lively, zealous”. These characteristics very clearly fit the Greyhound breed.
The main advantage of these dogs is the enormous speed that they are able to develop. The speed record, recorded on March 5, 1994, in Australia, belongs to a dog named Star Title, and is, 67.3 km/h for a whole minute. But even the average dog of this breed can reach speeds in the 60 km/h range.
The history of the Greyhound breed also deserves special attention, because this is a very old breed. At one time it was believed that they originated from Africa and Egypt since there are a lot of wall images depicting them. But recent DNA tests refute this claim. Nevertheless, they really lived in Ancient Egypt and were very popular – it is known that Queen Cleopatra had a special disposition towards these dogs.
Another, more realistic version of the origin of this breed is that the ancestors of the Greyhound originated in the Middle East, and subsequently lived on the European continent, from where they came to Egypt. Possibly with the Romans. Nevertheless, these dogs are present in the ancient texts and drawings of many human civilizations.
In medieval Europe, hunting with Greyhounds was extremely popular up until 1014. In 1014, a law was passed, according to which hunting was declared the prerogative of the nobility, and commoners were not allowed to hunt in the forests that belonged to noble people, as well as keep greyhounds.
The Greyhound was one of the first dog breeds to enter dog shows in America and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. And the first cross-country dog race in the United States took place in 1886.
The Greyhound breed is a large breed with a very graceful physique. They have a very aerodynamic shape – a narrow head, small ears that are tightly pressed during a run, and a special fit of the eyes, which gives excellent visibility during a run – an ideal tool for a hunter. The chest is large and deep, the limbs are long, slender, and muscular, and the amount of fat is minimal. Their color can vary.
Greyhounds have a wonderful and gentle character. They are loving friends, and even somewhat similar to cats in their behavior. They are very capable, smart, and easy to train. They perfectly understand a person.
Due to their developed intellect, these dogs have their own opinion and they are very independent. They are also very emotionally sensitive. They perfectly feel the mood of the people around them and can react to that accordingly.
If there is a quarrel in the family – there is no doubt your dog will feel it. If it is brought up normally, it will probably try to defuse the situation through kindness and affection but if her personality has been suppressed, it will most likely go hide.
The Greyhound breed is great with children, has a large amount of energy, and loves walks, games, and the company of people and other dogs. They require early socialization, like most dog breeds. They are also best introduced to cats at an early age.
Despite the fact that they have a huge amount of energy, they love running and hunting but a normal walk several times a day is quite sufficient for the pet to feel good.
They lend themselves perfectly to training, and therefore you have the opportunity to teach them not only basic commands but also more complex ones. Try to do it as softly, kindly, and patiently as possible, as the nature of these dogs does not tolerate rudeness, insults, and beatings.
During walks, you will often have to keep the animal on a leash, as small dogs, or other animals can cause too much interest due to which your greyhound may start chasing even despite your attempts to stop him.
This also means that the Greyhound breed needs behavior modification. Many also recommend using a muzzle but this is not always convenient.
The English Greyhound has a very short coat and requires little to no grooming throughout the year. They rarely need to be brushed – two to three times a month.
Always make sure that the eyes and ears of the animal are clean. Trim its claws in time and bathe the dog at least once a week.
Also keep in mind that their skin, due to their extremely short coat, is very sensitive to damage – scratches, etc.
Like all dogs, the English Greyhound is prone to certain diseases. Namely:
- High sensitivity to anesthesia and other drugs;