The Greyhound family are sleek, long-legged canines that are built for speed and hunting. They have sleek, pointed heads with an eye set that allows them an extremely wide field of view. They have deep chests with slim, tucked abdomens and have very short fur.
At full speed all greyhounds run with a double suspension gallop, meaning that at full stride all four legs are off the ground during the contraction and the extension stage. At the contraction stage the front legs are extended towards the rear while the hind legs are extended towards the front. At full suspension, or the extension stage, their hind legs are extended towards the rear and the front legs are extended towards the front and all legs are parallel to the ground. It is this running style that gives the greyhound its explosive speed.
The Italian Greyhound is an ancient breed, dating as far back as Bronze Age Egypt, Greece and Italy. The Italian Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1886.
The Whippet was developed in the 19th century by crossing the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound, and a terrier. Its name was derived from the expression “whip it,” which means to move quickly. The Whippet was recognized by the AKC in 1888.
The Greyhound is another ancient breed with evidence found in Egyptian tombs dating back 5,000 years and brought to England before 900 AD. It was brought to America by the Spanish explorers in the 1500s. The Greyhound was recognized by the AKC in 1885.
Height and weight
The Italian Greyhound is the smallest member of the greyhound family, ranging from 12 to 17 inches at the withers, and weighing from 6 to 17 pounds.
The Whippet is the mid-sized dog, with males ranging from 19 to 22 inches at the withers, and bitches ranging from 18 to 21 inches at the withers, and the weight for both ranging from 25 to 45 pounds.
The Greyhound is the largest member, with males ranging from 28 to 30 inches at the withers, and weighing between 65 to 80 pounds, and bitches ranging from 27 to 28 inches at the withers and weighing between 60 to 70 pounds.
They are all sight hounds and are hunters.
Italian greyhounds, although small, readily hunt birds, smaller rodents, and even cats. If they are introduced to pet cats at an early age they get along quite well. Introducing an older dog to pet cats, however, can have adverse consequences.
Whippets are very quick and can reach top speed in a matter of seconds. They will pursue and kill cats, and other animals, including small dogs. As with the Italian Greyhound, they can be introduced to pet cats at an early age and generally get along quite well.
Greyhounds have a definite prey drive and have an instinctive reaction to chase anything that moves quickly. They are extremely fast (they are the fastest of the canine species) and will kill cats and other animals.