Retired racing greyhounds make wonderful pets. Surprised?
_Have you ever gone to the dog track and seen only a long, lean, running
machine in a racing jacket and muzzle? Perhaps you assumed that they
must wear that muzzle to sheathe those teeth! And all that energy!
Racing greyhounds must need to run all day, every day just to calm down
even a little!
In reality, racing greyhounds wear muzzles as a
state requirement for safety during racing on the track and all that
energy is because they are about to do what they were bred for - a quick
sprint around the race track. Unlike most sporting dogs, who were bred
to be able to run all day, greyhounds are capable of expending enormous
amounts of energy in a short few minutes; but after the race, it's back
to the business of kennel life: a drink of water, a turn in the exercise
pen, and a three-day rest in the kennel before running again.
_Greyhounds belong to a family of dogs known as Sight Hounds, a grouping
that includes the Whippet, Saluki, Borzoi, and Irish Wolfhound, among
others. They are called sight hounds because unlike other dogs which
typically hunt by smell, these dogs locate their prey with keen
eyesight. Greyhounds can identify a small animal up to a half-mile away.
This family of dogs is among the oldest identified breeds, tracing
their origins to 4000 BC and ancient Egypt. Images of these hounds
appear on the tombs of Egyptian royalty. The Greyhound was prized among
English nobility for their exceptional speed and hunting ability as well
as their success at lure coursing. Until the early 20th century
greyhounds were primarily bred for lure coursing. Modern greyhound
racing was introduced in England and the US in the 1920s. The name
greyhound is derived from the old English greuhund, which means running dog.
their beginnings, greyhounds have been bred to outrun their prey.
Traditionally, they were walked on a lead until game was sighted and
then they were released. From that moment on, they pitted their grace
and intelligence against that of their quarry. The necessity of
making their own hunting decisions has made them self-reliant and
quick-witted. Lure-coursing and modern greyhound racing are controlled
recreations of this chase. The prestige of owning the fastest running
dog led gentlemen to race their dogs against each other. The owners and
interested observers would bet on the outcome of the race. If, in the
context of the race, a dog interfered in any way, it was put down
immediately. Centuries of this type of genetic selection has bred out
most aggression and led to the greyhound’s docile demeanor.
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Greyhound Pets of America Minnesota   |   PO Box 18312  |   Minneapolis  |   MN  |   55418  |   763-785-4000