What is it Like to Own a Greyhound: the authentic truth


I can always tell when someone is considering getting a greyhound, by the way they look wistfully at my dog and ask:

“What is it Like to Own a Greyhound?”  A greyhound is a mellow, peaceful addition to the family. He naps most of the time, enjoying the company of his owner. 

No breed is compatible with every family, though! To have a great outcome with your greyhound (or ANY dog), you must invest your time in these three things: 

  1. Learning all you can about this breed
  2. Patiently and appropriately training your dog
  3. Building a relationship a with him

Step 1 begins here! This article, and others on Greyhound Homecare, can help you decide if a greyhound is right for you. Read on, as I break down what greyhounds are really like, in easy-read graphics and answers to the questions that are on your mind. 

What to know about owning a greyhound?

Although greyhounds make some of the best pets out there, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not bred to be pets. Greyhounds are bred to be dogs with a purpose, and that purpose is racing. The number of greyhounds registered with the American Racing Association as opposed to the American Kennel Club is about 14 to 1. With that in mind, it’s important to know, going in, that everything in your home will be foreign to your new greyhound. You will have to teach him about everything in your home (mirrors, dog beds, stairs, electrical cords, children, etc.).  It takes time, attention, and patience, but it is worth it.

Are greyhounds good house dogs?

When they are trained properly and patiently, over time, by their owners, they make excellent house dogs.

Can greyhounds be left alone?

Yes, after a break-in period, where you gradually lengthen the amount of time he’s left alone. Most greyhounds have never spent any time alone, and find your home a very strange environment for the first year or two.

 It’s good to have a very large wire crate. Greyhounds are accustomed to and relish having their own personal space. 

Are greyhounds good for full time workers?

They can be, since they sleep so much of the day away.  As mentioned above, though, they can get anxious if left alone for too long. I’ve noticed that owners I know, personally, tend to own two greyhounds that keep one another company. 

Do greyhounds need another dog?

Not usually, although it can be helpful, if he needs to be home alone all day, because you’re working. Of course, a lot of people get two greyhounds, merely because they enjoy that experience.

Again, it’s a matter of patient training over time. It helps if you can have someone look in on your greyhound, if it’s going to be more than a few hours. 

How much does it cost to own a greyhound?

First, there’s the adoption fee, which can ranges from around $250 – $500. This is a bargain, considering that the initial vet work is all done ahead of time, often by a vet who has volunteered his services, and includes spay/neuter and deworming.  This cost is often halved, if you adopt a greyhound aged 7 or older, or a special-needs greyhound.

After that, the cost is pretty much what you would spend on any large dog. Your monthly purchases would include a large bag of good-quality kibble, flea and heartworm medications, and, of course, plenty of cookies. If your former dog experience has included a lot of grooming expense, you can put away your wallet and delete the groomer’s info from your phone; you won’t be needing them. 

Do greyhounds like to cuddle?

Yes, once they get to know you better. Remember, greyhounds are not bred to be pets, so they may be uncomfortable, at first, with your affection. Over time, though, they become big marshmallows.

Can greyhounds be off-leash?

A greyhound can only be off leash in a securely enclosed area. You have a dog who is bred to chase, sees half a mile away, has no sense of traffic dangers, has a high prey drive, and can run 40 mph. All this, combined, makes an unleashed greyhound is a recipe for disaster! Many have been lost or killed by a car when they bolted after some small furry creature. 

Are greyhounds aggressive?

Greyhounds tend to be very passive and docile. If a greyhound is annoyed, it would be more in his nature to turn away or run.  They’re still dogs, though; and any dog is capable of biting, given the right circumstance. 

If you have any smaller pets, however, you should consider the greyhound’s preydrive. Remember, they are bred to hunt small, furry creatures.

Do greyhounds bark?

Greyhounds do not tend to bark. They may bark, if other dogs are doing so. In any kennel of greyhounds, there is always a chorus of barkers! On closer inspection, you will find that all that barking is coming from a small minority of the greyhounds. They may not tend to bark, but when they do, it is loud and crisp, and surprisingly robust.

Is a greyhound a good first dog?

A greyhound can be a very good first dog, because a first-time dog owner has has fewer preconceived notions of what the dog should be like. Greyhounds are a breed apart, and they need owners who are willing to learn about them ahead of time.

Will greyhounds kill cats? (or small dogs?)

Some will, yes.  I wouldn’t want to be the one who recommended pairing a greyhound with a cat or a small dog, and then the unthinkable happens. It’s not like recommending a dog food that doesn’t work out – With the wrong dog food, the dog has some gas, you open the window, put on a fan, try a different food, and everything turns out all right. If a greyhound and cat don’t work out, you end up with a broken heart, a dead cat, and a traumatized greyhound, whom you might not like very much anymore.

What do retired greyhounds eat?

Retired greyhounds enjoy a bowl of high-quality kibble, which the owner tweaks to suit his individual greyhound. Lily, my current pet, eats kibble mixed with a cup of warm water (because she is a poor drinker) ,a tablespoon of yogurt (to help her digestion), a little bit of coconut oil (to prevent dry skin), and a little bit of cranberry juice (20 mL, to help prevent UTIs).

Should I get a boy or girl greyhound?

The males and females each have their own traits; but this makes less difference in selection, than does each dog’s individual character.  

What Greyhounds are Really Like?

Now let’s break down what the greyhound is really like.  I’ve added some charts here, so you can compare what to expect from a greyhound, compared to the average dog. 

In rating their traits from one to ten, one means less, ten means most, with five being average. This is not the same thing, however as a one being bad, and a 10 being good. For example a dog who rated 10 for affection is good; whereas a dog who is rated 10 for aggression is bad!  

Greyhound Compatability

We’ve already gone into compatibility quite a bit, but here’s a more precise look at these factors.  Greyhounds are good with older, quieter children. Not that they are bad with little ones; but greyhounds sleep a lot, and the rule “let sleeping dogs lie” must be taught, supervised, and enforced.  

Both of my children grew up with a greyhound.  My son was always a bit disappointed that our dog wasn’t the romp-and-fetch type.  On the good side, he spent many content hours by the dog’s side, reading and doing schoolwork. Even though my son can be difficult and animated, he always was kind and careful around our greyhounds.  My daughter was the perfect greyhound child, but she’s much more of a quiet type of child.  Both kids have spent a lot of time out in the yard, running around with the dog and teaching him little tricks.

Greyhounds live their whole lives surrounded by other dogs.  They are taught good pack manners by their mothers, with whom they spend most of their first year.  They have never seen small dogs, however, and could view them as prey. Obviously, they do fine with other greyhounds, but also get along well with any non-aggressive, medium-to-large dog.  They can learn to get along with small dogs, as well.

Cats are another story, as described above.

Greyhounds tend to have lovely manners when meeting new people. They approach tentatively, with a pleasant sway of the tail, ready to gently nose-kiss an extended hand.  Until they hit age 3, they can be over-enthusiastic, though. The younger greyhound may need a bit more management to make sure he doesn’t jump up on people, as they are surprisingly tall when standing on two legs!

Greyhounds were my first dog, by the way, and it was truly a perfect first-dog experience. Although I had read all I could about greyhounds before getting Peaches, I wish I’d read, ahead of time, a bit more on dogs.  

Apartment-dwelling is surprisingly good for greyhounds, since they love to sleep most of the time. They just need a nice, quiet place to relax. Contrary to all the references you’ll hear about the greyhound being on your couch, that’s up to the owner.  A greyhound is deleriously happy with a plush, soft dog bed, and will spend most of his time there. In hot weather, he may stretch out on the rug to cool off. They love fans!  

Wherever your greyhound lives, he’ll need 3 walks a day, totalling about an hour. 

Greyhound Health Factors

Overall, greyhounds enjoy robust good health. As I said before,  exercise needs amount to about an hour a day, which you can take care of just by taking them for walks to “do their business.”

 Because they have such a short, sparse coat, they need no grooming to speak of.

Their weight is easily managed, as long as they are kept on a steady, basic diet. The only one of my greyhounds who seem to gain a little extra weight, is my most recent greyhound, Lily. The difference, for her, is that she does not have a fenced yard, like our other previous greyhounds did. It did not take me long, however, to notice that she was gaining weight.  Because they are such slim, trim dogs, any extra weight really shows on them. I reduced Lily’s portions slightly, and her weight quickly returned to normal.

Greyhound Fun Factors

I am probably underestimating the playfulness-level of a greyhound. They are capable of being extremely playful, but if you are looking for hours of romping with your greyhound, you may not get what you expected.

Greyhounds are bred to have short bursts of energy, followed by long periods of rest. A typical greyhound will play for a few minutes, or even just a few seconds, and then he’s had enough. 

They also have extremely little indoor energy.  I didn’t know whether to mark this green on the chart, or red! It depends on what you’re looking for in a dog. If you want the ever-vigilant, guard dog type, greyhounds are definitely in the red zone here. If, however, you like a quiet, laid-back, restful type of dog, then a 1 is a good score. Indoors, they enjoy biting, shaking, and tossing stuffed animals. 

They also enjoy treat-oriented toys, like a Kong toy, frozen with some peanut butter in it; or a treat ball, the kind where you put kibble in it, and the dog just rolls around on the floor, to get it to release the kibble.  It will come as no surprise that the greyhound’s favorite outdoor outdoor activity is a good romp in the yard,. You’ll also find he enjoys going for walks with you. About 20 minutes is a good walk for a greyhound.

Greyhound Nuisance Factors

Your greyhound will shed twice a year, right at the seasonal weather change. For us here in New England, that means April and September. In April, the heavier winter coat (not that it’s all that heavy) is replaced by a more sparse summer coat. Then, when the Fall comes, that thinner coat falls out, and and is replaced by a heavier coat. 

That said, the shedding is not significant; quite a bit less than what you would get with, say, a cat.

Since some greyhounds drool more than others, I rated them somewhere in the middle of the scale., not as much as a Lab. 

Lily barely drools at all. Shannon, our big male, used to leave it tidy puddle of drool on the kitchen floor, whenever he was waiting for his dinner or a treat. You did not want to find this puddle with your foot! Our nickname for him was sLima Bean.  

When we first got peaches, she used to leave 6-inch puddle of drool on the floor, whenever she slept. This was due to poor dental health. Once we got her mouth cleaned up, this problem was completely eliminated.

Greyhounds love a good chew. Chewing is an excellent outlet for anxiety and frustration. Every time I take away Lily‘s bedding to wash it, she goes right to her toy basket, takes out her chew toy, and busies herself with it.

It is important to note that greyhounds have extremely strong jaws, particularly some of the sturdier, larger males. It was always very humbling for me to remember that Shannon could’ve snapped any bone in my body, like a twig, with one good chomp. Not that he would’ve, he was as gentle as a lamb.  Because of this strength, though, never give a greyhound a bone of any kind whatsoever. In seconds, a greyhound can snap a chip off of any sized bone, and swallow it, with disastrous results. 

They have tender gums, so rolled rawhide doesn’t work, either, because it slashes their gums and makes them bleed. My greyhounds have done well with natural antlers, and the Benabone.

If a greyhound is going to bark, it is usually to communicate with another dog. Most greyhounds, though, are very quiet friends. We have running jokes, regarding all of our greyhounds, about the “Annual bark.”

Because they have previously lived such a regimented life, greyhounds tend to do very well with house training. 

At first, there were a few accidents. The response which has always worked for me is to immediately get the dog’s leash, and while doing so, say firmly – without yelling –  “No. Not in the house. Bad,” while taking the dog, gently, outside, right away. It is best to, then, lead the dog to a spot where you know he has “gone to the bathroom” before. That way, he will pick up the scent, and remember the right way. When I bring the dog back in, I tell him to go lay down, while I clean up the mess. 

Other than rookie accidents, with all of my greyhounds, breaking house training has often been the first symptom of an illness.

Greyhound Personality

This is the best part! Greyhounds have the most adorable personality. They are cute, intelligent, and indescribably placid and gentle.

In light of this, it may seem paradoxical to say that they have high intensity. It’s true, though. Greyhounds are dogs of extremes. When they sleep, it is for hours on end. When you’re about to feed them, that meal is the most important thing on the planet to them. When you’re out for a walk, and your greyhound sees a squirrel, or a bunny, you can see every nerve is at attention, and and your greyhound will often point and begin stalking. They notice everything, and when you’re walking along, will give you a bump, or a hip check, any time they see something interesting.

Greyhounds are not only physically sensitive, they are emotionally sensitive, as well. Never yell at your greyhound. Studies have shown that yelling at a dog can produce lifelong trauma; and with greyhounds, this is even more true than for the average dog.

Your greyhound may seem aloof, because he naps so much of the time; but he is really very dependent on you, and will miss you when you’re apart.

I would give the greyhound a 10 for intelligence, if it weren’t for the fact that, when it comes to traffic and cars, they are truly stupid creatures. 

Do not, however, be fooled by studies on dog intelligence that grade the greyhound on the low side. This is because they don’t always rate high for learning how to do tricks. There are a couple of explanations for this. First, the most common command, “Sit,” usually does not work out very well for the greyhound,. They find it awkward to sit, because of their natural build. 

Greyhounds also have a stubborn, independent streak, and simply are not interested in learning tricks a lot of the time. That is not to say, though, that it is impossible. My family and I have enjoyed teaching our greyhounds all kinds a little tricks over the years. Shannon even won awards in the “Most Talented” category at our local greyhound-adoption reunion.

In our final category, “Rover,” a 10 is not good! It means that greyhounds have a high propensity to roam. Because they can cover ground extremely quickly, they may dash off after something, and find themselves irretrievably lost by the time they stop to think. Again, never, ever tie up a greyhound, or let him go unleashed in any area that is not securely enclosed. Also, take note that a greyhound is capable of jumping like a deer, so never trust any fence under 6 feet high.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ll love the companion video – Settle in right here to watch:

I can always tell when someone is considering getting a greyhound, by the way they look wistfully at my dog and ask:

“What is it Like to Own a Greyhound?” A greyhound is a mellow, peaceful addition to the family. He naps most of the time, enjoying the company of his owner.

No breed is compatible with every family, though! To have a great outcome with your greyhound (or ANY dog), you must invest your time in these three things:

1. Learning all you can about this breed
2. Patiently and appropriately training your dog
3. Building a relationship a with him

Step 1 begins here! This article, and others on Greyhound Homecare, can help you decide if a greyhound is right for you. Read on, as I break down what greyhounds are really like, in easy-read graphics and answers to the questions that are on your mind.

What to know about owning a greyhound?

Although greyhounds make some of the best pets out there, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not bred to be pets. Greyhounds are bred to be dogs with a purpose, and that purpose is racing. The number of greyhounds registered with the American Racing Association as opposed to the American Kennel Club is about 14 to 1. With that in mind, it’s important to know, going in, that everything in your home will be foreign to your new greyhound. You will have to teach him about everything in your home (mirrors, dog beds, stairs, electrical cords, children, etc.). It takes time, attention, and patience, but it is worth it.

Are greyhounds good house dogs?

When they are trained properly and patiently, over time, by their owners, they make excellent house dogs.

Can greyhounds be left alone?

Yes, after a break-in period, where you gradually lengthen the amount of time he’s left alone. Most greyhounds have never spent any time alone, and find your home a very strange environment for the first year or two.

It’s good to have a very large wire crate. Greyhounds are accustomed to and relish having their own personal space.

Are greyhounds good for full time workers?

They can be, since they sleep so much of the day away. As mentioned above, though, they can get anxious if left alone for too long. I’ve noticed that owners I know, personally, tend to own two greyhounds that keep one another company.

Do Greyhounds need another dog?

Not usually, although it can be helpful, if he needs to be home alone all day, because you’re working. Of course, a lot of people get two greyhounds, merely because they enjoy that experience.

Again, it’s a matter of patient training over time. It helps if you can have someone look in on your greyhound, if it’s going to be more than a few hours.

How much does it cost to own a greyhound?

First, there’s the adoption fee, which can ranges from around $250 – $500. This is a bargain, considering that the initial vet work is all done ahead of time, often by a vet who has volunteered his services, and includes spay/neuter and deworming. This cost is often halved, if you adopt a greyhound aged 7 or older, or a special-needs greyhound.

After that, the cost is pretty much what you would spend on any large dog. Your monthly purchases would include a large bag of good-quality kibble, flea and heartworm medications, and, of course, plenty of cookies. If your former dog experience has included a lot of grooming expense, you can put away your wallet and delete the groomer’s info from your phone; you won’t be needing them.

Do Greyhounds like to cuddle?

Yes, once they get to know you better. Remember, greyhounds are not bred to be pets, so they may be uncomfortable, at first, with your affection. Over time, though, they become big marshmallows.

Can greyhounds be off leash?

A greyhound can only be off leash in a securely enclosed area. You have a dog who is bred to chase, sees half a mile away, has no sense of traffic dangers, has a high prey drive, and can run 40 mph. All this, combined, makes an unleashed greyhound is a recipe for disaster! Many have been lost or killed by a car when they bolted after some small furry creature.

Are Greyhounds aggressive?

Greyhounds tend to be very passive and docile. If a greyhound is annoyed, it would be more in his nature to turn away or run. They’re still dogs, though; and any dog is capable of biting, given the right circumstance. 

If you have any smaller pets, however, you should consider the greyhound’s preydrive. Remember, they are bred to hunt small, furry creatures.

Do greyhounds bark?

Greyhounds do not tend to bark. They may bark, if other dogs are doing so. In any kennel of greyhounds, there is always a chorus of barkers! On closer inspection, you will find that all that barking is coming from a small minority of the greyhounds. They may not tend to bark, but when they do, it is loud and crisp, and surprisingly robust.

Is a greyhound a good first dog?

A greyhound can be a very good first dog, because a first-time dog owner has has fewer preconceived notions of what the dog should be like. Greyhounds are a breed apart, and they need owners who are willing to learn about them ahead of time.

Will Greyhounds kill cats? (or small dogs?)

Some will, yes. I wouldn’t want to be the one who recommended pairing a greyhound with a cat or a small dog, and then the unthinkable happens. It’s not like recommending a dog food that doesn’t work out – With the wrong dog food, the dog has some gas, you open the window, put on a fan, try a different food, and everything turns out all right. If a greyhound and cat don’t work out, you end up with a broken heart, a dead cat, and a traumatized greyhound, whom you might not like very much anymore.

What do retired greyhounds eat?

Retired greyhounds enjoy a bowl of high-quality kibble, which the owner tweaks to suit his individual greyhound. Lily, my current pet, eats kibble mixed with a cup of warm water (because she is a poor drinker) ,a tablespoon of yogurt (to help her digestion), a little bit of coconut oil (to prevent dry skin), and a little bit of cranberry juice (20 mL, to help prevent UTIs).

Should I get a boy or girl greyhound?

The males and females each have their own traits; but this makes less difference in selection, than does each dog’s individual character.

What Greyhounds are Really Like?

Now let’s break down what the greyhound is really like. I’ve added some charts here, so you can compare what to expect from a greyhound, compared to the average dog.

In rating their traits from one to ten, one means less, ten means most, with five being average. This is not the same thing, however as a one being bad, and a 10 being good. For example a dog who rated 10 for affection is good; whereas a dog who is rated 10 for aggression is bad!

Compatability

null

We’ve already gone into compatibility quite a bit, but here’s a more precise look at these factors. Greyhounds are good with older, quieter children. Not that they are bad with little ones; but greyhounds sleep a lo, and the rule “let sleeping dogs lie” must be taught, supervised, and enforced.

Both of my children grew up with a greyhound. My son was always a bit disappointed that our dog wasn’t the romp-and-fetch type. On the good side, he spent many content hours by the dog’s side, reading and doing schoolwork. Even though my son can be difficult and animated, he always was kind and careful around our greyhounds. My daughter was the perfect greyhound child, but she’s much more of a quiet type of child. Both kids have spent a lot of time out in the yard, running around with the dog and teaching him little tricks.

Greyhounds live their whole lives surrounded by other dogs. They are taught good pack manners by their mothers, with whom they spend most of their first year. They have never seen small dogs, however, and could view them as prey. Obviously, they do fine with other greyhounds, but also get along well with any non-aggressive, medium-to-large dog. They can learn to get along with small dogs, as well.

Cats are another story, as described above.

Greyhounds tend to have lovely manners when meeting new people. They approach tentatively, with a pleasant sway of the tail, ready to gently nose-kiss an extended hand. Until they hit age 3, they can be over-enthusiastic, though. The younger greyhound may need a bit more management to make sure he doesn’t jump up on people, as they are surprisingly tall when standing on two legs!

Greyhounds were my first dog, by the way, and it was truly a perfect first-dog experience. Although I had read all I could about greyhounds before getting Peaches, I wish I’d read, ahead of time, a bit more on dogs.

Apartment-dwelling is surprisingly good for greyhounds, since they love to sleep most of the time. They just need a nice, quiet place to relax. Contrary to all the references you’ll hear about the greyhound being on your couch, that’s up to the owner. A greyhound is deleriously happy with a plush, soft dog bed, and will spend most of his time there. In hot weather, he may stretch out on the rug to cool off. They love fans!

Wherever your greyhound lives, he’ll need 3 walks a day, totalling about an hour.

Health Factors

null

Overall, greyhounds enjoy robust good health. As I said before, exercise needs amount to about an hour a day, which you can take care of just by taking them for walks to “do their business.”

Because they have such a short, sparse coat, they need no grooming to speak of.

Their weight is easily managed, as long as they are kept on a steady, basic diet. The only one of my greyhounds who seem to gain a little extra weight, is my most recent greyhound, Lily. The difference, for her, is that she does not have a fenced yard, like our other previous greyhounds did. It did not take me long, however, to notice that she was gaining weight. Because they are such slim, trim dogs, any extra weight really shows on them. I reduced Lily’s portions slightly, and her weight quickly returned to normal.

Fun Factors

null

I am probably underestimating the playfulness-level of a greyhound. They are capable of being extremely playful, but if you are looking for hours of romping with your greyhound, you may not get what you expected.

Greyhounds are bred to have short bursts of energy, followed by long periods of rest. A typical greyhound will play for a few minutes, or even just a few seconds, and then he’s had enough.

They also have extremely little indoor energy. I didn’t know whether to mark this green on the chart, or red! It depends on what you’re looking for in a dog. If you want the ever-vigilant, guard dog type, greyhounds are definitely in the red zone here. If, however, you like a quiet, laid-back, restful type of dog, then a 1 is a good score. Indoors, they enjoy biting, shaking, and tossing stuffed animals. They also enjoy treat-oriented toys, like a Kong toy, frozen with some peanut butter in it; or a treat ball, the kind where you put kibble in it, and the dog just rolls around on the floor, to get it to release the kibble. It will come as no surprise that the greyhound’s favorite outdoor outdoor activity is a good romp in the yard,. You’ll also find he enjoys going for walks with you. About 20 minutes is a good walk for a greyhound.

Nuisance Factors

null

Your greyhound will shed twice a year, right at the seasonal weather change. For us here in New England, that means April and September. In April, the heavier winter coat (not that it’s all that heavy) is replaced by a more sparse summer coat. Then, when the Fall comes, that thinner coat falls out, and and is replaced by a heavier coat. 

That said, the shedding is not significant; quite a bit less than what you would get with, say, a cat.

Since some greyhounds drool more than others, I rated them somewhere in the middle of the scale., not as much as a Lab.

Lily barely drools at all. Shannon, our big male, used to leave it tidy puddle of drool on the kitchen floor, whenever he was waiting for his dinner or a treat. You did not want to find this puddle with your foot! Our nickname for him was sLima Bean. 

When we first got peaches, she used to leave 6-inch puddle of drool on the floor, whenever she slept. This was due to poor dental health. Once we got her mouth cleaned up, this problem was completely eliminated.

Greyhounds love a good chew. Chewing is an excellent outlet for anxiety and frustration. Every time I take away Lily‘s bedding to wash it, she goes right to her toy basket, takes out her chew toy, and busies herself with it.

It is important to note that greyhounds have extremely strong jaws, particularly some of the sturdier, larger males. It was always very humbling for me to remember that Shannon could’ve snapped any bone in my body, like a twig, with one good chomp. Not that he would’ve, he was as gentle as a lamb. Because of this strength, though, never give a greyhound a bone of any kind whatsoever. In seconds, a greyhound can snap a chip off of any sized bone, and swallow it, with disastrous results.

They have tender gums, so rolled rawhide doesn’t work, either, because it slashes their gums and makes them bleed. My greyhounds have done well with natural antlers, and the Benabone.

If a greyhound is going to bark, it is usually to communicate with another dog. Most greyhounds, though, are very quiet friends. We have running jokes, regarding all of our greyhounds, about the “Annual bark.”

Because they have previously lived such a regimented life, greyhounds tend to do very well with house training.

At first, there were a few accidents. The response which has always worked for me is to immediately get the dog’s leash, and while doing so, say firmly – without yelling – “No. Not in the house. Bad,” while taking the dog, gently, outside, right away. It is best to, then, lead the dog to a spot where you know he has “gone to the bathroom” before. That way, he will pick up the scent, and remember the right way. When I bring the dog back in, I tell him to go lay down, while I clean up the mess.

Other than rookie accidents, with all of my greyhounds, breaking house training has often been the first symptom of an illness.

Personality

null
This is the best part! Greyhounds have the most adorable personality. They are cute, intelligent, and indescribably placid and gentle.

In light of this, it may seem paradoxical to say that they have high intensity. It’s true, though. Greyhounds are dogs of extremes. When they sleep, it is for hours on end. When you’re about to feed them, that meal is the most important thing on the planet to them. When you’re out for a walk, and your greyhound sees a squirrel, or a bunny, you can see every nerve is at attention, and and your greyhound will often point and begin stalking. They notice everything, and when you’re walking along, will give you a bump, or a hip check, any time they see something interesting.

Greyhounds are not only physically sensitive, they are emotionally sensitive, as well. Never yell at your greyhound. Studies have shown that yelling at a dog can produce lifelong trauma; and with greyhounds, this is even more true than for the average dog.

Your greyhound may seem aloof, because he naps so much of the time; but he is really very dependent on you, and will miss you when you’re apart.

I would give the greyhound a 10 for intelligence, if it weren’t for the fact that, when it comes to traffic and cars, they are truly stupid creatures.

Do not, however, be fooled by studies on dog intelligence that grade the greyhound on the low side. This is because they don’t always rate high for learning how to do tricks. There are a couple of explanations for this. First, the most common command, “Sit,” usually does not work out very well for the greyhound,. They find it awkward to sit, because of their natural build.

Greyhounds also have a stubborn, independent streak, and simply are not interested in learning tricks a lot of the time. That is not to say, though, that it is impossible. My family and I have enjoyed teaching our greyhounds all kinds a little tricks over the years. Shannon even won awards in the “Most Talented” category at our local greyhound-adoption reunion.

In our final category, “Rover,” a 10 is not good! It means that greyhounds have a high propensity to roam. Because they can cover ground extremely quickly, they may dash off after something, and find themselves irretrievably lost by the time they stop to think. Again, never, ever tie up a greyhound, or let him go unleashed in any area that is not securely enclosed. Also, take note that a greyhound is capable of jumping like a deer, so never trust any fence under 6 feet high.

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! https://www.youtube.com/c/GreyhoundHomecare

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