The Greyhound or English Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, capable of speeds of up to 65 kilometers per hour. This makes it one of the fastest animals in the world, only being outnumbered by very few animals. For this reason, they are the greyhounds of preference for the so controversial greyhound races that are carried out today. This very fast dog is a magnificent example of artificial selection and of the extremes that man can reach in his search for perfection in the animals he breeds.
Among the wide variety of hunting dogs, it is worth highlighting the Greyhound breed. This is an ideal hunter and runner, capable of detecting and catching even a hare at a short distance. Not every dog can do such a task.
In addition to hunting talent, the Greyhound possess the manners of a true aristocrat, fidelity and refinement. Such a pet is able to become a devoted companion and pet.
They are a breed that enjoys family companionship and loves routine. They love to eat at the same time each day, sleep at the same time and walk/exercise at the same time.
In ancient times, the Greyhounds were called “crickhound”, which is translated from Old English as “grasshopper hound.” It is not surprising, because this dog has much in common with all known insects.
Regarding the origin of Greyhound, there are several versions:
- During excavations in ancient Egyptian tombs, archaeologists discovered not only drawings depicting dogs exactly like Greyhound dogs, but also skeletons of these animals. Drawings were drawn in the fourth millennium BC, judging by them it can be assumed that such dogs were used when hunting wild animals. There is evidence that the remains of dogs similar to modern English greyhound were found during excavations of the tombs of Tutankhamun, Amenhotep and other Egyptian pharaohs.
- The Greyhound is the descendants of dogs that were brought to England by the Arabs in 900 AD. The name of the animals is servants. It is believed that it was from these greyhounds that the Greyhound inherited the ability to hunt “in sight”, and not just with the help of a scent.
- The most truthful version, according to dog handlers, is the hereditary relationship of the Greyhound with Celtic dogs. In the second century AD on the British Isles, Celtic hunters, along with their greyhounds, were far from a rarity, but rather a regularity. Their dogs were able to catch a hare lightly in a few minutes. The English greyhound just as easily copes with this task.
In the tenth century, the popularity of the Greyhound dogs and their numbers were at the highest level. It is not surprising, because such dogs were kept in many peasant dwellings, helping commoners to get food in the form of forest game. The greyhound was also valued by the English nobility. Having a pack of purebred greyhounds was considered a sign of wealth.
In 1014, the Forest Law was issued, after which the Greyhound became too expensive for farmers to maintain. After all, the hunting dog no longer returned to the family of the poor. Moreover, these dogs were forbidden to keep the peasants. Therefore, the eleventh century brought the breed some decline in numbers. Gray greyhounds became the privilege of only representatives of high society.
During breeding, the formation of the breed special breeding work was not carried out. But some “injections” into the blood of the English greyhounds were made. For example, in the eighteenth century, a greyhound was crossed with an Old English bulldog. The goal was to improve, strengthen the skeleton.
Physical characteristics of the Greyhound
In 1986, the Greyhound dog breed standard was recognized. Representatives of this type are divided into three classes regarding their use:
When breeding, it is forbidden to cross representatives of different classes.
The physique of the Greyhound is slim, but the musculature is extremely developed in all parts. The weight of adults is 26-40 kg., Height is about 68-76 cm. Males are more powerful than famales.
On a long, muscular neck a head with a flat skull is held long. The ears are small, thin, slightly raised. The eyes are dark, the eyes are smart, inquisitive. The nose is big. Jaws are powerful, fangs are large, scissor bite.
The back is in the shape of a rectangle, it is quite wide. Ribs well defined. The abdomen is taut, like all greyhound dogs. The chest is deep. The tail is very long, low set. The legs are straight, long, flexible, with well-developed muscles, which allows us to judge the qualities of a born runner. Paws are not too big, pads are thick, strong, fingers are arched.
The coat is short. Despite the thin hair, the coat is quite thick, soft to the touch.
The color is very diverse: black, blue, white, mug, red, fawn, brindle, sand, brownish. A combination of white color with marks of any of the mentioned shades is allowed.
Character and temperament of the Greyhound
The main character traits of the English greyhound are poise, high adaptability, contact and, surprisingly, laziness. This conclusion is explained by most owners of the Greyhound.
Representatives of the breed are famous for aristocratic manners, watching them you might think that they are too sluggish. Instead of walking, such a dog prefers to rest, sitting on its rug. Greyhounds that are considered more active, belong to the class of runners.
Homeworkers will never suffer from mood swings. The dog behaves calmly when he remains in the house. Not in his habit of spoiling furniture and other property of the owners. The Greyhound is not worried about a change of scenery, moving, a new place of residence. If only the owner is next to him.
The Greyhound is loyal to the owner, with the right upbringing, he is obedient, unquestioningly carries out all the commands. He is friendly with the rest of the family, shows special tenderness to children. At the same time, males are more restrained, but females are extremely affectionate with children.
Greyhound dogs can be called a sociable and contact dog. He likes to be in the company of people, not showing special aggression to strangers. It barks extremely rarely. It gets along hard with pets, since it’s a dog with a hunting instinct. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep cats, dogs of small breeds or other small representatives of the fauna in the same house as the English greyhound, because the greyhound can take them for prey and arrange a hunt with a sad outcome.
With proper care and care from the owner, the English greyhound can live 12-15 years. Long-lived Greyhounds are those who celebrated their seventeenth birthday. The greyhound is a healthy dog by nature, but, like all other dog breeds, problems arise from time to time. In order to eliminate them in time, the owner of the greyhound should know what diseases the pet is predisposed to:
- Allergy – most often in greyhounds occurs on drugs, these dogs are difficult to tolerate anesthesia.
- Eye diseases – glaucoma, cataract, etc.
- Musculoskeletal system diseases – arthritis, bone oncology, dysplasia, hygroma, osteoarthrosis.
The healthy state of the dog largely depends on timely vaccination, treatment from external and internal parasites. It is also important to bring the pet to the veterinary clinic twice a year for x-ray and testing. A routine check will help you find health problems in time.
Training and education
Disobedience, aggressiveness, stubbornness – this is not about Greyhound. That is why even an inexperienced owner can engage in training such a pet. Due to the high intelligence, the Greyhound is distinguished by his diligence, quickly remembers commands and understands in a word what is required of him.
If you decide to entrust training to a dog handler, be sure to attend and participate in this process. In no case should you lose touch with the dog, it must endlessly trust the owner and obey him. Raising an English greyhound, do not skimp on praise, exclude rudeness, physical punishment.
The course of the training is chosen based on the purpose of the Greyhound. For example, a companion dog or show dog will have to go through a general training course. If the Greyhound hunts for game, the owner should look this training specific course.
Despite the hunter’s instinct and excellent runner data, the greyhound feels comfortable in an apartment or in a private house. Surprisingly, the greyhound is quite difficult to climb, it can be difficult to bring it to the street. This does not mean that he does not need walks and physical activity.
Once a day, an English greyhound should be able to run without a leash in open space. Such a promenade should last about an hour. To do this, the owner will have to find a place away from the tracks, not crowded. If you let go of the greyhound, for example, in a crowded park or near a city street, it may get caught in a car or harm other small animals, taking them for game.
In addition to a long walk, two more short ones (12-20 minutes) will be required. They are needed so that the dog fulfills its natural needs. During short-term walks, the dog can be kept on the leash.
In wet autumn or frosty winter weather, the English greyhound freezes. Walks are shortened at this time. It is also necessary to buy dog clothes. Warm cape, blanket greyhound is necessary when the thermometer shows a temperature below zero.
Caring for an English greyhound is a snap. It should only be noted that the representatives of the breed, due to their aristocratic nature, allow only the owner to take care of them. If another person is involved in such procedures, the greyhound is offended, showing his displeasure with his whole appearance. Therefore, it is recommended that the owner personally carry out the following procedures:
- 2-3 times a week to clean the pet’s coat of dead skin particles and dead hairs. It is impossible to use a furminator during such procedures. In this case, use a special brush or a special rubber glove.
- Bathe 2 times a year or when heavily soiled. Use dog detergents during your scheduled thorough bath; in other cases, special dry shampoo is recommended. After each walk, we wash the paws and inspect them for injuries, damage.
- Brushing your dog’s teeth once a week is a very important point of care, as English greyhound often suffers from tartar, which can cause them to lose their teeth early.
- Cut the claws as they grow back, if you hear a clatter of claws on the floor, then it’s time to take up the clipper.
- We regularly inspect, wipe our dog’s eyes and ears. If you notice excessive accumulation of secretions, consult your veterinarian, as this may be the first symptom of an infection.
The greyhound is very picky about food. He loves milk and soup, prefers canned, dry food. Such a pet eats natural food reluctantly, although the indicated feeding method for greyhound is preferable.
English Greyhound Fun Facts
- In 1994, Australia recorded the highest speed for a greyhound (67.32 km / h), the dog’s name was: Star Title.
- English greyhound dogs are justifiably called the “cheetah of the canine world.”
- In Belarus, a Greyhound saved his master from death. When a bear attacked the man, the dog distracted the predator, but died in an unequal battle. In memory of the faithful greyhound in the city of Nesvizh a monument was erected.
- There is an ancient legend about “Saint Ginfort.” Once upon a time, a greyhound named Greenfort saved the baby’s life, but was killed himself. Seeing that a snake was creeping up to the cradle, the dog knocked over the child to protect him and tore the snake apart. The baby’s father arrived in time and saw the dog’s bloodied mouth and the overturned cradle. In anger, a man killed the dog, only then he saw a torn snake and an unscathed baby. After this event, the Greyhound began to be called the patrons of all children. The very hero of the legend in the people was called “St. Ginfort.”
Pros and cons of the breed
Not everyone can afford to buy a purebred English greyhound. It is not only a high cost, but also a person’s ability to maintain such a pet in appropriate conditions. To finally decide, check out the main pros and cons of the Greyhound breed.
- High intelligence.
- Easy to train.
- Beautiful appearance.
- Good-natured, calm disposition, lack of aggression towards people.
- Tender, caring attitude towards children.
- Rarely barks.
- Good health.
- Requires daily long walks.
- Fastidious to food.
- Does not tolerate cold, in the autumn-winter period the greyhound needs to wear.
- Lack of security and guard qualities.
- The manifestation of the hunting instinct in inappropriate places and situations.
- It does not tolerate anesthesia.