About Greyhounds… and especially retired Racer
Greyhounds are sensitive, quizzical, surprisingly gentle, and try hard to please. Although most greyhounds adapt quickly, some may require extra tender loving care. Some may experience separation anxiety, be shy, or take a little longer to housebreak. Greyhounds are individuals with different personalities. Unique, perhaps, to greyhounds, is a tendency for their personality to unfold slowly over time for as long as six months to a couple years, as they become accustomed to their home.
This noble breed is very intelligent and somewhat independent. They are not predators, but it is their nature to chase fast moving objects. They have keen eyesight and can see moving objects up to a half mile away. They can reach 45 mph, achieving that speed in a just a few strides. Greyhounds have zero knowledge of cars so great care must be taken to insure that they do not get loose.
Greyhounds are not guard dogs and must be kept inside. They have low body fat and do not tolerate extreme cold or heat. The Greyhound prefers to be inside with their person.
Most Greyhounds are especially fond of playing with stuffed toys. Greyhounds do not need any more exercise than any dog of similar size and enjoy daily walks and romping in a fenced-in area.
Greyhound and Sleeping
Greyhounds like peace and quiet, and, depending on your Greyhound’s age and personality, will sleep up to 18 hours a day. Greyhounds are serious about their sleeping and take great delight in their soft beds. Offer your greyhound a very nice soft pillow and watch how much they enjoy it.
Greyhounds and allergies
Most people that are allergic to dogs are fine with greyhounds and a few other breeds.
Greyhounds and shedding
Greyhound shed minimally. Most of their shedding is during the spring and fall. Unless they get into something, they can be bathed as little as two or three times a year.
Greyhounds and muzzles
When you see Greyhounds together at the track, they are always muzzled. There are a couple of reasons for this. When they are running, they are very competitive and will often nip at another dog. As with all dogs, Greyhounds are pack animals. Many people feel that due to their long history their pack instinct is stronger than most other dogs. Pack behavior can lead to squabbles on who is the leader of the pack. Pack behavior also requires weeding out of injured dogs that may compromise the safety of the pack as a whole. If a dog somehow becomes injured, it is possible the other dogs will turn on it. Again, this is not unique to Greyhounds. Muzzles are strongly recommended when introducing a new Greyhound to the first Greyhound – at least until they become bonded and accustomed to each other. If you have more than two Greyhounds running free in your yard, muzzles are highly recommended.
When introducing your Greyhound to your feline force or another small dog, a muzzle is strongly recommended. You may need to leave a muzzle on the Greyhound for a day or so while monitoring your Greyhound’s reaction.
Greyhounds and Children
The Greyhound is an inherently gentle breed, which truly enjoys the company of people and most children. Indeed, the greatest concern might be for the Greyhound should the family include small children. Greyhounds are even-tempered and long-suffering. But like everything else, they do have a cut-off point where enough is enough. As the newest member of your family your Greyhound will hold a special fascination for children in the home. The child may be tempted to pull tails, bite ears, pounce on him or worse. Though your Greyhound may endure such treatment in silence, his limit may eventually be exceeded and he may growl, bark or even snap. More than likely, he will come to fear the child and will withdraw from the child’s presence. Either situation is undesirable and can be avoided by teaching the child the importance of being kind and gentle with all pets.
Dogs and small children should NEVER be left alone together. Even the most tolerant dog cannot stand up to badgering or harassment. Kids are kids and dogs are dogs. Children are loud and may confuse your greyhound. Dogs often associate loud noises with trouble. A Greyhound snapping or nipping at a child is a common reason for the return of greyhounds to the group. Adults can read body language, but children do not. Families are often very busy and should understand that bringing a new dog into your home requires education on everyone’s part. The children must be taught to leave the dog alone if sleeping or eating. Greyhounds come from a kennel environment and there are some who do not like to be disturbed while in their beds.
Most dogs do not like to be hugged or kissed on the face. Over time, they may get used to hugs, but in the beginning, you should not allow a child to hug or kiss the dog. Your Greyhound will appreciate a gentle scratching/rubbing on the chest or neck Make sure you do not allow your greyhound to be chased by children. This will make your Greyhound fearful and a possible fear-bite if he/she is cornered.
Greyhounds are not rough and tumble dogs. They do not enjoy rough housing. Do not get a Greyhound to teach your child responsibility. Some greyhounds love children, but not all do. You should make sure your Greyhound has been around children before the adoption. Children need to respect the dog and vice versa.
Never let kids crawl, jump or pounce on any sleeping dog. Never try to take a bone; treat or toy away and no one should put their hand between any dog and his food bowl. These precautions are not just for homes with Greyhounds, but also for homes with any breed of dog. It will probably take longer to teach the child than it will to teach the Greyhound. Many adults teach their children to pat a dog on the head. Most dogs really don’t care for this. Most will tolerate it with dignity. Have someone beat you on the top your head for several minutes and see how annoying it can be.
Greyhounds, like any other large breed, can be pretty formidable when frightened or harassed. Treated gently and with the respect he deserves, you should not have to worry about him in the company of children.
Do NOT let your child walk your dog. Greyhounds are very strong and powerful. Children under 14 should not be allowed to walk your Greyhound on a leash. Your greyhound may be a puller or see a small animal and take off.
Remember – safety first – is the Golden Rule. Never leave your Greyhound – or any large dog – alone with a small child. Teach your child to be gentle with your Greyhound and make sure the child understands that the tail is not a play toy nor should the dog be ridden like a horse. Great harm could be done to the Greyhound.
Before you adopt your Greyhound, you might want to purchase a stuff toy that looks like a dog and teach your child how to “pet.” You can also buy a dog bed beforehand and teach your child that dog beds are off limits at all times. Never let your child sleep with a Greyhound – especially until you know your Greyhound. The Greyhound may regard the child as a “littermate” and treat him like one.
Greyhounds do best in homes with children over the age of 5.
Small Animals and Greyhounds
Greyhounds are bred to chase and some greyhounds have a higher prey drive than others. A dog that is good with cats in one house may not be good with cats in another. Caution should be used when introducing greyhounds to small animals and they should not be left alone at home together until all adjust. Even the most small-animal safe dog in the world indoors may chase small animals outside. Outside is much different and greyhounds may chase squirrels, cats, rabbits and birds. This is, after all, what they’ve been bred for. It is the owner’s responsibility to carefully monitor the dog when around small animals, using leashes and muzzles as needed.