The Polish Greyhound is a brave, confident, and loyal breed. Like other sighthounds, these dogs are hardy, skilled hunters and make for quiet, well-mannered family pets.
Polish Greyhound History
The Polish Greyhound, also known as Chart Polski, dates back to 13th-century Poland. At that time, hunting with scenthounds for deer, wolves, foxes, and "bustards" (large, crane-like Polish birds) was a popular sport. The Polish Greyhound's speed allowed them to keep up with men on horseback during the hunt. As a result, nobility highly favored the breed.
But under communist rule, these dogs nearly disappeared. Fortunately, some hunters secretly continued to use Polish Greyhounds to hunt game—helping these loyal dogs survive the Iron Curtain.
The United Kennel Club recognized the Polish Greyhound on January 1, 1996.
Polish Greyhound Traits
The Polish Greyhound is a large, muscular (yet sleek) dog with a commanding appearance. The breed has powerful jaws and a strong frame. Such traits allowed these dogs to hunt successfully in Poland's severe conditions and climate.
Coat and Coloring
Polish Greyhounds have relatively harsh coats that are springy to the touch. Hair length varies over all the body—though it's shortest on the chest and legs and longest on the buttocks and tail. The coat comes in all colors.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Polish Greyhounds have long, lean heads and almond-shaped eyes that cast a lively, penetrating gaze. Their feathered tails are long and curve at the tip—forming a sickle shape or complete circle.
Polish Greyhound Temperament
The Polish Greyhound is a good-tempered, loyal breed. These brave pups make excellent guardians and form strong bonds with their people. Despite their large size, they're typically careful around kids of all ages.
Polish Greyhounds are speedy dogs that love to sprint and chase things—including cats, small pets, or wildlife. When they catch something, their instincts tend to take over (which usually isn't good for the little critter). For this reason, it's wise to have a securely fenced yard and warn neighbors not to let their small pets come over for a surprise visit.
Polish Greyhound Care
Polish Greyhounds need high-quality food appropriate for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). They also benefit from diets formulated for large-breed dogs—particularly when they are puppies. This helps prevent them from growing too fast and developing skeletal problems down the road.
These dogs are at a greater risk than most breeds for bloat (also known as twisted stomach). To help prevent bloat, break your dog's food up into several meals a day, and use a food bowl specially designed to slow their eating. When timing meals, avoid feeding your pup immediately before or after any vigorous activity.
These are just a few ways you can help prevent this life-threatening condition. Consult your veterinarian about other ways—including surgical options—to prevent bloat.
Polish Greyhounds have relatively low-maintenance coats. Weekly brushing is all that's needed to keep them looking their best. Nail trims, ear cleanings, and regular dental care—including at-home teeth brushing and professional cleanings—should also be part of their grooming routines.
This active breed needs plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation. Large, enclosed areas allow Polish Greyhounds to show off their speed and burn off energy. They also seem to enjoy dog sports, such as lure coursing, racing, agility, and competitive obedience. And, if you can keep up with them, they make good jogging buddies.
All sighthounds respond best to positive and reward-based training. Polish Greyhounds may also require careful socialization to prevent or reduce fear-based defensive behaviors. Start this socialization at an early age to help your pup grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.