Greyhounds are often associated with their racing past. Thus, it’s assumed that these dogs are high-energy, athletic dogs who need a consistent exercise regimen to stay healthy and happy. But do greyhounds need a lot of exercise?
Greyhounds are actually lower energy dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise. That doesn’t mean you should just give in to their lazy tendencies all the time. Greyhounds do need to go for at least one walk a day in order to keep their bodies strong and healthy.
Greyhounds are pretty slim and limber dogs, so their weight is something you do want to pay attention to. They also need a little bit of motivation in order to stick with a healthy exercise routine.
Do Greyhounds Need A Lot Of Exercise?
Greyhounds do need to get some exercise, and the amount they need is going to vary on their age, their health, their weight, and how much they enjoy or don’t enjoy being outside. It is generally recommended that greyhounds get an hour of exercise a day.
Young greyhounds and greyhound puppies will need a little bit more exercise than adult dogs, as they have more energy that you’re going to want them to burn off. If they don’t get that activity, they may zoom around the house all day.
With greyhounds, encouraging them to enjoy exercising outdoors can take some time. These dogs are naturally timid, and many things can startle them. They will likely feel safest playing indoors with you, outside in an enclosed backyard with you nearby, or walking with you on a leash, once they get used to being on a leash.
Why Greyhounds Need Some Exercise
Even if your greyhound isn’t the biggest fan of exercise, it’s important to encourage them to do some in a manner that is most appealing to them. It’s important for any dog to go for walks and engage in some type of physical activity to keep them at a healthy weight, build their muscle strength, and support their overall physical health.
Getting them outside will also naturally expose them to other dogs, people, sounds, smells, and environments. With greyhounds being more nervous pups, this is an especially important aspect of socialization. You should implement exercise as early as you can with your greyhound so it becomes second nature to them.
The Physical And Mental Benefits Of Exercise
Greyhounds don’t need a lot of extra weight on them, but they do need to have some fat. Excess weight could impair fragile bones and joints, especially as they get older. Greyhounds are also susceptible to heart problems later in life, so healthy exercise regimens can help support proper heart health.
Greyhounds are also known to develop arthritis, especially later in life. If you adopt a greyhound that was retired from racing, this is something to look out for as they age. If you can help them enjoy a proper exercise routine, this can help prevent these issues from developing or becoming debilitating.
With everything that occurs during exercise, whether done outdoors or indoors, your greyhound benefits from mental stimulation, positive encouragement from you, and understanding that most things are not a threat to them. This can dramatically improve your greyhound’s sense of safety and security, which is ideal for their mental health.
Do Greyhounds Like Walking?
Some greyhounds may be hesitant to go for walks depending on how they were raised. For instance, a former racing dog might be confused about the concept of walking or being on a leash. You may have to take it very slow in order to train them to get used to a leash and feel comfortable walking in their new neighborhood.
Generally speaking, greyhounds should enjoy walks outside of these issues. It allows them the opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, and explore the world around them. That bonding experience that you nourish through exercising with them is also mutually beneficial for health and wellness.
Additionally, walking allows your greyhound to be exposed to a variety of stimuli that foster proper socialization. Socialization can help your greyhound become more confident around other people and animals and get them used to different noises and smells.
Do Greyhounds Like Running?
Even though greyhounds were trained to race, they aren’t actually fans of the sport. They are able to run very fast in short strides which is why they were taught to run. Now that they’re domesticated, they would prefer to only run on their own volition, such as when they see something intriguing they want to try and chase.
Their athletic capabilities can be nurtured in a way that keeps them strong, but also keeps them happy. They shouldn’t be forced to run, especially since they can only do so for a short amount of time before running out of stamina. If you start jogging with them and they seem to enjoy the activity, then that’s a suitable option for you both.
The only time you may see greyhounds run by choice is if their chasing instincts kick in. They like to chase after small animals, so keeping them on a leash is important when they aren’t in a completely enclosed space.
You can also throw a ball around, and they might run to catch it. Toys that simulate a small animal running could also encourage them to run around chasing it in a way that they like.
Do Greyhounds Like Playing?
Playing is a wonderful way to keep greyhounds active, develop your relationship with them, and have some fun together. Greyhounds usually enjoy some form of play. It not only gets them exercise without a lot of effort, but it also provides mental stimulation for them.
Consider games that require throwing something for your greyhound to either catch or fetch for you. This could be a ball, a Frizbee, or a stuffy toy. As mentioned, they are also fans of toys that can move, or even toys that look like animals that you can throw around for them.
You should also provide your greyhound with some chew toys that they can play with on their own, or even with you if they choose that. These will allow them to get out energy when you’re not around.
Toys that include some kind of mental activity can also be beneficial for your greyhound. Toys that require them to solve puzzles or search through it to find a treat offers your greyhound an exciting challenge.
Are Greyhounds Lazy?
Greyhounds do have a reputation for being lazy, and that is not entirely incorrect. If given the choice between going for a long walk and sprawling out on the couch, your greyhound is going to pick the latter.
Greyhounds absolutely adore their sleep. Any comfortable, soft, and warm surface will encourage these pups to sleep. When your greyhound is sleeping, it’s best to just let them be and not push them into getting up to exercise. These dogs do need their sleep, and if they’re stressed, they won’t get enough of it which isn’t healthy for them.
If you make it a priority to make exercise part of your greyhound’s daily routine, they’re much more likely to genuinely enjoy it. Greyhounds are very intelligent dogs that feel much more comfortable in a home with routine. They’ll associate play and walking with something positive, and they may even initiate play on their own when they aren’t sprawled out on the couch with you.
Tips For Encouraging Your Greyhound To Exercise
As with any kind of training for your greyhound, remaining stoic and composed throughout the process of implementing exercise is paramount. There should never be any forcing your greyhound to do something when they really don’t want to. Motivating them through rewards and even the promise of a warm cuddle afterwards is best.
You may also have to tailor their routine to their personal energy level, which is going to take you some time to learn. This is also going to have to adapt to the way their energy level either increases or decreases as they age.
You should also be cognizant of the weather, as greyhounds aren’t fans of extreme heat or cold. They might need jackets and boots for the winter, as well as dog-safe sunscreen to avoid getting burnt in the summer.
If you’re going to be outside with them for some time, be sure to bring water and a bowl with you. You also want to be sure that, once they have some time to settle after exercise, they learn that they need to rehydrate.
The line between enticing your greyhound to exercise and forcing them to do it can be blurry at times, but it should never be crossed. Do greyhounds need a lot of exercise? No, but they do need some. Once you learn your greyhound’s personality and unique quirks, you’ll find ways to get them active that they’ll like.
We can all be stubborn and lazy when it comes to staying active, as do greyhounds. They love lounging around and sleeping much more than exercise, but in order to keep your greyhound around as long as possible, some exercise should be a priority.