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Greyhound

Greyhound Books

Group: Hound - Breed Standard

Origins

The Greyhound is a breed of dog used for hunting and racing. It is one of the fastest land mammals; its combination of long, powerful legs, deep chests and aerodynamic build allows it to reach speeds of up to 72 km/h (45 mph). Popularly, the breed's origin is believed to be traced to ancient Egypt, where a bas-relief depicting a smooth-coated Saluki (Persian Greyhound) or Sloughi was found in a tomb built in 4000 BC. Analyses of DNA reported in 2004, however, suggest that the greyhound is not closely related to these breeds, but is a close relative to herding dogs. [1] [2]

Historically, these sight hounds were used primarily for hunting in the open where their keen eyesight is valuable. It is believed that they (or at least similarly-named dogs) were introduced to England in the 5th and 6th centuries BC from Celtic mainland Europe.

Description

Ideal height: dogs: 71-76 cms (28-30 ins); bitches: 69-71 cms (27-28 ins).

Very short coat. There are approximately thirty recognized colour forms, of which variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red and blue can appear uniquely or in combination.

Character/Temperament

Greyhounds can make good pets because of their mild and affectionate character. They can get along well with children, dogs and other family pets (though are sometimes not safe with smaller pet animals). Greyhounds are generally loyal, tractable dogs with developed intellects, although their territorial instinct is weak and they make poor guard dogs. Their talents include sighting and coursing. They do not have undercoats and therefore are less likely to trigger people's dog allergies (greyhounds are sometimes incorrectly referred to as "hypoallergenic"). Most greyhounds that live as pets are adopted after they retire from racing.

Breed Health

Greyhounds are typically a healthy and long-lived breed, and hereditary illness is rare. Some Greyhounds have been known to develop esophageal achalasia, Bloat (gastric torsion), and osteosarcoma. Lifespan is typically 10–13 years.

Breed Care

Greyhounds have very short hair, which is easy to maintain. The Greyhound's lean physique makes it ill-suited to sleeping on hard surfaces, and they should be provided with soft bedding; without bedding they are prone to develop painful skin sores.

Exercise

Although greyhounds are extremely fast, they are not high-energy dogs. They are sprinters, and although they love running, they do not require extensive exercise once they leave the track. Most companion greyhounds are kept on a leash because their hunting background has instilled a strong desire to chase things (prey drive). Greyhounds can live in an urban setting but require moderate exercise on a regular basis. They enjoy walking and running outside.An adult greyhound will stay healthy and happy with a daily walk of as little as 20 to 30 minutes.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 12 Mar, 2008