History of Greyhound Dogs:
Part 3 of 4

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In this section about the history of the Greyhound dogs breed, we will discuss how this beautiful animal worked its way from being the victim of the “Forest Laws” to being the favorite of the nobles for sportsmanship racing games.

To quickly recap on these forest laws of the year 1014: The laws were created so that freemen of the lands could not use their Greyhounds to hunt game for food, because it was only the nobles and the rich that could acquire fresh kill for their feasts.

The sheer speed and training ability of these dogs were immense, and so they were great hunters for man. Under this law, no slave or serf were legally allowed to own a Greyhound.

As tough as it is to imagine, the law required that all Greyhounds owned by freemen of the royal forests were to have either three of their toes chopped off or get the ligament in their legs severed.

This would prevent the dogs from chasing and bringing back game to the commoners, which was considered only the right of the nobles.

Eventually, after several centuries, this law was repealed.

Even so, the Greyhound dog breed still held its place as a dogs of nobility.

But with the growth of agriculture and domestic animals used for food, needing the Greyhound to hunt game and gather meat was needed by the people less and less.

Since hunting for prey was outdated at the time, Greyhounds became the target of great sportsmanship in racing by both the nobles and the commoners.

This was known as “coursing”.

A coursing enthusiast, Elizabeth I created rules where the Greyhounds could be fairly judged for the new sport coined the “sport of queens”.

In fact, the first coursing sport was formed in the year 1776. It was during the 1800's that the upper-class considered coursing one of their favorite pastimes.

Part 4 of the History of the Greyhounds




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