The Polish Greyhound, known as Chart Polski in its native Poland, is a sighthound breed developed primarily for hunting. The exact origins of the Polish Greyhound are not definitively known, but the breed has been present in Poland for hundreds of years, with records dating back to the 17th century. It was bred primarily for hunting in the Polish countryside, specializing in hunting hare, fox, and even wolf due to its robust construction and excellent sight. Nobility and landed gentry typically used these dogs for hunting, and they were also symbols of social status. They suffered a decline during the World Wars, but were revived in the late 20th century.
Polish Greyhounds can be affected by heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy. They may also be at a higher risk of cancer. As a deep chested breed, they are susceptible to bloat, also known as gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening condition that can come on suddenly, so it’s important to know the warning signs and get an affected dog immediate veterinary care. It is possible that the breed could be affected by some of the health conditions found in common Greyhounds. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration. As a Sighthound breed, they are known to be more sensitive to barbiturate anesthetics. Thiopental, or any other thiobarbiturate, should not be used on these dogs.
Polish Greyhounds are known for their friendly and gentle nature, but they can also be strong-willed and independent. They can be reserved with strangers, but are typically very loyal to and protective of their families. They are intelligent dogs with a high energy level, requiring plenty of exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They generally do well with other dogs, but their strong prey drive means they may not be suited to homes with small pets.
In contrast to most other sighthounds, the Polish Greyhound is known for its hardiness in the face of cold weather, likely due to its historical use in the Polish winters.
Despite its name, the Polish Greyhound isn't a smaller version of the Greyhound - it's a distinct breed with its own unique characteristics and history.
The breed’s name is pronounced “hart poll-ski” in Polish.
The breed is quite rare outside of its native Poland, but it's slowly gaining recognition worldwide for its striking appearance and interesting personality.
Although they are capable of great speed when pursuing prey, they are equally capable of being couch potatoes at home and love relaxing with their owners.