If you’re like most dog-owners, you’re probably used to the idea that a dog’s strongest suit is his or her nose. But there’s a whole category of dog that’s led by their eyes rather than by scent. Kennel clubs call these animals sighthounds.
A sighthound is any of several dog breeds that favour sight and speed over scent when they’re hunting. In truth, because they hunt by sight, they have to be pretty quick to keep up with their prey.
There’s a certain look to sighthound breeds. They have lean bodies, long legs and a flexible back. And because they also have very large lungs, their chests tend to be quite deep cavities.
We’re talking Afghan hounds, salukis, greyhounds, Irish wolfhounds, Italian greyhounds, whippets, borzois and sloughis.
If you own a sighthound, congratulations on owning one of the oldest breeds in the world. Salukis and sloughis, in particular, go back more than 5000 years.
Absolutely! Sighthounds make great pets. Out in the field, they’re extraordinarily fast – you’ll probably know that greyhounds can hit speeds of up to 40mph. Saying that, not for nothing has this breed been described as ‘the 40mph couch potato’. Greyhounds are pretty docile given the chance and, surprisingly, don’t need huge amounts of exercise.