Frequently Asked Questions:
- I have a small pet, will a greyhound be a good dog for me?
- Do Greyhounds shed a lot?
- I’ve heard they aren’t good with children. Is this true?
- Don’t greyhounds need a lot of exercise?
- What are the differences between track (NGA) and show (AKC) Greyhounds?
- Why are they retired?
- How old are retired racing greyhounds?
- Why do I see many people muzzling their Greyhounds at get-togethers?
- Can Greyhounds swim?
- I’ve heard that Greyhounds don’t ever bark is that true?
Some Questions To Ask Yourself…
Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you figure out how a greyhound will fit into your life and show you the “danger zones” that many adoption groups are on the lookout for.
- Why do you want a greyhound?
- What are your work hours?
- How much time do you plan on spending with your dog?
- Who lives with you?
- How big is your house and yard?
- Is your yard fenced?
- Do you understand that greyhounds must always be on lead?
- What other pets do you have?
- What happened to your past pets?
- How much money do you expect to pay for a greyhound and what are your expected costs over time?
I have a small pet, will a greyhound be a good dog for me?
Many greyhounds can co-exist with small pets like cats, rabbits, guinea pigs or small dogs. We evaluate every greyhound that we place to insure that a dog who goes into a home with small pets is low prey drive and will not be too interested. The adopter must also re-direct the dog’s natural curiosity and provide guidance when introducing their pets to the greyhound. A dog with low prey drive will respond very well to re-direction, such as “NO KITTY” in a firm voice and learns very quickly that the cat or other pet is not a toy or prey.
Do Greyhounds shed a lot?
It seems to vary a lot from dog to dog. Some will shed an appreciable amount, others hardly at all. “Appreciable” means that when you use a curry comb, you can get loose hair off the dog. There is some thought (and anecdotal evidence) that lighter colored Greyhounds shed more than dark ones do! However, bear in mind that even a so-called “heavily shedding” Greyhound would shed a lot less than say, a Dalmatian or a German Shepherd Dog.
I’ve heard they aren’t good with children. Is this true?
Many breed description books will list the Greyhound as being too “high-strung” to tolerate children. This is false. Most Greyhounds have a very calm disposition, and many of them are good with children, especially if they are raised around well-mannered children. In general, any dog, of any breed, that has not been raised around children or has an unknown background, must be watched carefully. In any case, all interactions between dogs and children, no matter how trustworthy they are, should be supervised by an adult.
Don’t greyhounds need a lot of exercise?
Contrary to what many people believe, greyhounds are usually very laid back. They have spent their life in a kennel environment, being “turned out” in a pen four times a day and running a race every fourth day. Other than those times out, they live their life in a 3′ x 4′ wire cage. They are used to laying around and that’s what they usually do when adopted into a home.
What are the differences between track (NGA) and show (AKC) Greyhounds?
In general, track Greyhounds are a little smaller (shorter and less heavy) than the show ones. Track Greyhounds are more heavily muscled in the rear and their necks and heads are not as slender or exaggerated as show Greyhounds are. Those are the physical differences.
Why are they retired?
When a greyhound does not win, place, or show in a few consecutive races, the dog becomes a cost liability for its owner and trainer. Greyhound racing is a business, so a dog who is not winning races is not earning his keep at the racing kennel and must be retired. Mandatory retirement age is 5, so all greyhounds must be retired by that age.
How old are retired racing greyhounds?
Typically 2-4 years of age. They run their maiden race at 18 months and mandatory retirement is five, but only the best make it that long.
Why do I see many people muzzling their Greyhounds at get-togethers?
A greyhound’s racing instinct is based on a well-developed prey drive. When you have a group of greyhounds together, especially if they don’t know one another, it is advisable to muzzle them to prevent accidental bites. Greyhounds are not dog aggressive, but when excited may nip at others. Don’t let the muzzles lull you into a false sense of security. You must still monitor a group of muzzled Greyhounds since it’s possible to catch ears through a muzzle and so on. Do note that muzzling is not always required; it’s simply a sensible precaution if you are dealing with a large group of Greyhounds.
Can Greyhounds swim?
Many people believe that because of their structure and low body fat that they cannot swim. This is untrue. Some Greyhounds are excellent swimmers and others are not. Supervise your Greyhound’s entry into water until you are certain he can swim.
I’ve heard that Greyhounds don’t ever bark is that true?
Greyhounds are not a very vocal breed in general. They may bark when excited or when someone comes to the door. They usually do not bark without something exciting happening to provoke it.
Why do you want a greyhound?
If you’re into looks (“gee, what a pretty dog”), you need to do more research. If you’ve been around friends’ greyhounds and love them you’re definitely on the right track.
What are your work hours?
And are you willing to change them for a month or two? If you’re regularly away from home more than nine hours a day you’ll have to invest in a dog walking service or neighbor to keep your new dog from bursting during the day. Even though greyhounds are much more tolerant than most breeds, they need daily attention and time.
How much time do you plan on spending with your dog?
If your answer is 10 minutes a day and a couple hours on the weekends you’re in the wrong place; get a cat. If you have time for 2 walks a day, yard-time every day and a couple of good long runs on the weekends your dog and adoption group will love you.
Who lives with you?
Children? Do they know about dogs? Can you teach them to respect one another? Spouse/significant other? Do both of you want a greyhound? Are both of you willing to take care of the dog? Roommates? How stable is your roommate? If he/she leaves will you be able to handle the dog on your own?
How big is your house and yard?
Many greyhounds live in small apartments with no yard, but their owners are committed to 2-3 short walks and 1-2 long walks a day. Your level of commitment must be able to handle your living situation.
Is your yard fenced?
Though not all adoption groups ask this, it’s an important question for you to ask yourself. Without a securely fenced yard, you must take your dog out at least four times a day to relieve him/herself, plus exercise walks. At the same time, even with a fenced yard, the dog will need exercise and attention from you every day (plus yard clean up).
Do you understand that greyhounds must always be on lead?
Except when in fully secure, fenced areas. Greyhounds have two important traits that make them greyhounds: the urge to chase and speed. It’s a part of their being and it leaves no room for self preservation. In 30 seconds a greyhound can be running close to 40 M.P.H., across streets, over fences, through woods. He might get hit by a car, get lost, or break a leg in a gopher hole.
What other pets do you have?
Make sure your adoption group understands the kinds of pets you have. I’ve heard it all: ferrets, cats, fish, birds. Many Greyhounds do well in homes with small animals, and most do well in homes with other dogs. Some however, don’t, so to make sure no horrible accidents occur, inform your adoption group.
What happened to your past pets?
If you’ve left dogs at the pound and abandoned cats at your last apartment, adoption groups are not going to trust you with a greyhound. If you’ve had extenuating circumstances explain it to the adoption volunteer and get some ideas on how you might handle the same situation with your greyhound. The adoption group is interested in the long-term health and safety of their greyhounds!