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Do sighthounds make good pets?

May 01, 2019

sighthound running in field wearing dog coat

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.

So what exactly is a sighthound?

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.

Which breeds are sighthounds?

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.

Do sighthounds make good pets?

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.

Here’s what you can expect from your sighthound:

  • They’re short-distance sprinters, so don’t be surprised when he suddenly takes off when out in the field
  • They can’t resist a fast-moving object to chase – make sure he has enough tennis balls to run after
  • Get him the biggest, comfiest dog bed you can afford. This is where your sighthound is in his element
  • Sighthounds love company, so consider having another dog he can be pals with – preferably one that can keep up with him on walks
  • For short-haired sighthounds, grooming doesn’t usually get more complex than a rubdown with a dog brush. Afghans and others with long hair will need more attention
  • Sighthounds can be choosy at mealtimes and like a varied diet. They also love to hunt, so consider placing some food or treats inside a Kong or similar puzzle toy. 
sleepy greyhound on a dog bed

Did you know, here at Ginger Ted, we do have a Greyhound dogcoat and Greyhound cosy fleece range specially for sighthounds? Head over to our online store to take a look.

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