an abbreviated history of the greyhound

Greyhounds have, for thousands of years, been bred to do two things: run like the wind and work with other dogs. They were not bred to be solitary hunters, and the transition from hunting to racing has kept the spirit of cooperation intact. For this reason, greyhounds tend to get along with other dogs.

The earliest pure-bred dogs were of the greyhound-type. The first traces of the long, lean dogs of the greyhound-type were seen in the ancient city of Catal-Huyuk, located in what is now southwest Turkey. Temple drawings, dating to 6000 B.C., show a hunter pursuing a stag with the help of two greyhound-types. It was in Egypt, however, that the greyhound really came into his own. Not only were the dogs kept as companions and hunting partners, they were essentially worshiped.

For centuries, greyhounds have been bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. They are the fastest breed of dog, and their speed is breathtaking. Years of breeding for speed have given them athletes' bodies and dancers' grace. The need to think fast enough to avoid accidents while running at top speed has given them a high degree of intelligence.

The greyhound's devotion to man is legendary. They seem grateful for their new homes and reward their owners with never-ending affection. Raised with their littermates where they competed for attention, greyhounds love becoming the center of your attention as pets and will reward your love and affection by returning it tenfold!

One difference between pet greyhounds and the average pet breed is that greyhounds (adults when adopted) have spent every waking moment in the company of other creatures. They have experienced lots of handling and frequent daily contact with humans and other dogs. This background makes the greyhound well suited for life with other dogs and with people whose schedules allow one or more persons to be home much of the time. The bottom line? Greyhounds demand a certain amount of contact. They bond with their adoptive families quickly and pine when alone.

More information about greyhounds
History of greyhounds: Antiquity
History of greyhounds: Medieval and Renaissance
History of greyhounds: 18th and 19th centuries
History of greyhounds: Track racing and coursing

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