Did you know that the fastest dogs on the planet are sighthounds? Sighthounds are part of the AKC’s broader Hound group. The term ‘sighthound’ is somewhat self explanatory, as sighthounds—or gazehounds, as they are sometimes called—use visual tracking to hunt their prey. A local Brampton, ON vet discusses these very good boys in this article.
Sighthounds have been around for a very long time. The earliest example may be from the remains of a pup that was excavated in Tell Brak, about 4000 years ago. There are currently breeds of sighthounds. The most well-known is probably the Greyhound. The group also includes the Afghan Hound, Azawakh, Borzoi, Chippiparai, Chortai, Galgo Español, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Italian Greyhound, Kaikadi, Kanni, Kombai, Levriero Sardo, Magyar agár, Mudhol Hound, Old Croatian Sighthound, Patagonian Greyhound, Polish Greyhound, Saluki, Scottish Deerhound, and Whippet. There are also a few breeds that aren’t easily categorized as either sight or scent hounds, as they hunt by both methods.
Sighthounds have some very unique traits. Many of them have very distinctive body types, with a small head, long, slim legs, and a deep chest. These guys were bred to be able to chase down some pretty quick animals, such as rabbits, deer, and even wolves: as mentioned above, they are very fast. The Greyhound, for example, can run at speeds up to 45 mph.
As you may know, the Greyhound racing industry caused an influx of unwanted race dogs that had passed their prime. Since the industry has now fallen by the wayside, there aren’t quite as many Greyhounds in need of homes as there once were. However, there are still some wonderful rescues that work with Greyhounds and other sighthounds. You can also find many in rescues and shelters.
Sighthounds make wonderful pets. They tend to be very cuddly, loyal, and attentive. In fact, some are even service dogs. Most have very short coats, which are easy to groom. Another thing that may surprise you is the fact that many sighthounds are quite lazy … at least when they aren’t running at top speed. Fido will need a daily workout, but he’ll probably nap the rest of the day when he’s done. Because they are so sedentary, they can even do well in apartments!
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Brampton, ON pet hospital, today!