What is a Sighthound?
The term 'Sighthound' is used to categorise the different breeds of dog that have exceptional speed and hunt predominantly by their sight.
There are roughly 28 different sighthound breeds, and a few extra crossbreeds.
The 40mph-couch-potato. Greyhounds are beautiful gentle souls. There is a common misconception they needs lots of exercise but the reality couldn't be any more different. Greyhounds sleep most of the day and enjoy nothing more than some food, a nice walk, and then more sleep.
They make fabulous family pets and, since they sleep so much, it doesn't matter if you're in a one bed house or a mansion!
Greyhounds in rescue are often ex-racers that have retired either due to age, injury, or not good enough for racing.
Whippets may look just like a smaller version of a Greyhound but their personalities are different. Whippets are more energetic
It is rare for Whippets to come into our rescue as they're an in-demand breed.
Longdog (Cross Breed)
A Longdog is a term that's becoming outdated due to the common use of 'Lurcher', but Longdog refers to the crossing of two Sighthound breeds. For instance, a Greyhound crossed with a Borzoi would be a Longdog.
Much like the Lurcher, as it is a breed with a cross, the dog will take on the traits of more than one breed. Therefore, their temperament and behaviours will depend on the cross too.
Lurcher (Cross Breed)
A Lurcher is a term given to a dog that is a cross between any pedigree sighthound breed and a non-sighthound breed. It used to be any pedigree sighthound breed and a working dog breed, however the term has now generalised to mean a Sighthound cross. For instance, a Greyhound crossed with a Border Collie would be a Lurcher, or a Whippet crossed with a Beagle would also be a Lurcher.
Lurcher types are often used for Lamping. Lamping is a form of pest control for rabbits and rats which is often done by farmers to control vermin on their land.
As they are a cross breed, no two look the same and no two have the same temperament, so take each dog on a case-by-case basis!
The Saluki often forgets they are are a dog and considers themselves to be a higher class of human. Sassy, sure of themselves, and sometimes stubborn but fiercely loyal and funny. They have beautiful long hair on their ears and tails and they definitely know how gorgeous they are! They were bred primarily for chasing game on difficult terrain - and yes they are fast!
We often recommend people research the breed as they have very big personalities and love to 'roo' and talk all the time. If you want a dog-human, these are the breed for you.
The 'Iggy' is one of the smallest Sighthounds. They were bred for some rabbiting but actually mostly for companionship. They can sometimes be a little nervous, and come across as rather delicate, but they still have some of the basic Sighthound instincts!
Much like the Whippet, they are very rarely in rescue often costing thousands of pounds to purchase. It's often because these 2 breeds are small in size.
Here is a list of some more Sighthound breeds (and crosses). Some are a lot more common than others. See how many you can recognise:
Kangaroo hound (cross)
American Staghound (cross)