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Greyhounds – Everything You Need To Know!

Let’s check out our ultimate guide to find out everything about greyhounds!

To really understand what your new greyhound is thinking and feeling is like learning a new language – greyhound ‘language’! You are giving your new pet an amazing opportunity to transition to the next chapter of its life. 

Quick Greyhound Facts

  • Dog Breed Group: Sighthounds
  • Height: 2’’1 to 2’’6
  • Weight: between 25 and 35 kilograms
  • Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Characteristics of Greyhounds

Greyhounds can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, making them the fastest dog breed and one of the fastest animals in the world. As a result of this, greyhounds have been used in dog racing for many years. Greyhounds also partake in many other dog sports including agility, obedience, and lure coursing.

Beyond their speed and grace, people love greyhounds for their sweet, placid nature. They have a very different start to life than most pet dogs as they are not regularly socialised to lots of people or other breeds of dog. They often aren’t exposed to home environments which makes their transition to pet life a little more chalenging. This can have lifelong implications, so understanding their individual needs is very important.Typical greyhound traits include:

  • Sensitive
  • Easy to groom
  • Generally very healthy
  • Minimal shedding
  • Playful

Newly adopted greyhounds need time to become used to the many different things that are completely new to them. This includes unfamiliar people as well as different environments. Always start by making their world smaller rather than bigger. When it comes to your new pet, less is more!

Do Greyhounds Make Good Pets? Things You Need To Know Before Adopting

Just like any other dog, greyhounds can make for amazing lifelong companions, however there are a few things to keep in mind before you bring your pooch into your home. Here are five things you need to know before adopting an adorable retired greyhound!

  1. Greyhounds still shed lightly even though they don’t have a lot of fur
    Although they shed lightly, greyhounds are very easy to groom.
  2. Greyhounds need time and patience
    Your new greyhound will look to you for care and guidance. Make sure you spend time training your dog using positive reinforcement (food/attention/toys) to encourage the right behaviour. Take time to find a good local training class and you will both benefit.
  3. Greyhounds are known as “70 kph couch potatoes”
    Even though the dogs are used in racing and the might have their sudden bursts of energy, greyhounds do not need large amounts of exercise. Remember that in the beginning many have never seen a couch before so it might take some time and encouragement before they turn into a ‘couch potato’ .
  4. Greyhounds have to be protected from intense/extreme environments & temperatures
    Greyhounds are very easy to foster and live with, however because they have sensitive skin and long thin bones, greyhounds will need to be carefully looked after as opposed to other dog breeds. Ex-racing greyhounds are nearly all muscle with very small amounts body fat so they do not have a lot to protect them against changes in temperatures.
  5. Greyhounds must be taught about common household fixtures
    At the race track, greyhounds are seldom (or sometimes never) exposed to these physical structures like hardwood floors, full-length mirrors, steps and glass doors. Once they are adopted and brought into a home, you must teach your greyhound about them. To prevent run-ins with glass doors, make sure that the bottom half of the door is frosted. If your pooch has difficulty with steps, make sure you practice with them until they learn it is a simple part of their new environment.

Getting Acquainted With Your Greyhound

The decision on where your new dog will live will depend on your dog and your lifestyle. Some dogs will prefer to live outside as long as they have shelter and protection from the elements. Make sure it is fenced and secure.Your new greyhound will need company, this can either be you spending time with them outside or having your dog come inside, Greyhounds don’t need a lot of space, but they do need a space of their own to retreat to.

At night, don’t shut your hound in a separate room to sleep. Your greyhound will adjust faster if you let them sleep on a bed near the rest of the family. Remember to reward your greyhound with food, a gentle stroke or even a game often. Notice when they are doing something ‘good’ like lying on their bed, relaxing, exploring the backyard, resting quietly, walking on the lead – the list is endless!

Ensure that your home is childproof. As you and your new companion explore the house, make sure you check for any hazards that you might have missed. Your dog may ‘’discover’’ certain household items by chewing on them so be careful you keep the following out of reach:

  • Electrical Cords
  • Phone Chargers
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Books/Magazines
  • TV Remote Control
  • DVD’s
  • Shoes

Keep countertops free of food, all dogs are opportunistic scavengers and greyhounds are at the perfect height to ‘counter surf’. Ensure all garbage is locked away so your pet won’t harm themselves or make a mess!

Like us, dogs learn best when they are calm, your greyhound is no different. Allow them the time to take in their new home and environment to build a good foundation for their future. Make sure you have lots of plush pillows for your hound to lie on – most greyhounds don’t like sitting, because of the muscles in their hindquarters. Because of this, they mostly lie down.

Fun facts about greyhounds

If you’re interested in adopting a greyhound, please visit our adoption page to find out more or view our current greyhounds ready for adoption here!