Sighthounds are an ancient category of dog that rely heavily on sight for hunting as opposed to scent hounds, who mostly used their nose. Included among sighthounds are Greyhounds, Whippets, Salukis, Basenjis and Afghans. Typical scent hounds are Basset Hounds and Blood Hounds. You can spot a sighthound by the oversized chest cavity, relatively long legs and narrow hips. They also often have their head up looking into the distance as opposed to my old Basset Hound who always had his nose to the ground.
They can run extremely fast, Whippets being clocked at 35mph in a sprint. They are very "prey driven." What that means it you better hold on to the leash. We are looking for a trainer who can help with recall but one issue according to the Whippet sites is that they instinctively take off after prey and run so fast that once they stop, they may not know where they are and how to get home.
Whippets were breed in England and Ireland by the working class for racing and for game hunting. The story goes that the kids might eat bread but the dog would get meat since if he won his race on the weekend, he would bring home money for the family. He would also hunt small game like rabbit for the table. Some were encouraged to poach. Looking through the large dog book at the vet, I thought I had found Max's "roots" when I found the picture of a sighthound called a Lurcher.
While not a pure breed, it is generally a cross between a sighthound and any other breed, usually a pastoral dog or terrier, dependent on the attributes desired by the breeder; originally stealth and cunning. Collie crosses are popular, given the working instinct of a sheepdog when mated with a sighthound gives a dog of great intelligence plus speed - prerequisites for the hunter/poacher. In the USA midwest, crosses with large scent hounds are fairly common.
He looked the closest and the dog is found in England, Ireland and the US and owned by Gypsies who use the dog to poach. I thought that was quite hilarious until we discovered that they run 50-60 pounds, where Max is 22 1/2.
Whippets are sometimes called "Velcro dogs" as they follow their owner everywhere, even into the bathroom. They love to cuddle as well and are pretty sensitive to correction and quite smart. They are very athletic and can jump with ease. I found this out last night.
One couch backs on to a large counter which covers a stairwell, the other side of which is the kitchen. The habits from years of living with chow hound Boogs taught me to keep food off the floor and low tables. He was however, never able to get to the kitchen counter. Well, it is a short "Max jump" from the floor, to the couch to the large counter over the staircase to the kitchen counter. Himself and I were out in the back yard discussing what fence "hardening" was necessary to contain Max and exclude the deer. I had put leftover spareribs and rice in a container covered with saran wrap on the counter, planning to heat it up for our dinner. When we returned, half was gone.
|Dogs have always enjoyed the couch|
|Kitchen prep space|
|Chow isn't too bad around here|
|It must have been Raggie|
We are eager to hear from the trainer as some work needs to be done.