Considering I've created an Instagram and a blog for the dogs you might already know, I've got a soft spot for long snoots. But I realised, I've never shared some of the reasons why we chose to have sighthounds as pets and why we believe they're such a brilliant breed. Sadly, I think a lot of people get hounds all wrong and presume their vicious because of their speed but I've yet to meet an unfriendly sighthound who didn't want to lean against your legs whilst enjoying a fuss.
My family dog is a Westie so I'm used to living with a white dog who needs regular haircuts and brushing to stay looking fresh. And although I absolutely adore that small fluffer I always knew that when I got my own dog that I wanted a breed with short hair that required minimum brushing, no trips to the groomers and didn't retain smell in their fur. Because we love to adventure in woodland which obviously when the winter months roll around soon turns from dusty to disgusting and needing to regularly bath a dog is not on the top of my to-do list. Not only is it time-consuming and turns the house into a whirlwind of mess but it's not good for any pups skin. The only issue that we have with our hounds is a small amount of shedding [Josie more than Edie]. It's nothing too bad and with regular brushing, it's easy to keep on top of, a soft rubber brush is the best thing we've found for that sensitive whippet skin. And with both of them being dark colours I'm never left with light hairs all over my dark clothes which might seem like a small thing but living with a white dog for 7 years it's a joy.
the best of both worlds
I always used to think that I wanted a small dog as I knew that I could never have a huge dog as realistically I'm not sure how well I could handle a dog that weighed more than I did. And Italian greyhounds, whippets and small lurchers are the best of both worlds to me because they're small enough that they don't take up too much room and you can comfortably share a bed with them but they're just big enough that they're able to go on really long walks if you want. To me, they're schedium dogs as they're not quite small and they're not quite a medium either as they're so slender and elegant. Sometimes they are curled up like a little puppy donut or spread out showing off all their length, it's like they're the Stretch Armstrong of the dog world.
LOYAL, LOVING and silent
A question that comes up quite often is if Josie and Edie like a fuss. And hands down, I've never known two such loving dogs. Of course, I'm slightly biased because they're my pups but they are such sweet girls. It doesn't matter who someone is or whether they know them or not they will always give someone a fuss. Meaning they would be absolutely terrible guard dogs and instead of protecting us they would more than likely show the intruder where they could find all our most valuable items. As well as being incredibly sweet natured dogs something else that I absolutely adore is that typically sighthounds aren't really barkers. Bella, my family Westie is a terrier and she barks at everything, mostly through excitement but also a lot at cats and squirrels. Which made watching anything with animals in incredibly difficult and I love a good nature documentary. Josie and Edie, tend to bark when they're playing. And Josie makes an odd Whale like noise when she needs the toilet which came in handy when she was a puppy and being house trained.
Faster than YOUR AVERAGE
If you know sighthounds then you will know that they're not your typical pets. And some traits are difficult to work with for example their chase/prey instinct which is the most important thing anybody who is thinking about a hound is aware of. But there is one thing that sets these dogs apart from most of the canine world and that is their speed. They're incredibly fast with speeds up to 35mph and the way that they run is the same big cats as all of their limbs come off the ground. Seeing the girls run at full speed is something that makes me incredibly happy and you can see how happy it makes them. It's also really important that they're able to run and stretch their legs so that their muscles can form properly. Often people are really put off by their speed as they think it means that they're trying to hunt etc which is understandable but running like that is what keeps them happy and something I'll never tire of seeing. And even though they're crazy fast and love to run around like loons they're also incredibly lazy and like to sleep for 90% of the day, mostly only waking up for naps. It's a huge misconception that they need hours and hours of exercise but an hour is absolutely fine.
MINIMAL HEALTH ISSUES
Probably one of the most important things to be aware of when either getting a puppy or adopting a dog is if that breed has any specific health issues that you need to be aware of. I knew that I never wanted to buy into a breed with really serious health issues that could cause them to lead a shorter life or require a lot of medication, it just doesn't seem right to me. Whippets and Lurchers aren't known for having a long list of health issues although like any animal they can develop diseases. Josie especially because she is a cross has always been such a healthy pup and we've never had any serious issues. She healed incredibly quickly from being spayed, you can't even see her scar anymore. One thing we're always aware of though is that they have such a small percentage of body fat so they can get cold easily hence why you'll often see them wearing little fleeces and in winter they're never without a coat. As well as having a small percentage of body fat they're also prone to little cuts and scrapes so regularly checking their body for any wounds is something I find myself doing a lot. Especially when they've been chasing around in the woodland.