Sighthounds

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Sighthounds




Other Sighthound Breeds
With origins in every region of the old world (Africa, Europe and Asia), the sighthound group is one of the oldest amongst dogs with recognisable examples of the type dating back as far as 7000 BC.
Although most breeds within the type share defining characteristics (as a result of convergent evolution) such as leaner bodies and dolichocephalic (longer than they are wide) heads, there is a considerable amount of variation between breeds, even between breeds of the same region. For example, breeds of the British Isles- compare the Wolfhound to the Whippet.
This list excludes a few of the sub-types that are not recognised by any register and is not a complete list.
In some cases, breeds may not be considered "true" sighthounds by some registries although they are hounds that hunt primarily by sight.

Whippet
Country of origin - England
Smaller than most other sighthound breeds, similar in shape and general to the greyhound, featuring the same colours. The whippet is thought to be derived from the greyhound.



Italian Greyhound
Also known as Levriero Italiano
Country of origin - Greece, Turkey
The smallest of the sighthounds, similar in general shape to the greyhound but very slight of build and featuring a high-stepping gait. Despite its name, the Italian Greyhound is not a miniature version of the English greyhound, nor is it derived from the breed.



Irish Wolfhound
Also known as Cú Faoil
Country of origin - Ireland
The tallest breed of dog, heavily built with a rough coat. Greater stamina than a greyhound. As the name suggests, wolfhounds were frequently used to hunt wolves although historically, were also used for guarding and as war dogs.



Scottish Deerhound
Also known as Deerhound
Country of origin - Scotland
A larger and more heavily built sighthound, originally wire-coated, now rough-coated. The deerhound was named for its use in hunting deer (especially red deer), its use in this function dating as far back as the 1st century AD.



Borzoi
Also known as Russian Wolfhound
Country of origin - Russia
Similar in shape to most eastern sighthounds with a long, double coat and generally Roman-nosed. Like the Irish wolfhound, the borzoi was bred for coursing wolves but unlike the heavier Irish hound, the borzoi is also capable of coursing smaller game such as hares.



Afghan Hound
Also known as Eastern Greyhound
Country of origin - Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
Tall, long-coated and with a distinctive ring to the end of the tail. Face is usually clean although "mandarin" type has longer hair around the muzzle. Often Roman-nosed.



Saluki
Also known as Persian Greyhound, Gazelle Hound
Country of origin - Middle Eastern region
Slight build with dry muscling. Coat may either be smooth or feathered. Used to course especially fleet game such as gazelle and hare.



Chart Polski
Also known as Polish Greyhound
Country of origin - Poland
Although similar in appearance to the greyhound, the Chart Polski is a double coated breed and generally thicker in build. It was bred primarily to hunt wolves.



Hortaya borzaya
Also known as Eastern Greyhound
Country of origin - from Ukraine and southern Russia through to Kazakhstan
A short-haired derivative of the borzoi, the hortaya was bred for coursing smaller game such as foxes, hare and saiga.



Taigan
Also known as Kyrgyzskaya Borzaya Taigan
Country of origin - Kyrgyzstan
An eastern sighthound that shares characteristics with other types from that area (azawakh, Afghan hound, etc), the taigan was bred to course a variety of game in mountainous regions.



Bakhmull
Also known as Bakhmull Tazi - sighthound of Afghanistan
Country of origin - Afghanistan, Russia
A long-coated sighthound somewhat similar to the Afghan Hound. The Bakhmull was bred to hunt large game, including wolves, ibex and even big cats.



Magyar agár
Also known as Hungarian Greyhound
Country of origin - Hungary, Romania
Longer in body than the greyhound and also heavier. Noted for its great endurance in coursing game alongside mounted hunters.



Galgo Español
Also known as Spanish greyhound
Country of origin - Spain
Generally similar in appearance to the greyhound although dry muscling and slighter in build. Coat may be smooth or rough. Possibly a parent breed of the English greyhound.



Sloughi
Also known as Berber Greyhound
Country of origin - Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia
A drop-eared sighthound of north African descent, dry muscling but similar build to the greyhound. Sloughi are related to the azawakh but not to the saluki, although it is heavier and thicker in build than the azawakh. Used for both hunting and guarding.



Azawakh
Also known as Tuareg Sloughi
Country of origin - Mali
Similar in shape to most middle eastern sighthounds although notable in the length of leg it possesses, particularly in the hind end. Used as a pack hunting dog and also a guard dog.



Mudhol Hound
Also known as Caravan Hound
Country of origin - India
Slightly broader in head than a greyhound, with pendulous ears. Coat may be smooth or feathered. Used for coursing small game and as a guard dog. As with the azawakh, croup is fairly high-set, giving the impression of very long hind legs.



Rajapalayam
Also known as Indian sight-hound
Country of origin - India
A usually albino dog (other colours may occur) with similar general shape to the greyhound although more heavy-set and with pendulous ears. Bred for hunting strong game such as wild boar.



Rampur Hound
Also known as Rampur greyhound
Country of origin - India
Very similar in shape and build to the greyhound although slightly broader and heavier. Capable of great endurance, it was originally bred for hunting mid to larger game. The breed was developed from out-crossing tazi to English greyhounds.



Chippiparai
Country of origin - India
Very similar in appearance to the Rampur Greyhound, with eastern attributes such as the high-set croup and dry muscling. Tail is long and bony in appearance with a slight curve (a trait shared with the rajapalayam hound). Bred to course boar, deer and hare.



Kanni
Sub-type of the Mudhol Hound
Country of origin - India
Similar in appearance to the Saluki (with which it shares descendants) although only smooth-coated. Usually black and tan. Bred to course deer.



Rhodesian Ridgeback
Also known as African Lion Boy/Girl
Country of origin - Zimbabwe
Very heavy in build compared to other sighthounds, featuring a distinctive "ridge" of hair from the shoulders to the hips. Light wheaten to red wheaten coat. Not a "true" sighthound (UKC group 3).



Pharaoh Hound
Also known as Kelb tal-Fenek
Country of origin - Malta
A smaller breed of sighthound, slightly thicker with distinctive upright ears. Coat is short and only in red (varying shades). Not a "true" sighthound (UKC group 3).



Ibizan Hound
Also known as Podenco Ibicenco
Country of origin - Spain
Somewhat smaller than most other sighthound breeds, distinctive upright ears. May be smooth or wire coated in only red and white. Not a "true" sighthound (UKC group 3).



Xigou (pronounced See-gow)
Also known as Mongolian Sighthound
Country of origin - China
Menggu type is smooth coated, Shaanxi type is long coated. Shaanxi type features a Roman-nose, coat appears feathered rather than true long coat. Dry muscling.
Shandong type may be either smooth or long coated, features a nose that may tip either up or down (often slightly Roman).

BoerWindhond ("farm wind dog" - fast dog)
Also known as Boer Greyhound
Country of origin - South Africa
Very similar in appearance to the greyhound, featuring identical colours and coat pattern varieties. Slightly greater stamina than a greyhound, less speed.

Written content used with permission (C) Greyhound Haven 2010 - 2016
All images are used under Creative Commons license or are in the public domain.
Authors listed or linked (where possible) below-
Whippet, Italian Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound (Linda Lindt / Richard Hawkins), Chart Polski, Borzoi (Design Barbara/Madeleine), Hortaya borzaya (Hortaya), Taigan (Jan Scotland), Bakhmull (Natalia Gherasiova), Magyar agár, Galgo Español, Afghan Hound (Zwoenitzer), Sloughi (Sabine Schlenkrich), Saluki (Townsend-Stoner), Azawakh, Mudhol Hound (Neil Trilokekar), Rajapalayam (Nithinm), Rampur Hound, Chippiparai (Richie2089), Kanni (Futuristicpals), Rhodesian Ridgeback, Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound.

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