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Are Greyhounds Territorial?

Are Greyhounds Territorial?

Those who have greyhounds at home know that they can be somewhat timid and wary of others. These dogs are also known for being pretty well-behaved and tend not to get very aggressive. However, are greyhounds territorial?

Greyhounds are not known for having territorial outbursts, but there are some potential triggers that might occur to make them feel territorial. Your greyhound might also show territorial behaviors in ways that are a little different than other dogs. 

There are some situations where you might see your greyhound become territorial. These are good to know so you can manage them properly, or prevent them from happening. These occasions will probably be few and far between. 

Are Greyhounds Territorial?

Greyhounds are usually not territorial or protective dogs. They are not known for having aggressive tendencies, which can often include lashing out to protect territory or protect loved ones. As mentioned, there are reasons why your greyhound might feel as though they need to guard or protect their territory, including that all dogs are different. 

It’s possible your greyhound might seem territorial because they are responding to something out of fear. These dogs can become anxious and afraid of things pretty easily. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to train your greyhound through rewards and positive reinforcement as opposed to punishment or dominance-based training. 

So long as you socialize your greyhound slowly to the rest of your family, they should get along with other people, kids of all ages, and even other pets. Greyhounds tend to stay pretty even-keeled around people and pets unless they associate certain pets or types of people with bad memories. In this case, socialization may take a little bit longer. 

While each dog can present differently, most greyhounds tend to be passive to their surroundings and are more likely to sleep through any action going on outside of their home. They tend to be pretty quiet, and they also aren’t very destructive or messy. They may be quite pleasant dogs to have around the home for a number of reasons. 

Are Greyhounds Territorial About Toys?

Greyhounds can exhibit territorial behavior towards other animals, and sometimes humans, that try to go near their toys. If your greyhound has a particular fascination with a particular toy they may not want to share. They aren’t trying to be mean when they resource guard in this way. They just don’t want to lose their comfort objects or their favorite toys. 

It’s not totally underheard of for greyhounds to become possessive of their things. So long as this doesn’t result in them stealing from your other dogs, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. Once they learn that they aren’t at risk for having their things stolen and never given back, they should cut out this behavior. 

Are Greyhounds Territorial About Food?

Greyhounds can also be territorial about their food. They won’t want to let any other pets in the home go near their food dish. They might growl or snarl, and may even bark at the other dog, trying to get them to stay away. 

This can be especially true if your greyhound was raised in a home with multiple animals before you adopted them. They may have had to fight with their other housemates to make sure they got enough food. 

You don’t necessarily want to encourage this behavior, but you shouldn’t punish your greyhound. Instead, try and train the other animals to stay at their own food dish and walk away when they are finished. You may also want to space out their food farther apart from each other so it’s easier to stop them from stealing each other’s food. 

Are Greyhounds Good With Strangers?

Greyhounds can be a little bit hesitant to allow a stranger to approach them. They are shy dogs who shouldn’t be pushed to interact with other people unless they are calm or in a good mood. They are very kind dogs who aren’t known to act aggressively towards strangers; instead, they’re more likely to retreat behind you or run away to a safe space. 

When greyhounds are at home and see strangers walking by or approaching the house, they might become a little bit uneasy. This could lead to them barking or making other vocalizations. This is their way of trying to protect you, and as long as it’s not excessive or leading them to become aggressive towards people who enter your home, it’s not something to be concerned about. 

Once greyhounds become socialized to other people, they’ll most likely be happy to have another person to lean up against for some pets and head rubs. These kind pups love getting human affection, but they need to be approached with caution and calmness in order to feel comfortable letting others pet them. 

Do Greyhounds Make Good Guard Dogs?

Greyhounds are not suitable guard dogs, but it’s not because they don’t care to want to protect you. They just do not have the instincts or the temperament to stand guard or attempt to intimidate any potential threats away. Even if they occasionally make noise at passersby, they won’t usually try to attack. 

However, greyhounds have a deep-seated prey drive, as they were bred to hunt small animals and control pests. This is one of those instincts that you’ll have to adapt to, as it’s really difficult to train out of them. They might try to chase away little critters that come near your home, so it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a completely closed yard. 

Greyhound Behavior Mistaken For Territoriality 

Greyhounds may show slightly aggressive behavior when they are feeling threatened or scared by something or someone, regardless of whether or not they are actually in any danger. Greyhounds have to be socialized with patience and kindness when they are adopted. Otherwise, they might not be able to tell the difference between real and perceived threats. 

If your greyhound is making low growls or snarling noises and tenses up, that’s technically not aggression. It’s protective behavior, which can mean that your greyhound is possibly spooked by something. If you can determine what it is, you should either remove the thing that’s scaring them or remove your greyhound from the area or situation. 

How To Avoid Territorial Behavior

Chances are, your greyhound won’t act in a territorial manner to the point where it becomes a nuisance. If they do, there are some ways to mitigate the behavior before calling in a professional. When something stimulates their territorial responses, calmly reassure them that everything is okay and try to divert their attention from the source of their reaction. 

Eventually, your greyhound will come to understand that they don’t need to be concerned every time they hear that particular sound or see that particular person walking by. This tactic is known as the exposure method and is pretty successful with a variety of dog breeds, including greyhounds. 

It’s also always recommended, regardless of breed, to see if you can find out as much information as possible about their life before being in their current location. This can give you a lot of insight into what types of behaviors you might expect from your greyhound. It can also offer insight into potential causes for behaviors they might adopt when you bring them home. 

How Socialization Helps Prevent Territoriality 

Socialization is the process of getting your greyhound used to their new environment, as well as to your family, other people, and other animals. It’s always recommended to start socializing your greyhound as soon as you bring them home. This isn’t always a simple process, and it’s one you may have to revisit from time to time. 

Socialization will also help your greyhound understand their role in the home, which is just to be a family member, and not a guard dog or a protector. You’ll want to slowly introduce them to people and pets for a few minutes at a time, rewarding them with treats and good jobs when they behave well. 

When they get stressed out or start to show signs of being territorial or aggressive, you don’t want to punish them; just remove them from the situation and help them calm down. You also want to be reassuring towards your greyhound if certain things trigger their fear or anxiety. They should always know you’ll keep them safe no matter what. 

Final Thoughts 

Greyhounds are very sweet, easygoing dogs. Are greyhounds territorial, however? Territoriality isn’t going to be a huge problem that you have with your greyhound, but it is possible to see them behave in a territorial manner sometimes. It’s not a common sight, and it’s usually a fear response as opposed to defiant behavior. 

It’s always good to know what might possibly make your dogs tick so you can give them the most comfortable life possible. While your greyhound might not bark at any sign of potential danger, they will protect you from ever feeling lonely again with endless cuddles and silly faces.