Greyhounds are one of the best kept secrets of the canine world. They have been around for thousands of years and have been loved by families since ancient Egyptian times. This breed is very laid back. Greyhounds will get a spurt of energy that lasts 5-10 minutes, then they’re done! Back to nap time! They have often been compared to cats in their behavior. The only difference I have found is that they want to please you. They are loving and happy hounds, generally. They enjoy walks and will provide lots of love and laughs for you and your family!
Greyhounds can be described as follows:
- Greyhounds are gentle, polite, eager to please, and are great human companions
- Greyhounds weigh on the average of 55 to 85 pounds and stand between 24 to 30 inches at the shoulder
- Greyhounds have short coats and shed very little
- Greyhounds come in almost any color
- Greyhounds do not need a lot of exercise
- Greyhounds are not very vocal
- Greyhounds are laid-back and do not make good watchdogs
- Greyhounds must be indoor pets
- Greyhounds average life span is 12-14 years
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IF I ADOPT A GREYHOUND?
Adopting a greyhound will give you a gentle, loving companion, who, with a little time and patience, will be a GREYT addition to your family. Greyhounds are very polite dogs, eager to please, delight in your attention, and prefer to be alongside you when you are at home. Because everything in the home will be new – stairs, sliding glass doors, mirrors, linoleum floors, etc., some time will be required for adjustment. Expect him/her to be a bit confused and very curious at first, but they learn very quickly. Your tone of voice and a firm “NO” will quickly let your greyhound know how to behave around your home. A note about dental care: Racing dogs have a totally soft diet and so the tartar builds quickly. To maintain clean teeth, brush your dog’s teeth at least twice weekly with special dog toothpaste and have annual dental check-ups performed by your veterinarian. Greyhounds do not make good watchdogs, as they bark very little and are usually as friendly with strangers as with their own family.
WHY DO GREYHOUNDS NEED TO BE KEPT ON A LEASH?
A leash provides your greyhound protection from disasters. These dogs have been bred for 4000 years to do one thing – chase. That instinct is further reinforced in their track training. In addition, they can see clearly for up to one-half mile, and their instinct keeps them alert in this regard. If they are not restrained, they risk getting hit by a car, mauled by another dog, and given their speed, they can easily become lost and frightened. Greyhounds are accustomed to walking on a leash and enjoy the exercise, as well as the attention they receive from the people who pass by. They must never be let off-leash in an unenclosed area. It is also recommended to keep them on a fixed leash. Flexi-leads are a hazard, given that a greyhound can attain full speed in three or four strides.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DOES A GREYHOUND REQUIRE?
Greyhounds adapt well to the lifestyle of their owners. They need no more than a chance to play around a completely fenced yard, and/or daily walks to keep them fit. Greyhounds do very well on a leash. While having a fenced yard is ideal for both greyhounds and their owners, it is definitely not required. Many retired racers are happy living in apartments and condominiums provided they are taken out for daily walks.
ARE RETIRED GREYHOUNDS ALREADY HOUSEBROKEN?
Racing greyhounds are kennel trained, which means they’re trained to go potty outside and keep their kennels clean. Take your greyhound outside frequently at first (ie. every 2 hours when not crated), and they’ll quickly learn that their new home is their new “kennel”. Reward them profusely for pottying outside each time and they’ll pick up fast on the potty routine. Greyhounds love a routine, as their life at the kennel was very regimented. Housebreaking is usually easily accomplished by merely following a regular routine for potty breaks.
ARE GREYHOUNDS GOOD WITH CHILDREN?
Greyhounds possess one of the best temperaments of all dog breeds. They are very tolerant of children and will usually walk away rather than growl or snap if children become overbearing. Like any other dog, they have their limits that children need to respect, especially the greyhound’s personal space and when he/she is sleeping.
HOW ARE GREYHOUNDS WITH OTHER PETS?
Most greyhounds will get along fine with other dogs. They have been around other greyhounds from puppyhood to their racing careers, but cats and smaller dogs are unknown to them. About 40-60 percent of greyhounds are cat-safe, and do just fine with cats inside the home. While most greyhounds are cat-tested by reputable greyhound adoption groups to ascertain their level of interest in cats, this is not absolutely foolproof. It does, however, provide a reliable indicator of how the greyhound will react to a cat. As with any new dog, you should take great care when introducing your greyhound to other pets, and never leave the two alone together until you are sure there are no problems
To learn more about how the Greyhound evolved through history, see the Greyhound history page.
Greyhounds need to have a big yard
Greyhounds lounge most of their adult lives. Their life at the race track consists of lounging in their crates a large part of their time. The remaining time is spent relieving themselves and preparing for races and racing. Greyhounds are called the 45 mph couch potato for a reason. This is because they are master loungers.
Greyhounds are mad when their ears are back
Greyhounds are opposite from most dogs where, in their relaxed state, their ears are pinned back. These are aerodynamic dogs and the ears stay in this state when racing and when in a relaxed state. When greyhounds are excited, their ears will be perked up. This is evident when they see a squirrel or bunny outside.