- Breed name: Greyhound
- Country of origin: UK
- Weight: males 29-32 kg, females 27-29 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 71-77 cm, females 68-71 cm
- Life Expectancy: 9 – 11 years
- In England, Greyhounds are called “fast lazybones” because of their calm temperament and fanatical love of relaxation on soft and not very mattresses.
- The literal translation of the breed’s name is “gray greyhound”, although modern linguists believe that “greyhound” is a distorted form of the Old English “greyhound” – cricket greyhound. The latter version is supported by the fact that animals have the same springy and long jump as crickets.
- Greyhounds hunt relying primarily on sight, as their sense of smell is less acute.
- English greyhounds are sensitive to cold and damp conditions. Thin wool, not reinforced by the undercoat, does not warm them in cold weather, and also poorly protects the skin from injury.
- These natives of Foggy Albion have an original hunting “handwriting”: they run up at lightning speed to the animal that has discovered themselves, sharply attacking the prey, but they are not capable of long, exhausting chases.
- In terms of intelligence, Greyhounds are ranked 46th in Stanley Koren’s list of the smartest breeds.
- Greyhound males mature more slowly than bitches, both physically and psychologically.
In 1994, the Greyhound Star Title entered the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest dog in the world. His top speed on the race was 67.32 km / h.
Characteristics of the Breed
Greyhound is a star of circular tracks, a gambling hunter, and a good-natured sleepyhead, maddeningly in love with his own owner. Maybe he is not the best campaigner, who understands any requirements from a half-word, but he is a wonderful friend and companion who knows how to show delicacy and patience where circumstances require it. True, Greyhounds settle down only to a conscious age, quite rightly believing that childhood is the best time to test the peace and patience of others.
History of the Breed
The past of Greyhounds is full of white spots and historical inaccuracies. For example, until the beginning of the 21st century, Ancient Egypt was considered their homeland. It was there that the first images of dogs similar to Saluki were found, who arrived in the Nile Valley with the Bedouin tribes (according to another version, with the caravans of Alexander the Great). However, after a genetic analysis carried out in 2004, it turned out that Greyhounds are not in any way related to Egyptian dogs, but they have much in common with shepherds. This forced scientists to put forward a new hypothesis about the origin of the breed, according to which the ancestors of the greyhounds were brought with them by the ancient Celts.
By the 10th century AD, the failed relatives of the Saluki gained fame in Europe, and especially in Great Britain, where they were bred for unarmed hunting. Swift and grasping, Greyhounds have established themselves as unsurpassed short-distance runners, capable of catching a hare or roe deer in minutes. At the beginning of the 11th century, after the publication of the Law on Forests, hunting for the lower classes, as well as keeping hunting dogs, was closed. This helped the breed to step up a step in terms of status, since now exclusively European nobility was in charge of breeding it.
By the 18th century, the Greyhounds were in decline and, if it were not for the efforts of the British breeder Lord Alford, the animals could completely disappear. It was through the patronage of an aristocrat in 1776 that a hunting club was registered, in which the first field trials of greyhounds, including Greyhounds, were conducted. In addition, Olford managed to make his own hand in the renewal of the breed, mixing a bit of English Bulldog blood into its genotype.
Greyhounds made their debut at exhibitions only in the second half of the 19th century, with the growing popularity of such an event as dog racing. In the same period, the clan of English greyhounds split into three independent branches: exhibition, racing, and hunting. At the same time, the official recognition of the breed dragged on until 1946, that is, until, at the initiative of the AKC, the first British Greyhound club was opened.
This sporting “Englishman” has very few specific breed features, so in the ring, he is judged by the general impression he made, without going deep into the details of the exterior. If we turn to the standard, then the correct Greyhound should be distinguished by its stateliness, combined with the elegance of the silhouette and the indispensable long legs. That is, on the one hand, it is a graceful, slender creature with a noble bearing, and on the other hand, a serious working dog with developed muscles. The balance of the figure is a no less important criterion for selection, therefore, breeding specialists reject both overly tall individuals and short-legged “pitching” that have increased excess muscle mass. By the way, about the muscles: they are not bulky in the Greyhound but stretched in length, which makes his figure refined.
The growth of males should be in the range of 71-77 cm, bitches slightly lower – 68-71 cm. The weight of adults is 29-32 kg and 27-29 kg, respectively.
As in the 19th century, Greyhound breeding today is conducted along three main lines.
- Show class – decorative handsome men with a glossy appearance, future stars of the ring, as well as potential “collectors” of diplomas and medals. Mandatory characteristics are high growth (in males – 76-77 cm), a beautiful curve of the neck, light, relaxed movements.
- The running branch is a natural-born athlete, dedicated coursing fans. Outwardly, dogs give the impression of lean and light creatures.
- The hunting type is an amateur variety. For such “boys” and “girls” performance characteristics prevail over external merits. These are short owners of wide backs and convex loins.
Representatives of different breed “qualifications” should not interbreed with each other.
In the body of a Greyhound, two “personalities” coexist at once, one of which is a merciless hunter and an athlete, and the second is an imposing indoor darling, occupying a stove bench for days. For example, if an interesting job is not looming on the horizon, the dog can get high on the rug for hours, then plunging into the world of sweet dreams, then leaving it. As befits greyhounds, Greyhounds are very dependent on the collective, and the dog considers its own “pack” both the family in which it lives and other greyhounds living in the house. In the second case, there will be a rigid hierarchy of the type: the leader is one, the rest are on the backing.
Greyhounds are not annoyed by children, but judging dogs as great nannies is still too much. Greyhounds were never bred to “graze” babies, however, and they were not taught to hunt presumptuous undergrowths either. In general, animals are patient with childish leprosy, but in sensitive situations, they often prefer to retire than to fight back. But Greyhounds adore their owners to the point of unconsciousness. Attachment in puppies is especially pronounced: branded jumping and attempts to lick the “leader” face are a must in the relationship between a young gray and a man.
Greyhounds coexist peacefully with other pets but do not like generalizations. So, for example, a dog may seem completely indifferent to a cat living in your apartment, but he will deal with a stray purr in no time. The same fate will befall decorative pussies like lapdogs and toy terriers, which the English greyhounds identify with small game, so you need an eye and an eye to follow your pet. Small in-house showdowns are common for Greyhounds. Light biting of congeners on the sides often takes place during hunting or dog races, therefore, in the latter case, the participants in the competition perform in muzzles.
Greyhounds are not listed as watchmen. Nevertheless, to put the insolent stranger in his place, having barked at him well, the dog is able to. At the same time, English greyhounds will not be against your guests. More precisely, the dogs are not particularly happy with them, but for the pleasure of the owner, they are ready to endure and even build a feigned indifferent face at the sight of the company that has drawn on the doorstep.
Education and Training
Greyhounds are not often found on training grounds, and therefore have a reputation for being difficult to educate lazily. However, in reality, everything is not so simple. Like any dogs, initially “sharpened” for hunting, English greyhounds cannot perform commands with the same automatism with which service breeds do. But the “English” love to be creative and very artistic, which gives them an advantage when performing in the ring.
Unlike the aforementioned service breeds, it is better not to rush to train English greyhounds. Have patience and endurance, let the puppy grow up. At a young age, Greyhounds are fantastically uncontrollable, so trying to harness the irrepressible energy of a three-month-old baby is to spoil the mood for yourself and your pet. Better practice in the ability to calmly treat dog pranks, which the puppy will generate by a pack per hour.
Usually, dog handlers recommend working with the dog no earlier than the first year but do not take such advice literally. Gray is obliged to do something by this age. In particular, the greyhound must respond to the nickname, understand the prohibitions, and also be socialized.
English greyhounds are not those dogs that are eager to work for food: the offered treat will be swallowed and made “adios” with a paw. So the main incentive to study is the innate passion of the breed. Try to “grab” the pet’s attention in the first lesson and not let go in the next. Remember, as soon as a Greyhound gets bored, he will drop out. It is better to choose a moderately patronizing style of communication during training: Greyhounds are not dominant, and it is pointless to “press” them. Better show your pet how happy you are to work together – the dog will appreciate it.
There are some difficulties in mastering the basic set of commands. For example, Greyhounds find it difficult to meet any requirements associated with waiting, since, due to the peculiarities of the anatomy, it is unpleasant for them to sit for a long time, leaning on their hind legs. However, no matter how sorry the pet is, you will have to start training with the commands “Wait!” and “Sit!” The only thing is to be a little condescending to the physical capabilities of the dog. Greyhound didn’t take the expected wait position, but just sat down? Already good. Compliment the workaholic – he deserves it.
Maintenance and Care
Greyhound is a breed that prefers shade in summer and warmth in winter. Ideally, it is best kept in heated rooms. Inveterate greyhounds with packs of dogs will have to attend to the construction of insulated booths, as well as heated and high-floor enclosures since it is unrealistic to place several pets in one house. By the way, the content of greyhounds in city apartments also takes place, since they are not demanding on space and will not get confused underfoot.
Caring for a Greyhound’s coat is limited to buying a rubber mitten and combing out dead hairs from the dog’s body. Arrange “bath days” only if the pet is really dirty. But since English greyhounds are innate neat, you will rarely have to drag them to the bathroom. But the claws must be monitored carefully. Firstly, because the overgrown plate prevents Greyhounds from running, which is fraught with injuries. And secondly, in puppies whose owners neglect the “pedicure” procedure, their paws are deformed, becoming more flattened and loose, so the best option is to cut the nails twice a week, grinding the cut with a nail file.
Systematic cleaning of teeth and ears is mandatory for Greyhounds. In the first case, it is better to arm yourself with a dog toothbrush and veterinary paste (a cheaper alternative is baking soda). Secondly, with veterinary lotion and cotton pads. Greyhound eye care is to prevent souring, for which chamomile infusion and soft, lint-free cloth are useful. The paws of apartment greyhounds should be carefully examined and washed after each walk, and cracks and wounds on them should be wiped with an antiseptic. Do not forget about the treatment against ectoparasites, which is especially important for hunting lines: chasing hares through autumn and spring meadows, picking up a tick for a greyhound is a matter of minutes.
Greyhounds have no problems with appetite, they do not dig in a bowl, fishing for a tasty piece, so the standard “dog menu” for the breed will be very useful. The stake is made on lean meat. Two additional, albeit less nutritious, alternatives to meat are boneless sea fish and offal. As for the game caught by the Greyhound, it is better not to give it to the pet without veterinary control. The same roe deer can be a carrier of various pathogens and parasites, and eating its meat will make the Greyhound a patient of the veterinary clinic.
An indispensable product in the diet of a tiny Greyhound is calcined cottage cheese, which, as the puppy grows up, is replaced by fat-free fermented baked milk and kefir. Greyhound eggs are best served without protein, which is not digestible, and mixed with any dairy products. Buy beef bones from time to time to strengthen teeth.
Any fruits and vegetables of the middle strip are a source of vitamins and minerals, but it is better to give them raw, grated, and seasoned with vegetable oil or sour cream to enhance the taste.
Health and Disease
Typical ailments of Greyhounds are age-related arthritis, deafness (overwhelmingly in white individuals), hypothyroidism, eye diseases, and allergies. Puppies aged 3 months and older are sometimes diagnosed with neuropathy: the first symptom is a wobbly gait. The disease cannot be treated, so its logical conclusion for the pet will be death.
How to Choose a Puppy
The principles for choosing a Greyhound puppy are the same as for buying any greyhound. Start by looking for a proven cattery that has built a client base. If this is the first acquaintance with the breed, invite a dog handler to examine the litter, who will help you choose the most successful puppy. And of course, always be interested in the sporting and hunting achievements of the breeders – the genetic inheritance of parental talents occurs in most young Greyhounds.
- Decide what type of English greyhound you are looking for. For example, it is better to watch show producers at exhibitions, for running Greyhounds at movie theaters, and for representatives of the working (hunting) line – in the field.
- Greyhound lines also differ in size. The largest dogs are show class, the smallest are hunting dogs.
- If you have already chosen your favorite at a show or race and are ready to take a puppy from him, do not be lazy to communicate with the breeder and his ward in an informal setting. It is possible that the behavior of the animal at home will be completely different.