Are you a dog lover who wants to make a kind-hearted decision to bring a calm loving family dog to your home? Greyhound Dog is the best amongst other breeds when looking for a polite, peaceful family dog. But even if your heart is yearning and ready to welcome an in-door family dog, you need to know that adopting a dog comes with many responsibilities and commitments. This is because, as a pet owner, you need to provide them with both emotional and physical needs. Before adopting a Greyhound Dog, do lots of research to know every detail about this dog and how to take care of them. Continue reading to discover all information you need to know about Greyhound dogs.
Greyhound Dog Breed Introduction
The Greyhound is a smart, gentle, and loyal dog breed with great athletic ability. Greyhounds have captivated artists, writers, and kings for thousands of years. They make excellent pets and behave well in families with children. They are as kind to strangers as they are to their own families. This detailed guide will help you learn what to expect when bringing a Greyhound Dog into your household. But, while I take you through the generalities of Greyhound, note that all dogs are not equal. This means that your Greyhound may display characteristics other than those listed here, depending on their environment, how you care for them, past tragedies (if any), and distinct personalities.
Greyhound Dog Breed History
Greyhounds are amongst the oldest canine breeds, dating over 8,000 years to prehistoric paintings and Egyptian artifacts. There are many possibilities concerning the origin of the term Greyhound.
One theory is that the original Greyhound was primarily grey. Two approaches explain how the name was derived. The first theory explains that the word “grei,” derived from the English word dog, and “hundr,” which means hunter. The second theory explains that the name was derived from the phrase ‘Greek hound’ because the dog initially arrived in England via the Greeks. Regardless of the source of the name, the Greyhound is still the honorable dog portrayed in poetry over history. This breed has been identified with royalty for a long time.
Greyhounds have been bred for countless generations to outrun their prey. A Greyhound, the quickest dog breed, can reach a full speed of 45 mph. The dog is also exceptionally flexible and athletic, having the ability to navigate and foresee his prey’s every step. Thanks to decades of careful breeding and training, the Greyhound has grown into a highly clever and loving canine.
Due to their popularity of Greyhound racing and dog shows, the breed was split into two distinct subgroups: racing and display dogs. The racing dogs were significantly more common. But there’s also been an increased awareness of the breed’s outstanding potential as a companion due to the recent initiative to find homes for retired racers.
Greyhound Dog Physical Characteristics
Greyhounds have an athletic, influential body that begins with a lengthy, wider back and ends with a strong, little elongated spine that provides excellent spinal flexibility. It has an intense chest and a reduced, thick induction at the base of its tail. The Greyhound’s long, slender body and webbed feet help the dog balance and maneuver at high speeds. They have firm jaws that can close quickly with a scissor bite. Greyhounds have oval eyes that are laterally implanted and are dark. They also have tiny ears that fall on the side of their heads. Let’s dive more into how a Greyhound looks:
Size and Weight of Greyhound Dog
When adopting a dog, the first question that comes to mind is space availability. You must know the size and weight of your Greyhound to determine the space in which they will be comfortable. Knowing its size and weight will not only help you offer sufficient space for your Greyhound but also allows you to keep track of the growth pattern. This helps you to know whether or not your dog is growing at a healthy rate. So, how big can your Greyhound grow?
The average height of a Greyhound is between 25 and 30 inches. Male greyhounds are significantly heavier, weighing between 55 and 85 pounds at total adult weight, compared to females, who weigh between 55 and 70 pounds. Greyhounds reach maturity at about 18 months of age, where they stop growing in height, although their weight might fluctuate depending on feeding and activity levels.
Remember, these are only guidelines. Several factors can influence a dog’s growth and overall body size. A combination of genetics, general wellbeing, nourishment, and sleep are examples of such factors. Your Greyhound may deviate slightly from the norm, but this should not concern you. However, if they are far off track and exhibiting other symptoms of illness, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Greyhound Colors and Patterns
The colors and patterns of Greyhounds are as unique as fingerprints, and they can change with time. Fawn Greyhounds, for example, can lighten as they age. Though Greyhounds can change coat color, it is not as noticeable as other dog breeds. For instance, black Greyhound puppies frequently turn blue or brindle as they grow older. However, most Greyhounds will not change significantly in color, especially once they reach adulthood.
The Greyhound also has a base color that can be brindle or non-brindle. Brindle refers to a striping pattern found on some dogs. Some Greyhounds have short stripes that appear as spots rather than defined stripes. The standard colors of this dog breed approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC) include:
- White and black
- Black and white
- Red and white
- Blue brindle
- Dark brindle
- Light red fawn
- Fawn brindle
- Light brindle
Some coat colors are accepted by the ACK, while others are not. Don’t be worry if your Greyhound color does not exist as approved color. This does not mean that there is something wrong with it, physically or in terms of personality. Keep in mind, though, that a dog that is not an approved color may not compete in dog shows. Some colors are disqualified because they do not occur naturally in this dog’s gene pool. Instead, they are introduced through crossbreeding, making that particular dog not purebred.
Greyhound Shedding Level and Grooming Routine
One of the most typical factors you may want to consider before bringing a dog home is how much the they shed. Shedding varies from one dog breed to another to dog. When compared to other breeds, Greyhounds are typically low to average shedders. This is due to their light, short coats.
Like any other breed of dog, Greyhounds shed more in the spring and fall. Seasonal shedding is how a dog prepares for the coming season. As a result, you would expect a Greyhound to shed more in the spring and fall. A greyhound’s coat will become even lighter in the spring in preparation for the warmer weather. Similarly, as a greyhound prepares for the winter, shedding increases so that they can grow out a somewhat longer coat to keep them warm throughout the colder months.
Regular brush, one or two times per week should be enough to keep their coat in good condition and minimize shedding. However, you may need to brush them daily during seasonal shedding to keep up with the extra shedding. These dogs are known to groom themselves. Moreover, the thin, short coat makes them less prone to doggy odor or awful smell as some breeds since it does not build up oils or dander. This means they don’t require frequent baths, once every 2-3 months will suffice. Be sure to regularly care for their teeth, nails, and ears.
The Greyhound Energy Level and Exercise Routine
Greyhounds may be the fastest dogs in the world but their favorite pastime is sleeping and lounging in the house. They are designed to be sprinters and not distance runners. So, while they may enjoy a sprint every once in a while, they don’t require a lot of exercise to be healthy and happy.
A daily walk that lasts 20-30 minutes is an excellent way to exercise your Greyhound as it not only releases pent-up energy but also allows it to experience new sights, smells, and sounds. Given their high prey drive, be sure to keep them on a leash during walks. Greyhounds are quite playful and will enjoy engaging in games. You can play fetch, Frisbee toss, or stair climbing exercises. You can also take them for a rum or to swim during hot weather.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to provide mental stimulation. It helps to burn off excess energy just like physical exercise while engaging the mind too.
Remember, the age and condition of your Greyhound will determine the type of exercise they may participate in. A senior greyhound may not be interested in high-intensity activity, but they might appreciate a nice calm walk with just the two of you. The activity requirements of a Greyhound puppy differ from those of an adult dog since their bodies are growing and developing.
The Life Span of a Greyhound Dog
How long a dog can live is a painful question as a dog owner. But understanding a Greyhound’s lifespan is critical to taking care of one. Luckily, Greyhound, unlike other larger dog breeds, lives a long time. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 13 years, with some living up to 15 years. This is only possible with proper nutrition, providing physical and mental exercise, love affection, generally, taking good care of your dog.
Like any other breed, Greyhounds are prone to certain diseases that may affect their lifespan or quality of life, such as osteosarcoma and hypothyroidism. Another serious issue is bloat. This condition causes your dog’s stomach to twist and turn, cutting off blood flow. It can result from various factors, including diet, exercise, and hereditary factors. Suppose you notice your dog drool excessively, swollen or distended abdomen, retching, or overall look of distress, take your dog to the vet as soon as you can. Greyhounds are also sensitive to anesthesia and like any other dog, they are prone to cancer.
This is not to say your dog will suffer from these illnesses, it’s best to know about them so you can be prepared. To be on the safe side, take your dog to the vet for regular checkups. This can help you detect problems early and extend your dog’s life.
Are Greyhounds Dog Hypoallergenic?
While they do have a light and short coat that sheds minimally, Greyhounds are still not classified as hypoallergenic dogs. The truth is no dog is truly hypoallergenic. Though some people are affected by dog hair, the main culprit that causes dog allergies is a protein found in the animal’s saliva, urine, and dander.
That being said, there are good news for allergy suffers looking to own a Greyhound. We know that these dogs shed less and produce far less natural body oil, thus releasing less dander. Additionally, compared to many other dog breeds, the saliva and dander from a Greyhound is chemically different. All this means they produce a smaller number of allergens, which minimizes allergic reactions
This is not to say that every person with allergies will be fine living with this dog, but the chances of an allergic reaction is way less compared to other breeds like the Husky. It all depends on an individual and other varying factor. You can minimize the risk of allergies by regularly grooming your dog, regularly vacuuming and cleaning your house, investing in a HEPA filter to clean indoor air. You can also talk with your doctor to see if you can manage allergies with medication.
Feeding Requirement of Greyhound
Greyhounds, like all dogs, will benefit the most from a nutritious, well-balanced diet. This is especially true for a pregnant dog. Feed your Greyhound at least twice a day. Depending on their weight, start with 2.5 cups in the morning and the same amount in the evening. If you’re offering dry food, you can add a quarter cup of water but then offer it as soon as possible; do not allow the food to soften. Please do not leave food out all day; the food may spoil or overheat. Plus, it can lead to overfeeding on the dog’s part, causing them to gain weight or even resulting in obesity.
How fast your dog eats is also important as this could lead to various digestive issues such as constipation and bloating. Watch out for signs like frequent farts, vomiting, straining to defecate, and dehydration.
There are so many types of dog food in the market that it can hard to decide which one to buy. Many contain fillers that are bad for your dog and can cause various intestinal problems. Remember, processed food can be unhealthy to your dog, and food containing garlic, onions, or chocolate can be dangerous to your Greyhound.
If you’re not sure what to feed your Greyhound, you can ask your veterinarian to recommend a high-quality kibble and/or wet food.
Is Greyhound Suitable for An Apartment?
Most dogs that are classified as suitable for an apartment are usually small breeds. But what makes any dog good for apartment living will largely depend on your lifestyle. Will you be able to provide them with their needs, such as daily exercise, food, love, and attention? Secondly, what is the dog’s temperament. A dog that is always barking will cause problems with neighbors.
Greyhounds can live happily in a small apartment or a large house with a large garden. They easily adapt to their surroundings and have friendly, caring, and loyal personalities. These dogs are well-known for being lazy. Most Greyhounds, especially retired racers, would rather stay indoors and cuddle on the sofa than go for a walk. Another reason that makes them good apartment dogs is they are relatively quiet dogs who only bark when they need to. Needless to say, you won’t be having problems with neighbors.
Since most apartments have limited space, you have to consider this breed’s enormous size. While they can comfortably fit in an apartment, a cramped space that doesn’t leave them with enough space to even turn is not ideal.
Can Greyhound Live Outside in Cold and Hot Weather?
Greyhounds are prone to cold weather. The requirement to keep their essential organs at a somewhat constant temperature implies that the body has to work harder to stay warm throughout the winter. On a frigid morning, for example, you may feel icy fingers and hands, as well as skin that is cool to the touch. Your Greyhound will undergo the same process when the temperature outside is more relaxed than usual. The Greyhound’s body will generate heat through shivering to keep the core temperature stable. This involuntary muscle activity consumes a percentage of its energy to produce muscle spasms. You must keep your Greyhound warm during cold weather by dressing it in a warm coat or jacket and providing a clean, dry kennel for it to sleep in If your Greyhound sleeps outside, give it a bed that is off the ground and ensure their kennel is not leaking.
Greyhounds can be outside dogs in warm weather, but hot temperatures are dangerous to them. Greyhounds lack the insulation to heat that other dogs have since they have little body fat and only one layer of fur. You can take your Greyhound to swim during hot weather to bring their body temperature down. While they are not excellent swimmers, they do enjoy splashing water. A greyhound’s optimal air temperature is from 65 to 75 ℉.
Greyhound Dog Personality Characteristics
The Greyhound is a smart, loyal, sensitive, friendly, cuddly dog who adores his family. It is notorious for being extremely quiet and sluggish, with their preferred activity being nothing at all. The Greyhound has a calm and subtle demeanor. Because they were bred to hunt run in groups, they are pretty sociable. They love nothing more than to be with their owners, seated and cuddling. But this good trait also makes them susceptible to separation anxiety, especially when left alone for long periods. This dog is non-aggressive and will typically run away from annoyance and disturbance, rather than snap or growl.
Living with Children and Family Members
Greyhounds are great family dogs. Their warm personality, together with their laziness makes them ideal for many families, including those with kids. Their timid nature makes them less confrontational. With kids being rowdy and loud, you’ll appreciate the fact that this dog would rather walk away from a disruptive child rather than snap or growl at them. That being said, all dogs have their limits. No dog, including the Greyhound, loves having their tails jerked and ears twisted, having their eyes pinched, and so on. They can become irritated and defend themselves in an aggressive manner.
Kids must be taught to be respectful and gentle in all their interactions with the dog. You also want to teach your dog how to act around kids.
That being said, toddlers and greyhounds can be a problematic combination because they both have the toddler mentality. A newly adopted Greyhound is in a new environment, unsure of what is expected of them, and the toddler is trying every limitation they can as they continue to explore. The AKC policy allows Greyhound adoption to households with children aged eight and above. The most important role to remember is that a child and a dog should never be left alone together.
Living with Cats and Other Dogs
Greyhounds get along well with other dogs. For the first few years of their lives, their mothers rear them together. And even after that, most go to training kennels, where they become socialized with other dogs. While your Greyhound will identify a big breed, such as a lab or golden, as a fellow dog right away, the same may not be for smaller breeds. Some Greyhounds don’t get along with tiny dogs because of their powerful prey drive. Little dogs’ habit of dashing underneath, running around, leaping on their tails, or jumping on them can easily arouse a Greyhound’s prey drive, which can be dangerous for the small dog.
Given this breed’s high prey drive, they don’t always get along with cats. You dog will need to be properly socialized, preferably from an early age, and be properly trained to be able to get along with cats. Cat testing is a great way to determine whether or not your dog is cat-tolerant. You also want to do the introduction process properly and if it doesn’t work. Don’t force it because the results can be fatal. Here are a few tips to help your animals coexist peacefully:
- Exercise your dog to release excess energy and act calm around the cat
- Dogs can be quite territorial so don’t force them to share resources
- Use positive reinforcement
- Consider adopting a kitten and puppy and raising them together
Barking Levels of a Greyhound Dog
When choosing a dog, it’s essential to know how often they usually bark. Dogs that aren’t prone to barking may be beautiful choices for apartments or townhouses. On the other hand, a silent pet dog isn’t a good choice for separated residences if you want to be alert to unusual things in your neighborhood.
The Greyhound rarely barks. This might come as a surprise to many considering it’s a hunting dog and most are heavy barkers. Like any other dog, the Greyhound produces different sounds as a way of communication. They will bark or howl to express hunger, fear, frustration, when they want to play, when they want to go potty, or even to alert owners of a potential threat. Some Greyhounds bark if a person or another dog approach the front door.
While barking is not a problem most Greyhound owners deal with, all dogs are not the same. Your Greyhound may bark excessively due to boredom, separation anxiety, when in pain, or they are just seeking attention. Some ways to prevent excessive barking is exercising your dog daily, training then to bark on command, removing the trigger, or ignoring the bark altogether. It’s important to know the difference between a genuine need and attention-seeking.
Are Greyhound Good Guards or Watchdogs?
Greyhounds are not typically protective. They are calm, friendly canines bred for hunting, and they aren’t efficient at guarding. While they can be intimidating due to their size, we already saw that they are friendly towards everyone and rarely bark. They will watch everything, but that’s as far as they will go.
They will not bark at strangers, basically due to their adaptations for hunting. They never used to bark when chasing prey probably because it was difficult to bark and sprint at the same time. Guard dogs are not only expected to watch out for intruders but also intervene when needed. The Greyhound is not in the slightest aggressive and will not provide the much-needed security.
That being said, you can make your Greyhound more protective by using some unique training methods and other tried-and-true tactics. For example, you might begin by teaching your Greyhound to be watchful, loyal, attentive, and self-assured.
But why try to turn such a calm and friendly dog into a role they were never intended to be? If your primary reason for wanting a dog is for protection, perhaps you should consider more suitable candidates. There are several breeds with all the qualities needed in a guard dog or are easily trained to be protective dogs. This includes the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, Great Dane, and Bullmastiff, just to name a few.
Greyhounds are not aggressive. They’re usually calm and courteous, affectionate and loyal, and they rarely exhibit aggressive behaviors like growling or snarling. Unless, of course, they’re threatened or triggered. If you have kids or noisy, frantic family life, your Greyhound may require some adjustment, but it will seldom cause aggressiveness.
If your dog is expressing aggression, it’s most likely fear-based. The good news is you can help them overcome their phobias over time. Your Greyhound may also display territorial aggression when guarding their food, space, and objects. Any unwanted visitor in their territory is considered a threat.
Other reasons your Greyhound might show aggression is when they are in pain, unfamiliar displays of affection, sleep startle, and psychological trauma. The good news is you can help manage your dog’s aggression with positive reinforcement, increasing their daily exercise to release excess energy, and controlled exposure.
These dogs also love to play and they’ll exhibit mild aggressive behaviors like nitting and air snapping. While this is part of play, it can become dangerous if taken too far. For example, a nibble on a small child’s hand can easily be a bite.
Can Greyhound Be Left Alone?
We mentioned earlier that these dogs can sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Does this mean you can leave them all day as you go to work, school, or run errands? Well, no. Greyhounds don’t literally sleep all day, a better description of their sleeping habits is napping and lazing around all day. Of, course, they still need to eat, go potty, exercise, and play.
Greyhounds can be left alone, but your time away shouldn’t exceed 6-8 hours. Keep in mind that this only applies to an adult Greyhound that is fully trained and in perfect condition. Puppies, seniors, and sick dogs should never be left alone for too long, no more than an hour.
As social animals, Greyhounds thrive on companionship, and if left alone for extended periods of time, they will become bored, lonely, and anxious. This can cause them to dig, back excessively, chew on everything, drool excessively, or engage in other destructive behaviors.
It is critical to assist your Greyhound in becoming more self-sufficient. Should you need to leave your dog in their own company, ensure there is enough food and water, providing stimulating toys to keep them busy and entertained, and create a comfortable space for them to stay in while you’re gone. Be sure to provide enough exercise to release pent-up energy.
Greyhound Dog Training – Easy or Hard?
The Greyhound is a relatively simple dog to train. It is usually obedient unless it’s on the lookout for prospective prey, then they can prove to be stubborn. Greyhounds are sensitive creatures. Thus, an experienced trainer is advised. Training a Greyhound entails more than just tricks and orders. You’re establishing a working relationship with your Greyhound, who will likely be living in your home for the next decade. But that doesn’t mean you can’t teach tricks and commands. You can pay special attention to your Greyhound’s innate abilities and use them as a foundation for training. Always start with the most basic activities your dog can already accomplish; this way, it will be easier for your dog to associate exercise with fun and happy feelings.
Greyhound Dog Potty Training
Potty training a puppy or adult Greyhound is a necessary element of raising a pet. Nobody wants their house smelling like poop all the time. Some people perceive this training as a chore, while others embrace it as a challenge. Before you begin potty training a puppy or adult Greyhound, there are a few things you should know. For example, you must learn to read your dog’s body language. Keep an eye out for signals that your pet wants to relieve themselves. If you have puppies, keep in mind that they need to go potty at regular intervals, such as when they wake up, after brief naps, after play-time, after meals, before and after being crated, and finally, before going to bed.
Having a routine is key to potty training your dog. You can train them to go potty at the same time you go for walks. Take them to the same spot, so they can learn to associate it with pooping. You’ll then need to give them a cue to do their business. Praise your Greyhound when he eliminates properly. He will associate the rewards with him having done the right thing. Remember that commitment, perseverance, and the wise application of positive reinforcement will cause your Greyhound to be thoroughly potty trained.
Greyhound Dog Obedience Training
Greyhounds are naturally calm, loving, and obedient dogs. They can only be trained with positive reinforcement, especially food. The key to training Greyhounds is to keep them motivated. You must make it worthwhile for them to participate in the obedience drills. You should train your Greyhound gradually. Use short, intriguing lessons to keep your dog’s attention throughout the training session. Introduce new things slowly, as bombarding them with demands may frighten them. Remember that you deal with dogs, and dogs do not learn as quickly as humans do. Begin with simple phrases like “come,” “sit,” and “no.”
When they do anything wrong, don’t discipline them by beating them; this can confuse them and cause aggressive behavior. Use treats to keep them motivated and on track. They will interpret your facial expressions with time, so smile while congratulating them when they obey the command.
Walks with your dog on a leash should be part of greyhound obedience training. They are enormous dogs that, if not properly trained, may be a pain to walk on a leash. Greyhounds are natural hunters and incredibly fast, so walking them without a leash means they could chase a little animal, and you would have no way of stopping them.
Greyhound Dog Behavioral Training
Sometimes we need to administer some dog behavior training. This is sometimes called ‘behavior modification,’ which means amending your dog’s destructive behavior. Behavior training focuses on helping your Greyhound unlearn destructive behaviors like digging, chewing, biting, unnecessary barking, or leash behavior. This type of dog training is appropriate for a young Greyhound who is just getting started and doesn’t know how to be good. But it may also be necessary if your adult dog has recently developed behavior problems. Behavioral training includes some basic commands, like come, run, no, etc. For example, you can begin by placing a reward on the floor while retaining your Greyhound’s leash, then say the word ‘wait’ and position your second hand, palms up, in front of his face. Hold him by the leash for 3-5 seconds before saying “go get it” and pointing to the treat. Allow your dog to consume the treat while you remove your hand from his leash. Over time this will allow your dog to learn ‘wait’ and ‘go get it.’
The goal here is not for the dog to follow commands but to guide them to make a proper decision about what behavior to offer in any situation. Behavior training generally can be lengthier than obedience training and doesn’t necessarily need a human to provide a command. This training can target good rewarding behavior and ignore or redirect bad behavior.
Greyhound Dog Protection Training
After your dog has been trained to obey fundamental orders, you can begin his protective training. Greyhounds are rarely protective dogs, nor are they as effective as well-known guard dogs. As previously said, they are quiet and calm creatures. As a result, they will require some instruction to learn how to assess a situation before acting. Begin with basic obedience training to teach the dog to respond to commands.
Then you’ll need to teach them to be alert, which will help them not lie down or go about their regular activity when an intruder approach. They should always know what is going on around them and also learn to bark. Since they’re generally silent dogs, you can teach them to bark on command. You also want to build self-confidence in this dog. While their large size can be intimidating, they are timid in nature and tend to avoid confrontation. Most importantly, socialize your dog. You don’t want to end up with a dog that is treats everyone and everything as a threat.
Whether for protection or obedience training, always reward excellent behavior and don’t punish them if they make a mistake, as this can generate fear and confusion during learning.