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Greyhound

Life span: 10-12 Years

Height: 28 – 30 inches (male), 26 – 28 inches (female)

Weight: 60 – 90 lbs. (male), 60 – 75 lbs. (female)

The Greyhound is a sighthound breed that is renowned for its incredible speed, making it well-suited for dog racing and hunting game. The greyhound has an aerodynamic build; a narrow head, slim build, and padded paws. Its distinctive look has made it one of the most recognizable dog breeds in history and it remains popular to this day. Despite its name, the smooth coat of the Greyhound comes in an array of colors, ranging from grey to brown.

This gentle breed is sensitive and calm with children. They tolerate younger children and would never harm any of them. However, they might get annoyed with them, in which case they will simply walk away. This is a breed that needs to have a job to do in order to prevent it from getting bored, otherwise they might resort to destructive behavior.

Physical Characteristics

This breed has a long tail with a slight curve at the end, and medium sized ears that bend downwards. Their eyes are brown with a black nose. Their short coats are straight, relatively dense, and smooth to the tough. Coat colors include black, grey, light grey, white, cream colored, blue, red, brown and light brown. At times, their coats can be parti colored, meaning white with one or more other colors.  

History

This ancient breed has appeared not only in Roman and Greek poetry, but also in Egyptian art, and mentions even in the bible.They appeared in Europe during the Dark Ages and no one within 10 miles of the king’s forest could own one, to protect the king’s game. Their popularity grew in England thanks to racing and coursing. British colonists and Spanish explorers brought them to America, where they were used to hunt various preys such as foxes, wild boars, hares, coyotes, etc., due to their ability to chase them without getting tired. In 1885 they were accepted into the American Kennel Club, and became one of the first breeds to appear in the American dog shows. In 1886 the first official coursing race was done and in 1906 the United State’s National Coursing Association was created. The coursing sport, however, is cruel to its animals, often leading to euthanize the ones who don’t perform accordingly.

Personality

This friendly and smart breed has an independent nature, which often leads to them being described as “cat-like”. They get along well with children, especially if older, and will simply ignore and walk away from young ones if they are annoyed by them, and will otherwise be calm and tolerant of them. They can get along well with other household pets, but might chase small animals such as cats or bunnies, fully hunting them if they attempt to escape. Greyhounds are stubborn, and so they need an owner that gives confident commands and doesn’t give up easily. If bored, it can result in destructive behavior. Even so, they tend to have sensitive feelings and will often act extremely shy if they feel there is tension around the household.

Health

Although generally healthy, this breed may suffer from:

  • Anesthesia Sensitivity:  which, as the name suggests, is a high sensitivity towards general anesthesia that can result in death during surgery or even a simple teeth cleaning session.
  • Osteosarcoma, which is a bone cancer typical in large dogs. It is aggressive and often the limb needs to be cut off along with giving the dog chemotherapy.
  • Hypothyroidism: a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
  • Gastric dilatation: volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Care

Their hair needs only occasional baths and to be rubbed weekly with a damp cloth or hound glove. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Daily exercise is a need for this breed, with regular schedules and a fenced place where they can run freely. Greyhounds can be difficult to train, not only are they not used to having any direction from their owners, but they get bored easily. For this reason, training sessions must be kept short and entertaining, and they must feel as if you are both doing things together, instead of the dog doing them for your pleasure. Early socialization and gentle training are a must for this breed.

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