Greyhounds As Pets
Congratulations on considering a greyhound or adopting your first greyhound! The information below is just some basic advice about your possible new friend. We will explain what you can expect in the first few days and weeks to follow and provide you with links and book recommendations to help make the process much smoother.
- Lovely, gentle temperament.
- Middle aged dogs are suitable for active elderly people -quiet around the house and don’t get under the feet.
- Not demanding of vast amounts of exercise - about two half hour walks a day can suffice, although will happily go further.
- Require medium feeding – no more than a Labrador.
- Have a short coat (not too hairy around the house).
- Have a healthy disposition, having not been for bred for looks but speed. Therefore suffer from very few hereditary diseases.
- Biddable (with Patience) and easily handled.
What to expect in the first few days and weeks
Some dogs may be unnerved by the move to your home, so be patient. Some will settle without fuss, others may pant and pace slightly. This is normal till they feel at home. While it may be tempting to hug and fussy our dog, some may need some space. Once they feel at home they will love the attention.
Greyhounds and lurchers may not be house trained due to their previous living arrangements. However, they are intelligent dogs and learn very quickly what is expected of them. Most are very ‘foody’ and if they have been a stray, they are probably expert scavengers. It is best to keep food items out of reach and therefore temptation,including the kitchen bin. Many dogs have not lived indoors before so the TV, Hoover and stairs are all a novelty. Be patient and they will soon become accustomed to their new environment.
Many sighthounds have been used for racing or coursing before they have come into rescue, so some are very keen on chasing small furry creatures. These dogs can hit 45mph in under 4 seconds so can move very quickly :). greyhounds should never be let off near roads only in fields or on the beach for this reason. All dogs are individuals but while they acclimatise to being a pet and training on their recall, we recommend they are not let off the lead for quite a while until they know their name and are familiar with their regulars walks. Once they are used to this we also suggest they wear a muzzle whilst off the lead initially just until you are aware how your dog reacts around smaller animals. If the dog has been in a foster family, the fosterer will be able to advise you about this. Greyhounds are not aggressive dogs, it is just a precaution.
Hounds are not known for being well padded, so they love to sit on the comfiest thing available. If you don’t want them on the furniture it’s a good idea to provide a comfy bed of their own so they can be near you.
They are sensitive animals and some may pine for you when they first come home. Many are not used to the loving attention you give them, so they miss it when you are not there you will need to work with them to overcome this separation anxiety by regularly leaving your dog alone for periods with other dogs (if possible) so they become used to your absence.
Dogs are social animals and most greyhounds are excellent with other dogs. So, while some are better suited as single dogs, most prefer having other dogs for company if they are going to be left for extended periods.
More detailed questions can be answered by us, or you could look at some of the resources recommended below:
Retired Racers for Dummies by Lee Livingood.
Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Brannigan.
Pet owners guide to the Lurcher by Jason Framlingham.
www.greytalk.com - an international forum for greyhound owners. Lots of good training, medical and general advice.
www.sighthoundsonline.org.uk British forum for sighthound owners.
We hope this has answered some of the questions. Please get in touch if you have any further questions. You can contact us by clicking here.