After adopting or fostering a greyhound, no doubt, you’ll want to explore the great outdoors together.
Our GAP team will have already performed extensive meet and greet simulations with each greyhound and have an understanding of their needs.
Once your dog has settled into its new home, you’ll likely want to start taking them out and about, so here are some tips to make the most of it!
How To Meet Other Dogs/People When On Walks
Firstly, it is best to ask the other owner “can we meet your dog?”. Then be sure to look out for any indications that either dog is uncomfortable, such as:
Overzealous pulling either to or away from the other dog
Stiffness of the tail or jaw
Visible whites of the eyes (whale eye)
In the event either dog is pulling towards each other excitedly, be sure to manage potential over-arousal by walking slowly to ensure the beginning of the interaction is positive and predictable.
Assuming your dog is in a happy, relaxed state of mind, and the owner has consented to meet, you can approach them for the first sniff.
The First Sniff
The first sniff with another dog should be fairly short, approximately three seconds.
This is because a brief first meeting is likely to be tolerable (emotionally) and provide a sense of familiarity without being overbearing. It provides an opportunity for recovery and choice for your greyhound.
Once the first sniff is over, the dogs can be calmly separated in order to evaluate how each dog is feeling. Assuming both are relaxed and in a positive state, the dogs can continue to interact.
Many owners will want to organise play dates or frequent dog-friendly areas where many pooches will play and want to interact.
In terms of controlling play, here are some notes on improving the likelihood of a positive experience:
Practice trained behaviours, namely on-lead recall
Have treats on hand to redirect the greyhound (more on this below)
If not in a secure private residence, play whilst on leash
Avoid using a choker collar which can restrict the greyhound’s airways
Allow all dogs to have space
Ensure the dog can walk away (with you on leash) from perceived threats
Follow applicable muzzle laws
Time-out play that has escalated
Choose a location with natural elements that dogs can interact with other stimuli
GAP recommends that greyhound owners use Martingale collars or correctly fitted harnesses; we do not recommend choker collars.
You might have noticed that a greyhound’s head, ears and neck are almost the same widths. For other dog breeds, a collar/harness will catch on the head because it is wider than the neck, however, this is not the case for greyhounds.
To prevent greyhounds from slipping out of their collar, Martingale collars have been designed to fit snugly on the neck. These collars tighten gently when the greyhound is pulling, which prevents them from slipping out.
Using Treats to Your Advantage
Aside from your greyhound, carrying a bag of treats is your next best friend.
You can bring both normal treats, as well as high-value treats (such as cheese) to use for rewarding great behaviours. Treats can be given when:
Performing a desirable behaviour, such as an on-leash recall or stop-walking command
Redirecting the greyhound’s attention, either to you or in continuation of the walk
Even once your greyhound knows how to do everything you expect, well-timed rewards are helpful to reinforce good behaviour.
Meet Your New Best Mate
Considering a greyhound but have some questions? We’d love to hear from you.
You can meet and greet greyhounds online and in-person
You can have a personalised chat with our behaviour experts for as long as you need
We have a structured matching-process
Following adoption or fostering, you will be supported by our GAP team which includes Behaviour specialists ongoing
We provide detailed handouts and follow-up communication to help people establish and maintain a great relationship with their dog