5 Ways New Adopters Accidentally Worsen Their Greyhound's Behaviour

By gapnsw.com.au
July 11, 2023 09:50
Bringing home a new greyhound is an exciting experience, but it's essential to remember that greyhounds may have unique needs and behaviours. As a new adopter, it's crucial to understand the potential pitfalls that could unintentionally worsen your greyhound's behaviour. By being aware of these common mistakes, you can create a positive environment for your greyhound's adjustment and development. Let's explore five ways new adopters might accidentally make their greyhound's behaviour worse and how to avoid them.

1.     Inconsistent Routine:
Greyhounds thrive on consistency and structure. Inconsistent routines can lead to confusion and anxiety, which can manifest as behavioural issues. Ensure your greyhound has a predictable schedule for feeding, exercise, and rest. Consistency in daily activities will help your greyhound feel secure and minimize behavioural problems.

2.     Lack of Proper Exercise:
While greyhounds are renowned for their speed and athleticism, proper exercise is more than just a way to expend energy. Opportunities to stroll and sniff are crucial to maintaining a greyhound’s physical and mental well-being. A lack of regular exercise can lead to restlessness, hyperactivity, and destructive behaviour. Make sure your greyhound receives daily opportunities for supervised, leash-led exercise and occasional opportunities for off-leash running in a safe, enclosed area.

3.     No opportunities to decompress (enrichment):
Physical exercise alone may not be enough for a greyhound's well-rounded development. Environmental changes are stressful for any dog and the transition from kennel to couch can be particularly overwhelming. Giving greyhounds regular opportunities to sniff, chew and lick through the provision of enrichment will help them to soothe themselves and recover from the high degree of novelty that comes with their new home and lifestyle.

4.     Flooding (exposing your greyhound to too much too soon)
Greyhounds may have limited exposure to the outside world during their racing careers. Throwing your dog into the metaphorical ‘deep end’ of life as a pet can lead to fearfulness, anxiety, and difficulty adjusting to new environments or people. Keep your dog’s world small at first by gradually exposing them greyhound to various experiences such as meeting new people, exploring your neighbourhood and meeting other resident animals. Positive reinforcement and rewards can help them associate these new experiences with positive emotions.

5.     Punitive Training Methods:
Greyhounds respond best to positive reinforcement training techniques. Harsh training methods, physical punishment, or scolding can be detrimental and worsen their behaviour. Instead, focus on rewarding desired behaviours with treats, praise, and affection. If you’re unsure, seek guidance from GAP’s behavioural team who specialize in positive reinforcement techniques to establish a harmonious relationship with your greyhound.

As a new adopter of a greyhound, it's important to recognize the potential mistakes that could inadvertently worsen your dog's behaviour. By providing a consistent routine, proper exercise, enrichment, keeping their world small, and positive reinforcement training, you can help your greyhound thrive in their new home. Remember, patience, understanding, and love are key to building a strong bond and a happy, well-behaved greyhound companion.