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History of the Greyhound breed
The first chronologically images of a dog, very similar to a Greyhound, were found in the tomb of Amten, near the Nile. Researchers of Ancient Egypt date the carving from 2900 to 2750 BC, that is, the time of the reign of the fourth dynasty. The found images captured three episodes of hunting with dogs. In two pictures, dogs attack a deer, in the third, a mountain goat. The characteristic silhouettes and curved tails leave no doubt that the greyhounds were used for carving.
A complete description of the breed was first created by the Roman Ovid, who lived from 43 BC to 17 AD. Judging by the description, the appearance of the dogs of this breed has remained unchanged.
Linguists have not come to a consensus about the origin of the name of the breed. There are several plausible versions.
- From the word Graitus – “Greek” – due to the fact that this breed was very popular among the ancient Greek aristocracy.
- From the Old British grech or greg – “dog”.
- From English gray – gray – because of the predominant color of greyhounds.
Breeding Greyhounds was the privilege of the aristocracy, ordinary people were not allowed to keep them. Dogs were the same symbol as the family coat of arms or edged weapons. The animals were kept in such conditions that the peasants could only envy – the hunting dogs ate better than them and lived in better conditions.
Mentions about this breed are found in written sources of almost all European countries.
The next round of popularity of the breed is associated with England. Hunting dogs were prized in a country where hunting was considered an indicator of valor, no less than participation in wars and tournaments. In manuscripts and laws of the 10th century, mentions and images of Greyhounds are commonplace. So, representatives of this hunting breed are depicted next to the Saxon leader Elfric, Duke of Mercia.
In 1016, the Winchester Parliament passed a code of laws illustrating the treatment of pedigree dogs in England. A few points:
- A humble man cannot keep Greyhound dogs.
- Free citizens are allowed to keep this breed, but if the dog comes closer than 10 miles to the forest, its owner is obliged to pay a fine of 12p per mile.
- If a greyhound belonging to a free citizen is found in the forest, its owner must give the dog to the king and pay a fine of 10 shillings.
No wonder this breed is also called the “English greyhound”.
Breed history researcher Laurel Drew found mentions of Greyhounds introduced to America by the Spaniards. The breed was brought to new lands, together with mastiffs, to “hunt, intimidate and punish enemies.” The enemies are the indigenous inhabitants of the continent. The materials describe the hunting skills of Greyhounds, cases when the dogs went into the forest and returned with their prey – hares and rabbits. No wonder, because hunting is what greyhounds are made for.
In the future, Greyhounds accompanied many famous people:
- English explorer Cartwright, who made an expedition to Labrador in 1770, devoted many pages of his diary to his beloved dog and its skills.
- Baron von Steuben, a professional German soldier who fought on the side of General Washington in the War of Independence, always appeared in society in the company of the Greyhound Azor.
- General Caster, a hero of the American Civil War, kept a pack of 40 dogs, most of which were Greyhounds. The memoirs of contemporaries describe the participation of these dogs in the races on the eve of the general’s departure on an expedition to the Big Horn River, where, in a battle with the Indians, he died.
Greyhounds became the first participants in American dog shows. 18 representatives of the breed were included in the catalog of the first exhibition of the Westminster Kennel Club in 1877.
In 1912, engineer Smith invented a mechanical bait, which was the reason for organizing dog racing. In the 1920s, Greyhounds took an active part in competitions. Dog races with the participation of this breed are still taking place, gathering full stands of gambling dog lovers.
Description of the Greyhound breed
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Greyhounds are considered the fastest dogs. The speed record for greyhounds belongs to the Greyhound Star Title. In 1994, in Australia, it accelerated to 67.32 km / h. The main advantage of dogs is the ability to run very quickly over short distances, which helps in hunting hares.
Experts distinguish three types of dogs of this breed:
- Exhibition: with pronounced standard features of the breed, beautiful and calm dog, retaining hunting instincts.
- Running: temperamental dog, with good physical condition, capable of developing high speed. Used on the run at the kinodrome.
- Hunting: the dog is used for amateur hunting.
- Body – elongated, covered with dense hair. The most common colors are white, red, fawn, red brindle, black brindle, black.
- Head – narrow, elongated. There is a wide space between the ears. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle is almost imperceptible, the sinuses are not pronounced. Muzzle – elongated, strong. Eyes – dark. The small ears are folded back and folded. When the greyhound is excited, the ears are half-full.
- Neck – long, slightly convex, widening towards the shoulders. Lean muscles are pronounced.
- shoulder blades moderately muscled, set obliquely.
- Front limbs – straight and strong. Elbows without turning, close to the body. Strong pasterns.
- Chest – narrow and deep, which contributes to the development of high speed. The ribs are clearly visible.
- Back – with pronounced muscles, wide.
- Small of the back well developed, rounded. Groin tightened.
- Hind limbs muscular, long and broad. The angles of the joints are well defined. The hock joints are pubescent. Short metatarsus, legs wide apart. Strong claws on arched toes.
- Tail – thin and long, curves upward closer to the tapered tip.
- Wool skin-tight, short and tough.
- Weight male: up to 32 kilograms, bitch weight: up to 29.5 kilograms.
- Growth at the withers of a dog: up to 76 centimeters, bitches: up to 71 centimeters.
Devotion to the owner and calm courage are the main character traits of the Greyhound. Like all dogs of hunting breeds, they show caution in relation to people, not excluding the owner. They do not lend themselves to harsh training methods and understand intonation well.
Phlegm towards people around them does not allow Greyhounds to be used as a guard dog.
To become an authority for a pet, the owner must radiate calmness. Greyhounds appreciate him very much.
Education is necessary from an early age. Greyhound puppies are timid and cautious. Early socialization is also needed to gain confidence. If you do not accustom your baby to loud sounds and human society, in adulthood, noise and strangers will scare the dog.
Dogs of this breed are calm and friendly. They find a common language with children and do not experience problems when changing their place of residence. Exactly friendly to the family in which they live. Do not show aggression towards other people and dogs.
The problems are related to the appointment of greyhounds: they are stalkers by nature. On a free range, the dog will chase all moving objects. Cats, chickens, small animals are in serious danger. For the same reason, you should not have other pets – they can become a victim of the hunter.
Moving cars are also a target for a hunting dog, it can pursue the “victim” to the end. Where to look for a dog later is unknown. A city with heavy traffic and the frequent presence of strangers in the house is not the best atmosphere for Greyhounds.
Greyhounds are used as a live antidepressant for children with serious illnesses and the elderly. Dogs allow themselves to be stroked and hugged, they are friendly to strangers. People, communicating with a cute creature, relax, open up, forget about diseases and problems. Such dog therapy helps children with developmental delays, people confined to a bed or wheelchair..
Havecourse and training
It is believed that the training of Greyhounds should be “special”. But, contrary to the prevailing stereotypes, dogs of this breed are susceptible to any teaching process, if it does without rigor.
The Greyhound is not a service breed and there is no need to start raising puppies at an early age. The puppy is energetic and playful, and during this period it is worth establishing a relationship with him so that he trusts the owner and recognizes authority. By a year and a half, the puppy will grow into a calm, and even lazy, dog that respects the owner and his family members, does not show aggression and is ready for training. But the whole family will remember for a long time the time when an adult Greyhound was a funny and mischievous puppy.
Dogs of this breed are reckless, like all hunters, ready to perform the most difficult exercises if they are interested. But if the Greyhound is bored with training, it is almost impossible to get the commands to follow. When training a pet, you need to interest, adapt to his initiative.
Contact and loving Greyhounds don’t work for the treat. Their interest is being close to the owner and having fun. Even a dog who loves to eat will not obey commands for a tasty morsel. This is also the result of specialization: when hunting, the task of a dog is to catch an animal, and not eat or tear it apart. And the animal works on the hunt out of pure excitement.
Hunters do not like strictness and metal in their voices. They need to be treated with respect and delicacy. Such dogs are not inclined to fight for a dominant position in the relationship with the owner and insist on their position with the help of their teeth..
Greyhound may disobey for two reasons:
- He was not explained how it is done.
- He is bored.
Dogs of this breed are perfectly motivated by interested looks – they love to “play to the audience.” It is this character trait that allows Greyhounds to be trained to participate in competitions. The attention of the public helps the dog to show everything he is capable of. This quality is successfully used by dog owners in the USA and Scandinavia. Moreover, training is carried out both according to the course of obedience, and according to the search service, which does not prevent dogs who love public recognition from participating in the race..
In Russia, it is difficult to meet hunting dogs on training grounds – the owners believe that training will interfere with running or hunting performances, that the “noble art” of hunting does not require training. Promotes such ignorance and assertion by many instructors that greyhounds are hard to learn, and wasting time and energy on them is a waste of time.
Caring for a Greyhound is easy, but essential.
- Brush 1-2 times a week – to remove lost hair and improve blood circulation.
- Bathe once every 2-3 weeks. If the dog bathed in open water, it is better to bathe it in clean water to remove microorganisms.
- Examine eyes periodically. Wipe once a week with chamomile broth – to prevent souring.
- Examine ears 1-2 times a week. If problems are found, be sure to take the dog to the vet.
- Examine the paws after walking in order to notice cracks or wounds in time. If problems are found, you need to treat the affected areas with an antiseptic.
- You need to walk with a Greyhound before feeding, 2 times a day for 1-2 hours. Additional walks for going to the toilet – 2 more times for 20 minutes.
Features of the breed for hunting
For the past 200 years, Greyhounds have been mostly used not for hunting, but for running on treadmills. Of course, nature has tried to adapt them to this particular pastime. Since the dog does not need a long run over rough terrain, but short jerks on a smooth track are needed, then high strength of bones, ligaments and claws is not needed either. Greyhounds are injury prone dogs.
This fact must be taken into account when hunting with such a dog. Greyhounds get injured even on smooth tracks. When hunting a hare or a fox, in a field with bumps and potholes, if necessary, make sharp maneuvers, the risk of injury increases sharply.
The Russian canine or greyhound has a natural adaptation to such conditions, but the aristocratic Greyhound has already lost it. The talent for crazy speed works against the dog – the safety margin is clearly lacking in the field. Even the most hardy individuals, after 3-4 hunting seasons, cannot continue to work at full strength due to injuries.
In hunting competitions, such problems are not observed, because flat, large spaces specially selected for baiting are suitable for all dogs – for an objective assessment of their qualities.
Predisposition to disease
- Hypersensitivity to medications. A Greyhound must have his own veterinarian. A doctor who does not know the characteristics of a particular dog may unintentionally harm.
- Propensity to hypothyroidism and hygroma.
- When purchasing a puppy, it is highly recommended to review the parent’s medical records to understand what problems can be expected..
Price of puppies
Depending on the purity of the breed, health, age and breeder’s requests, the price of Greyhound puppies ranges from 8 to 35 thousand rubles.
List of nurseries
- Artifact Moscow – adog.ru
- Salgreys St. Petersburg – salgreys.ru
- Aurora Platinum, Novosibirsk – vk.com/borzayansk