Are regular walks with your greyhound getting a bit boring? Or maybe you might be looking for some fun and rewarding things to do with your greyhounds? Well, Greyhounds As Pets has put together a list of some cool activities that you and your greyhound could try out!
It’s good to remember that your greyhound may enjoy all or none of these activities, and we encourage you to learn about their body language and how they communicate their emotions along with ensuing that they are in good physical health before giving anything a go.
Obedience training ranges from teaching a dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as sit, down, come and stay through to competitive obedience trials at the highest levels. If you’re interested in taking your obedience training beyond the house, there are numerous dog obedience clubs and dog trainers throughout NSW. Many local dog training clubs will hold obedience competitions where dogs progress through five different levels, ranging from Community Companion Dog (CCD) to the highest level of Utility Dog Excellence (UDX). DogsNSW has a list of local dog training clubs that you may wish to research.
The Delta Society is another group who operate training programs for owners interested in undertaking canine therapy or assistance work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and workplaces. Several Greyhounds As Pets graduates have become Delta Society approved therapy dogs. You can find out more here.
Teaching a healthy active retired greyhound obedience may help with mental stimulation which can contribute to making them an even more enjoyable pet to have around.
Whilst greyhounds do come from the sight-hound family, they are still a canine who experiences a phenomenal sense of smell. You can develop and harness this sense with your greyhound through nose work. Nose work, also known as scent work or search work is any activity where a dog uses its nose to locate a hidden target scent or odour. This is a great activity to improve your relationship with your dog in a calm, low pressure and positive environment. It is also not physically taxing on the dog or the owner, but is fun and mentally stimulating.
There are many ways to get into nose/scent work and research is the best way to find a place near you. Australian Canine Scent Work has a great website that can get you started, or alternatively you can contact the Australian National Kennel Club or your relevant state body to find a club near you. There are also various courses in nose work you can undertake which are generally led by professional dog trainers. One such course is run by Kellyville Pets in Sydney’s west
Greyhound Massage Classes
Massage is one of the oldest forms of healing known to man and has been used on humans for centuries. It is used for the treatment and prevention of injuries, to improve circulation, for muscle stimulation and to promote well-being and relaxation. With these benefits it is only logical that it is used on performance animals such as horses and greyhounds.
Not only can massage have many health benefits for your greyhound, it can also promote bonding and have reciprocal effects such as relaxation and stress relief for you as well!
Watch this great video produced by Greenhounds on some basic massage techniques you could try out yourself with your greyhound.
However, if you’re interested in learning more and developing your skills, there are many providers who offer canine massage courses or classes around the country. Many of these are run through private organisations, however TAFE does offer a course on Natural Therapies For Animals from time to time. More info can be found here.
DockDogs is a fun and unusual sport that could be a great activity if your greyhound loves to run, jump and swim. It is quite a sight to be seen and competitions are often very entertaining.
There are three different types of DockDog competitions that all involve dogs jumping off a long dock into pool of water. While it may sound daunting to begin with, the dogs absolutely love it!
The first type of competition is Big Air. This is very similar to long jump, where the aim is to jump the furthest distance from the dock. Speed Retrieve is the second type of competition where dogs race against the clock to retrieve a toy suspended above the water at the far end of the pool. The final type of competition is Extreme Vertical where the dogs must jump to retrieve a toy suspended above the pool and is very similar to human high jump.
Many greyhounds have competed in DockDogs and it just so happens that one of them was a world record holder for seven years! Country the greyhound competed over in the USA for many years and broke the world record in the Big Air competition in 2005. He then broke his own record four more times until his best length was beaten in 2012.
Here is Country in action breaking one of his world records!
There are DockDog competitions all over the world including Australia. There are several clubs throughout the country, and multiple ones in NSW. They encourage people to come along and try out the sport at one of their training sessions or Social Splash events. For more info, visit their website.
Another activity that you might consider undertaking with your greyhound is dog shows. There are many different types of shows in Australia where dogs are judged based on guidelines which describe the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of specific breeds to ensure they are sound and fit for the purpose for which they were bred.
Many greyhounds compete in dog shows here in Australia and overseas. In fact, a greyhound named Gia won last year’s National Dog Show in the USA. Check out this great piece from the USA Today Show on her victory.
There are many things to consider before looking to show a dog and it can sometimes be quite a long and sometimes tedious process. You will need to ensure that your greyhound is confident in new environments and curious and unaffected by crowds and unfamiliar people. This takes quite a special dog! In addition you will need to ensure that your greyhound’s presentation and obedience/training are up to scratch as well. The best way to learn about showing is to contact DogsNSW or the Australian National Kennel Council and become involved with breed clubs. However if you really want to give it a go and you have the right dog, there is no reason that they could not be competitive in the show ring.
Make sure to let us know on our social media pages if you and your greyhound decide to give any of these activities a go!