19×24 colored pencil on bristol. Original unavailable.
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GEMS; Sighthound Central; In Dogs We Trust; Newman’s Group for Pet Art;
The Greyhound is a breed of sighthound that has been primarily bred for coursing game and racing, but with recent resurgence of popularity as a pedigree show dog and family pet. It is a gentle and intelligent breed. A combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allow it to reach average race speeds of, or in excess of, 18 metres per second (59 feet per second) or 63 kilometres per hour (39 mph).
Males are usually 71 to 76 centimetres (28 to 30 in) tall at the withers and weigh around 27 to 40 kilograms (60 to 88 lb). Females tend to be smaller with shoulder heights ranging from 68 to 71 centimetres (27 to 28 in) and weights from less than 27 to 34 kilograms (60 to 75 lb). Greyhounds have very short hair, which is easy to maintain. There are approximately thirty recognized color forms, of which variations of white, brindle, fawn, black, red and blue (gray) can appear uniquely or in combination.
The breed’s origin is romantically reputed to be connected to ancient Egypt, where depictions of smooth-coated sighthound types have been found which are typical of saluki (Persian greyhound) or sloughi (tombs at Beni Hassan c. 2000 BC). However, analyses of DNA reported in 2004 suggest that the Greyhound is not closely related to these breeds, but is a close relative to herding dogs. Historical literature on the first sighthound in Europe (Arrian), the vertragus, the probable antecedent of the Greyhound, suggests that the origin is with the ancient Celts from Eastern Europe or Eurasia. All modern, pure-bred pedigree Greyhounds are derived from the Greyhound stock recorded and registered, firstly in the private 18th century, then public 19th century studbooks, which ultimately were registered with coursing, racing, and kennel club authorities of the United Kingdom.
Historically, these sighthounds were used primarily for hunting in the open where their keen eyesight is valuable. It is believed that they (or at least similarly named dogs) were introduced to the area now known as the United Kingdom in the 5th and 6th century BC from Celtic mainland Europe although the Picts and other hunter gatherer tribes of the northern area now known as Scotland were believed to have had large hounds similar to that of the deerhound before the 6th century BC.