For 7,000 years, the greyhound breed of dog has been cherished for his speed. He remains the oldest and most conservative of all dogs. The makeup of the dog has not been changed from its first sighting.

Long History for the Greyhound Dog Breed

References to the greyhound have been made as far back as primitive times. Later on, Assyrians depicted this swift animal in their artwork that showed him straining his leash or running across desert sands to catch his prey.

Centuries before the pyramids, Egyptians adored the greyhound dog and appreciated his style and grace. At that time, the animal wore a feathered tail, and his ears had fringes of silky hair. King Solomon referred to the dog one of the four things which “go well and are comely in goinga lion, which is strongest among beasts and turneth not away from any; a greyhound; an the goat also; and a king against whom there is no rising up.”

This animal was recognized very early by Greek artists in using the graceful animal in ivory, metal and stone carvings. They also used the dog”s image on vases, wine coolers and oil bottles.

The Greek greyhounds were represented with different shaped ears than the true rose shaped ear of today”s dogs.

All stories written about greyhounds in the early days talk about how high they were held up on a pedestal in society. They often were called the best of all hounds and all dogs.

Racing Greyhounds in England

It was not until the reign of Queen Elizabeth that dog racing in England was established. The sport grew quickly.

Through the years, the English have continued to hold dog racing with high esteem. The Waterloo Cup is one of the racing courses that have been around since the 19th century in England. The National Coursing Club was established in 1858 in the country, when a code of laws was written and a pedigree book.

Racing Dogs

The best size and weight for a greyhound is debatable. Just like horses, greyhounds can be of all forms and speeds. Really good ones with stronger, bigger bodies will most likely have the advantage over the smaller ones. Finding large, fast ones is difficult. That can be seen by researching the winners of the Waterloo Cup. Most of them have been comparatively small.

The smallest greyhound that ever won the blue ribbon of the leash weighted 42 lbs. and won the cup twice. Bab at the Bowster, who many judges considered the best female greyhound to have ever run the Waterloo, was two pounds more. She won the cup once and many other races.

There are very few greyhounds that have won the Waterloo Cup more then once. However, Cerito did it three times in 1850, 1852 and 1853 when 32 dogs were entered.

Characteristics of a Winning Greyhound

Greyhounds are judged high in shows when they have a long and narrow head that is slightly wider in the skull to allow for more brain room. The neck should be long but muscular. Its coat feels fine in texture.

The body of these racing dogs will include a very deep chest with a muscular back and loins. Keeping this sleek dog breed running fast means owners should continue monitoring the male dog”s ideal weight at 60 to 65 pounds. Females should hover about 10 pounds less.


Leighton, R. (2004). Dogs and all About Them. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dogs and All About Them Web site: