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Croatian Greyhound

Directly descended form the Old Bosnian Greyhound, the Staro-Hrvatski Hrt was also greatly influenced by the Hungarian Greyhound, Posavac Hound, Istrian Hound and the variety of imported sight hounds from the West, mainly the English Greyhound, the Whippet and the Italian Greyhound. One theory suggests that the Old Croatian Greyhound is the primary ancestor of the early Dalmatian, but this belief needs more research, seing how there were quite a few breeds involved in the creation of the popular spotted dog. Although working sight hounds have been around for thousands of years in the Balkans, the Croatian Greyhound is a relatively young breed in comparison to its Serbian and Bosnian cousins, having been developed in the late 1700's and remained somewhat uniform in type until the 20th century, when common crosses with the English Greyhound, Bosnian Greyhound and the modern Dalmatian, as well as hunting dogs from Austria and Germany were made by the hunters in Istria, Slavonia and Dalmatia. Some believe that the Slavonian Greyhound was a separate breed, closer to the Serbian and Hungarian dogs than to the Croatian Greyhound, but the variety became nearly extinct during the WW2 before the surviving strains were assimilated into the Staro-Hrvatski Hrt population. The Croatian Greyhound is a very agile and fast breed, traditionally used for hunting small game and racing trials. The breed became very rare in the 2nd half of the 20th century and prior to the beginning of Yugoslavian wars, some plans to establish a revival programme were put into motion, but were unfortunately never finalized.

The breed can still be sometimes seen in some parts of present-day Croatia, but the majority of these dogs are working crosses, mostly with the ever-popular English Greyhound and the Istrian Hound. In their desire to save the Staro-Hrvatski Hrt from extinction, some overly zealous fanciers in Croatia are widely perpetuating the myth that the Bosnian Greyhound is in fact the same breed as the Croatian Greyhound, angering many dog enthusiasts in the Balkans and serious canine authorities worldwide. These two breeds are definetely related, but their developments had taken them into different directions over the centuries, with the Croatian breed becoming smaller, lighter and calmer than its old Bosnian ancestor. The Staro-Hrvatski Hrt is a well-muscled, deep-chested and agile breed, reportedly faster than the Bosnian Greyhound, but not as driven or powerful. A capable hunter, this breed also makes a loving and obedient companion, thanks to its intelligence, gentle nature and calm temperament.

The coat is short and flat, white in colour, with black, grey, brown or brindle patches of various sizes on the head and body. Average height is 23 inches.

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