greyhound running

Greyhounds – A Brief History

greyhounds history

Where Do Greyhounds Originate From?

Have you ever wondered where greyhounds came from?

What The Caesar?!

So, what is the history of greyhounds?

As you probably know, Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. But did you realise how old?

Greyhounds are part of the sighthound family, which dates back as far as 6,000BC. We can trace greys back over 8,000 years. They appear on early cave drawings and ancient Egyptian artefacts, which makes them one of the oldest pure-bred canine breeds.

Celts, Romans, and Greeks disagreed on the origin of these beautiful hounds throughout history.

Highly revered in Egypt, the rich used them for hunting and as companions. When their owners died, they often buried their much-loved pets with them. They decorated the tomb walls with images of their adored pooches too.

Egyptians forbade the breeding of them with other breeds. Making them one of the purest pedigrees in the world!

Such was their sharp sense of sight (they can spot as far as 1/2 a mile away with 270 degrees of vision) and the ability to outrun prey.

Greyhounds And The Bible

Did you know greyhounds are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible?

“There be three things which do well, yea, which are comely in going; A lion, which is strongest among beasts and turneth not away from any; A greyhound; A he-goat also.”

Proverbs 30:29-31

I’m not quite sure why a he-goat, but ho-hum.

Hare and Hounds

Later introduced to Great Britain and Europe, greyhounds coursed deer for meat and sport. This evolved into hare coursing, as hares ran wild in farming areas. Greys’ sheer speed and skill made them perfect hunters, and some still course today.

greyhounds history

Greyhounds and Racing

They introduced greyhound racing to Europe and the United States in the 1920s. With their long muscular legs, deep powerful chests, and flexible, unique “hinged” spine, they can exceed race speeds of 40mph (64.37 km/h). In fact, greys can outrun a horse in a sprint as their acceleration speed is far superior.

Of course, greyhounds still race today – with increased numbers of retirees put up for adoption. Publicity surrounding racing practices is seeing increased demand for greys, as pet owners discover ex-racers make amazingly loyal and loving pets!

We hope you enjoyed Greyhounds – A Brief History – If you’d like a more in-depth look at the history of greyhounds, please see our other blog here

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