The animal on the cover of High Performance Web Sites is a greyhound.
The fastest dog in the world, a greyhound can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, enabled by its streamlined, narrow body; large lungs, heart, and muscles;double suspension gallop (two periods of a gait when all four feet are off the ground); and the flexibility of its spine.Although greyhounds are incredibly fast,
they are actually low-energy dogs and lack endurance, requiring less exercise time than most dogs.For this reason, they’re often referred to as “45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes” because when not chasing smaller prey (such as rabbits and cats), they are
content to spend their days sleeping.
Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs, appearing in art and literature
throughout history.In ancient Egypt, greyhounds were often mummified and buried with their owners, and hieroglyphics from 4000 B.C.E. show a dog closely resembling
the modern greyhound.In Greek and Roman mythology, greyhounds were
often depicted with gods and goddesses.Greyhounds appeared in the writings of
Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Cervantes, and they are the only type of dog
mentioned in the Bible.They’ve long been appreciated for their intelligence, graceful
form, athleticism, and loyalty.
During the early 1920s, modern greyhound racing was introduced into the United
States.Smaller and lighter than show greyhounds, track greyhounds are selectively
bred and usually stand between 25–29 inches tall and weigh 60–70 pounds.These
dogs instinctively chase anything that moves quickly (as they are sighthounds, not
bloodhounds), hence the lure—the mechanical hare they chase around the track.
Greyhound racing is still a very popular spectator sport in the United States and, like
horse racing, is enjoyed as a form of parimutuel gambling.
Greyhound racing is very controversial as the dogs experience little human contact
and spend most of their non-racing time in crates.Once greyhounds are too old to
race (somewhere between three and five years of age), many are euthanized, though
there are now many rescue programs that find homes for retired racers.Because greyhounds
are naturally docile and even-tempered, most adjust well to adoption and
make wonderful pets.