About - What's a Greyhound?
The word greyhound
is derived from the Saxon 'greu' - running dog. Mentioned in the book
of Proverbs, prized possession of kings for thousands of years, the greyhound
is both an efficient hunter and a gentle, affectionate companion.
The modern image of
the breed has changed dramatically since greyhound track racing began
in the UK in 1926. Each year, 10,000 - 12,000 greyhounds are bred in Britain,
and approximately 8,000 dogs are imported from Eire to race on British
tracks. This results in an annual 'fall-out' of approximately 10,000 dogs
aged between 2 and 5 years, comprising retired racing dogs and younger
dogs who never 'made the grade'.
A greyhound stands
at anything between approximately 22 - 31 inches at the shoulder, has
a short, smooth coat of any colour ranging from white to black, some with
markings of a different colour and some brindle (striped). He is a sighthound
(which means that he will be interested in anything he can see up to half
a mile away), whose instinct has been enhanced by his racing training.
This means that owning one brings with it a special responsibility. But
as most greyhound people will tell you, the advantages of sharing your
life with one of these wonderful dogs far outweigh the disadvantages.
Show greyhounds have
a slightly different conformation from the racing dog, being on the whole,
larger and with 'flatter' sides.
A fit greyhound usually
enjoys donning a racing jacket and muzzle to compete on the track. He
is happier still to be able to run free in safe open countryside... but
never happier when, after his daily exrcise, he can just do this