Greyhound racing has its origins in a sport called coursing, and the first attempt to get these dogs to run on a track in organized fashion was in 1876, in Hedon, England. However, greyhound racing didn't just take off after this attempt. In fact, it kind of died out. It wasn't until 1912 that it would again be seen, when Own Patrick Smith, an American, had a bright idea of combining a jack rabbit with the greyhounds to give them something to chase; a reason to run, as it were. Less than a decade later, the first American greyhound track was opened, and the modern sport was born.
Over the years, there have been lots of big-name winners, and plenty of records and other interesting goings-on within the sport. Greyhound Betting Online wants to take a few moments to tell you about some greyhound facts and even some greyhound trivia.
Here are a few (fun) facts about greyhounds that race enthusiasts may like to know!
1: Greyhounds are actually instinctively "sight hounds," which means they're physically stimulated by the track lure and feel an inborn instinct to run. In other words, a greyhound's purpose is to chase.
2: Greyhounds have that lean racing body naturally. While they do eat special diets and exercise, the breed of the dog is naturally shaped that way.
3: Greyhounds probably eat better than you do! Racing dog owners feed their dogs cooked beef and vegetables. With even tough cuts of meat costing over $5/LB these days, greyhounds are living high on the hog while you're eating Ramen soup!
4: Greyhounds are pretty nice dogs, and racing dogs are trained to get along very well with people. The reason they wear muzzles is so that they don't accidentally hurt one another. A dog running at full speed with an exposed canine tooth can be like a arrow fired into the skin of another dog.
5: Greyhounds aren't kept in crowded farms like turkeys. These days, racing dogs have their own condos, complete with carpet and even beds on which to sleep. They're taken care of very well.
6: Greyhounds are far and away the fastest dogs around, capable of running 45 miles per hour!
7: A thousand years ago, in 1014 England, only noblemen were allowed to own greyhounds. They were considered royalty.
8: While you can't teach an old dog new tricks, you also can't teach most greyhounds to sit! Due to their long, lean, muscular legs, it's a physical impossibility for most greyhounds to sit. And those who can sit do so very uncomfortably. Imagine asking Shaq to sit Indian style.
9: Despite their blazing speeds, greyhounds are inherently lazy. If they're not taken out physically by their owners to train, they will lie around and sleep for most of the day.
10: Greyhounds are so popular, in fact, that they're the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible.
We covered a few greyhound facts above, served up in a straightforward style. Now, let's test your trivia. We're going to ask a series of questions, and see if you can answer them without looking at the answers, which will be listed below this section. Seriously, don't scroll down yet! See how much you know about greyhounds!
1: How much does an average greyhound weigh?
2: What was the purpose of breeding greyhounds?
3: Which culture actually took greyhounds to their graves?
4: What does the word "Maiden" mean in greyhound grading?
5: How old are greyhounds when they start racing?
6: How old are greyhounds when they stop racing?
7: What law did King Canute pass regarding greyhounds?
8: Which American President had a greyhound on is family's coat of arms?
9: Which American automobile once used a greyhound as its hood ornament?
10: How far can greyhounds see?
Okay, so how well do you think you did at this greyhound trivia? Some of the questions are easy, while some of them may be rather difficult. You might not necessarily become a better gambler by learning more about greyhound facts, but becoming interested in this world famous dog breed can help you keep better track of the sport in general. The more you know about the sport, the better off you'll be when handicapping races.
So, let's go ahead and cover the answers here. Be honest with how well you did.
1: The average racing greyhound weighs between 65 and 75 pounds.
2: It wasn't racing, if that's what you were thinking! Greyhounds were actually first bred to be pack hunters in thick forests and open plains.
3: Some really cool archaeological evidence has surfaced. Ancient Egyptians actually took greyhounds into their tombs, mummifying the dogs to rest alongside royalty.
4: In greyhound racing vernacular, the word "Maiden" is a grade given to a dog that hasn't won yet. C, B and A are the following grades, based on how often the dog wins.
5: The average greyhound begins its racing career at 18 months.
6: The average greyhound stops racing at only 4 years old.
7: In the European Kingdom of Canute, killing a greyhound was tantamount to killing a person, and the guilty party would be executed.
8: President Abraham Lincoln's family crest contained a greyhound. Greyhounds went back in his family for many generations.
9: Lincolns, the staple car of the Lincoln Motor Company, once used greyhounds as their ornaments.
10: The average greyhound can see clearly for about half a mile.
In the entire history of the world, you would be hard-pressed to find a dog more notable and revered than the greyhound. From Egypt and Arabia to Europe and modern-day American celebrities, greyhounds are a cherished breed of dog that not only do well racing but make great companions as pets.