Luckily, I don’t think my greyhound, Lily, hates as many as 100 things; but the things she does hate, she hates a lot! There are, however, at least 100 things that are hated, collectively, by many greyhounds.
Because greyhounds are sensitive dogs, there are certain things that are universally hated by most of them. That they hate these things as a result of abuse suffered during racing is a fallacy. In order to have a good, trusting relationship with one’s pet greyhound, it is important to be aware of his preferences – Most have an innate fear of booming sounds, such as thunder. Hunting goes back generations in the greyhound bloodline, so they often have an unhealthy interest in small mammals, such as cats and vermin. In spite of their athletic prowess, they are extremely lazy; so anything that disturbs their rest tends to produce a negative reaction.
Overall, there is no sweeter, more docile breed than the greyhound; but every creature has his preferences. In fact, most conflicts between greyhounds and their owners stem from the owner’s misunderstanding of the dog’s likes/dislikes. It is not unusual for a greyhound to act so mysteriously, the owner thinks there is something wrong, when the problem is simply that the dog is unhappy with something. Read on to learn about these preferences, and you will have a better idea of the difference between his wants and his needs.
How to Cope with Your Greyhound’s Dislikes
The first step is knowing what he hates, in the first place. This article will help you sort that out.
Once you start paying attention to your grey’s dislikes, you may see patterns emerge, which will help you resolve some of them. Others will always remain. The best tactic of all is echoed in an article from Everhart Vet in Maryland – Keep a positive attitude! In getting your dog to feel better about baths, for example, they say, “Associate bath time with an exciting, good time. It’s an event your dog could even look forward to. Your pet can sense your feelings, so if you have a hesitant, dreading, or negative attitude toward this event, it will naturally feel the same way [to him].”
Things That are Universally Hated by Most Greyhounds
Because of the greyhound’s unique build, there are some things that most of them hate. The first of these is hard, smooth floors. If you look closely at his paw, you will see that it has long claws, and webbing and fur between his toes. That paw is designed to dig into soft ground and push off, propelling the greyhound to speeds which are much faster than the limit (for cars!) in your local school zone. A tall, leggy greyhound walking on a smooth floor may struggle and slip as he goes. This can even be physically painful for older, arthritic greyhounds, or those who have had an injury. It puts quite a strain on his joints.
Like many breeds, greyhounds are often afraid of thunder. This can get better or worse as he ages. When a storm is rolling in at our house, we will gather up Lily, and go watch TV in our cellar. It is what sound techs call a “dead room’ – Not a lot of echo, in other words. It is carpeted, has an acoustic tile dropped ceiling, and very small windows. Out of all our rooms, it is the one which is best insulated from outdoor noise.
Speaking of paws, your pet may be very intolerant of booties or bandages, or anything else he may need to protect his pads, or help an injury to heal. They also can dislike having their nails clipped. Their nails are so big and tough, this can be a harrowing experience for the owner, as well. Buying a good-quality dog-nail grinder was a real game-changer for us!
It can be easy to confuse a greyhound’s keenness for hatred. It’s not that they hate small, furry animals; it’s just that they often view them as prey. This personality trait is stronger in some greyhounds than others. Be sure you know how keen your greyhound is, before ever trusting him around cats and small dogs. They tend to be especially keen when outdoors, so always make sure your yard is cat-free, before releasing your greyhound into it.
Often, you will find that your greyhound seems to hate something, when the reality is that he simply does not comprehend it. Many times, I have seen my dog stop suddenly, and look quizzically at something. I don’t want to embarrass his dignity by laughing out loud; but it’s pretty funny to see a dog go into full stalk-mode, hoping to bag a potted plant, a lump of snow, or a UPS package.
So, that’s the basic list of what the average greyhound hates. Without further ado, let’s move on to my list of over one hundred things that are hated by the contingent of greyhounds. Each entry on this list is cross-referenced over several greyhounds. In other words, there may be additional things that your particular greyhound hates. I have divided the items into the following eight categories:
Foods Hated by Some Greyhounds (12)
Greyhounds are usually hearty eaters. If your greyhound seems picky, make sure he is not suffering from a physical problem, such as parasites or bad teeth/gums. Even if your pet is perfectly well, you are bound to find a food he dislikes.
It’s not unusual for a greyhound to dislike any boutique-y or “healthy” dog foods. I was surprised to learn, during a recent conversation, that even my (Lily’s) vet is not a big fan of a lot of the “premium” dog foods. The one I feed, Biljac, is considered premium, but I like it for it’s digestible formula and simple, common ingredients.
If your greyhound dislikes his grain-free or exotic-ingredient foods, pay attention! He may know something that you do not. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, of Tufts University, has linked such diets to heart disease in dogs. She states that it is “difficult for pet owners to know what is truly the best food for their pet (as opposed to the one with the loudest or most attractive marketing). Because of the thousands of diet choices, the creative and persuasive advertising, and the vocal opinions on the internet, pet owners aren’t able to know if the diets they’re feeding have nutritional deficiencies or toxicities – or could potentially even cause heart disease.”
Fruits and vegetables are often disliked by greyhounds, especially carrots and mushrooms. The latter may not be good for dogs, anyway. It’s hard to find concise information on whether dogs should eat mushrooms.
They like rice; but my greyhound, Peaches, loathed noodles of any kind.
If you’re sharing your snack, you’ll find that your buddy will probably enjoy cheese crackers, but perhaps not plain ones, and definitely not pretzels. None of my greys would eat potato chips or any other fried snack.
One odd snack that no one seems to like are the seaweed-wrapped crackers that come in Trader Joe’s rice cracker mix. Lily finally broke my family’s record of consecutive seaweed cracker haters. She’s the only one who doesn’t spit them out!
Giving a greyhound a pill can be very challenging. I noticed that fish oil pills, in particular, show up on the most-hated list for many greys. There are always Pill Pockets, but some don’t like those, either!
- any healthy food
- seaweed crackers
- potato chips
- taking pills
- pill pockets
- fish oil
A Few Situations your Greyhound may Find Unpleasant (9)
For a bit of fun, I’ll give you Lily’s view of some of a greyhound’s most-hated situations. If she could talk, here is what she would say:
“I hate baths; and when someone sits behind me, where I can’t keep an eye on him. I hate it when you leave, and then I hate being alone.
The only thing I hate more than a walk that’s too long, or a walk that’s too short, is a walk where you stop to talk to the neighbors – –
Wait, that’s not true – I hate it even more when dinner is late…
…and please stop taking my picture all the time.”
13. When I leave
14. Being alone
15. Long walks
16. Having picture taken
17. Shorter walks
18. Someone sitting behind me
19. Stopping on my walk
21. When dinner is late
Some Creatures not Liked by Greyhounds (17)
Overall, greyhounds get along remarkably well with all kinds of folks; but even the docile greyhound has his limits…and then there’s that prey drive! Creatures that are disliked by greyhounds fall into one of three categories: people, small furries, and other dogs.
People Whom Greyhounds May Not Like
Sadly, more than one owner has complained that it is he who is the target of his greyhound’s scorn. If that describes you, I urge you to be patient with your pup. With some time, a light touch, and some insight into the greyhound’s character (that’s what I’m here for!), you will be able to marshmallow-ize even the most stoic dog. I often find myself feeling bad for my first greyhound, the same way I feel bad for my first child – There was so much I didn’t know back them!
Besides, it’s usually not you, specifically, that the dog doesn’t like; but something you are doing, are failing to do, or are doing wrong. One owner stated that they get along fine, until the owner gets on all fours. Then, he gets growled at.
This reminds me of an incident with my dog, Shannon. One day, I recalled a trick my friend used to do with his dog – The man would hold the end of a MilkBone between his teeth, and the dog would gently take it from him. So, Shannon was standing there, waiting for his cookie. When I turned to him with the biscuit sticking out of my mouth, he looked absolutely horrified, and lowered his head. He even took a few steps backward (the way one does, when encountering an unstable person). I immediately handed over the biscuit. Shannon took it tentatively. He glanced at me over his shoulder on the way back to his bed, with a look that said “we’ll never speak of this again.”
Several people said that their greyhounds don’t like children. I think it’s more accurate to say that they are selective about children.
The day we chose Shannon, I had the great priviledge of choosing from a kennel full of lovely greyhounds. Since my children were aged two and six at the time, we took each dog, individually, out into the yard, to meet the family. We met fourteen greys that day, from timid to rowdy, and every last one was beautiful with my children. If this is a concern for you, you’ll benefit from reading my article on greyhounds and children, linked at the bottom of this article. It gives full details about better living with pet greyhounds during each stage of your child’s life, from birth to teens.
It is not unusual for a greyhound to feel overwhelmed by too much/too fast. This means he may dislike crowds of people, and people on wheels, such as skateboarders and bicyclists.
23. Me, on all 4s
Small, Furry Animals with Greyhounds
The issue with small furries and greys is not usually hate, but prey-drive. As I mentioned in the introduction, always treat with caution every encounter between your greyhound and one of these smaller creatures, including small dogs.
29. Small furry animals
Greyhounds and Other Dogs
Since retired racing greyhounds spend so much of their early lives in the company of other dogs, they usually love being with other dogs. Initially, they may feel confused by other the appearance of another breed; but once they sniff around and realize that it’s just another dog, they tend to feel really happy and ready to make friends. I know trainers who bring to work their other-breed dogs from home, so there are some greyhounds who are already used to other breeds.
As with children, your greyhound may be selective as to the type of dogs he likes. One breed mentioned as disliked is the Curly Labradoodle; but I think we can expand that to any fluffy-coated dog. Some greyhounds just plain don’t like non-greyhounds.
One breed I do not recommend for social mixing with your greyhound is the pitbull. Be very cautious, and know your breeds, as several breed names fall into the pitbull category. Never let anyone shame you into letting your guard down around a pitbull, even if they say it’s a mix. Pitbulls kill more than twice as many people as every other breed, combined. Dogsbite.org is a great resource, which will provide you with full statistics about the damage caused by pitbulls. There are a lot of other informational websites about pitbulls, but they tend to provide a lot of happy-talk and incomplete numbers, intended to lull people into a false sense of security, often with tragic consequences. Healthy caution is not “hateful,” for you or for your greyhound.
Sometimes, it’s not the breed, but the individual dog. Greyhounds are, literally, thin-skinned. Their coats are thinner, too; and they have only half the fat of the average dog. These factors add up to a creature that does not have the physical protection needed to enjoy the rough-and-tumble play of many dogs. They dislike pushy dogs, as well. If you hear your greyhound snarl a warning to another dog, don’t snap at him; he may have a valid reason. Separate them immediately, and try to figure out what happened, to avoid future problems.
32. Pushy dogs
33. Dogs who jump
34. Small dogs
37. Curly Labradoodles
Greyhounds Hate Certain Objects, 16
Lily offers up the following narrative, describing some of the most despised objects encountered in everyday life:
“So I’m minding my own business, up on the couch, kicking all those useless cushions to the floor – you know, just trying to make the place look lived in, when She comes in. I figure she’s mad, because I’ve bitten off my pajamas again, but then I look…She’s holding The Evil Harness. The next thing I know, she has emptied the entire closet out onto my back – coat, boots, muzzle, collar, the whole thing.
She snaps on the leash, and the next thing you know, we are out in a wet and wild world. By the way, I have tried, in the past, to look at her, with pleading eyes, enticing her to change the weather, but she often seems to mess this up, and then it ends up hot and humid, which I hate even more than the cold. I don’t even know where to look – do I look up at umbrella, which is sure to come down on my head, or should I watch behind me, knowing I might get my tail caught in the gate? Should I look ahead of me, at the army of leaves, blowing our way in a very menacing fashion?
The door closes behind us, narrowly missing my tail. In the stony silence of The Stairway to Heaven (AKA the vet’s office), the dour attendant wipes down the counter, using a spray bottle. I know she is going to squirt me with it, and I will shiver from the gust caused by that nasty ceiling fan.
The vet’s scale clatters alarmingly, as I quake, slipping and clawing, trying to get purchase on the cold smooth, hated stainless steel surface. Really? They can’t put some kind of tread on this thing?
After sticking an ouchy thing in my leg, they have the nerve to put a bandage on me. I see her coming at me with the scissors, probably to cut the bandage or possibly my whole leg off, and I scream. What’s next, The Cone? I can’t wait to get back to the hated car, and eat that bandage for lunch.”
I think the most vexing of these objects is the Elizabethan Cone. Natasha Feduik, a licensed veterinary technician, points out that it’s not as bad as having to bring him back to the vet, because he’s chewed his stitches open.
39. Things with cushions
49. Spray bottles
50. Ceiling fan
51. Vet’s scale
52. The Cone
Greyhounds Dislike Extreme Weather (12)
When the wind comes up and the rain comes down, you’ll see your greyhound hunker down in his bed for the day. We call this “going into rainy-day mode.” To get him out the door, you may find you need to trick him by opening the door and whisking him out quickly, before he catches on that you are forcing him out into a storm.
If thunder and lightning accompany that rain, that’s a different story, as discussed earlier.
When winter comes, a good coat can make the difference between a greyhound who hates the cold, and one who…well, tolerates it! They do surprisingly well in the snow, as long as you don’t let them get frostbite. If you see your greyhound plucking his feet up, out of the snow or slush, that’s a sign that his feet are getting too cold. Respond quickly, in getting him to a cleared area, or back indoors. Greyhounds can slip on the ice, too, so it’s understandable that many would dislike it.
Greyhounds can be very sensitive to hot weather, especially when it includes humidity. Your pet will be very grateful for a fan of his very own (although some owners report that their greys hate ceiling fans; mine have never had that problem). Learn more about keeping your grey cool for safety’s sake in my article on why greyhounds pant (linked below).
I don’t know if my Lily is unique in this, but she is afraid of the dark. I’ve never noticed this trait with my other greys. The first night we had her, she curled up in the pool of light from a small lamp by her bed. I’ve seen her many times since, asleep with her face bathed in lamplight, looking radiant and blissful.
59. Cold weather
63. Hot weather
Feelings/Sensations that Make Greyhounds Uncomfortable (16)
The typical greyhound has at least one spot where they dislike being touched. Do not be discouraged, though – Most greyhounds love affection, and become more snuggly as they get older. It’s helpful to remember that retired racers were not bred to be pets. One thing that can help acclimate them to petting and affection is to take ten minutes a day, at the same daily time, to sit with your dog. During this time, you can get him used to having his paws handled, etc.. Of course, one hopes you’ll spend more than ten minutes a day with your hound; but this consistant session is a great way to build trust.
Here, Lily sums up a few of the more UNpopular sensations for greyhounds:
“Don’t push me, cover me, lift me, loom over me, sit behind me, or disturb my nap.
Don’t get me dirty; and if you do, don’t bathe me, or get me wet in any way.
Don’t touch my shoulders, ears, or mouth, and certainly do NOT brush my teeth.
Don’t touch my belly, or feet…
…unless there’s something caught between my toes, like acorns or snow…but no nail-clipping – That’s where I draw the line! And, by the way, I also hate the smell of that corn medicine.”
67. Being pushed
68. Nail clipping
69. Being loomed over
70. Corn medicine smell
72. Getting wet
73. Being lifted
74. Being covered
75. Having mouth touched
76. Disturbed while sleeping
77. Having belly touched
78. Having shoulders touched
79. Having ears touched
80. Getting dirty
81. Stuffed caught between toes
82. Having feet touched
Greyhounds Hate These Environments (12)
There will come a time when your greyhound seems suddenly unhappy about something, but you can’t see what the problem is. If this happens, he may hate something in his environment. For example, some greyhounds find silence unnerving. That is why kennels so often leave a radio playing for the dogs.
When separation anxiety is a problem, you can often remedy it by making a small change in your greyhound’s environment. Hating the crate is so common, I wrote an entire article focusing on solutions for it (linked below)! Being closed up inside a room, alone, is also unpopular among greys. They often do better with a simple baby-gate placed across an open doorway.
Some greys loathe being outdoors; but just as many hate being cooped up indoors. As mentioned before, many despise the car, usually due to motion sickness….and don’t even get me started on the wonders of the vet’s office!
Stairs and slippery floors are not the only spots where your greyhound may feel uncomfortable. Gravel paths and sidewalks can aggrevate corns and arthritis.
One oddity you may experience is seeing your greyhound freeze when he’s trying to pass through a narrow area. This often happens to Lily, when we pass through our garage, on our way out for a walk. This passage changes from day to day, depending on who was the last person to pull the car into the garage. I tend to park it on a slight angle, causing a bottleneck that traps poor Lily every time. I can usually snap on the leash and encourage her forward; but there have been times when she has had to back herself out. This is often worse, as she bumps the ladder and steps into the bucket…you get the picture.
84. Closed doors
85. His Crate
86. The car
87. Going outside
88. Being stuck inside
89. Vets office
91. Narrow spaces
94. Hard, slippery floors
Sounds Found Annoying by Some Greyhounds, 9
Lily insists on the last word, with the sounds voted most likely to set a greyhound’s teeth on edge:
“Don’t even get me started on obnoxious noises:
Motorcycles, Fireworks, Gunfire, Leaf blowers;
Compressors, Generators, Beeping, and Lawnmowers.
Squeaky toys can be irritating, too”
98. Leaf Blowers
103. Squeaky toys
Resources for Further Info
Cold weather help for your greyhound:
Keep your hound happy and safe in warm weather:
These articles will help you sort out whether a food is bad for you grey, or if he’s just being picky:
Better living with your pet greyhound, when you have kids:
Essential reading for every greyhound owner – Know fact from fiction on pitbulls:
Natasha Feduik’s article on The Cone of Shame:
More bathing tips for reluctant hounds from Everhart Vet:
Check out Dr. Lisa M. Freeman’s article linking trendy diets to canine heart disease: