The origin and history of the breed Greyhound
Greyhounds are typical representatives of greyhounds. Throughout the history of the breed, Greyhounds have changed very little.
In the photo: Greyhound. Photo: pixabay.com
Although the origin of the Greyhound breed is still covered in a veil of secrecy and full of legends, the purpose of the Greyhound is beyond doubt: it is a hunt for fast animals: hares, foxes, fallow deer.
The history of the Greyhound breed goes back centuries. You can’t say exactly how and when they appeared.
According to one version of the origin of the Greyhound breed, the ancestors of these dogs were dogs from Ancient Egypt, from where they came to Greece, where they became very popular. One of the representatives of the breed even bought for untold wealth Alexander the Great. By the way, in ancient myths of the gods, smooth-haired greyhounds were often accompanied. And already from Greece, the greyhounds migrated to the UK.
Another version says that the ancestors of the Greyhounds are Asian greyhounds, which were brought to Britain by merchants in the 10th century.
The third hypothesis says that the Greyhounds are descendants of Celtic dogs, which were already known in the 6th century.
Throughout the breed's history, the features of using Greyhound have changed. In the Middle Ages they were used to hunt large animals (bears and wolves), so the dogs needed a much larger size and power. Later, the main victims of the greyhounds were deer, foxes and hares, and the sporting use of greyhounds began to develop.
The "Law on Forests" of 1014 forbade peasants to keep the Greyhounds, making them a privilege exclusively of the upper class.
The origin of the name of the breed is also not exactly established. There is a version that it is associated with a predominance of gray in the color (gray). And, perhaps, the name is due to the fact that outwardly the dog resembles a cricket, and over time, the name crickhound changed to greyhound.
In the 16th century the greyhounds were on the verge of extinction. The fact is that closely related crosses led to the degeneration of the breed, the appearance of weak and vicious dogs. And Lord Orford made an attempt to save the Greyhounds by tying one of his bitches to an English bulldog. And subsequent mating, Lord Orford organized with the descendants of one of the puppies from the resulting litter. So King Kob appeared - the father of all the living Greyhounds.
Greyhounds actively participated in dog shows since the 19th century, and were used in breeding other breeds - for example, the Irish Wolfhound, Whippet and Dirhound, the Irish Setter and Pointer, Great Dane and Doberman.
In the 19th century, even before they adopted the Greyhound breed standard, these dogs were divided into classes:
- Hunter - more powerful dogs, at the same time maneuverable and hardy, because they have to catch the beast and follow the rider for long distances.
- Jogging dogs are drier dogs that can reach maximum speed over a short distance.
- Exhibition - taller, graceful and graceful dogs.
By nature, different types of greyhounds do not differ.
Modern Greyhound races appeared in the USA in 1912 and have become very popular all over the world. However, at present, dog races have been attacked by zoo defenders, who are protesting against the inhumane keeping of dogs. In addition, the fate of the Greyhounds who completed their running careers is very sad - having become unnecessary, they are massively euthanized, because not everyone can find new owners.
It is believed that in Ireland there are the best nurseries of running greyhounds.
Greyhounds are considered great companions and are especially popular in the USA, Australia, UK and Ireland.