QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT GREYHOUNDS
Greyhounds are short distance sprinters, they get up to speed very quickly, but their energy and endurance is spent very quickly also. Having a regular fenced in backyard for them to run and play is totally adequate. They are not long distance endurance dogs and will tire out easily. Leisurely walks in the neighborhood are just fine. Remember the rule: “WHEN YOU ARE HOT, GREYHOUNDS ARE HOT, WHEN YOU ARE COLD, GREYHOUNDS ARE COLD” – and please, put in consideration how hot pavements get in the summer, or all year around here in Florida – would you want to walk bare feet in the middle of the day? If not, please use common sense and walk your greyhound either in the early morning hours or when it cools down late afternoon.
WHAT IS A SIGHTHOUND?
Greyhounds are sighthounds, that means, they hunt by sight, rather than sound. They can see up to half a mile away and will run after everything that will move on the horizon. So please, be aware and ALWAYS HAVE YOUR GREYHOUND ON A LEASH WHILE WALKING IN A NON FENCED IN AREA. Do not let your children or grand children walk your greyhound alone, and never use a retractable leash!
HOW LONG DO THEY USUALLY LIVE?
Even though greyhounds are big dogs (males are usually between 65-85 Lbs. racing weight and around 28 inches high, females are between 55-65 Lbs. and 25 inches high) they do have a long life expectancy. Most greyhounds celebrate 12th and even 14th birthdays, some of them are lucky enough to celebrate their 15th.
DO THEY REALLY MAKE GOOD PETS?
Greyhounds are very sweet, docile and gentle dogs. They are gentle and want to please people. They adjust very quickly to home life and want to be part of a family. However, they are also very competitive – word of caution: if you have a pack of 3 or more greyhounds, please use muzzles when you let them run, remember, they were trained to win and might bump into each other.
They are usually very gentle with children who are respectful and gentle with them. However, they are big dogs and although they are gentle dogs, they can get excited and may, unintentionally, knock down a small child. They are not dogs a child can rough house with. Even though they are tall, they cannot be used for a child to ride. They also will not understand that one stuffy is theirs to play with but the doll or teddy bear of a child is to be left alone. Remember that greyhounds do not grow up with children and their first time to encounter kids is when they have entered the rescue and adoption part of their lives.
GREYHOUNDS AND CATS
Some greyhounds and cats are best friends; most greyhounds are cat tolerant and live peacefully with indoor cats. Some greyhounds (and that is why most groups test their greyhounds on cats several times before they are stamped as cat safe) are not and will never be cat safe. Please note that the deal your cat and greyhound might have indoors, can be totally forgotten by your greyhounds when they meet outside. Especially when you have a pack, the chase is most likely on. Remember not to let your cat and your greyhounds out into the fenced in yard at the same time.
CAN GREYHOUNDS LIVE WITH OTHER DOGS?
Greyhounds are pack animals- and they know their breed, however, most greyhounds can live harmoniously with other breeds, big and small, in a house. It all depends on the personality of the particular greyhound and the particular non greyhound. Some greyhounds might not be small dog tolerant, and some might just fall in love with the little ones. However, if you want to adopt a play mate to your dog and think a greyhound is perfect for this reason, you will be disappointed- Greyhounds can be very playful and entertaining, but they usually play with themselves, they play with stuffies and toys by throwing them into the air or finding out how long it will take to bite down on a squeaky toy before it will quit making the noise- do not expect a greyhound to play tug of war with another dog.
No, they are too friendly and quiet. Once in a while, they will bark when somebody approaches the door, however, many greyhounds will never bark.
DO THEY SHED?
Yes, they do. They have a short, light coat and are easy to groom. But, just like every other breed that has fur, they do shed. Especially when they are nervous or when season changes, they blow their coats.
ARE GREYHOUNDS EASY TO TRAIN?
Greyhounds are very intelligent and eager to please. They learn quickly with positive reinforcement and gentle reminder. Please do not ever think that you can train a greyhound obedience and to be off leash. What was bred into this noble breed for thousands of years, we cannot undo!
HOW DO THEY TRAVEL?
Most greyhounds were going from track to track in their racing time and are used to moving vehicles. Usually they love going on family trips and car rides. If you want to take your greyhound with you on a lot of trips, start slowly and do not let the trip to the vet be the only trip your greyhound knows. Also be aware of the hot temperature in a parked car – while you might feel comfortable with the AC blasting, a quick trip to the neighborhood grocery store can easily become a death trap of any dog left in the car, even with the window rolled down a little. Please note that there is a Florida law against leaving dogs in parked cars at any time of the year!
DO THEY MAKE GOOD THERAPY DOGS?
Yes – because of their gentle nature and their size they make wonderful therapy dogs. They stand calmly for petting and are tall enough to easily rest their heads on a lap or bed.
Greyhounds are tall dogs and do better eating from a raised (12-15 inches) platform. They have less gas and also feeding from a raised feeder causes less strain on their necks. (There is an ongoing debate about high raised feeders causing bloat, however, no study ever included a greyhound and we insist that you feed your greyhound from a raised feeder)
GREYHOUNDS AND POOLS AND SWIMMING
Greyhounds have a very small percentage of body fat, so when they fall into the pool, they sink. I have seen a few greyhounds that like swimming, and most will valiantly dog paddle, but most will sink or turn over on their side. Even though most of our foster homes have pools, some do not and if you get a greyhound who was not introduced to your backyard pool, please let us help you. Also be very aware of your neighborhood canals and make sure your seawall is enclosed.
WHAT IS A MARTINGALE COLLAR?
A martingale collar (or also called a “humane” choke collar) was designed for sighthounds. Because of their narrow heads, buckle collars can easily slip off a greyhound.
WHY DO THEY HAVE TATTOOS AND HOW TO READ THEM
Tattoos are done by the breeder to all racing greyhound puppies to ensure a permanent ID of each potential racer.
BIRTH DATE: The right ear tells the month and the year the puppy was born.
43D: means that the puppy was born in the fourth (4) month of 2003 (3) and it is the fourth dog in the litter to be tattooed.
REGISTRATION ID: the left ear has 4-5 digits and is the litter registration number with the National Greyhound Association (NGA) in Abilene, Kansas (Phone: # 913-263-4660).