Friends together in deep sleep  
Photo above: One of my Whippets and my Italian Greyhound "knitted together" in deep sleep after a long walk! Home comfort is a must for all Sighthounds, not only for their mental health, (they NEED their owner's love and nearness), but also because they lack the protective fat layer of "ordinary" dogs and so feel the cold that much more. They must also always lie on something soft (preferably the best sofa, chair, or your bed!) Another fact about them is, that when you own a dog that can be several miles away in just a few seconds, you really need a good, mutual, loving and trusting "bond" between owner and dog - and what better way to achieve that than to have them live their lives right beside you. Sighthounds are exceedingly faithful and devoted. And Sighthounds just love to be several! Bo Bengtson wrote in his popular book about Whippets: "They are like peanuts: Once you've tried one, you can't stop, you just have to have more"! My e-mail is: - so I'm just a click away!
Generally speaking for (nearly) all Sighthounds I have to say NEARLY all, as there are exceptions to the rule: For example the lively Italian Greyhound, who today is not considered by many countries as a "hunting breed" and who certainly is not so demure, quiet and unobtrusive as most of the others can be when they not chasing something!

Sighthounds are known for their speed and of course this shows itself in their their streamlined body form. They are long boned, slim and elegant with very well developed and strong muscles. One can liken them to athletes ready to compete in the Olympic Games, where the body is top trained to perfection. A layer of superfluous fat is of no use here! They all just love running like the wind and consequently, they have very good eyesight which they use more than other breeds. They don't go round with their noses to the ground to track down the prey - they survey the horizon and once they spot something moving - they go for it! However, they do not need more exercise than any other "sporty breed", despite what many think! They are mostly sprinter types who are quickly tired after a short race around at full speed! They need the same exercise and to get out and meet other dogs just as any other active breed of dog.

5 reliefs in stoneware

Some of my stoneware: From the top left: Greyhound, (which has become my logo - see the background of this page!) Whippet, Italian, Sloughi & Whippet.

Whippet Vibes Toscanini at one year

Here you can see some of the streamlined elegance which nature has created for speed performance, but which to our eyes gives an aesthetic beauty that has inspired many artists all through the centuries. They are truly "living works of art"! This is my Whippet Vibes Toscanini at 1 year of age.

Sighthounds are generally some of the oldest known breeds. Most of them can trace their family tree right back to some of the first domesticated dogs. They were mainly developed to be fast running and to bring down the prey in full flight, kill cleanly and retrieve it or in some cases with larger prey, stay by it and hold it until the owners caught up. In this way they have always played a large and often vital role in obtaining extra food for their owners and in some countries, they still do!
nly the very cleverest and fastest at the hunt would have been bred from and so they have slowly developed to what they are today over thousands of years. Their body form is not the result of any kind of artistic appreciation on the part of the breeders, they were chosen for breeding purely from their performance. How well they hunted and brought down the prey was all important.
Different countries with varying climate, terrain and environment, different prey of all sizes and speeds and many other considerations, has resulted in a wide variety of breeds evolving in accordance to the local requirements. This is why they vary so much today, and you can see many different sizes and shapes, coat type and abilities. Some are lightening fast sprinters rather like the Cheetah, as for example Greyhounds and Whippets, and some are slower but can "run all day" if necessary, as for example Sloughis and Salukis. 
Some are (or were) used as watchdogs as well and some will even guard and herd the owner's domestic animals. Some are long haired, wire haired or smooth - there is a breed for every requirement! There are over 17 different breeds to choose from! Some are unfortunately now quite rare and you need to attend a dog show to see them.

In England, in the Middle Ages, what started as hunting out of necessity to get extra food for the family, developed to a sport for kings and other royal and rich persons! The excitement and thrill of the chase grew to a regular royal sport with set rules and regulations, many of which survive to this day. Nowadays, coursing and hunting after living prey is forbidden in the most of Europe, (including here in Denmark), but luckily for our dogs, lure coursing and track racing has been invented since the turn of the century. (Thanks to an American invention!)
These two sports use either a radio-controlled artificial hare running around on a metal railing on the inside of the track or an electric motor which winches in a long cord laid out in a zigzag course over natural grassy terrain with a "hare" tied on the end .

Italiens are some of the smallest!
Photo above: A friend Tina with her two Danish bred "Italian girls" on a chilly day at a dog show!
An earthenware pot with Greyhound
Above an earthenware urn with running Greyhound, which I have made.

I hope you will continue reading on to the next page where this article about all Sighthounds in general, has one more page.


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