If you’ve never had a Greyhound before, then you’ve probably heard conflicting accounts. Some people say their Greys are swift and silent, while others compare them to doggy talk show hosts. Are Greyhounds loud?
They can be, but most Greyhounds are fairly selective about their speaking and prefer that you do the same. More often than not, these little guys and gals live up to their ‘couch potato’ reputation and only speak up when absolutely necessary. Other Greyhounds, however, definitely seem to be on the opinionated side!
Today we’re going to explore this in a little more detail so that you’ll have a good idea of what to expect when you bring your little Grey buddy home. We’ll tell you about Greyhounds that love to talk, Greys that talk in their sleep, when ‘rooing’ is a red flag, and more!.
Read on to find out more about ‘when Greyhounds speak’ and what you can do!
Are Greyhounds Loud?
Greyhounds are fairly quiet dogs, for the most part, although there are certainly exceptions to this rule. That said, they do ‘talk’ a little, they just aren’t the chattiest of breeds. Your Grey will let out a quick ‘roo’ when they want you to let them in or to share a snack, but beyond this they seem to like the quiet.
It’s most common that you’ll find your Grey lounging on the couch, staying fairly quiet until they absolutely must speak, but then there is the flipside of the coin – the ‘rooers’. These are the Greyhounds that seem to be a bit dramatic about everything and they are determined to get your attention over it.
This is done with a rather mournful cry known as a ‘Roo’ and if you have more than one Greyhound, then they often launch a chorus of roos that will definitely get your attention.
This is not as common an occurrence when you just have one Greyhound but as these dogs have individual personalities, it’s probably best to sum it up this way: You won’t hear much than a peep from MOST Greyhounds, but when they want you to hear them, they’ll make sure that you DO!
Should I be worried when my Greyhound is vocal?
No, you needn’t be worried if your Greyhound is vocal, and you might even feel a bit lucky. Getting a ‘talkative’ Grey is not so common, as these little guys and gals tend to stay fairly quiet and even seem to prefer the company of the soft-spoken folks in the house.
You just need to take into consideration the context of the sounds and also whether or not they are a new thing. If your Grey has been overly quiet until today, for instance, then new ‘rooing’ might well be a red flag that your Greyhound is not feeling at their best.
Watch for pawing at the ear when this happens, as Greys are quite prone to ear infections and a quick checkup can help to rule out if this is the case. If you’ve just brought a new animal home, your Grey could be a bit jealous, or simply relieved that there is another dog to talk to!
When it comes to suddenly talkative Greys, just weigh the context to rule out any potential injury or other medical type conditions and if you aren’t sure then get the vet involved. Sometimes, your dog just feels like ’venting’ and if that seems to be the case, it’s perfectly fine and normal.
How can I get my Greyhound to ‘roo’ less?
If your Grey has suddenly ‘discovered’ their voice and you are hoping to get them back to their former, quiet selves, then you can certainly work out a compromise with your Grey by teaching them the ‘quiet’ command.
The easiest way to do this is to take a metal can or Tupperware box that has a removable lid and fill it halfway up with pennies. When your dog ‘roos’ next, then shake your box or can to get their attention and say ‘quiet’ in a firm, clear voice.
When your Grey hears the sound, they will likely pause and look, and that’s when you give them a treat! Repeat this every time that your dog starts rooing over the next few days and in time, they will learn that ‘quiet’ means ‘stop rooing and you might get a treat’.
Once they do, then the next time your dog gets very vocal, then you’ve got a way to communicate that you would like them to ‘tone it down’ a bit. Just be patient and consider letting them still ‘roo’ from time to time. It’s cute and hey — everyone needs to vent every now and again, even your beloved Grey!
Can I teach my Greyhound to speak?
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can also train your super-quiet Grey to speak on command, but you are going to need to bring your patience ‘A-game’ in order to do it. We’ve mentioned that even quiet Greys will roo from time to time, and if you want to teach them to speak then start carrying treats.
When your dog starts rooing, quickly pull out a treat and say ‘speak’ and if they keep rooing, then give them the treat. Do this every time that your dog is vocal and while you do, take careful note of the things that get your dog in a talkative mood.
Some Greys respond to a knock on the door, for instance, while others do it when you have a desirable treat. This will allow you to say ‘speak’ before introducing them to this sort of stimulus, and after a bit of time and rewards for being ‘vocal’, then your Grey will start talking more and even on command!
Keep in mind that with a quiet Grey that this trick can take a few weeks to learn, but it’s definitely a lot of fun. Also, practice rooing yourself. Most Greyhounds will ‘join in to the chorus’ if you start rooing first, and this give you an excellent opportunity to associate this in their minds with the ‘speak’ command!
Why is my Greyhound making noises in their sleep?
You may notice sometimes when your Grey gets into a deep sleep that you will see them kicking their legs out and making growls, grunts, or even quick, sharp yips. This is normal behavior and while we can’t say it with 100% certainty, we’re pretty sure that your dog is actually dreaming.
Scientists have theorized this based on monitoring canine brain activity during periods of deep sleep and their brain wave activity is actually quite similar to ours when we are fast-asleep and dreaming. It’s not so far-fetched, really, when you see the behavior firsthand.
Your dog will often make sounds that you’ve heard at the park when they take notice of a squirrel and dash over for a closer look and a bit of play. When your dog is doing this, despite how cute it is, you should probably leave them alone or as they say, ‘let sleeping dogs lie’.
If you are worried and want to calm them down, just be sure to pet their side, with your hand a good distance from the dog’s mouth. It’s uncommon, but disturbing a dreaming dog can get you an accidental nip for your problems, so it never hurts to play it safe!
Why is my Greyhound chattering their teeth?
One interesting behavior that most Greyhound owners will observe is teeth chattering. Don’t worry – this doesn’t always mean that your dog is frightened, like the teeth-chattering dogs in cartoons. Rather, with Greys, this is most commonly an expression of excitement.
When you are about to take your Grey out for a little play or if you’ve just pulled something super yummy out of the oven, then your dog can’t contain their excitements and their teeth will start to chatter.
This kind of behavior is normal with Greyhounds, but if you notice any discomfort from your dog that seems to be related to the chattering or a sudden cessation of this behavior, then bring them in to the vet for a quick check of their teeth to make sure that your dog doesn’t have a chipped tooth or a cavity.
Some closing comments on chatty Greys
So, there you have it! While most Greyhounds are the quiet type, it’s really going to depend on your individual dog. These little characters can differ quite a bit, just like people do, but if your dog is being a bit TOO vocal for your tastes, then you certainly have options.
Teaching the ‘speak’ and the ‘quiet’ commands can help you to encourage your dog to be more or less vocal, and also be sure to watch for body language and the context from the environment around you. Sometimes your dog is trying to tell you that they don’t feel so well, so be sure to always listen when they speak.
In time, you’ll develop a rapport, and you’ll be surprised just how much your Greyhound tells you each and every day. It’s just one more amazing thing about these little grey lightning bolts!