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Dogs 101 Greyhound Dog Facts – More than Greyhound Racing Dogs
Greyhound Racing has become a hotbed topic over the past few decades with animal rights and animal welfare groups critical of the welfare of dogs in the commercial racing industry. But, this video is not about that. No, he’s an interesting dog breed for more than just his running prowess. Let’s look at some of the interesting facts about this awesome sighthound.
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10. There aren’t many dogs whose breed can be traced back to 3,000 B.C, but the greyhound can. In fact, he is the oldest breed known to man. The Greyhound was an integral part of ancient Egyptian life. Stone sculptures, statues, and paintings often depicted the slender canine with exaggeratedly pointed faces and ears.
The Greyhound was closely linked with the jackal god, Anubis. When domesticated, he was often buried with solemn pageantry and was believed to pass into the afterlife known as the Field of Reeds.
Analyses of DNA reported in 2004 suggest that the Greyhound may not be closely related to these Egyptian dogs but is a close relative of herding dogs. Historical literature on the first sighthound in Europe, suggests that its origin lies with the ancient Celts from Eastern Europe or Eurasia. Greyhound-type dogs of small, medium and large size appear to have been bred across Europe since that time.
9. This breed was even mentioned in the Bible. The Greyhound is the only dog mentioned by name in the Bible; many versions, including the King James version, name the Greyhound as one of the “four things stately” in the book of Proverbs, Chapter 30 Verses 29-31. However, some newer biblical translations, including The New International Version, have changed this to a strutting rooster.
There be three things which go well, yea,
Which are comely in going;
A lion, which is strongest among beasts and
Turneth not away from any;
A he-goat also. (Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version)
It should be noted that the original Hebrew most likely did not translate to “greyhound” and that more modern translations are probably more accurate.
8. Yes, the greyhound can be clocked at up to 45 mph, but when he’s not running, he likes to lounge as much as the next guy. Rather than being the canine that will spring into action at every opportunity, this pup would rather rest and relax quietly, many sleeping as many as 18 hours per day. He’s earned the nickname “the 40 miles per hour couch potato.” This medium-sized dog also has no problem climbing into your lap or asking to be picked up. This calmness and ability to sleep actually make the Greyhound a great apartment dog, despite his larger size.
7. The Greyhound can sit but he doesn’t enjoy it. His muscle structure makes it difficult for him to appear comfortable. It’s possible to train your greyhound to sit properly, especially if he’s trained early, but it’s an endeavor that, reportedly, he may balk at. Most greyhounds would rather lie down or stand than sitting, anyway.
6. The Greyhound, like other sighthounds, has a thin head with widely spread eyes. This unusual eye placement gives the dog 270-degree vision, meaning he can see some of his own head. Like the other sighthounds, he has amazing vision and hunts by sight, rather than scent. In comparison, humans can only see 180 degrees, with very little peripheral vision. Speaking of hindsight, have you subscribed yet?
5. Some Greyhounds have difficulty swimming. Similar to humans, every greyhound is different when it comes to his aquatic abilities. Some owners have watched their dogs paddle expertly, while others have seen their pooches sink like rocks. Dogs like Labradors and poodles have an inherent knack for swimming, but greyhounds need a little more coaxing. If you really want your canine to jump in the water with you, you could opt for swimming lessons.
4. The Greyhound was beloved for his elegance and made frequent appearances in the royal courts. King Henry VIII was a huge fan and had a collection of greyhounds on hand; the dog is still a symbol of the House of York to this day. Queen Elizabeth I was also fond of greyhounds, and even enacted “The Law of the Lease,” meaning that his prey had a head start, in order to make the game more interesting.
Since the rise in large-scale adoption of retired racing Greyhounds, the breed has seen a resurgence in popularity as a family pet.
3. The Greyhound has a special universal blood type. This makes him perfect as a blood donor, for dogs of course, and many clinics have volunteer greyhounds that come in to give blood on a regular basis.
2. Bart Simpson’s dog on the long-running, animated tv series, The Simpsons is reportedly a Greyhound. But, in real life, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling adopted a Greyhound named Sapphire as a playmate for her Jack Russell.
1. Greyhounds are one of the very few breeds that lack an undercoat. This makes them less likely to trigger allergies in people allergic to dogs, and it also helps them avoid the dreaded “dog smell.”
Greyhounds are awesome!
We found a ton of facts about this dog when doing research for this video. Way too many to include in this one video. If you find him as amazing as we do, know that there are numerous organizations adopting rescued and retired racing dogs. He may not be for everyone, but for you, one of these dogs could be just the companion for you.
Check out these adoption sites:
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