Which breed has the fastest metabolism
The greyhound is not only one of the fastest land animals in the world, but also one of the oldest pedigree dogs of all. Its history can be traced back to the time before the birth of Christ. The graceful and capable dogs are depicted on several thousand year old tombs, coins, vases or cave drawings from the Middle East. Egyptian pharaohs had them mummified and also in Homer's legendary Odyssey, Odysseus (800 BC) is recognized by a greyhound after his fight against Troy.
The ancestors of the pedigree dog, which came from Great Britain, came around the 4th century BC. BC, accompanied by Celtic immigrants, to the British Isles. There the highly respected dogs were reserved exclusively for the nobility. King Canute of England set heavy penalties for any common citizen caught with a greyhound. King Howel of Wales even sentenced to death for killing a greyhound in the 10th century. The English nobility invested a lot of money and time in breeding these fascinating hunting dogs and greyhounds. The Greyhound is one of the few dog breeds that has been systematically bred for many centuries.
The racing industry and its consequences
When the English nobility system changed significantly in the 16th century and rich non-nobles were able to keep and breed the valuable dogs, the breed was further expanded. The greyhounds, originally bred to hunt live game, have also been used for dog races since the mid-16th century. While the dogs were initially still running in the open, they later ran on oval racetracks, which gave spectators the opportunity to follow the dogs throughout the race. Initially intended for public amusement, the greyhound races soon developed into a multi-billion dollar racing industry with horrific betting stakes. Dog races are still held in Australia, the United States, and especially Ireland. Greyhounds are primarily bred for speed in order to make a lot of money in the races. Old dogs that are no longer able to perform well are simply "disposed of". The killing of greyhounds that have become unusable for the betting industry is even legal in Ireland.
Rescuing racing greyhounds
To put an end to this practice, clubs for the rescue of racing greyhounds have been founded in many countries, which take care of the placement of retired dogs in families. In some countries, such as Germany, greyhound races are only held as a hobby for dogs, owners and greyhound friends. Wagering is prohibited here. Thanks to these efforts, many former racing dogs have found new homes. In the USA and other countries (except Ireland) there are now more racing dogs in families than on the racetrack.
Anyone who has ever seen a greyhound on the racetrack, how fast, powerful and elegantly he runs for victory, will hardly believe that this extraordinary sprinter can also be a calm house dog who loves to spend hours on the soft Lying on the sofa and dozing near his family. In fact, the greyhound is an ambitious thoroughbred runner and cozy couch potato in one.
Sprinter, hunter and couch potato
The greyhound shows stamina and stamina not only on the racetrack, but also when sleeping. Whether on the fluffy dog blanket, the cozy sofa or even in the owner's warm bed: some breed representatives sleep well and happily 16 hours or more a day. Despite their remarkable racing performance, greyhounds are surprisingly quiet house dwellers who rarely bark and who need little more to be happy than a soft surface and being close to their people. The social and people-related dogs, on the other hand, do not like being alone very much. If you still have to leave your greyhound alone from time to time, you should get used to it carefully.
Calm companion and gentle family dog
Fortunately, thanks to their calm, docile demeanor, most greyhounds can be taken to the office, shopping or restaurant without any problems. Their adaptability and their elegant restraint make them uncomplicated and mostly welcome companions. Aggressive behavior is absolutely alien to the gentle and good-natured Briton who gets along well with children. Even cleanliness fanatics will have nothing to complain about with the clean pedigree dog, which has little hair and hardly smells.
Read more about family dogs!
The race is his passion
Its cozy, comfortable side should not hide the fact that the greyhound, as an original hunting dog, still has a great need to run. This is perhaps less than you might expect from the high-performance sprinter, but as a holder you shouldn't underestimate it either. Unfortunately, free run is not possible everywhere - after all, this pedigree dog is not only a runner, but also a hunter, so you can hardly do without a leash when walking in the park or on forest paths. Greyhounds, on the other hand, can live out their passion undisturbed while coursing, on the hobby racetrack or on special systems of greyhound clubs. Dogs that are regularly given the opportunity to run freely will walk lightly on a leash when they go for a walk and will cuddle contentedly on the sofa at home.
In races, greyhounds reach top speeds of up to 85 km / h and even if they only maintain this speed over short distances, the racing greyhounds still run an incredible 60 to 65 km / h on average. Your whole body is geared towards the fast sprint. The long legs, the deep chest, the strong muscles, the streamlined physique and the elongated, narrow head radiate strength and speed with every movement.
Large, streamlined and colorful
Greyhounds belong to the large greyhound breeds with a height at the withers of 71 to 76 cm in males and 68 to 71 cm in bitches. Racing greyhounds specially bred for racing are often a bit smaller. Despite their stately size, the average weight of the greyhounds is just 23 to 33 kg, whereby the breed standard does not set a minimum or maximum weight in this case. The coat of the dogs is short and smooth-haired, fine and dense. Due to the lack of underfat and thin skin, greyhounds are also quite sensitive to freezing cold or scorching heat. In winter, when staying outdoors for a long time, it is better to put a warm coat on the greyhound.
In terms of color, the coat is very versatile. The standard allows the following colors and combinations:
- Blue (gray)
- brownish red-yellow
- Sand / fawn colors
- Two-tone: basic color white, checked with each of the above colors
Greyhound health and breed typical diseases
Greyhounds are usually very healthy and robust dogs that develop few diseases that are typical of the breed. This not only applies to puppies from a reputable breeder, but mostly also to the former racing greyhounds that have passed the strict requirements for systematic performance breeding. Usually the animals are on Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand disease and possible eye defects. Also typical of the breed is the so-called “gray lock”, which can occur in the event of excessive stress in combination with too little water and high outside temperatures and which can lead to cramped muscles and even the inability to move. Therefore, if you observe a stiff gait or dark urine in your dog, you should immediately drive to the vet.
Diet: What food does the greyhound need?
A balanced diet is extremely important for keeping greyhounds healthy. Dogs have certain nutritional needs that are beyond that Lining must be satisfied. However, since the nutritional requirement is very individual depending on the dog's age, size, physique, metabolism and activity level, the question of the right food cannot be answered across the board. Basically, meat should always make up a large part of the dog's diet, but which vegetables, fruit and flakes it is supplemented with depends on the respective dog. Anyone who puts together the food for their greyhound themselves, such as BARFing, should therefore deal well with the individual foods, the nutrients they contain and the dog's needs. But even those who prefer to use a finished product from the animal supply instead should take a close look at the ingredients. If the composition of the ingredients starts with grains, animal or vegetable by-products have been used, and sugar or artificial flavor enhancers have been used, caution should be exercised.
Take care of your dog!
The best proof of the right food is still your dog himself. If he looks healthy and vital, he is of normal weight, his coat is shiny and he is active outside and full of energy, this is a good sign that you are feeding him properly.
Make sure that you keep to the intended daily ration. It is best to feed your greyhound twice a day and carefully tidy the food bowl after a meal. Provide him with enough fresh drinking water and give him a long break after eating. Activities after a meal can lead to life-threatening gastric torsion and should therefore be postponed to the times before you eat.
On the whole, the greyhound is a very uncomplicated dog that has few demands apart from its need to run. This also applies to his maintenance to, which turns out to be extremely light thanks to the short, thin fur. Brushing once a week is absolutely sufficient. You can also remove dead hair with a glove. The greyhound's paws, however, need a little more attention, as some dogs can be quite sensitive. Especially in winter, after walks on sidewalks strewn with salt, you should wash your paws at home with lukewarm water. Dog shampoo is usually not necessary.
What else you should consider when keeping a greyhound
The size of the greyhound alone implies that these dogs should have plenty of space in your home. An apartment in the city and no possibility of moving freely will certainly not make the passionate runner and hunter happy in the long run. A large plot of land where the greyhound can run free and maybe even run a little is of course ideal. However, the private area should be secured with a fence, because once a hare or other small prey has aroused the greyhound's fever, the large, fast greyhound can hardly be stopped. It is better to keep your greyhound on a leash when walking in the woods, in the fields or in residential areas - unless you can rely one hundred percent on his obedience when called back. It is important that, in addition to daily walks and joint riding or bicycle trips, you regularly give him the opportunity to live out his pronounced need for fast running. Greyhound clubs with hobby racetracks or coursing offers, where the greyhound is allowed to chase after a dummy rabbit, are ideally suited for this. A dog that is busy in this way will happily cuddle up on the soft sofa at home, enjoy being around and quietly dream of the next free race.
Buying a greyhound in need
If you are interested in a greyhound and want to give a retired racing dog a second chance, you should take a look at an initiative for greyhounds in need. Even if the dogs are trained for top performance in terms of socialization have some catching up to do, the integration of an adult greyhound into a family usually works quite well. Anyone from Dog training understands, meets the sensitive greyhounds with a lot of patience and calm and gives them a permanent place in the family, will soon have a devoted and loyal partner by his side.
Choosing the right greyhound breeder
If, on the other hand, you value a young greyhound that comes into the family unencumbered and can be brought up there from an early age, you should definitely contact a reputable breeder. Pedigree dog clubs usually keep a list of registered breeders who are expecting a litter soon. Before you sign up for one Puppies decide, you should visit the breeder at home at least once, preferably several times. If the breeder willingly shows you his home and dogs and is genuinely interested in you and your reasons for buying a greyhound, that is a good sign. A serious breeder who breeds for the love of the breed is very keen that his offspring are well with you and that they can be sure that you can offer them a species-appropriate and loving home. If, for example, you have not given any thought in advance to whether you have the opportunity to let your greyhound run free on a regular basis, the breeder may initially advise against buying it. If the breeder is ready to entrust you with one of his puppies, you should have all the necessary papers handed over to you. This includes, among other things, documentation of health examinations and Vaccinations as well as the official pedigree. The price for a healthy greyhound puppy from the breeder is around 1,000 to 1,200 euros.
Also read our article about Acclimatizing puppies: basic equipment & tips!
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