by: Stephanie Bayliss
There are conflicting opinions regarding the origin of the Greyhound, from the Celts who believed that they came from Greece, to the Romans who believed that they came from Gaul (in Western Europe), with many varying opinions inbetween.
There are ancient pictures which date back to 6000BC in the city of Catal-Huyuk in present-day Turkey, depicting dogs very similar in type to Greyhounds. Pictures from 4000BC found on a funery vase in Iran also depict Greyhound-like dogs which suggest that these dogs were held in the highest regard. Ancient artists tended only to depict images of religious or social importance.
Greyhounds have an extremley elegant and graceful appearance; slender but also strong. They are propelled by extremely strong hindquarters; when they run it appears effortless and truly beautiful.
It is a pleasure to watch these dogs race, with their long neck and face set on their long, slender frame.
Greyhounds come in a massive variety of colours; Black, red, white, blue, fawn, fallow, brindle or any of these colours broken up with white
Despite what most people think, these dogs can be real couch potatoes! Although they are capable of short bursts of speeds of upto 64km/hr, they are not blessed with great amounts of endurance, so love to get home after walkies and sleep it off!
They are great family pets; kind and gentle with their families and very affectionate. They may be a little aloof with strangers, but never nasty.
However, their history must be remembered; they were bred to course and race and therefore have tendencies to chase and catch small things; this can include smaller dogs, cats and other small pets. They must be very carefully socialised with smaller dogs and extreme care should be taken around cats.
With their short coats, they will only require a very minimal amount of time spent on grooming.
Two 20 minute walks a day is ample for these dogs - they particularly enjoy getting home to relax after their walkies!! Real care should be taken with allowing these dogs off lead - unless they are EXTREMELY well trained, they are liable to run off and chase any small thing that moves - and at 64km/h, there is no chance you'll be able to catch them!!
Greyhounds can be prone to injury when expelling their pent up energy! They don't really suffer from any genetic diseases; they can be a little sensitive to drugs although vets should be aware of this if treating them.