Whether for exercise, jogging, or coursing, most dogs enjoy running. The greyhound, however, races extraordinarily fast.
Similar to the cheetah’s style, Greyhounds use the double-suspension gallop, which propels them to 45mph, slightly slower than a cheetah at 60mph and faster than a racehorse. This dog can sustain his top running speed for about 250 meters (about 273yards).
Why Can Greyhounds Run so Fast?
Amazingly, not even Salukis, deerhounds, and vizslas clocking at 40mph can give greyhounds a run for their money. Greyhounds are bred for sprinting and not endurance hence they only sustain accelerating speed within a short distance. Having such an aerodynamic build, coupled with a narrow head and long legs gives them the bullet speed edge from their body make-up. They are very sleek with a high affinity for hunting and often need to be under a leash lest they spot a running animal and outrun you silly.
Their racing style also allows them to be at top speed. Noteworthy is how their legs hitting the ground rotate as they run. First, the front leg touches the ground, followed by the front right leg, the rear right one, and finally, the rear left leg. This power technique similar to the cheetah ensures the body and legs stretched out parallel to the ground, then a compression where the body and rear legs are nearly overlapping beneath it.
Greyhounds speed in comparison to age
Greyhounds hit their peak at 2-5 years when they clock speeds of up to 45mph. The younger the dog is, the more active it is. With a lifespan of ten to thirteen years, most races from 2 to 5years of age then retire.
Mostly mistaken to be hyperactive, greyhounds are actually very calm, especially as they retire from racing. As they grow older, they run less, especially due to metabolism issues that often arise. Their speed could also reduce due to susceptibility to diseases stringed with aging. These conditions are:
- Bone cancer
- Abnormal anesthesia response
- Minor heart murmurs
Older dogs are expected to be taken for walks, which couples as enough exercise.
How are greyhounds trained to race?
If you are wondering how best to train a greyhound, settling on the best method will give you the best results. Knowing that this breed is highly intelligent gives one an easier time. Also, the common ground rule is always respecting the dog.
Greyhound puppies stay with their mothers up to eight weeks after which at five months, they are grouped and start training for the next seven months. A muzzle is introduced to prevent them from harming themselves.
Just like other dog breeds, verbal commands are taught. These include abilities to respond to sit, drop what is in their mouth, come to their owner, and fetch. At twelve months, serious training begins. You will notice that their environment will change since a more disciplined schedule will be put in place, going to the tracks twice a week.
Greyhounds are enrolled for racing at about 18months. If the trained dog does not perform as per the standard, they are often retired immediately. Only hounds that win betted races can go on to have a successful racing career.
Can greyhounds play fetch?
As much as Greyhounds are affectionate, you will notice that playing fetch can be quite a task. You are encouraged to play fetch with your hound in a fenced area. However, this will need training, especially in making the dog get motivated to bring back the toy. Why so? Even if greyhounds are speedy animals, they are easily distracted if they catch sight of running prey. They also struggle with call back training.
You will need to exercise a lot of patience when training the dog. Using treats to reward it will go a long way in training it in playing fetch. Since the dog often detects the change of mood of the owner, they will often become shy and docile when scolded. Greyhounds can show love in many ways, so if playing fetch is not one of them, be a bit patient with it while adding new treats and tricks playfully.
Greyhound races to attend around the year
Here are the greyhound races you can attend around the year:
- Sanford Orlando Kennel Club hosts live greyhound racing daily except on Tuesdays and Sundays. With a free grandstand admission, this is a go-to place. If you are along the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa is home to live greyhound racing. Running in May through October, it attracts bettors from all around the Tri-State area. The proceeds also go to charity, which is a fun way to give back.
- Derby Lane in St. Petersburg, Florida, offers a year-round live championship. Racing is six days a week, along with other Florida Greyhound simulcasts. Going to Naples Fort Myers can become a hobby with their races showcasing the best trained. So when in Bonita Springs, pop in to enjoy.
- The Birmingham Race Course in Alabama promises a thrill in the chase all year round. You can enjoy greyhound racing throughout the year from the best-trained hounds in the state.
A greyhound’s anatomy is it’s best weapon in any race. Its aerodynamic shape helps it cut through air like a whip. And not only is a greyhound’s heart bigger to pump blood faster but also to love bigger.
Greyhounds are a full representation of royalty, loyalty, speed, and love. No wonder it is the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible and was once owned by Queen Elizabeth Ӏ. With proper training from being puppies, you will definitely own yourself a gem. Even if they are old and retired racers, they can still be great companions within your apartment.