Animals

How to care for a greyhound

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The Spanish greyhound or dried greyhound is a native of our country, in which it enjoys great popularity. A tall and thin but strong dog, which has a great resemblance to the English greyhound or greyhound, although there are physical characteristics that differentiate both breeds.

Given the impressive speed it reaches, as well as its skills and predisposition to hunt, many are used for this activity. Unfortunately, this animal is sadly also known as the dog that on numerous occasions is abandoned and cruelly sacrificed by unscrupulous hunters when the hunting season ends and that, however, is also an excellent companion animal.

Table of Contents

Everything you should know about the Spanish greyhound

Exercise lovers You can find a partner like no other in the greyhound. At the same time it is the friend you are looking for if what you want is a dog calm, noble, homely and affectionate like few However, before making such a decision it is necessary to assess whether you are the owner that can cover the physical and emotional needs of this unique animal.

Did you know that the Spanish greyhound is the second fastest animal in the world? The extraordinary speed it can reach, up to 70 kilometers per hour, is only surpassed by that of the cheetah.

This elegant dog has an origin that is subject to various theories, among which it stands out that this dog breed descends from a dog that arrived in the Iberian Peninsula from the hand of the Romans, who in turn descended from the Egyptian whippet. Others claim that it was the Celts who brought the greyhound to Spain. In any case, it seems certain that greyhounds come from the very old pharaonic dogs.

It is not known what happened to this breed during the first centuries of reading the Middle Ages, but what is evident is that it survived. In the 9th and 10th centuries, with the colonization of large areas of Catilla that coincides with the Reconquest, the huge vacant and fallow lands increase the hunting pieces and consolidate the tradition of hare races with greyhounds.

As a curiosity to say that stealing or killing a greyhound at that time was punishable by a large number of laws, which allows us to get an idea of ​​how valued that breed was. In fact, it was forged on the Central Plateau, in the Castilian steppe and extended to all the flat areas where the hound could not make it the competition.

The greyhound It is part of the Spanish proverb as well as important texts, not only of monteria, but also of the most famous Spanish literature. Not surprisingly, the first sentence of El Quijote, ends up defining the ingenious gentleman as a "greyhound runner." Other expressions such as "caste comes to the greyhound", are more than famous in our country.

This breed, apparently, reaches the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries without suffering any special circumstances, as its specimens they kept their vocation as a fast hunting dog. It is already at the beginning of the 20th century when there is a massive miscegenation of Spanish greyhound and English greyhound, with the aim of making it an even faster dog that competed in the famous english canodromes, enclosures that also began to emerge in Spain.

For this reason, the purity of the breed was in danger, being redirected after significant efforts from the "pure" Spanish greyhounds that were still held by hunters and breeders.

The Spanish Greyhound it took time to be recognized by canine associations which, together with the complicated Spanish history of the twentieth century, has led to such a dignified race has been viewed with indifference for a long time. This unfair circumstance is on its way to being fixed since, in the 21st century, the Spanish greyhound is being increasingly appreciated, finally giving the value it has to this wonderful animal.

Greyhounds are very docile dogs but they also have their needs so it is important to know how to care for them.

Greyhounds are one dog breed known worldwide for its speed, so that for years they have been hunting or racing dogs, although they are more prominent for their affable character and for being one of the quietest breeds. If you like greyhounds and are thinking of adopting one, don't miss the step guide in which in an easy way, we explain How to care for a greyhound

Being the fastest dog breed, the greyhound can reach maximum speeds of 70 kilometers per hour, which explains its use as racing or hunting dogs throughout history. He Greyhound care incorporates most of the typical care that all dogs need, such as immunizations and regular controls, but the physical features of this breed offer challenges that require specialized attention. Let's see how to take care of it in the right way.

Characteristics and physical features

With a height at the cross of 62 to 70 centimeters and a weight that ranges between 20 and 25 kilos, it is a dog as light as agile, muscular but stylized ...

His head It is elongated and narrow, the same as with its snout. His eyes They are almond, oblique and small. Dark ones are preferred. His ears they are of high implantation, triangular, with wide base and rounded ends. His truffle It is black, just like his lips. His bite It is in the form of scissors and its canines are quite well developed.

His neck It is long. Her body It is thin, slightly rectangular, flexible and strong. His chest It is not too wide but deep, with a well-picked belly. Your back It is arched, making your spine more flexible.

Your previous members they are straight, fine and parallel while its later members They are well muscled and powerful. It's tail It is of low, fine and very long insertion, far exceeding the hock. Your skin It is very close to the body on the entire surface, not seeing loose skin in any area.

Like any whip, it is impressively fast when running and reaches very high speeds in a fraction of the minimum time. In addition, unlike other similar races, its excellent lung capacity allows it to maintain a very high speed for more than 5 minutes.

In addition, when they are in action, these dogs are very stealthy and are endowed with great patience, which allows them to spend hours waiting for the right moment to act.

Steps to take care of a greyhound

  1. Visit your veterinarian regularly. As with any other breed of dog, you should keep your greyhound aware of all vaccines and booster shots, and you should also have regular check-ups to help you stay healthy. Find a veterinarian who is familiar with greyhounds, as your distinctive body type It makes them more sensitive to anesthesia and medications than other dogs of the same size. You should prevent infestation of parasites, such as the heartworm or had it, keeping it with some treatment for the prevention of fleas and ticks as needed in your region.
  2. Feed it well. Despite its long and thin body, the feeding of a greyhound should be good as with any other greyhound. You have to provide high quality dry food to promote proper digestion and healthy teeth and gums. If you are changing your food, mix small amounts of the new food with the food to which you are already accustomed, and gradually increase the new one and reduce the old one over the course of a few days so that at the end of a week you are mainly eating the new food. Because of the height of the dog, it is necessary that the bowl of food and water be at a considerable height so that they do not have to bend over to eat Refering to doseThe ideal is three cups of food twice a day. It provides clean and fresh water at all times.
  3. Keep clean. As for the hygiene for this breed of dogs, it will only be necessary to bathe the greyhound when it seems very dirty, since the shampoo too often can strip it of the natural oils that protect its skin. Use a mild shampoo every few months to bathe your greyhound and rinse it well to remove all soap residue. Dry it with a towel. Brush your fur once or twice a week with a soft bristle brush. Use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth at least several times a week to prevent tartar. Use a small cotton swab once a week to keep your ears clean and healthy.
  4. Let it run. This point is important since the greyhound is a race born to run and if you leave it always locked at home you will end up with a depressed dog. You should ensure that your gauge does exercise by walking daily, but also try to run freely for at least once a week. Find a safe, open or closed area where you can run without getting hurt or lost. Monitor your time outdoors and wear a leash when necessary. Offer stuffed toys, especially toys with squeakers, to help you play and exercise while at home.
  5. Keep it comfortable The low body fat of a greyhound does not offer much cushioning on hard surfaces. You will appreciate a soft place to rest and take a nap. You should offer water at all times during the heat to help you stay cool, and keep it warm during the winter months to prevent disease. Also, make sure you are away from home during extremely hot weather, and inside during the cold to keep it healthy and safe.

Colors and fur

The coat of the Spanish greyhound will depend on the variety to which it belongs. There is the variety of straight hair, that of hard hair and of long hair (barely existing). Although any hair color is accepted for the Spanish greyhound, the truth is that dark tabby and barcinos, cinnamon, toast, yellow, white, red, berrendos and pios are preferred.


Temperament

The Spanish greyhound is said to be an independent, gentle, affectionate, intelligent and moderately reserved dog. Its early socialization is essential so that it does not become a shy animal, especially with strangers.

These dogs splurge tenderness and kindness with all those with whom they have confidence, also worthy of mention his sensitivity and his sweetness. For all these reasons it will fit perfectly in a positive and active family with which you can make an average of 3 daily walks.

It is essential that these walks take place in an area where the greyhound has the possibility to enjoy a minimum of five minutes without leash released. A pipi-can or controlled area will be ideal for this, because in the field you run the risk that in a very short time you will go a long way and completely lose sight of it. It is also common for the greyhound to run and not go to the call of its owner.

In the event that you cannot perform daily exercise with your greyhound, reserve a minimum of two days a week to carry out physical activities with it. What are called collection games (like playing ball) are the most appropriate for this race, being very entertaining.

If you notice that your greyhound is very nervous inside the house and you have no possibility of taking it out, it will be very useful to go to the intelligence games, which will relax and enhance your mental stimulation.

You may have heard of the greyhound as a fearful dog. The truth is that there are many greyhounds that end up in associations dedicated to the collection of dogs of this adorable breed, who feel fear of humans as a result of the bad treatment previously received by them or by the trauma that has caused them to abandon . The lack of socialization can also cause this problem.

Those who most panic towards people need a location in a rural environment in which to gradually gain confidence with their adoption family. Others arrive more prepared to interact with people, greeting them and being able to take walks in the city. In any case, both the most confident and the least are sensitive and loving animals.

A quality of this dog breed is that one of the few that seems "laugh", because these dogs get to make gestures with the mouth very similar to the laugh, whenever they are happy or playing.

A greyhound is not an aggressive animal at all. In fact, cases of greyhounds that have attacked people are not usual at all. peaceful and affectionate. Some are authentic "sleepers", being able to fall asleep for up to 18 hours in a day.

Relationship with children

A conveniently socialized greyhound from an age early you can get along with children. Of course, the greyhound likes to respect their space and this is something that teaches the smallest of the house, so do not expect to “commune” with children who are not respectful or too capricious, who tend to invade the space and monopolize All the time of this animal.

Basic care

All owners are obliged to provide their pets with the basic care that ensures an optimal standard of living, with which to achieve maximum longevity in the best possible conditions, which in the Spanish greyhound ranges from 12 to 15 years.

These canine world athletes They run a lot, a circumstance that some unscrupulous people take advantage of for their own profit, so unfortunately they are members of the dog breed that suffers the most abuse in our country.

For this reason many good owners come up to kennels, animal guards or shelters who are responsible for welcoming them when they are abandoned, with the aim of adopting one of these noble and faithful dogs. The simple fact that a hunter considers that his greyhound is not fast enough propitiates in many occasions that he abandons him to his fate or, what is worse, sacrifices him with the greatest cruelty.

One of the care you should keep in mind is that these dogs suffer a lot with extreme temperatures, so you have to observe a series of precautions in both winter and summer.

  • In winter, try not to expose your faithful friend too much to the cold temperatures and, when you take him on a walk, do not forget to put a coat of those so cool that for them you will find in the market. When it rains, save it with a raincoat.
  • In summer, the Spanish greyhound can suffer a heatstroke. The essential measure to avoid this is that you never run out of water in your drinking fountain. Some owners devise methods to refresh them, such as placing a small outdoor pool or using a spray bottle of water. Make sure your daily walks do not match the hours of extreme heat and, if you decide to take it with you to the beach, do not forget to put an umbrella.

Another measure that you must take into account if you own a greyhound is that for this dog the rest is sacred. Your little bed should be fluffy and thick, so that your bones do not suffer excessively hardness, which could end up causing bone problems. To fill your happiness, nothing like adding a quilted quilt with which you can move at ease. The fact that he can rest, as we have already mentioned, up to 18 hours a day makes him fit to live in an apartment, despite being a medium sized dog.

Feeding

The key to good nutrition for your Spanish greyhound is found in the Choice of quality dry feed with which you cover all your nutritional needs. Make sure that the amount of food you dispense is appropriate to your activity level, since in no case is it about supercharging your dog.

A peculiarity of this breed is that you must feed their specimens in containers that are high so that they do not have to lower their neck to the ground level at mealtime, which is crucial to avoid gastric health problems, to which The greyhound is prone.

This neat can, like any other, requires minimum hygienic measures that guarantee both its own well-being and that of the family that lives with it.

Bath and drying

Since the Spanish greyhound has quite short, fine hair, den so and smooth, the care of your hair and skin does not require excessive care, although there are specimens in the Iberian Peninsula with rough hair, of a homogeneous and average length by whole body, with eyebrows and hairy beards.

Regarding the issue of bathing, it is important to note that these dogs are very clean and that their smell is much less pronounced than in other dog breeds, since they lack fat. Therefore, forget about frequent baths and Put it in the bathtub only when you notice that it is dirty.

Once you have removed it, remove all excess moisture with a towel and help yourself with an electric dryer at a moderate temperature to dry it. Especially in winter, do not let it go outside still wet.

The characteristics of its coat make it enough with one brushing every 2 or 3 days with which you eliminate dead hair and also free the dirt greyhound. You have to be careful not to damage your delicate dermis, for which you will use a brush for short-haired dogs, which are usually rubber.

Vaccines and antiparasitic treatments

Complying with the vaccination schedule established by the veterinarian is vital for boost the dog's immune system before the invasions of microorganisms, in the style of bacteria or viruses.

You will also save countless discomforts and not a few infections to your greyhound if you put the antiparasitic pipettes or collars You will find in stores specializing in pets. Thus, you will be safe from ticks, fleas and intestinal worms.

More common diseases

The Spanish greyhound, like the other dog breeds, should visit the veterinarian once every 6 months, so that this professional keeps a good track of his health and can prevent any anomaly early.

Although it is a healthy breed, it logically has a genetic predisposition to suffer certain ailments, which in its case materialize in the following:

    Hip dysplasia or coxofemoral dysplasia. Dysplasia translates as "abnormal development" and specifically this modal> Training

Before adopting a greyhound you have to take into account the exercise needs of this breed, which is not that they are very high, but are specified in 3 daily walks. Younger people can have more active behavior, although this is something that usually decreases when they mature.

Keep in mind that the walk collar has to be specific to this breed since its head has a diameter similar to that of its neck and, otherwise, it would be easy for the intrepid greyhound to run off the collar with the consequent danger of leakage. A double-ring or Martingale anti-escape collar, which has nothing to do with the hanging or semi-horned, barbed or metallic collar is ideal for him.

Conveniently educating a greyhound goes through adopting positive reinforcement techniques, since they are very sensitive animals that do not respond well to punishment. Moreover, it could cause them great stress and sadness.

This dog is intelligent and, what is better, shows huge predisposition to learning, so set a rewards system That is based on pampering, praise or treats when they observe desired behaviors is a measure that yields excellent results.

It will not be difficult for your greyhound to begin in the process of socialization and basic dog obedience because they enjoy receiving attention. In the case of an adopted Spanish greyhound in which the malpractice that may have been used with him has been dented, you will probably have to resort to the services of a trainer who tells you how you can overcome his fears and insecurities

Physical activities that are related to obedience, such as Agility, are great for these dogs. Other dog sports such as Canicross are also highly recommended. With all of them your Spanish greyhound will enjoy greatly.

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