AppearanceThe Polish Greyhound is recognized by major kennel clubs around the world, including the FCI or UKC and according to those, this is a dog of a great size and commanding appearance and it should be more muscular and heavier boned than most other sighthounds. But they are still very lean and athletic.
The average height is between 27-32 inches, which is 68-81 cm and weight is typically between 60-90 lbs, which is 27-40 kg. So as you can see, this really is a very big dog. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
The Polish Greyhound has short and smooth coat of variable lengths over all the body, normally little bit longer on his body, buttocks and tail. You can find this breed in many colors, the most common are black and tan, blue and beige.
This breed has large almond shaped eyes and the eye color depends on the color of his coat and will range from dark brown to amber. The narrow ears are set at eye level and medium sized.
This breed was originally used for hunting birds and other animals and when they are hunting they are very brave, confident, decisive, fast and self assured. This is definitely a great hunter, but of course, these days, they are most often living as family companions.
And they can make great family companions, especially for active families. This is definitely a loyal, territorial and protective dog, that is quite alert and wary of strangers, but they should not show any signs of unwarranted agression. On the other hand, Polish Greyhound loves its family. Generally, they are well mannered, affectionate, gentle and playful.
Usually, the Polish Greyhound does not have problems with kids in the family, but of course, you should always supervise the situation between a very young child and any dog breed. The Polish Greyhound might not be the best choice for people with other smaller household pets, because they might try to chase them, especially if they will run away from them, but with proper early socialization, they can happily live together with other smalle dogs or cats.
The Polish Greyhound loves to chase everything that moves and it does not matter if it is another animal or a leaf carried by a wind. That is why you should let them off leash only in well known or fenced areas, because once they start the chase, it is extremely hard to recall them. On the other hand, thanks to their high chasing instinct, they are excellent adepts for lure coursing.
We are not completely sure about the breeds history and ancestry, but it is very likely that they are ancestors of Asiatic sighthounds similar to Saluki. We are also not completely sure, when they first got into Poland, but the first records about presence of Polish Greyhound in Poland is attested since the 13th century, so as you can see, this is quite old dog breed.
Back in the days, this was favourite hunting dog of Polish nobility and they were mostly used to hunt birds, but also hares, foxes, deer or even wolves. They were used to hunt in a group, who would run on leash next to horse and when they would see a prey, the hunters would let them free to follow it. In winter, they were transported on a sleigh covered with blankets and when prey apperaed they were released from the sleigh.
During the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, the number of Polish Greyhound dropped drastically and the breed was nearly wiped out after the second world war. From the 1970s there were attempts to revive and save the breed and thankfully, it was succesful. One of the person who is credited for reviving this breed is Stanisław Czerniakowski.
The Polish Greyhound was recognized by FCI in 1989 and by UKC in 1996. Even though, this breed is not on verge of extinction anymore, they are still considered pretty rare, especially outside Poland.
Health and grooming
The Polish Greyhound is usually a very healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 10-12 years. Even though, they do not suffer much from any health issues, there are cases of cardiomyopathy, progressive retinal atrophy or gastric torsion. Some of them can also have allergic reactions to anesthesia or some drugs, for example to certain antibiotics.
The grooming and overall maintenance is not very hard. Regular weekly brushing will help to remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding, but even without almost any brushing, the coat will stay in great condition. Just like with all the dog breeds, you should regularly check their eyes, ears and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.