Properties of a Good Greyhound

“A Greyhound should be headed like a snake,
And necked like a drake,
Footed like a cat,
Tailed like a rat,
Sided like a teme,
Backbone like a beam.”

This description of the “Properties of a Good Greyhound” came from Dame Juliana Berners’ “Boke of St. Albans” of 1486, the first sporting book published in English. Edward M. Gilbert Jr. and Thelma R. Brown explain in, “K-9 Structure & Terminology:”

The small head (like a snake) was to give the dog added speed, the neck long enough to allow the dog to reach down and grasp a running rabbit. The cat foot, insisted upon by many early breeders, was to give the dog agility and endurance. The word, “teme” has been written as “bream” (a sunfish) by other writers.

As is further explained, the fastest dog isn’t always the best, rather, the dog with enough speed to overtake the hare while having the ability to maneuver quickly is the dog that usually catches the rabbit.

“Greyhound Portrait” by Rachel Parker –rachelsstudio

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