Greyhound general features, temperament, health

Greyhound dog breed face

FCI # 158, Origin: Great Britain, Group 10.3 Sighthounds. Short-haired Sight hounds.

Height: 27-30 in, Weight: 60-70 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Short and fine.

Color: Any color is allowed.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 10-13 years.

Breed: Nowadays the Greyhound is the most popular breed in the world of sight hounds. This dog was bred in the British Isles, but about it's origins there are many quite contradictory versions expressed.

For example, a lot of breed fanciers directly argue that Greyhound has appeared already in ancient Egypt, and refer for a confirmation to the images of dogs in the tombs. And even state that the breed almost did not change since that time. Although the critical examination of the sight hound-looking dogs on the Egyptian drawings shows that this dogs do not have much similarities with the Greyhound. However, in the comments to the British standard the possible origins of Greyhound are described even more uncertain.

Some researchers believe that the Greyhounds are descended from Arabian Slugi, which were brought to England by merchants in about 900's of our era. But most of the Greyhound fanciers consider that these English hounds are descended from the Celtic dogs.

As we know, the Celts, coming somewhere in the second or at the turn of the first millennium BC from Asia and then extensively settled by the second half of the first millennium BC in the south and west Europe and the British Isles, were hunting with the sight hounds. Their excellent dogs are mentioned in the ancient sources.

More recent information about British sight hounds belongs to the middle ages. Many times in various contemporary sources is mentioned the picture from the manuscript of the X century, depicting Elvrik the Duke of Saxony, his servant and a pack of sight hounds. Also the following document is very interesting.

Article 31 written in 1016 in the Laws of England says that the common people are prohibited to keep the sight hounds, and the free citizens can own them, but they are not allowed to come closer than ten miles to the woods. The violation of this law was punishable by the heavy fines.

Until now the researchers of sight hounds did not come to a consensus about the origin of the name of this British breed. The suggestions are different.

Some believe that it comes from the Greek word "graitus", by one version these dogs were very much valued by the ancient Greeks, and by the other - they were imported from Greece. By the other assumptions, the name of the breed was determined by the old British word "green", or "greg", which means "dog". Some also believe that the breed got it's name from the - once prevalent in this dogs - sable color. But maybe this name - Greyhound - appeared due to the peculiarities of the exterior and the speed of this dogs, due to which the Greyhound resembled a grasshopper or a crickit.

Greyhound dog breeds

A derivative crick hound (dog-cricket, grasshopper-dog) have changed over time in spelling and pronunciation and was transformed into "Greyhound". It is known that for a long time and for centuries the sight hounds in England were used to hunt deers, foxes, and possibly a wild boar. And the main object of hunting with this dogs was a hare. But gradually the game in the British Isles became smaller.

And because of various obstacles placed by landowners, hunting with the sight hounds became more and more difficult. Over the time the sport direction of Greyhounds usage start to develop. More and more often the Greyhound racings were taking place and, of course, at the same time betting became also very popular.

For example, there is an evidence that the ruler of the beginning of the XVI century - English king Henry VIII - once lost some amount of money in the Greyhound competitions.

In the XVI century in England thanks to the efforts of the Duke of Norfolk (it is also said to be on a behalf of Queen Elizabeth Tudor) were developed special rules for the Greyhounds races. According to those rules, when determining the winner in the Greyhounds racing into the account were taken speed and agility of the dog, but the capture of the hare was optional. Since then, the rules of competition in casing a hare, the so-called Coursing, remain almost unchanged.

From approximately the same time the coursing competitions were held regularly. It is considered that by the XVIII century English sight hounds begun to degenerate: they became smaller and lighter.

And here to refresh the blood, to give a vitality and strengthen the bones in the English Greyhounds in the second half of XVIII century, a major breeder of Greyhounds - Lord Oxford - mated a Bulldog with the female Greyhound.

As a result of this interbreeding was obtained a male, named Half-and-Half. With the descendants of this exactly male Lord Oxford was building in the future all his breeding work. As a final result was born the ancestor of all modern Greyhounds - the famous King Cob. Gradually, the growing popularity of the coursing competitions became more and more important for the development of the breed.

And finally, in 1776 in Swaffham Lord Oxford had founded the first club uniting together the lovers of coursing. Next were organized Ashdown Park Club, Malton Club and others. And in 1825 in Liverpool began to operate Club Altcar. This club - just like the Swaffham club ??? still exists, and since then the club coursing competitions are held annually for the world-famous Waterloo Cup.

In the XIX century, hunting with hounds in England was already banned, and this contributed to further development of the racing Greyhounds. Number of fan clubs coursing multiplied, and in 1858, many of them were united by the National Coursing Club.

This club was the beginning of recording of thoroughbred Greyhounds in the herd books. And, for example, in one of the clubs in England the studbook of the breed is being written continuously since 1882.

The active show work with the dogs began in England since the second half of the XIX century. And, of course, the Greyhounds were indispensable participants of the exhibitions.

As a result, just like in the other British hunting dogs, there was developed a separated exhibition type.

General Features: The Greyhound is strongly built, elegant dog with the excellent proportions. His muscles are very well developed, symmetrical, but do not contradict to his general image of a light elegant dog. The Greyhound has a long head and a long neck. His coat is short. All colors are allowed.

Greyhound dog breeds photo

Temperament: Greyhounds normally are getting along well with the other dogs and children. And, of course, like the majority of the sight hounds, they are absolutely useless as a guards and defenders.

The Greyhound usually lives in the house only as a pet and spoiled child. The adult dog is behaving in the apartment in the most exemplary manner.

Usually the Greyhound is calm, likes to lie quietly, behaves indifferently, giving the impression that he is lazy. The truth is, that this is an inherent feature of these sprinters - they explode only when it's necessary. But a 3-mont h-old puppies are one of the most restless creatures of the dog tribe.

Adult Greyhound, who is getting enough exercises, typically do not have a bad habit to break and spoil the household goods and clothing, from which suffer the owners of many other dogs. This dog quietly endures loneliness and being in a confined space.

But it should be borne in mind that Greyhounds can be prone to overweight, especially if you do not provide for them enough exercises. And, like other smooth haired dogs, they do not tolerate cold.

However, in the winter hunt, while on the move, the Greyhound can withstand a considerable frost. Anyway, in the cold season at the exit to the street the Greyhound should better be covered with the special clothes. Once again it is good to notice, that this dog definitely needs a regular exercising. Even the show Greyhounds should have enough chances to run free from time to time. For the racing and hunting Greyhounds the proper workouts are essential. In this case they will stay in a good health living up to 12 years or even more. The huge advantage of a Greyhound is that he does not require any special care for his coat.

In addition, he is very accommodating and communicative. The Greyhoung quickly reacts to the slightest change of his owner's voice, and it helps a lot to train this dog.

Not without a reason the Greyhound's fanciers are often involved with these dogs in a variety of "non-core" events: agility, obedience competitions and ground handling. That's what he is - a Greyhound!

Health problems: Generally, when raised up properly, the Greyhound is a very healthy breed. The owner should keep in mind, that the Greyhounds are often prone to a bloat, so it is good to feed them more than once a day (2-3 times), but with the smaller portions of food. Some Greyhounds are sensitive to chemicals (particularly??insecticides).

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