The elegant Greyhound was traditionally bred as a racing dog, but the recent decline of Greyhound racecourses means that we are seeing a rise in these speedy dogs being adopted as family pets. Historically favoured by royalty, these pooches make affectionate and thoughtful pets, and are the perfect addition to the right home!
Greyhounds are very intelligent, and train well. They are very calm around people and other dogs, so they are suitable to live around children, as long as they are not roughly played with. One issue that can arise with Greyhounds’ temperament is their high prey drive, which means that they have a tendency to chase and attack small, fast-moving animals. This means that they are not best suited to households with cats or other small pets, and that gardens should have high fences to prevent them from escaping while trying to catch squirrels.
Contrary to common belief, Greyhounds don’t require a huge amount, but are happy with just a daily walk to keep them from getting bored and misbehaving. Unlike many other breeds, the Greyhound does not experience many hereditary genetic illnesses. A lack of undercoat means that Greyhounds make good pets for people with dog allergies, but also means that they are susceptible to cold and heat, and should therefore live indoors.
Did you know…
- It has been said that the Greyhound as a breed dates back over 4,000 years to Ancient Egypt, and that Cleopatra was a fan, although this is not backed up by scientific evidence (although we’d like to think it’s true!).
- Other royal fans of Greyhounds have included Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII.
- A Greyhound’s ability for speed is thanks to it’s large heart (which allows its muscles to work hard and quickly), flexible spine, and ability to run with a double suspension gallop.
- If you’re hoping to teach a Greyhound any new commands, don’t bother trying to tell him to “sit”! Many Greyhounds can’t actually sit because their muscular legs make it uncomfortable to do so. Maybe try “roll over” instead!
- The nature of Greyhound racing means that when Greyhounds get older and slower, they must eventually be retired. There are many UK charities and organisations specialising the re-homing and rehabilitation of retired racing Greyhounds, including Retired Greyhound Trust, Greyhound Gap and Greyhound Rescue West of England.
Featured image via Pretty Fluffy.