Greyhounds are gentle dogs and very particular about whom they like. Often becoming best friends with the softest-spoken person in the house, they can seem a little stand-offish at first to others and this begs a question. Are Greyhounds cuddly?
Actually, yes, Greyhounds can cuddle with the best of them! While these little athletes can come across as super-shy, this is to be expected while you are bonding. After a little time, they’ll start to show affection by licking and ‘nitting’(an affectionate nibble with the front teeth), and before you know it they’ll be napping at your side constantly!
In today’s article, we’re going to explore the world of Greyhound affection and bonding. Once you understand their heavy ’pack mentality’ mindset then you’re going to find that these dogs bond quite strongly – just a little differently than other breeds. Read on and we’ll tell you why!
Are Greyhounds Cuddly?
Yes, Greyhounds can be quite affectionate and the first sign of your dog getting used to being around you is hand licking. Keep calm and don’t make any sudden movements – these big dogs are quite shy sometimes.
After the hand licking, you’ll start to notice that you’ve got a Grey shadow following you around the house, and after that, you’ll soon see a world of difference in how your dog interacts with you.
Hand nudging, for instance, to get your attention is quite common and when they feel at home, Greys will suddenly pop up on the couch next to you and snuggle up close when they feel like it. It’s quite the personality change and when it happens, you’ll know, but you’ll need to be very patient with the process.
Watch for tooth-chattering as well. When happy or a bit excited, your Gray will chatter their teeth together quickly, and even give you a pseudo-nip with the front of their teeth which is called ‘nitting’. It’s a love bite and a sure sign that your Grey is finally feeling like part of the family!
Are Greyhounds clingy?
If you live alone with your Greyhound, then it’s a good idea to broaden their social horizons a little once they feel safe and comfortable with you. That said, you can’t simply take Greys to the dog park for this unless they are having a Greyhound-only event.
This is because Greys spend a little more time with their moms than other dog breeds, and so they are much more attuned to ‘pack behavior’ than most. In a dog park, this can be dangerous, so at the very least you’ll need to scout for aggressive dogs or avoid the park altogether.
Backyard time with a neighbor or friend’s dog is much better, as you can monitor while they get to know each other and your dog can still socialize a bit. Aside from animal friends, it’s good for your Grey to meet some of your human ones, too. Keep dog treats handy for your guests – they’ll go a long way!
Greys can get ‘clingy’ quite easily, but as long as you help them to broaden their social horizons a bit, then your dog will be a little less shy, a bit more independent, and a lot less clingy. Just expect it to take some time, Greys are slow to trust but once they get there, it’s a sight to see!
Do Greyhounds like to sleep with you?
Not all of them, but MOST will want to at least nap close by from time to time. Greyhounds, especially ‘rescue racers’ have spent more time with their mother than most dogs, and thus they have a much more developed pack mentality than most. As such, they tend to have ‘favorite’ spots and they’ll even complain if you ‘invade’ them.
If that’s the case with your own Grey, then don’t try to push them into getting close. They will not understand it and likely it will panic them a little. You CAN set up some nice spots to tempt them, though, and the easiest way is just folding up a blanket to make a comfy pallet nearby.
If that just so happens to have a treat or a new toy on it, as well, then it certainly can’t hurt. The biggest hurdle with Greys is accepting that it’s largely just a waiting game, and when your dog finally opens up the difference is like night and day.
These gentle dogs are just very particular and cautious in the beginning, but if you keep your voice friendly and your tone gentle, you’ll soon find that your dog gets a bit on the ‘licky’ side and once that happens, they’ll be napping with you in no time!
How do I bond with my Greyhound?
With their strong pack mentality, bonding with a Greyhound is a little different then what you have done with other dogs. One easy way to start things off is to take turns feeding your Grey with your other family members. For each feeding, hold your Greyhound for a few seconds before letting them eat.
This sounds odd, but from your Greys pack-perspective this is completely normal – it establishes that your family members are above them in the pack and that your dog should respect them. Once you’ve established this ‘pack hierarchy’, then you can bond with your Gray like any other dog.
That means teaching them games like fetch or ‘tug of war’ (a Grey favorite!) and they also love a good brushing from time to time. Just make sure that you start with the feeding exercise so that your dog knows their place in the pack, and the rest doesn’t have to be so formal.
Once your dog feels that they are part of the family ‘pack’, then it’s just a matter of spending lots of time together and growing that little seed of trust that you have planted. You’ll be surprised just how quickly your bond will grow after this!
Why does my Greyhound follow me everywhere?
There are a few different reasons why your Grey might be following you. If it has just started and your dog has recently gotten overly ‘licky’, then in this case it’s just one of the ‘phases’ of building a bond. Your Grey has accepted you as the pack leader and they are following you to see what you’ve got planned!
If they keep doing this, however, it could mean that your Grey is nervous or simply cored. One thing that you can do to help is to give them a personal space of their own and the best way to do this is to set up their empty travel crate with some bedding and a few new toys.
Leave the door open and don’t lock them in unless you have to. In time, they’ll accept this as their personal space. Aside from this, just make sure that your Greyhound is getting enough daily exercise, as they can also get a little ‘antsy’ when they haven’t had enough.
Despite their amazing speed, they are sprinters and not endurance runners, so they only need about an hour of exercise every day to stay in good health. Make sure that they are getting it, give them there personal space, and some toys to pass the time. They’ll gradually get a little more independent as a result.
Is separation anxiety common with Greyhounds?
It’s actually very rare for Greyhounds to get separation anxiety and when you see it, it is more often from former racers that are a little older and very particular about who they like. In most cases, Greys are actually quite independent when they reach adulthood.
That doesn’t mean that they will be antisocial, they just have a certain way that they like to do things and that won’t always include you. Your Grey will still come whenever you call them, of course, but when the ‘pack’ doesn’t need them then by this age they have learned to keep themselves occupied.
If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, such as howling when you leave or even when you are gone, or signs of depression such as moping around or even leaving little ‘potty presents’ around the house then you will want to talk to your vet.
A socialization regimen will be needed to help your dog to become less codependent and your vet can give you some advice about this, often accompanied by some medications to help your dog to feel less nervous. Your dog will be fine, but you’ll need to be patient. They’ll just need to learn to function better on their own.
Some final words
Greyhounds are definitely cuddly when they want to be and just need to feel that they are part of a ‘pack’. Once your dog feels welcome, then watch out – they can get amazingly affectionate in very short amounts of time. Just make sure to expand their social horizons a little or your dog might get a little clingy.
If you have a family, take turns feeding the dog and making them wait a few seconds before eating. This will help to establish a hierarchy, and after that then normal play bonding and walks will be all that you need.
Don’t forget to avoid dog parks, however, unless there are ‘Grey only’ days – other breeds might not understand your pack-centric Grey and could become aggressive. Finally, make sure your dog has plenty of toys and an hour a day of exercise. If your Grey wants to cuddle, then don’t worry – they’ll let you know quite soon!