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Greyhound


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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The Greyhound is a member of the oldest family of dogs. Although the exact date of the Greyhound's origin is not known, we do have references to similar breeds from over 5 millennia ago. They are members of the "sighthound" family, the oldest family of dogs.

As pets, Greyhounds are affectionate, non-aggressive, comfort loving, and mild mannered. They also serve well as therapy dogs for nursing homes since they are gentle and just the right height for aged hands.

History
Used for hunting in ancient times, in 11th century England, Greyhounds were exclusively for noblemen. At the time, the punishment for killing a Greyhound was death. They were introduced to America in the late 1700's and in the 19th century, were used here for coursing (chasing/racing), which they still do today. The racing life of a Greyhound is short (around four years), so there is always an abundance that need homes.

Living with your Greyhound
If you're looking for an older dog to adopt, consider a Greyhound. They must have room to run, so a high fenced-in yard is a must. They are unsuited for apartment life, even though they are not active indoors. Make sure you provide plenty of soft, squeaky toys for them, since a regular tennis ball is difficult for them to hold in their narrow jaws. The breed tends to have dental problems, so feed a good quality hard kibble and cleanse teeth regularly.

Adopting a retired racing hound has its own set of challenges. They've often had to grow up fast, so they may not have good socialization skills or may have trouble with normal activities like climbing stairs.

If a Greyhound sounds like he/she may be the dog for you, contact the www.adopt-a-greyhound.org website.

Interesting Breed Facts:
Popularity: 129th in 2008; with 129 registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
First recognized as a breed: First recognized in the Valley of the Nile about 5,000 years ago, by the Kennel Club in England in 1858, and by the AKC in 1885.
AKC Grouping: Hound.
Size: Height for both males and females is approximately 27" to 30".
Weight: males: 65-70 lbs, females: 60-65 lbs.
Appearance: The greyhound has a sweet face. The Greyhound's coat is short, smooth, and firm in texture. He has a long, narrow head with long muzzle, and widely spaced eyes and ears. His body is muscular without being stocky. He has a long, fine tapering tail with slight upward curve.Any coloring/marking is recognized by the AKC.
#1 preventable health problem: Dental problems, which can be nipped in the bud with regular cleansing.
Preferences: Plenty of running space, a warm body to snuggle up to, and a toasty sweater or coat when it's chilly.
Best features: The Greyhound has a mellow personality and a sweet face as well as beauty and joy while running.
Biggest challenge to owners: Being sighthounds, their vision is superb and their reflexes quick. As a result, they are apt to go after small, fast-moving objects.

 

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