Greyhounds are pretty quiet on the whole when we see them being walked in my village. Who would think that these noble and striking dogs can change instantly into a speeding bullet. Never mind Superman. Is it a bird, is it a plane? – well, no actually – it is a purpose built dog. Laid back, calm creatures that can make terrific pets, here are a few insights into the sighthound world from Susan at the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust.
Greyhounds are thought to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs, with their ancestry being traced back as far as ancient Egypt. Here are some interesting facts that you may not know…
- Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog in existence. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour over a short distance.
- In 1014 AD the English Forest Laws stated that only noblemen could own and hunt with Greyhounds. To kill a greyhound was punishable by death, the same sentence as for murder.
- Racing Greyhounds are bred for speed. Therefore, they are not susceptible to the congenital defects or temperament problems of many other pedigree breeds of dog. Generally only the fastest, healthiest and most even tempered animals are used as breeding stock.
- The monarchy has always had a keen interest in dogs and both Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII kept greyhounds. Queen Victoria even painted several pictures of her greyhounds.
- Most greyhounds are physically unable to sit. A few can manage the sit, but for most the length of their back and their heavily muscled hind legs make the position impossible or at the least uncomfortable.
- Greyhounds have a short and almost odourless coat which moults less compared to other breed of dog. This means that sometimes greyhounds can be suited to live with people who are commonly allergic to other breeds of dog.
- Greyhounds have stereoscopic vision, which means they are ideally suited to seeing moving objects. It is not uncommon for a greyhound to focus purely on the object it is chasing and subsequently “not see” the tree trunk or fence it runs into!
- The Greyhound is the only breed of dog mentioned in The Bible. Proverbs 30, verses 29-31.
- The collective noun for a group of greyhounds is a leash. Personally, though, we think a giggle of greyhounds sums up a group of them more appropriately!
The Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust is an independent registered charity (charity no:1103656) dedicated to finding loving homes for retired racing greyhounds in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas.
If you think you could give a home to one of these gentle and noble dogs please call 01522 569825 or visit their website for further details.
– Karen Wild