Also known as the Kansu Greyhound, the Tschika, the Tsika or the Hsi Yang Min-tzu, this breed was used for coursing in China in earlier days.
The little-known Chinese Greyhound is probably extinct in. modern China, a country now notorious for its ruthless treatment of domestic dogs. In its heyday this breed was most commonly found in the Shensi and Kansu districts.
In origin, this dog was probably developed long ago from Persian or Indian sighthounds imported as gifts to the ancient Chinese nobility. There is, for example, a greyhound-shaped dog clearly shown in a bas-relief from the Han dynasty, dating back about 2,000 years. Centuries later, these early hounds were mixed with imported English Greyhounds in an attempt to improve the stock. In the days of the East India Company, when trade in special forms of livestock was taking place between East and West, there are several records of specific requests from China for English Greyhounds.
The result of these crosses was an animal very similar to the English Greyhound, but reduced in size. It was about 20 tn. (50 cm) tall, against the English Greyhound’s 27 in (69 cm). Another visible difference was the slight feathering on the tail of the Chinese animal, which is absent in the English version. Writing in 1927, the great canal. e historian Edward Ash is scathing about the breed, commenting: ‘The Chin’ ese Greyhound is a lank creature from which a strong hare would canter quietly away.’
In colour, the Chinese Greyhound’s short, smooth coat was usually fawn or brown, though yellow and cream were also known. A white patch on the front of the body was sometimes present.