The Fascinating History of the Greyhound Dog

The Fascinating History of the Greyhound Dog

By Gabriele Gottschlag

Greyhounds were depicted on art forms as far back as in the time of the ancient Pharaohs over 4,000 years ago. Yet the ancient Greyhound is not the one we know today, these dogs were more like the Saluki. The Saluki, also known as the Persian Greyhound, was revered and never sold. They were more often owned by nomads who would give them as gifts to traveling traders, thus were introduced to other parts of the world. In cooler climates like Russia the Saluki was crossed with other breeds to develop thicker coats like the Afgan. All these cross breeds that belong to the sleek, sight hunting dogs are known as sight hounds. The quintessential breed of this family being the Greyhound.

Today most Greyhounds derive from the British form. In Saxon times in Britian they were used for hunting by commoners and sport racing by the wealthy. In the 11th century using Greyhounds for hunting was banded so they remained largely used for coursing, dubbed the ‘Sport of the Queens’ because queen Elizabeth loved it so much. In 1776 the first course club was formed and it became a favorite past time of the upper class.

In the 1700’s Lord Oxford crossed the Greyhound with a Bulldog and back to Greyhounds for seven generations. The crossbreeds were dogs that could not be beaten at the racetrack. All present day Greyhounds are said to trace back to two of these crossbreeds. Greyhounds came to North America on Spanish expeditions and by being brought over by settlers who used them for vermin control on their farms.

Gabriele’s website was created for the appreciation of this unique breed. Having been an owner for fifteen years has given her first hand knowledge and a special love for the sensitive and beautiful Greyhound dog.

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