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    History & Overview

    The Greyhound is believed to be the forefather of all sighthounds that have been described in literature and depicted in art as the epitome of a functional hunter and a live courser throughout the centuries. It is probably true to say that the other sighthound breeds cannot be fully appreciated and understood without having at least a working knowledge of the Greyhound. It is more than likely that the Greyhounds originated in the Middle East, but the exact origins have been lost in the midst of time.

    Roles

    All sighthound breeds have one thing in common: They are hunting dogs that will use their tremendous speed and turning ability to chase down and kill the game, working either alone, in pairs or groups. Some have excellent scenting power, and others also use their ears extensively, but all of them will normally survey their territory by sight.

    Speed

    When following the game at high speed in open fields, sighthounds will use double suspension gallop as opposed to common diagonal gallop performed by horses and heavier dogs. The double suspension gallop is a particularly swift gait; it is also called a light gallop. Double suspension gallop can also be performed by other breeds such as Doberman Pinscher and Basenji at, particularly high speed. Greyhounds have even been observed to perform a triple suspension gallop or fast gallop, a gait pattern otherwise only seen in cheetahs.

    Character

    Greyhounds are one of the least aggressive dog breeds. They are gentle, sensitive and affectionate family companions and are probably one of the most loyal of the dog breeds. They are kind-hearted and have a marvelous affinity with humans, including children. They are also impeccably clean.

    Appearances

    Although both strains are Greyhounds, AKC Greyhounds tend to be narrower and taller, with deeper chests, longer necks and legs, more arched backs, lower tails, and smaller, more tightly folded ears. They are more successful in conformation shows.

    National Greyhound Association Greyhounds are longer and wider-bodied, with thicker tails and bunchier muscles. Their fur may be less sleek, they have a greater tendency to have missing thigh hair, and the self-colors (no spots) predominate. NGA Greyhounds seem to be keener for the chase and are undeniably faster than the AKC Greyhounds. Because of this, they are more likely to run to the point of hurting themselves.

    Most National Greyhound Association Greyhounds become available only after they have finished their racing careers. Some may be yearlings that were injured or did not make the grade, but most are between 2 and 4 years of age. With the life expectancy of 10 to 14 years, this gives you plenty of time. Having been raised in a kennel, home life will be foreign to these dogs. They may or may not be trustworthy with other pets.

    Video Credits: Animal Planet, Discovery Channel

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