Dog Health & More
Greyhounds were originally bred as hunting dogs to chase hare, foxes, and deer. Canines in this dog breed can reach speeds of 40 to 45 miles per hour, making them the Ferraris of the dog world. Not surprisingly, Greyhounds made a name for themselves as racing dogs and are still used in racing today. They also participate in many other dog sports, including lure coursing, conformation, obedience, and agility. Beyond their grace and speed, people love them for their sweet, mild nature.
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Whether or not you've seen one in the flesh, you know what a Greyhound looks like. The iconic hound with the aerodynamic build epitomizes speed with his narrow head, long legs, and muscular rear end. We've all seen images of this sprinter, if only through seeing it plastered on the side of a bus, but many of us don't truly know the breed.
One of the most ancient of breeds, Greyhounds probably originated in Egypt and have been prized throughout history. Historic figures who were captivated by this breed include Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I of England, and General Custer, who raced his dogs the day before he set off on his fateful trip to Little Big Horn. The patronage of the two queens led to Greyhound racing being dubbed the "Sport of Queens."
Aside from its royal fans, there's a lot to love about the breed. The Greyhound combines a stately appearance with a friendly attitude toward people and other dogs. Loyal and affectionate with his family, he's not aggressive toward strangers, although he will let you know — through a bark or a subtle pricking of his small, folded ears — that someone's approaching your home.
Greyhounds have a reputation for high energy levels, but in reality their favorite pastime is sleeping. Designed as sprinters, not distance runners, they'll be satisfied with a daily walk, although active people find they make good jogging or running partners. In fact, Greyhounds do fine in apartments or homes with small yards--although they need a solid fence to keep them from chasing animals they might see as prey, such as squirrels, rabbits, or trespassing cats.
Regardless of their strong prey drive, there's no doubt that this is a wonderful breed that deserves many belly rubs. Whether you bought your Greyhound from a show breeder or adopted him from the racetrack, you'll find yourself regarding this breed with the same respect that others have given it throughout its long and glorious history.