Greyhounds have a reputation for being the fastest dogs in the world. They were initially bred as hunting dogs, but they are commonly kept as household pets today. This is mainly due to their good-natured and loving temperament. They are gentle, quiet, and sweet dogs, perfect for families who want a companion without all of the noise. If you have children, you need to be aware of the responsibilities of bringing a dog into the household. That means working actively to ensure the experience of both the dog and your kid(s) is good. Let’s find out how the Greyhound acts, responds, and behaves around children, so you can make an informed decision about adopting them.
So, are Greyhounds good with kids? Generally, they are. This breed of dog is docile, sweet, and has the calmest demeanor of all dogs. Of course, you’ll need to socialize and train your dog and also teach your children how to behave around the dog. The only potential problem is their large size, which could cause unintentional harm to small children.
Greyhounds are a great family pet, whether it’s a new puppy or you’re adopting a retired racing Greyhound. Puppies bond faster with kids than adults. But while most Greyhounds aren’t around children during their racing days, they seem to enjoy their company. These dogs tend to adapt pretty quickly to their new living environments. That being said, there need to be guidelines for you, your kids, and the dog to follow during the adjustment period to ensure everyone has a good experience. Keep reading to find out how to ensure a smooth transition and a happy household for everyone.
Are Greyhounds Good with Kids?
Greyhounds make great companions for kids, thanks to their gentle temperament. Due to their timid nature, they are more likely to run away from noise sources rather than confront them. This means they will typically walk away from a disruptive child rather than snap at them. Additionally, these dogs are not aggressive. They are calm and relaxed, and you won’t experience the growling and snarling that other breeds exhibit. Another reason that makes them good for families with kids is they are relatively low-maintenance. They don’t require much exercise, their short coat doesn’t shed much, and their food needs are the same as any other dog.
That being said, establishing a great relationship between your child and your Greyhound requires the input of both parties.
Teaching Your Child About Greyhounds
Kids are playful and can be overly rough, loud, and naughty, and even without meaning, they could hurt the dog. As mentioned earlier, Greyhounds are patient, docile, and caring, but like any other dog, they have their limits. If someone or something causes them pain or discomfort, they might retaliate aggressively. In that case, children need to be taught how to treat and act around the dog. For instance:
- No screaming at the dog
- No rough play. This includes pulling the dog’s ears or tail
- No taking the dog’s toys or other belongings
- Let sleeping dog lie
- The dog is entitled to some privacy and quiet when sleeping or eating.
- No crawling into the dog’s crate
In short, kids should learn to treat the dog with kindness in all their interactions. Your child may forget these rules or make mistakes, don’t get angry or yell at them. Just calmly go over them and explain why they are important for ensuring everyone’s safety.
Teaching Greyhounds to Live with Kids
Like any other dog, Greyhounds should receive socialization and training from an early age so they can get along well with everyone, including kids. Dogs need to be taught acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We highly recommend taking your Greyhound to obedience classes. This will reinforce basic obedience to commands and establish who is in charge.
Are Greyhounds Safe Around Children?
Most Greyhounds come straight from the race track where they’ve never been in the company of children, but they adjust well and can become great companions to them. Though they are a larger breed, significantly bigger than a small child, they are gentle and naturally more reserved. This breed is not known for being hyperactive or boisterous as they prefer to lounge around all day.
On the other hand, children are not always quiet, calm, and relaxed, but with a bit of guidance, they can learn how to behave around dogs.
The Greyhound is sensitive to touch, and it will find those small hands grabbing at them every other time a little surprising. But with time, they will understand that this is how kids interact and don’t intend to cause harm.
The second thing you should note is the Greyhound has a thin coat and not much body fat, characteristics that are not appropriate for rough-and-tumble play. This means that they can easily feel accidental pinching and scratching from children. The good news is Greyhounds are extremely tolerant around children. Of course, not all Greyhounds will react this way, so understand what yours likes and doesn’t like. It goes without saying that any dog can aggressively react when provoked. So, let kids understand that there are consequences to their actions.
It’s important never to leave a Greyhound and kids together unsupervised. As mentioned earlier, these dogs are quite large and can easily knock down a small child, possibly causing injury. Although Greyhounds generally have a gentle temperament, each dog is different. If you’re adopting an older dog, you may want to test them around children before fully rehoming them. If it’s a puppy, try meeting the parents to find out their temperament. Ask the owners how the parents get along with children.
Are Greyhounds A Good Family Dog?
While we’ve answered the question, are Greyhounds good with kids, what about the rest of the family members: adults, other dogs, and other pet animals. If you’re looking for a family pet, Greyhounds tick several boxes.
For starters, they are gentle, affectionate, and love to cuddle. They are also laid back and will want nothing more than to hang out with you. Secondly, they are extremely adaptable. These dogs have the remarkable ability to adapt to virtually any living condition. Of course, some lifestyles are healthier for them than others, but you’ll find less resistance from them when they come to your routine. Still, under this point, they are relatively low maintenance. Their food, grooming, and exercise needs are pretty moderate, meaning you don’t need experience or expertise to take care of them. Everyone in the family can step in to take care of their needs.
While you can find Greyhound puppies from reputable breeders, rescue centers are the primary sources of these dogs. Most Greyhounds end up in these centers after their racing days are over. The good news is most shelters vet their dogs extensively. They perform tests to confirm are Greyhounds good with kids, other dogs, and even cats. This lets you know whether or not a particular hound fits your family dimensions.
While this breed general makes a great family dog, certain areas may be lacking, making it unsuitable for some families. Greyhounds are fast, have a strong prey drive, and can be stubborn. This means they might take off on you during walks, so keep them on a leash. These characteristics also make them challenging to train, though not impossible.
Lastly, due to the nature of most Greyhound’s upbringing, they may not be well socialized. They spend most of their lives with other racers, meaning other dogs, cats, other pets, and children may be foreign to them.
Can A Greyhound Be Aggressive?
An important thing to consider when looking for a dog if you have kids is whether or not it can become aggressive. We’ve heard of deadly dog bites and scratches that cause serious injuries. Luckily, the Greyhound is not an aggressive dog, especially if you raised one from puppyhood. Instead, it is gentle, calm, friendly, and docile and loves to spend most of its time sleeping or on the couch. This dog is more likely to isolate itself and walk away from uncomfortable situations than act out. They are unlikely to growl, snarl, bite, or display other aggressive behaviors commonly seen in other dog breeds.
There’s almost no risk that a Greyhound will attack or bite your child. There are, however, instances when your Greyhound may act in an unusually unfriendly manner, such as when experiencing pain, separation anxiety, fear, or feeling cornered. These dogs are quite sensitive, and psychological traumas from the past, especially those involving physical punishment, can cause behavioral problems like aggression. Last but not least, if your child tries to take the dog’s belongings, it may act aggressively in an attempt to protect its resources.
If your Greyhound has been displaying aggressive behaviors, there are ways you can remedy that problem. Start by providing enough physical and mental exercises to help release pent-up energy. A tired Greyhound is more likely to be calm around children. You also want to provide your dog with a quiet and secluded place for sleeping and eating. This will prevent any interruptions from your child. Socialization and training also go a long way towards teaching your dog acceptable behaviors around children.
Of course, if you’ve found a greyhound who is scared of children, it’s best not to bring them home. Growls turn into snarls, then into snaps, which can mean a bite for a child.