Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: Males 27 to 30 inches, females 26 to 28 inches
Weight: Males 65 to 75 pounds, females 60 to 70 pounds
Coat: Short, smooth, firm, close lying
Colors: Black, white, red, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle, or any of these colors broken with white
Other Names: English Bull Terrier
Registries (With Group): AKC (Hound); UKC (Sighthound & Pariah)
ORIGIN AND HISTORY
Egyptian tombs dating to the 4th century BCE show drawings of dogs similar in overall appearance to what are now known as Greyhounds and Salukis, making it obvious that dogs of this type were much esteemed during this era. During the ensuing centuries, sighthounds proved to be in great demand in overseas trade, which spread them through the Near East and Europe. It was in Great Britain that the Greyhound was developed and refined, and the breed became a favorite of royalty and the wealthy.
These exceptional hunters of swift prey are considered the fastest dog breed, reaching speeds of 45 miles per hour. It wasn’t long before people took notice and began racing them, which has led to a flourishing subgroup of Greyhounds: rescued racing Greyhounds. Greyhounds whose track lives have ended are rescued from the track environment—and almost certain death—and adopted out to homes. These programs have been so successful that former racers can be seen in homes all around the United States and even the world.
Gentle, affectionate, playful, and noble—the Greyhound is all this and much more. An extremely elegant and regal animal who can do his job in the hunting field, the Greyhound is also a marvelous companion on all levels—instinctively compassionate, easy to manage, and docile. He is reserved with strangers and somewhat cat-like in manner, which his admirers find endearing. He should not be trusted off leash because he has a strong prey drive, and if he becomes engaged in a chase, will be off and running.
Exercise: For a dog who is one of the fastest animals on earth, the Greyhound actually needs little outright exercise time—which isn’t to say that he shouldn’t get it. He thrives on regular outings and especially loves to be taken to large, safely enclosed areas where he can indulge in bursts of speed or find something to chase. Allowed to exercise regularly like this, he is content to spend the rest of the day napping.
Grooming: The Greyhound’s short, smooth coat needs only occasional brushing and a nice rub with a hound glove or currycomb to loosen and remove dead hair.
Life Span: The average life span of the Greyhound is 10 to 12 years.
Training: Greyhounds are naturally well mannered and will take to lure coursing with instinctive ease and pleasure. However, training a Greyhound to do much more than what comes naturally can be challenging. As large dogs built for speed, it can even be difficult for them to learn to sit the way most dogs do.
Excerpt from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition © 2009 TFH Publications, Inc.