Greyhounds are soft, sensitive, loving dogs and are an absolute pleasure to have in your home. All greyhounds will need an adjustment period when they first arrive as this pet business is very new to them but they adapt quickly and your love, care and kindness will help them enormously.
For the first couple of months it is advisable to have your greyhound wear a greyhound-appropriate muzzle.
They have not been in the world, experienced noises, other dogs, children on skate boards, traffic etc, so a muzzle will give you the security needed to guide your greyhound through this learning process with confidence.
They are fast, so recall training is a must. They don’t like to be to far away from you when out and about but as they can see up to 1km away and can get there at super speed you need to have them under control at all times.
Please leave them on a lead until recall training is cemented and you are feeling confident in your ability to have them come to you at a moment’s notice.
Always be aware of your surroundings. The sudden arrival of a small, fluffy, white dog flying out of the sand dunes will make the most docile greyhound want to run to investigate. Remember they can see that horse/person/dog etc long before you do!
Greyhounds can live happily with cats BUT many greyhounds cannot. If you have a “cat friendly” greyhound, that does not mean he/she will be friendly with your neighbour’s cat or any other cat in the neighbourhood, so running your hound in your backyard in a muzzle for the first few weeks or months is advisable to give all surrounding cats notice of his/her arrival. The same applies if you have adopted a greyhound that is NOT suited to a home with cats and you do not have a cat in your home. PLEASE remember that when out and about your greyhound will chase a cat if given the opportunity so you must have your hound under control AT ALL TIMES.
Please NEVER be complacent around small fluffy animals and your greyhound. Greyhounds can catch them at speed. Small animals AND your precious greyhound must be kept safe and out of harms way.
Many greyhounds (and indeed other breeds) have been euthanised for owners’ complacency and poor judgement. ALWAYS be thinking and have your greyhound’s safety and the safety of all animals forefront in your mind.
Greyhounds do love the company of other dogs, especially other greyhounds and they can live quite happily with all dogs of any size. Close introductions with a muzzle worn is important and the safest way for everyone involved. Greyhound-appropriate collars are a necessity, called martingale collars. They can slip normal collars as their head is often the same size as their neck. Collars must be worn at all times.
Off-lead running is important to them so find a fully-fenced area so that you can enjoy their graceful and joyful zoom in peace. Greyhounds struggle to see wire fencing. Please consider this when your greyhound is running in a fenced area. Joining a greyhound group and chatting to like-minded people while your greyhound is enjoying the company of other greyhounds in a controlled environment is encouraged.
Greyhounds are used to eating and sleeping separately. Please feed your hound separate to other dogs and DO NOT allow children to disturb your greyhound when he/she is sleeping or eating.
Greyhounds at first have no sense of roads and traffic so a fully-fenced section and on-lead walking in the neighbourhood is a must, always.
Greyhounds have very thin skin. Their skin can tear easily and they have short sparse fur. They MUST have a coat for those winter nights and they MUST sleep inside on a warm squishy bed.
Greyhound are extremely sensitive. Yelling or physical reprimands should NEVER be part of his/her life.
They are extremely intelligent also, so training is enjoyable. You just have to explain what you are wanting and give them the time to work it out. Everything is a new experience for them at first. Your confidence and patience is a necessary part of their well-being.
Some greyhounds find it physically impossible to sit. If your greyhound does not sit naturally do not push it. Teach them to “wait” instead.
Greyhounds like to stretch out when they are sleeping as a general rule. A size-appropriate bed is the best idea. Often a single bed or foam cut in half or similar with extra blankets or duvet is preferred. Of course your greyhound will enjoy a couch and often other greyhound families will buy a second hand couch for their greyhound.
Please start with short walks until they are physically able to walk for longer periods. Remember, for a large part of their day they are in their kennel in their racing life. They have outside yard time and then they are back to their kennel. Race day is a short burst of speed on the track. They are trained for speed, not endurance so gradual distance walking is very important. Most greyhounds will walk beautifully on a lead as they have been taught to do so by their trainers.
Greyhounds are often lifted into vehicles in their racing life to protect their legs, so they will need to learn how to jump in and out of a car.
As a general rule Greyhounds have problems with their teeth and breath. Please brush their teeth with a vet approved toothpaste/toothbrush to maintain good oral health. Bones should only be RAW chicken frames or cannon bones, and again do not feed around other animals or children. RAW chicken necks are also a good idea to maintain healthy teeth. Please have your vet check their teeth when you are there for his/her annual vet checks.
Greyhounds enjoy a good brush and you can check them over physically quite easily as that is what they are used to in their racing life. They also love their ear rubs and teddy bears!
Greyhounds have a structured life in a racing kennel so a good routine in their home life is advised for their well being. They need to eat twice daily. A good balanced diet, 1-2 large cups of a quality biscuit morning and night. The good quality diet would be the same for any dog breed. For flaky skin you could try flaxseed powder (found in your flour section of the supermarket). Mackerel in oil (tinned) is also good for a glossy coat. Greyhounds tend to be naturally lean but please adjust the amount you are feeding your greyhound if his/her weight drops too low or there is a large weight gain. Greyhounds (all dogs) should not be overweight.
All greyhounds are different but their need for love, acceptance and care is the same. They are lazy, gentle, generally quiet, laid-back dogs that will love with everything they have. Their quiet way of showing affection or their outright legs everywhere, their enthusiasm and joy for you and all they love is endearing. Their love of running is beautiful to watch. Their quirky, funny, kangaroo jumping, counter surfing, teddy loving, kind, sweet, goofy ways are what is so special about them and they are a true joy to know and have in your life.
It is a privilege to care for and love this breed.