Why The Greyhound Is The Best Dog For Racing
One reason why the greyhound is the best dog for racing is that they are the fastest accelerating land mammals. A greyhound can reach its top speed in about three strides. The deep chest and sleek body make the greyhound aerodynamic. Their bodies are built to cut down on wind resistance when they run. Their tiny ears pin back on their heads during a race and the dog is even more streamlined. You can view the live greyhound results on our homepage.
Greyhounds are sight hounds as opposed to scent hounds like bloodhounds or beagles. Greyhounds, Afghan hounds, salukis and a few other breeds hunt by sight. They have excellent eyesight and can detect movement from quite a distance away. This helps in racing because while racing they are chasing the lure. They have intense concentration as they run after the â€œrabbitâ€ around the track. This lure is pulled around the track by a chain and the greyhounds race after it at amazing speeds.
As puppies, greyhounds begin training on what is called a whirlygig. This is a machine that pulls a lure around in a circle. The puppies learn to chase it. As they grow and develop, they run after the lure and learn the basics of racing.
Greyhounds are muzzled during training and racing, not because they are mean, but for their own safety. They may nip at each otherâ€™s thighs to get another dog to move out of its way. People occasionally do the same thing when they elbow another person during a race.
They start at practice races as young adults. With their massive chest pulling in lots of oxygen, the greyhound can take off like a shot. When that starting gate goes up the dogs are racing immediately after the lure. The joy of running is in their blood and they are all fast. The difference between a champion racer and a loser is only a few seconds during a race.
Greyhounds are sprinters, and while they can be trained to jog or run with an owner, their greatest joy is to sprint after prey. While not good at jumping or leaping, these swift canines can get up to speeds around 50 MPH when running a race. The races are short to accommodate their preference in sprinting.
The big thighs of a greyhound are built for running. They way their hip joint is arranged makes them one of the few breeds that are not prone to hip dysplasia. Greyhounds bred for racing are heavily muscled, especially in the thigh area.
Racing greyhounds must retire at the age of five. Many are adopted through rescues that are run by the tracks or through other greyhound organizations. They are well known “couch potatoes” once they retire. While they still love to run; however, a soft bed or couch are now their favorite place.
This ancient breed has been a favorite companion of Pharaohs dating back thousands of years. Images of these noble dogs show up in old artifacts. Some of the reasons why the greyhound is the best dog for racing also make them a beloved pet for so many people.