Greyhound (English greyhound) is an ancient breed of greyhound dogs, originally created for bullying, and then involved in dog races. Due to the growing popularity of the breed, in recent years they are increasingly being kept as pets.
- Despite the fact that many charming greyhound puppies are waiting for you to buy them, no less than the number of adult dogs is available for free. Usually these are retired dogs; in the USA and Europe they are euthanized, sold for experiments and simply thrown away.
- Due to the short coat and small amount of subcutaneous fat, the greyhounds are poorly tolerated by the cold climate and tremble in the rain.
- You can’t walk without a leash if you are unsure of the complete safety of the area. The greyhounds have an extremely strong instinct for persecution and they can chase a cat or a squirrel. Only you saw them.
- If the dog is not socialized, then it can be afraid of strangers, and poorly adapt to change.
- They are friendly to strangers and love the owners.
- It is believed that this is an energetic breed that needs high activity. It's a mistake, because he loves to sleep and get along quite well in a city apartment.
- Short hair without undercoat does not retain odors and moderately sheds, but also poorly protects from bad weather and damage. And their skin is very thin.
The most popular and romantic version of the origin of the breed dates back to the time of Ancient Egypt, frescoes with drawings of dogs similar to greyhounds. These frescoes are at least 4 thousand years old, but there is no scientific confirmation of the version of origin from Egypt. Although the Greyhounds are similar to saluki and sluts, genetic studies have shown that they are more likely to belong to shepherd dogs.
DNA analysis confirms the version of the origin of these dogs from the European breed. Moreover, there is Cynegetica - a poem about the hunt of Grattius Falisk, a poet from the time of Octavian Augustus, in which they describe Celtic dogs called “Vertraha”.
In the hungry times of the Middle Ages, the greyhounds were almost extinct. If it weren’t for the clergy who saved the breed, now we knew about them only from paintings and books. This is partly why the Greyhounds are considered an aristocratic breed.
In the 10th century, King Hivel II Yes (Good) issued a decree according to which killing by a greyhound was punishable by death. In 1014, the Celts and Gauls migrated to England and brought their dogs with them.
In the same year, the Danish king Knud II the Great issued the “Forest Law” prohibiting commoners from hunting in forests. He could only hunt and keep the greyhounds, and the price of a dog was higher than the price of a commoner and for killing her, he paid with his head.
In 1072, William I the Conqueror publishes an even more severe law and declares everything in the forest, from leaf to tree, the property of the king. Any hunting or felling forest is declared a thief, with all the consequences.
Commoners break the law and hunt using greyhounds with inconspicuous colors: gray, black, fawn. Then how to know gravitates toward the greyhounds of noticeable colors: white, spotted, which are more difficult to lose sight of. The English proverb: “You recognize a gentleman by his horse and greyhound,” was born at that time.
In 1500, Queen Elizabeth repealed this law and became one of the main lovers of the English greyhound. She also initiated the creation of the first rules of a new sport - dog racing.
In 1776, greyhounds are used both in hunting and in sports, and this is the first dog in the world to become fashionable. At this time, the first public club for fans of coursing is being created - the Swaffham Coursing Society, all of which existed before that were closed.
Initially, the course was conducted between two greyhounds, in an open field 100 yards long, the dogs were chasing a hare. Moreover, there were two types: larger ones for hunting big game and smaller ones for hunting hares and other small animals.
The greatest popularity came to the breed with the birth of the bourgeoisie, the appearance of the first pedigree books and dog shows.
At that time, hunting was still exquisite entertainment, but it was already available to all segments of the population. In fact, this is one of the oldest breeds of dogs, but at the same time it has changed very little, since they were not crossed with other breeds.
Even the name of the breed speaks of the antiquity of the breed - Greyhound, which in fact cannot be translated literally. It is believed that this means "gray greyhound", but this is not entirely true, there were and there are many colors. Perhaps the name comes from “gazehound” and means a dog hunting using vision. Perhaps from “Graius” or “Grecian,” meaning Greek. Or from the Latin "gracillius" - elegant.
No matter what word the name of the breed comes from. Greyhounds remain an ancient and unique breed of dogs, recognizable by speed, grace, bends of the body.
The Greyhounds were created for fast running, and for centuries, breeding only helped them in developing maximum speed qualities. They have a large heart and the highest percentage of rapidly contracting muscle fibers of all breeds..
The highest speed was recorded on March 5, 1994 in Australia, a greyhound named Star Title reached a speed of 67.32 km / h. There are not many animals capable of gaining the same or greater speed, not to mention dogs.
Dogs at the withers reach 71-76 cm and weigh from 27 to 40 kg, and females 68-71 cm and weigh from 27 to 34 kg. Greyhounds have very short hairs that are easy to care for.
There are about thirty different colors, including black, red, white, blue and sand and other unique combinations. The breed has the so-called dolichokephaly, their skull is elongated and narrow, with a long muzzle.
The appearance of the dog is much different from each other, depending on its purpose. Hunting, running and exhibition greyhounds are significantly different from each other.
Hunters must develop speed, but at the same time maintain endurance and maneuverability, while running greyhounds pursue a mechanical bait on a flat and smooth surface and only speed is important to them. And both types lose exhibition in the exterior, because they are important working qualities.
The first impression of the dog is deceptive and it seems that they are angry as during the races they are muzzled. But this is done for the safety of the dogs themselves, so that they do not pinch each other while running hot. They are soft and not aggressive dogs, but they have a very developed instinct for persecution.
Outside of hunting, they are quiet, calm, attached to the owner, and even couch potatoes. They do not need much space or high activity, especially since they like to sleep and do this for 18 hours a day. Playful, good-natured and calm, more suitable for the role of domestic dogs than most small and active breeds.
Greyhounds love the company of people and other dogs, rarely bark. But here the sight of a screeching cat enthuses them and rips them off. You need to understand that running away from a cat has little chance and only the ability to climb higher will save it. But to animals of equal or large size, they are practically indifferent.
Including other dogs, at least until then, they are not annoyed with problems. Then greyhounds can pinch dogs, as they do on a hunt, if they interfere with them. However, you must protect the greyhound from other dog bites, as they have very thin skin and are prone to serious lacerations.
Where another breed has a bruise or small wound, they will have stitches or numerous staples.
Caution must be observed when walking in the city, where you can meet small decorative dogs. Their hunting instinct is strong and some greyhounds consider any small animal as prey.
However, this largely depends on the character, as some greyhounds chase cats and small dogs, while others ignore them.
Even if your dog behaves peacefully and gently with a cat at home, this does not mean that the same behavior will be on the street. And the owner is responsible for the behavior of his dog, do not lower it from the leash if there are small animals around you.
The Greyhounds love to be in a pack and suffer from loneliness and boredom if they are left alone for a long time. In most cases, having another dog will help them cope with this problem.
However, you need to remember that they have a pack instinct and when living together, they form a hierarchy. When they see a cat, a rabbit, or even a car leaving the window, they can become excited and pass it on to other dogs, which will result in a brew.
In one such case, the hostess constantly kept several oversized Greyhounds. When she decided to walk them and went to the garage for leashes, the dogs became excited.
Already in the garage she heard whining and rushed into the house. She saw four greyhounds attacking the fifth, but she was able to intervene and save her. The dog was significantly affected and required the help of a veterinarian.
Taking care of the greyhounds is quite simple, as they have a thin coat and no undercoat. This relieves them of the dog smell typical of other breeds and significantly reduces the amount of wool on your furniture.
You can wash them only if necessary, once every few months. Since they have little fat, they need to be washed in warm water. Comb once or twice a week with a soft brush or mitt. As already mentioned, they shed little, but regular brushing minimizes the amount of hair.
Healthy breed, without a penchant for genetic diseases. Since their body structure will not allow them to sleep on hard, it is necessary to organize a soft litter, otherwise painful skin lesions may form. The average lifespan of Greyhounds is from 9 to 11 years.
Due to their unique anatomy, greyhounds must be observed by a veterinarian who understands how to treat such a breed. This is especially true for anesthesia, since they do not tolerate drugs on barbiturates. Moreover, the Greyhounds have an unusual blood biochemistry, which can mislead the veterinarian and lead to an incorrect diagnosis.
Greyhounds are very sensitive to insecticides. Many veterinarians do not recommend using flea collars or flea spray on greyhounds if it has pyrethrins.
They also have a high level of red blood cells in the blood, as they supply oxygen to the muscles and a high level will allow the greyhound to absorb more oxygen. On the other hand, they have low platelet counts and veterinarians often use them as donors.
They do not have an undercoat and they cause less allergic reactions in humans, but they cannot be called completely hypoallergenic.
The absence of undercoat, coupled with a low percentage of subcutaneous fat, makes greyhounds extremely sensitive to temperatures, they must be kept in the house.