Greyhound Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
A lovely and elegant breed, the Greyhound is completely unexaggerated in any respect. He is another of the sighthounds whose origins probably lie in the Middle East. Engravings of sighthounds have been found on tombs dating back to 4000BC, and their quarry would have been large game – antelope, wolf and bear. They spread across Europe, possibly introduced by Phoenician traders and became the hound of the aristocracy. In 1016 they were mentioned in the Forest Laws made by King Canute, which forbade commoners from keeping Greyhounds. So highly were they esteemed that they became represented in Heraldry, and Henry VIII had a Greyhound in his Coat of Arms.
The Greyhound became used for hare coursing, effective because of their incredible sprinting abilities. They have been recorded reaching speeds of 45mph. The current coursing Greyhound is relatively compact compared to the showdog, and it is also smaller than the racing hound which has less requirement for manoevurability than the coursing hound because of the unvarying path of the electric hare.
The Greyhound has a powerful instinct to kill; this should be remembered when exercising. Most owners of ex-racers keep their hounds muzzled if off the lead in public places; it would probably be unwise to introduce an adult hound into a home with cats or small dogs.
Their approach to humans is quite different; they are affectionate and biddable and will adapt themselves to their owners lifestyles and be very undemanding in most respects. They are quiet, clean and, for their size, moderate eaters. Whilst they enjoy short bursts of exercise they are not hounds which require long walks. They do have very fine coats and need to be kept warm in bad weather and be comfortably bedded to avoid pressure sores on the brisket and elbows. The coat can be kept in good shape by brushing out dead coat and polishing with a chamois leather.
A large but easy breed – apart from their drawbacks as a sighthound – they will settle well into most households and adapt themselves to the family.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Club for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.