Should I Get a Greyhound? How to Decide (Top Reasons)

People are often surprised to learn that greyhounds make calm, docile companions.  Greyhounds are the unexpected breed in so many ways, that “required reading” is often a prerequisite to adopting one!  

In trying to decide, “Should I get a greyhound,” one should not only research, but should also spend some time interacting with greyhounds.  In particular, one should consider that the greyhound is a large dog, who lives twelve to fourteen years.  In the case of retired racers, they are not bred as housepets; so patient, informed training is needed.  The successful greyhound owner is one who is both informed and committed to forming a bond of trust with the dog, as well as shaping his behavior by breed-appropriate means.

When people see how quiet greyhounds are, it’s easy to forget that they are still large-breed dogs, who are a bit more responsibility than smaller dogs.  For that reason, this article will link you directly to the most-often required reads for prospective greyhound owners, and provide you with some of the most fun things about greyhound ownership.

Required Reading for New Greyhound Owners

Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan 

Retired Racing Greyhounds For Dummies 

The Best Reasons for having a Pet Greyhound

Greyhounds make you laugh.

My greyhound is very amusing, in a subtle way. She is in a different pose, every time I look at her. 

You’re never lonely, with a greyhound.

With my greyhound , even when no one else is home, I’m never lonely. According to Psychology Today, dogs have been found to be so good for one’s mental health, that…

“a growing number of companies … offer a dog-friendly environment in an effort to reduce stress among employees.”

Psychology Today

A Greyhounds helps you stay fit and healthy.

Thanks to my greyhound, I get plenty of fresh air.  We take our walks, rain or shine.  She is my personal fitness coach.

Greyhounds help you make friends.

Because of my greyhound, I know all my neighbors. It’s kind of like hanging out with The Cool Kid all the time. 

My Greyhound Loves Me.

It’s very flattering, the way my greyhound will adjust her sleeping position, so that I am the last thing she sees, before she falls asleep. 

Greyhounds love to cuddle things.

Lily’s favorite thing to cuddle is her first toy, Duckworth. She has other dollies that she loves to snuggle with, too; including her giant duckie.  When she’s not curled up with a toy, you’ll usually see her curled up with her quilt or one of her pillows…not that she’s spoiled, or anything. 

Greyhounds are physical marvels.

Lily looks especially amazing in slow-motion,  when she shakes off water after her bath. 

Greyhounds have talent.

Lily can catch food in her mouth. 

Greyhounds have pretty markings.

Lily has giant, round spots, and one that looks like a pie with a piece taken out. 

Lily is always a good patient

… whenever she needs help.

Lily has a cute wiggle,

… when she walks. 

Greyhounds have the best grin ever!

Dental woes, however, “are the most common health issue facing pet greyhounds,” according to the Royal Veterinary College.   To keep that toothy grin happy and bright, brush your hound’s teeth daily. 

Greyhounds are grateful.

Greyhounds always notice it, and are appreciative, when you do something for them. 

Greyhounds love blankets.

One of the great joys of owning a greyhound is covering him with a blanket at night. 

Greyhounds are fit and healthy.

Don’t listen to uninformed people who tell you that greyhounds are inbred, and thus, healthy. Veterinarians have been known to bemoan how little money they make from their greyhound patients.  It’s helpful, however, to have a veterinarian who is familiar with the breed. To quote a leading journal of the practice:

Over thousands of years, greyhounds have been bred and selected for speed. This selective breeding may explain a number of the idiosyncrasies we see in the breed today.

The Royal Veterinary College 

You can lose you groomer’s phone number.

Due to having a single, short coat, greyhound owners don’t run up big bills at the groomer, either. 

A greyhound’s coat is wonderful to pet.

People marvel over Lily’s soft coat. One lady recently said she feels like a chinchilla!

Enjoy the Video Version of this Article (coming soon)

The State of Greyhound Adoption: Current Trend

Greyhound adoption is currently doing well in Australia; and rising in Ireland, where people are just discovering what lovely pets they make.  There is still quite a bit of greyhound adoption is the UK, as well.  Sadly, it is in decline in the US, due to many states banning greyhound race wagering.  Many Americans would love to take in a retired racer, but they are becoming few and far between.  Canada depended on the US for dogs AND their border (as of this writing) is closed, so their programs have suffered greatly.

The chart below shows the number of adoptions every fifth year from GALT, a greyhound adoption league in Texas.  The upward swing in 2020 reflects the sudden surge of adoptable dogs from tracks in Florida, after their ban took effect.  GALT, however, is committed to continuing to find and place greyhounds to happy forever homes.

Resources for Further Exploration

 Print and give to your vet this comprehensive article of key greyhound medical quirks from DVM 360 

Greyhound health statistics from the Royal Veterinary College get you off to an informed start. 

Read the full article on how dogs are good for your mental health. 

By Gail McGaffigan

The owner of the Greyhound Homecare website and YouTube channel, Gail has had retired racing greyhounds as pets since 1997. Please visit our channel, too!