Greyhound Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Greyhounds have long legs, a deep chest and a small head. They are powerful dogs and are infact the second fastest accelerating land mammal. Their sleek yet powerful build allows them to reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Although they are very fast, they are not high energy dogs and after exercise will sleep for long periods...they don't even need that much exercise. The Greyhound has a very short coat that does not require much grooming. The hair of this breed should be glossy, but not silky nor soft. It should be very firm and harsh to the touch, and also coarse. The hair should be close lying and tight. The coat of this breed is somewhat weather resistant so baths should be sparse. The coat of the Greyhound should remain smooth. generously proportioned and upstanding, these dogs are symmetrical and strongly-built. With their long, straight forelegs, they cover the ground in low, free strides at great speed, being propelled by muscular hindlegs which come well under their bodies.
- Other Names:
- Country Of Origin:Egypt
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Hound
- Many different colours including white, brindle, red, black, fawn, blue, brindle and fallow with or without white.
- Gentle and affectionate, greyhounds generally get on with all members of the family although not always with small pets. They can chase small animals when exercising due to their hunting insticts.The Greyhound does extremely well with other dogs, however they get along best with their own kind and do very well with another Greyhound in the home. This breed does get along well with children but because they are so sensitive, this breed would do best in a home with older and more respectable children. Whilst they are gentle by nature, their natural hunting instinct is always present and owners must be willing to take on the necessary responsibilities that go with the breed. Because of their nature as sprinters, Greyhounds have relatively low endurance and should be given the opportunity to sleep should they so desire!
- Long and low reaching allowing the dog to cover ground quickly.
- Care and training:
- The Greyhound's coat is very short and sleek, which doesn't require much grooming. Brushing is minimal, however brushing with a firm bristle brush or a rub down with a rough towel or a rubber glove will remove any dead or loose hair that may be present. This average shedding breed should not be bathed too often, as it will remove the natural oils from the coat and skin, taking away the weather resistancy the coat of this breed retains.
Greyhounds are fairly easy to train and can learn almost all commands. They can, however, choose to totally ignore you if they have their eyes set on a prey! Obedience classes as a puppy are recommended, but not required. This breed should always have a gentle handler, but training should also be consistent if this dog is to excel. The Greyhound should have a variety of training techniques and somewhat of a challenge to keep him fit and happy.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
Whilst Greyhounds can be classified as possibly the most athletic of all domestic dogs they do not necessarily need copious amounts of exercise. Two 20 minute walks a day will usually suffice. A high fenced garden is a necessity as they are great jumpers. They must never be allowed off the lead in public places, unless very well-trained, as it is in their natures to chase anything that moves!
- Feeding Requirements:
- They are relatively small eaters and will therefore not cost a lot to feed. Grooming requirements are negligible but they can be prone to leg injuries which could cause veterinary bills.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:10-15
- Life Expectancy (yrs):11
- Health issues:
- Thin skin which may tear easily, hemophilia, anesthesia sensitivity, eye disease and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Greyhounds can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Racing Greyhounds may suffer from a variety of muscle and limb injuries, although they are among very few breeds not to suffer from hip dysplasia.
- Tracing the Greyhound ancestry back to the ancient Egyptians, the Greyhound was used to hunt large prey such as wolf, deer and wild boar. Pictures depicting Greyhounds can be found on the walls of tombs between 4000 and 3500 B.C. The breed is also mentioned in the book of Solomon of the Holy Bible. Some believe the breed traveled to Afghanistan, then was imported into Britain by the Celts by the 10th century. A popular dog, they were raised and owned by the ruling classes in Britain. There were once laws created to prohibit anyone owning a Greyhound unless they were of a certain high status in the 11th through 14th century. Only 500 years later did Queen Elizabeth I reverse this law and allow commoners to own them. They Greyhound's name has several theories behind it. Some believe it is derived from an old Saxon word, grei, meaning fine or beautiful. Others believe it originated from the Latin word gradus, which means swiftness, and still others say it is from the Old English language with the word grech or greg, meaning dog. A final theory is that it is a corruption of the word "gazehound" or "great hound", since it was so revered for its speed and kept by many a hunter. Greyhounds were used to hunt hare, and were irreplaceable with their speed. One Greyhound was said to have jumped 30 feet to catch his prey! In the 16th century the Greyhound is thought to have come to America by Spanish explorers. Regardless of its travels, the breed thrived with most countries, being the fastest dog in the world, and one of the fastest animals in the world. Clocked at 37 mph, with rumors of some reaching 45 mph, the breed was then used in the 20th century in dog races, and continue to race to this day. Greyhounds were not only known for their speed, but also for their reproductive abilities; one Greyhound named "Low Pressure" is said to have sired 3,014 puppies in his eight-year breeding span! Today Greyhounds are used as a racing dog and are often destroyed after a short, impersonal career.