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Sighthounds, also known as sighthounds, are dogs that have been bred to hunt using their sight and speed, and not by scent or endurance like scent hounds do.
They come from the hound family which consists of the scent hounds and the sighthounds. Sighthounds have long and lean bodies with long legs and flexible backs to help them in running at high speeds to hunt prey.
Sighthounds make for great pets as they are easy to care for due to their short coat that is easily maintainable. They are, however, not hyperactive or strong-willed. They form a close bond with their owners and use their sight-driven instincts to make their owners happy! The famous greyhound and the Saluki are part of the Sighthound family and are some of the most well-known dogs in the world!
A sighthound is a collective group of hound dog breeds and the sighthound breeds contain dogs like the Irish wolfhound, Afghan hound, Italian greyhound, Borzoi, Saluki, and the whippet, to name a few.
Due to their keen senses, agile nature, and slender body, these hounds have been used as hunting dogs over a large period, and because of that, need to be skinny, as a light body helps them to hunt prey using their keen sight and speed.
Sighthounds much like the other species of dogs belong to the Mammalia class of animals.
An accurate number for sighthounds is tough to give as the Afghan hound, Irish Wolfhound, Italian greyhound, whippet, Borzoi, and the Saluki dog breeds can be found throughout the world and are a popular species of dogs and will continue to be bred until they are extinct.
Sighthound represents species such as the Borzoi, Afghan hound, Saluki, and the whippet and is mostly found in households as a pet. These dogs have a high energy level and are excellent pets.
Sighthounds can live in a range of habitats as they are found all across the globe and since some breeds have dense coats, like the Afghan hound, and some have short fur coats, like the Italian greyhound or the Saluki, they can thrive in cold and warm weather.
They are, however, best suited to household life nowadays, leaving behind their predatory drive and need to hunt.
Sighthounds mainly live with their owners in apartments. Most of them are kid-friendly excluding the Borzoi which might be a tough dog breed to keep around children. Excluding the Afghan hound and Saluki, most of them are friendly towards strangers and hence, can live in small apartments or large houses.
Sighthounds, depending on the breeds they belong to, have different lifespans. The Irish wolfhound has the shortest expected lifespan and lives up to around eight years of age. The whippet has one of the longest lifespans of sighthounds and can live up to 15 years.
Sighthounds are bred by breeders in controlled environments. The age of sexual maturity for these dogs can be anywhere from six to 12 months of age, the exception being larger dog breeds where the sexual maturity can be delayed to up to two years. Sighthound females have a gestation period like all the other dog breeds which is approximately 63 days after mating. Pregnancy in sighthounds is possible when they reach their first estrus cycle, but a breeder will take no chance and make sure the breeding happens during the second cycle as it is only during the estrus cycle that copulation will result in pregnancy.
Most of the dogs representing the sighthound breed are abundant in nature and are in no way threatened or endangered. Since they are bred all over the world, it will take a lot of time and negligence for these breeds to die out.
Sighthounds have been used as dogs to hunt agile animals such as deer and hares, because of which they developed flexible backs and long legs. They have a deep chest to support their large heart and lungs which are efficient for anaerobic and aerobic sprints. They have a long, lean body that keeps their weight at a minimum allowing them to run at fast speeds to hunt.
Sighthounds with their playful nature and friendliness are amazing pets and can be cute to the core, especially puppies! But more than cute, they are majestic due to their long body and magnificent coat of fur.
Sighthounds communicate through visual and vocal communication. Visual communication includes licking, sniffing, positioning the tail and ear, gazing at each other, and through facial expressions. Auditory or vocal communication includes barking, growling, whining, whimpering, panting, and sighing. They also communicate through scents and pheromones.
Sighthounds can be small as well as large! The Italian greyhound grows 13-15 in (33-38.1 cm) tall at the shoulder, and the Irish wolfhound grows 32-35 in (81.2-88.9 cm) at the shoulder!
Sighthounds are fast in nature and can reach great running speed as they were bred to hunt. Greyhounds, a representative of the sighthound, is the fastest dog in the world and can reach a speed of 45 mph (72.4 kph)!
Sighthounds can range in weight since there are so many of them. The Italian greyhound is the lightest dog in this breed and weighs a mere 6-15 lb (2.7-6.8 kg) whereas the largest, the Irish wolfhound, weighs up to 115-180 lb (52.1-81.6 kg)!
Like all breeds of dogs, males are called dogs, and females are called bitches.
A sighthound baby is called a puppy.
Sighthound puppies are born in an average litter of four to eight in most cases, the Borzoi has an average litter size of up to 11 puppies. With proper care, grooming, and training, a puppy will become social and energetic and will adapt to the habitat of the household, and become an excellent pet!
Sighthounds should be fed high-quality dog food.
No, sighthounds are one of the few breeds of dogs that produce a little amount of drool. So if you are a clean freak and don't like getting a few wet spots on your clothes or sofa after playing with your dog, then this breed is perfect for you!
Sighthounds are great pets as they are minimal shedders, their short or long coat of fur is healthy and they are easy to groom. They are easy-going and carefree members of a family, though they do need a good amount of daily exercise and love to run and in turn, you too can get your share of exercise!
Make sure to keep your sighthound safe as these dogs are sensitive due to their short coat of fur and skinny build.
Sighthounds are affectionate towards children and are well-behaved. Due to their remaining instincts of being wild dogs, these dogs are reserved when in the presence of strangers. They tend to be shy and like other breeds of dogs, they rarely bark or howl. So, if you want a polite dog then this is the dog breed for you!
Sighthounds are called so because they were bred and given training to assist humans to hunt using their sight and speed.
Afghan hounds have a low tolerance for pain and even a minor wound is enough to become bothersome to them and they are often whiny and babyish.
Irish wolfhounds, despite their large size, do not make good guard dogs.
Italian greyhounds will become shy or hyperactive if they aren't provided with love and attention!
Salukis usually prefer living with other Salukis but will get along with other dogs that do not show dominant nature.
Whippets can suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone in a house for long. So if you're a person who spends much of their time traveling, then the whippet is not for you!
It will take you time to get a Borzoi as these breeds are not common in nature.
Greyhounds are the only dog breed that has been mentioned in the Bible!
During a single race, a greyhound can lose up to 5 pounds (2.2 kg) of weight!
It is said that the greyhound breed is the healthiest breed of dog in purebred dogs.
Shakespeare seemed to be a fan of greyhounds as they were mentioned in 11 of his plays!
Greyhounds are in the top five gentlest dogs.
Great Danes are not sighthounds.
If you suffer from allergies, then the greyhounds, whippets, and Italian greyhounds are the perfect dog for you as due to their short coat and skin type they do not affect people with common dog allergies.
Dogs are seen as unclean and are hence, prohibited in the Islamic religion, however, a special exception is given to the Saluki breed who are known as 'holy dogs'.
Greyhounds come second only to the cheetah at being the fastest accelerating animal on Earth!
The Irish wolfhound breed came close to becoming extinct in the 19th Century when wolves were wiped out in Ireland. A British Army Officer, Captain G.A Graham, brought these dogs back from the brink of extinction.
Even though they are known as the Italian greyhound, they originated in Greece, not Italy. They got their names because of being famous pets among Italian aristocrats.
Sighthounds are excellent at dog sports due to their athletic nature. A greyhound named Cinderella May holds the Guinness World Record for the highest jump cleared by a dog at 68 inches in October 2006.
Sighthounds have long bodies with long muzzles. This long muzzle, along with their almond-shaped eyes and a special foveal region across their retina gives them a wider range of vision. Their field of vision is 270 degrees compared to a human's 180-degree angle of vision.
All breeds of sighthounds are sleek and come from breeds that were bred to hunt and they love to run and spend time with their families.
The difference between sighthound breeds can be small like the shapes and sizes they come in, or their litter size. Except for that, they are pretty much the same!
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the black and tan coonhound and the Kerry blue terrier.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our sighthound coloring pages.
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