Despite being one of the better known dog breeds the origin of the Greyhound was much debated (with some claiming they were related to the sighthounds of early Egypt) until in 2004 D.N.A. testing proved they were more descended from the early sighthound stocks of the Celts in Europe which were brought to England in the 5th and 6th century. Since the 18th records have been kept of the lineage for all pure breed greyhounds and this breed has the honor of claiming the very first Crufts best in show award in 1928. While used predominantly in racing now they were originally hunting dogs due to their great eyesight and speed.
Specification of breed
At full size Greyhounds can weigh from 60 to 88 pounds and measure 27 to 32 inches head to tail (with the females smaller than the males) and have a very distinctive elongated muzzle. They have short fur which can range in color from white to black or even red (there are over 30 recognized color forms) and are extremely muscular and streamlined.
Due to their short hair there are very few requirements for grooming and these can be carried out within a few minutes each day. They do not need very frequent baths but should be brushed daily with a very soft brush or a rubber mitt, If a bath is required it is important to dilute any shampoo used as Greyhound have very sensitive skin which can react badly to the chemicals present. Due to this fact Greyhounds should NEVER be given a flea collar as they could react badly to these with rashes, illness and even death being reported. Make sure toenails are kept trimmed and in good repair to prevent splits and damage to the dog paws.
Greyhounds are very docile dogs and very rarely bark or make any fuss. They can be timid when meeting new people and are prone to separation anxiety if separated from their owners for extended periods of time. They are great additions to a family and are very gentle with children but do prefer a quieter atmosphere. Although seen as energetic dogs they don’t need much exercise and would happily sleep up to 18 hours each day!
Due to all the above the Greyhound breed makes a great family pet with little upkeep. As they are quiet and don’t grow too big they would make good dogs for people living in apartments and small homes. The most important factor in owning a Greyhound is the upkeep of the dogs health, As mentioned they have sensitive skin that is also very thin and can be torn with minor knocks and so need a soft sleeping surface. They are a long lived (10 to 15 years) and are not prone to any hereditary illnesses therefore they make great family pets.
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