Greyhounds


Greyhounds

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Breed notes:

The history of the Greyhound dates to ancient times in the Middle East. Carvings of the breed have been discovered on Egyptian tombs from as early as 2900 B.C. and he was described in the writings of the Roman poet, Ovid, at about 20 B.C. A manuscript from the ninth century A.D. in Britain includes an illustration of the breed . The origin of the name for the breed is in dispute. Theories include that it comes from the Greek word, Graius, from the Latin "gradus" meaning degree because he was the swiftest of dogs, from the old British word "grech" meaning dog, and from the fact that grey was once the prevailing color of the breed. Throughout history, he has been a dog reserved for the aristocracy. He is a natural hunter whose excellent sight and speed enable him to be used to hunt deer, fox, hare and other game. He is the fastest dog on earth and only toped in speed in the animal world by the cheetah. The Greyhound was introduced into the Americas possibly by Spanish explorers in the early 1500s. The Greyhound was shown in the first American Kennel Club show in 1877. The invention of the mechanical lure led to the sport of Greyhound racing in the 1920s.
Although known for his speed, the Greyhound makes for a gentle, well-behaved, graceful pet. He is affectionate with family and aloof with strangers. Willing to be a couch potato, he needs exercise to keep him from becoming lazy and overweight.
The entire body of the Greyhound is built for speed. The head is long and narrow. There is very little drop off (stop) between skull and muzzle. The ears are small and fine, thrown back and folded. The eyes are dark, bright and show intelligence. As a sighthound, his eyesight is excellent. The neck is strong, muscular and well arched. The chest is deep and wide. The back is broad and muscular. The legs are straight and strong. The feet are hare-shaped. The tail is long, fine and tapered. The coat is short, smooth and firm. Any coat color is acceptable. Average weight is between 60 and 70 pounds. Average height is between 27 and 30 inches.


zingg@mc.net of Chicago, IL writes:

The sweetest dog.
We got our Greyhound from a local track after she had retired. Since that time she has become a great member of our family. She is very affectionate. Although she is still young and quite large she is very laid-back. She will come over and lay at your feet so that you will pet her. She is always willing to give you a kiss. She is, though, sensitive to being reprimanded. But saying the word "no" is usually enough. She is always trying to please. She does not bark often but instead will cry when she is wanting something. She is a great dog. When you first bring one home there is a time of getting her acclimated to living with a family instead of at the track. Many things that we take for granted she has never seen and sometimes is apprehensive to go close to. But with time she has worked through these challenges.


skiedancr@aol.com of Arkansas writes on 1/9/01:

A very special breed that will capture your heart.
I've been owned by 3 retired racing Greyhounds for nearly 4 years now. I have 2 grandchildren who grace their presence often and the dogs adore the kids. They share residence with the cat, who is their boss and reminds them often. I know of many greys who cohabitate with small animals and do very well, however, I would not recommend having the small animal outside with the grey as they may become "something fuzzy running around" and not "my cat from the house." A word that is frequently used to describe the Greyhound is "greatful." They have very deep, soulful eyes that have a lot of expression, and they seem to appreciate kindness. They are not "lick in the face" type dogs, love to play with stuffed animals, shed very little, and have impecable manners. Our vet comments frequently how easy they are to care for because they just stand there and let him do what he needs to do. We go to gatherings where there have been as many as 2,000 greyhounds, not one fight, yelp, anything. They are use to being in large groups of people and hounds, so it is old hat to them. One of the things that makes them so much fun to travel with. They will really become a part of your life in a very positive way.


Tigodog@aol.com of Suffolk, England writes on 4/24/00:

Calm, crazy, lazy, energatic enigmas of the canine world.
Greyhounds are the (almost) ideal housepet, with easygoing natures who unlike most large dogs do not require vast amounts of excercise just a fast gallop then a leisurely stroll home, they can be fed extremely cheaply and thrive on a diet of tripe and plain biccies. On the whole they are quiet home loving beasts who rarely bark without good cause who enjoy the company of dogs and humans, although young children are too noisy and boisterous for them to cope with. They may be beaten up by larger (or smaller) dogs, as seem to be lacking an aggression gene. Excellent pets for city or country, very loyal very easy to care for as have short coats very easy to train and keep disciplined. Ex-racers, contrary to popular opinion, can make very good pets as long as you have time to chase after them if they see a rabbit but surprisingly very little effort is needed to train to return. The added bonus is, of course, their oversized, melting chocolate eyes and charming grace. The rewards for rescueing an abused greyhound are infinite. They are extremely loyal home loving beautiful dogs, although you will find they need their routines or can become unhappy and unsettled as most home lovers do.


jnewman1@uscom.com of Philadelphia, PA writes on 10/25/99:

They make the best pets.
Greyhounds (especially retired racers) are the gentlest, peaceful animals. They are courteous, quiet and respectful of others and their properties. I haven't met anyone yet who hasn't fallen in love with my Greyhound Izzy. He is a retired racer and I'm sure that he knows the meaning of retired. He's a total couch potato and loves long, leisurely strolls without the need to run. If you are deciding on a pet, make yourself happy with a Greyhound and give the gift of life to a truly wonderful animal.


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