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A Heftier Version of a Greyhound, This Dog Can be a Ham for Your Amusement

Chart Polski

The Chart Polski (also known as the Polish Greyhound) is a member of the Greyhound family, but is bigger and heavier than the Greyhound, who some experts believe is its close cousin. Although the Chart Polski enjoys running just like the Greyhound, this determined, sometimes territorial pet is unlike the gentle, docile Greyhound in personality and does best with an owner who can provide firm guidance and training from the earliest age.

History
Originating in Poland, the Chart Polski may be descended from a Saluki-type dog, the Asian sighthound, although most also believe it to be a close "family" member of the Greyhound. The dogs were bred originally to hunt wolves, deer, fox, and hare, and ultimately were given the name Chart Polski, which translates to "Polish sighthound." This happened sometime during the early 19th century, although the dogs are mentioned in literature dating back to 1600.

Poland has had a turbulent history, and in the 19th and 20th centuries, the breed was nearly destroyed. However, those who loved the Chart Polski began to revive the breed in the early 1980s, continuing a breed standard based upon descriptions by 19th century Polish artists like Alfreda Wierusz-Kowalski, Juliusz Kossak, and Jozef Brandt. Today, these dogs have been recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, the Polish Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club. Although still rare outside of Poland, American breeders Kaz and Betty Augustowski imported the first Chart Polskis into the US, and were honored by the Polish Kennel Club for their efforts to promote the breed.

Appearance
With smooth, short fur, this dog is somewhat similar in appearance to a Greyhound but is heavier and larger. The fur can be of any color, with an undercoat that thickens with colder weather. The Chart Polski also has a longer brush on the end of its tail and culottes on the backs of the thighs, unlike the Greyhound.

Another notable difference between the Chart Polski and the Greyhound is its build. The Greyhound stands 27 to 30 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 60 and approximately 80 pounds, sporting a more delicate physique than its counterpart.

The Chart Polski weighs between 65 and 95 pounds, and stands approximately 27 to 32 inches at the shoulders. Long and muscular, this heftier dog will "speak" to you with expressive, almond-shaped eyes.

Temperament
The Chart Polski has a personality somewhat similar to other sighthounds, in that it won't tend to be overly active unless given some task to perform. Typical of all sighthounds, it will love to run and chase prey. This means that you will need to be very careful to keep this dog on leash at all times unless in a secure area, to protect it from cars and other dangers. Even if you train your pet to obey your command not to chase, instinct will take over in the heat of the moment.

Although many experts believe that the Chart Polski is related to the Greyhound, this is not the gentle, docile dog the Greyhound is. In order to have a truly happy and content pet, you will need to have a very firm hand and be willing to assume the role of alpha dog as soon as you bring this puppy home. That said, your pet will also love to be a show dog and is a "ham," deliberately wagging its tail in an endearing fashion – contrary to how most sighthounds behave.

You should not keep small "prey" animals like hamsters, gerbils, squirrels or even cats around an older Chart Polski, although if you socialize your new puppy to get along with your cat specifically, it will probably do so. It's important that you warn your neighbors not to let their pets stray into your yard lest there be tragic consequences – again, a trait of the Chart Polski as a "hunter by instinct."

If well-trained, the Chart Polski is an elegant, well-mannered, and quietly affectionate pet. It will not trust strangers and is very protective of people it loves, so make sure your pet gets plenty of exposure to visitors so they won't be seen as a threat. (Socialize, socialize, socialize, socialize, socialize from the earliest age possible, as soon as you bring your puppy home.) Generally, your pet will tolerate children, although you should be careful to supervise any play with very small children.

Health
Generally healthy, the Chart Polski tends to contract certain types of cancer and a disease of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy. The Chart Polski requires annual visits to the vet not just for general checkups, but also specifically for annual heart exams.

In addition, the Chart Polski, like other deep-chested breeds, is susceptible to bloat, a very dangerous condition where gastric torsion can result. This condition strikes suddenly evident by symptoms of drooling, dry vomiting, appearing to be in pain, pale gums, and restlessness or pacing. This is a very dangerous condition that can be fatal if not addressed promptly. Get your dog to the vet as soon as you see any of these signs. The condition can be corrected with surgery, usually through a procedure called "stomach tacking." This prevents the stomach from twisting, and notably, it can also be done to prevent gastric torsion before it ever occurs.

The average life expectancy for your pet is 10 to 13 years.

Grooming
Your pet's smooth, short coat generally will just need a weekly brushing to prevent this relatively heavy shedder from leaving hair deposits everywhere. Brush teeth frequently with a doggie toothpaste and trim nails as necessary, usually every week or so. Bathe only if necessary (usually infrequently).

References
Chart Polski.
http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/chart-polski.
Retrieved January 5, 2014.

Chart Polski Dogs.
http://www.dogster.com/dog-breeds/Chart_Polski
Retrieved January 5, 2014.

Greyhound.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyhound
Retrieved January 5, 2014.

Polish Greyhound.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Greyhound
Retrieved January 5, 2014.

Group Classification: Hunting dog, companion dog

Recognized By: CKC, UKC

Country of Origin: Poland

Date of Origin: 12th Century

Hair Length: Varies in length

Shedding: Medium

Body Size: Long

Weight Male: 88 pounds

Height Male: 27.5 - 31.5 in

Weight Female: 88 pounds

Height Female: 27 - 29.5 in

Litter Size: 3-4 puppies

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

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Colors
All colors are allowed

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