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Greyhounds are known for their long legs, muscular shoulders, and high speed on the track. Bred for racing and hunting, this dog can reach a speed of 45mph, making it the fastest dog. When thinking of owning a Greyhound, you’re probably visioning long runs, lots of time outdoors, hours of ball throwing, and other super active things. But many Greyhound owners end up with a common problem, “Why does my dog sleep so much?” “Are Greyhounds lazy?” Given their reputation, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a high-energy breed. Let’s help you understand one of the most misunderstood dogs around.
So, are Greyhounds lazy? They are generally considered quite a lazy breed. These dogs may be super-fast and need a good spring once in a while, but for the most part, they love spending their time napping/resting. In fact, they have been known to sleep up to 20 hours a day, which is virtually the whole day.
Most dog parents want an active, playful companion, but all breeds are not that way. There’s an equal and opposite couch potato dog for every busybody herding breed. They still need exercise but are not as busy as other dogs. Often, adopting a Greyhound is your best bet if you want a more quiet, lethargic breed of dog. There’s much more to this handsome dog breed than its sleeping patterns. The Greyhound is intelligent, friendly, non-aggressive, graceful, cuddly, and sociable, among other amazing characteristics. So, as we go through its energy levels, please get to know more about it to ensure you’re the right owner for it.
Are Greyhounds Lazy?
These dogs tend to sleep most of the day and act less actively, which is why they are considered one of the laziest dog breeds around. But why are they lazy?
First off, Greyhounds are naturally docile, calm, and easy to handle dogs. Secondly, this breed is built for speed, hence the entire industry dedicated to racing them. But with the docile lifestyle we offer out pet dogs, there isn’t much else to do. They don’t get to run much and have less stimulation and stressors in their environment, so there’s no reason to be active.
Another reason these dogs sleep so much is due to interrupted sleep cycles. Even though they sleep a lot, they also wake up a lot. Greyhounds tend to sleep in small bursts throughout the day, thereby spending only 10% of their snoozing time in the REM stage. As a result, dogs need more sleeping time to accumulate more restorative rest in this stage.
Extended sleeping time is helpful for your Greyhound as it helps with learning and memory retention and allows the body to repair itself.
That being said, even within a dog breed, sleeping patterns can vary depending on:
- Age: As your Greyhound gets older, they tend to become lazier due to reduced energy levels. Additionally, diseases such as arthritis come with age and can make movement difficult and painful, so the dog prefers to stay in one place.
- Activity level: Greyhounds don’t need a lot of physical and mental exercise, but an insufficient or complete lack of it can lead to boredom, which causes them to be lazy.
- Environmental factors: Dogs are sensitive to environmental temperatures. Greyhounds living in hotter areas tend to be lazier than those in average temperature.
- Diet: Overeating or eating the wrong food items can also cause laziness.
- Depression: If your Greyhound is dealing with separation anxiety or losing a family member, it could lead to depression. And one of the signs of depression in dogs is inactiveness and losing interest in what they loved doing before.
Do Greyhounds Sleep All Day?
Greyhounds usually sleep 18-20 hours a day, with puppies and seniors sleeping even more than that. Puppies need more sleep to support growth and development, while seniors are usually less active or suffer from diseases that make movement painful.
There are several reasons why these dogs love sleeping so much, and the first one is a natural adaptation. Greyhounds have fewer fat deposits in the body. So, they found a way to prevent energy wastage and save energy for later usage. And sleeping most of the day and being less active are such adaptations. Other reasons that may cause oversleeping in hounds are difficulties in adopting a new life, separation anxiety, and injury or diseases.
Things to Be Aware
As a Greyhound owner, you’ll have to factor in their need for this much sleep. But there are a few things you should be aware of when considering this dog’s sleeping habits and laziness.
Don’t Disturb His Sleep
Greyhounds need this much sleep to prevent energy wastage, so they must get it to stay healthy. Some of the ways to help your Greyhound enjoy quality sleep include setting up a routine, investing in a good dog bed, ensuring their bed is warm, and keeping their sleeping area away from the flow of traffic.
The Sleeping Pattern Can Vary Within the Same Breed
Don’t try to compare your Greyhound with others because even with the same breed, the period of sleeping will vary depending on several factors such as sex, age, activity level, and the environment.
Oversleeping Greyhound: When to Consult A Vet?
Although Greyhounds are naturally lazy and sleep a lot, there are instances where you may need to consult a vet. For example, when an increase in sleep comes with behavioral changes or physical symptoms. Or, if laziness started suddenly, if they tend to fall asleep suddenly even in the middle of playing, and if their sleeping pattern affects their feeding times.
Are Greyhounds Boring?
We know by now that Greyhounds are generally relaxed by nature and are happy to snore all day. This can make them seem boring. But these dogs can get active if you get them to be; otherwise, they will become bored and appear disinterested in anything. If your dog isn’t showing interest in their favorite toy, game, or even food, it means something is wrong.
You want to avoid boredom in your dog as much as possible because it can lead to many behavioral problems such as excessive barking, chewing on everything, digging, trying to escape, potty accidents in the house, and so on. The good news is boredom is easy to resolve. All you need to do is enrich the kennel environment. There are many cheap and simple ways to provide enrichment for your dog, including:
If you’re letting your Greyhound sleep all day without being active, they will have pent-up energy and, therefore, find their own ways to release it. This is where they become destructive. So, make sure you include daily exercise into your dog’s routine and while you’re at it, keep the daily walks interesting. You can take different routes to let your dog smell and experience different environments.
Mental exercise is equally activating and good for your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing. Try interactive games such as tug-of-war to challenge their mind. Scent games, puzzle toys, and playing fetch are other fun boredom busters.
Training your Greyhound
This is another way to keep your dog entertained and mentally stimulated. Start with basic commands. There are endless behaviors and tricks you can teach for fun; be sure to match them to the dog’s interests and abilities.
Socialization isn’t only for puppies. Even your adult Greyhound can benefit from experiencing new places, people, other dogs, and the likes. Check out dog parks in your area, or you can organize dog play dates with other dog owners.
Generally, small and regular changes to the dog’s routine and environment reduce boredom better than large or drastic changes.
Do Greyhounds Need A Lot of Attention?
Despite being much more tolerant than most breeds, Greyhounds still need daily attention and time. From the text above, you might have gotten the impression that you can leave your Greyhound sleeping all day, every day, which is not true. As mentioned earlier, these dogs love to sleep, but they sleep in small bursts throughout the day. It’s better to say they take several naps throughout the day instead of sleeping all day.
So, if you’re planning to adopt a Greyhound, you should be ready and able to care for them like you would any other dog. For starters, this dog requires a daily walk of 20-30 minutes every day to remain healthy and happy. You’ll also need to provide play, mental stimulation, training, and grooming. With the latter, Greyhounds have short coats that don’t need much care and maintenance. But be prepared for some work during the seasonal shedding.
Although Greyhounds adjust well to their new living environment, they are generally a breed that can suffer loneliness. They are pack animals and will consider you and your family part of their pack. Needless to say, they crave the love, care, attention, and company of their owners. Greyhounds from adoption centers or previously racing dogs may struggle more with loneliness than one that you’ve raised at home from puppyhood because they are used to being in the company of others.
Although Greyhounds need attention to be happy and healthy, it does not need to be provided on their terms. Some will engage in undesirable behaviors like excessive barking and jumping on you to get your attention. For this reason, it’s important to differentiate between actual needs and unhealthy whips from your dog. And if they are attention-seeking, ignore them for as long as it takes for them to start acting right.