Greyhound Trio

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.

The 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 is required.

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.


Last Updated: October 14, 2014