Description & History

Reference to the Greyhound by Solomon in the Old Testament (Proverbs, Chapter 30, Verse 31.) shows that this ancient pure-bred gazehound has existed for many centuries.

Its origin is not known, but illustrations on Egyptian engravings and pottery dating back many thousands of years prove that greyhound type dogs came originally from the Middle East.

In Great Britain the Greyhound has been associated with the English monarchy since Anglo-Saxon times. The royal forests, which were vast and well stocked, were the hunting grounds for these hounds and their royal masters.

With the introduction of the Forest Laws in 1016, hunting and poaching was forbidden to all people other than those connected with the royal estates. Nevertheless hunting and coursing all types of all small game still took place, regardless of any punishment which might be inflicted on man and dog alike.

Coursing - chasing a live hare - has taken place for at least 2000 years, but it was not until Tudor times that it became popular in England. It was a pastime that turned into a sport and has continued into the present century. Towards the end of the eighteenth century Lord Orford founded the first coursing club. From this time coursing as an organised sport became popular. Since 1836 the Waterloo Cup, the premier coursing event, has taken place annually at Altcar in Lancashire.

Greyhound racing also takes place in stadiums where an artificial lure is propelled round the track.

The Greyhound - whose name is thought to be derived from the Saxon word "grei" which means beautiful - is also a successful show dog and pet.

A Greyhound which is kept as a pet is not difficult to exercise. Two or three short walks a day is plenty for this graceful hound.

Rosamund Walters.

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