The greyhound is the prototype of a sighthound and one of the fastest land animals in the world. The former hunting dog achieved great success in greyhound racing, but unfortunately, the betting scene became fatal for many dogs. The tall, lean greyhound is much more than just a sprinter. Thanks to its calm and friendly nature, the Briton is an adaptable companion and ideal family dog.
Its history can be traced back to before the birth of Christ. The graceful and powerful dogs are depicted on tombstones, coins, vases, or cave drawings from the Middle East that are several thousand years old. Egyptian pharaohs had them mummified and even in Homer's legendary Odyssey, Odysseus (800 BC) is recognized by a greyhound after his fight against Troy.
BC, accompanied by Celtic immigrants, to the British Isles. There, the highly respected dogs were reserved exclusively for the nobility. King Canute of England imposed severe penalties on any commoner caught with a greyhound. King Howel of Wales even imposed the death penalty for killing a greyhound in the 10th century. The English nobility invested a lot of money and time in breeding these fascinating hunting greyhounds. The Greyhound is one of the few dog breeds that have been systematically bred for many centuries.
Originally bred for chasing live games, greyhounds have also been used for dog racing since the mid-16th century. While the dogs initially ran in the open field, they later ran on oval racetracks that gave spectators the opportunity to follow the dogs throughout the race. Initially intended for popular entertainment, greyhound racing soon developed into a multi-billion dollar racing industry with horrendous betting stakes.