The English or Smooth
Coated Greyhound originated in Egypt but spread to throughout the Middle East
and the Orient prior to 4000 years ago. This could mean that in addition to
being the world's fastest breed it may also be the world's most ancient purebred
dog. The breed was introduced to Europe by traders in the tenth century. There
is well documented evidence of the "rose eared" Greyhound in Europe from the
Middle Ages onward. Breeding records can be traced in England prior to 1770.
Records of the Canadian Kennel Club indicate that the breed was introduced to
Canada in the late 1880's.
The breedís original function was to hunt
all small game as well as deer, gazelle, wolf, coyote and boar. Although
currently classified as a gazehound the breed was also proficient at hunting by
scent. When the sport of hare coursing was introduced in England during the
reign of Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) The Greyhound was a natural choice for
competition. In 1858 England established the National Coursing Club which drew
up the first code of coursing rules. Similar governing bodies have since spread
worldwide and the sport is now commonplace on almost every continent.
The Greyhound is calm,
quiet, patient, clean, intelligent, sensitive, affectionate and extremely well
mannered. They make excellent house pets and are very kind towards children.
They have an independent nature and will not dote on their owners but at the
same time are very eager to please and combined with their intelligence makes
them easy to train.
breed has a strong natural instinct to chase (hunt) any small thing that moves
which is good for participating in the sport of Lure Coursing but does mean that
their home requires a fenced-in yard. Greyhounds also require a soft bed as
their delicate skin can develop pressure sores.
Early training and
socialization of a Greyhound are important, but since they are sensitive
animals, harsh training methods are not appropriate. The Greyhound appreciates
an unrestricted run a couple of times per week. Ex-racers may be a challenge to
control when off-leash. However, training should be able to address this issue.
Dogs raised from puppies in a non-racing environment should not be a problem
off-leash provided they have had the appropriate obedience training.
Greyhound males range in height from 28"
to 30" tall (71-76 cm) and females stand between 26 and 28 inches (67-71 cm)
tall. They weigh between 58 and 80 pounds. The slim, muscular body has a short,
smooth coat that may be any colour or combination of colours. Minimal grooming
Breed description and photos courtesy of Regina Salzmann.
Further information on the Greyhound is available from the
Canadian Kennel Club
or the American Kennel Club.
October 14, 2014