This FAQ may help you decide if a greyhound is the proper choice for you.


Why do greyhounds make good pets?
What should I read before I adopt?
What should I expect if I adopt a greyhound?
Are greyhounds gray?
How fast are greyhounds?
How much exercise does a greyhound need?
How big are greyhounds, and how much do they eat?
Do greyhounds have health problems?
How long do they live?
What is the difference between adopting a greyhound and another breed of dog from a shelter or breeder?
Are greyhounds house broken?
Does my greyhound need a special space in the house?
Will my new greyhound cope with being alone when I go to work?
I have cats. Will a greyhound chase my cats?
I have a todler. Are greyhounds good with children?
Will the greyhound have been neutered or spayed, and will it have had denistry, shots and tests?
What if I have other questions?

Return to top


Why Do Greyhounds Make Good Pets?
Greyhounds have been bred to be fast, healthy, intelligent, sociable, and good tempered. Greyhounds spend most of their lives in the company of other dogs, their trainers, and handlers. Greyhounds have all the advantages of breeding and training when it comes to being a good pet. Their sociability makes them great with other pets (including cats!). Their temperament makes them wonderful around children and friends. Their intelligence and breed make them perfect house pets, clean, quiet, and a loving companion
 
Return to top

What should I read before I adopt?
There is a lot of information available on the internet and in bookstores. Many people consider Adopting the Racing Greyhound, by Cynthia Branigan required reading for potential adopters. Cynthia's book is one of the best references any greyhound owner can have, and we highly recommend it. You can purchase a copy online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon Books or you can purchase it directly from the adoption organization

We recommend A Breed Apart as one of the best informational (and fun) sites on the internet.
 
Return to top

What Should I Expect If I Adopt A Greyhound?
The most common misconception concerning greyhounds is that they are hyperactive. It is actually the opposite. Greyhounds are a gentle, mild, quiet animal by nature. A greyhound coming into your home will be very puppy like, curious, and affectionate. Everything is brand new to a retired greyhound, but remember they are very smart. Certain house manners will have to be learned as greyhounds have never seen anything of family life. Stairs, cats, mirrors, cars, etc. are all things you will have to teach your greyhound. When going up stairs, you will need to place your dogs feet one at a time and help it along. Going down stairs requires a firm grip on the collar and a very slow walk down. For any correction, a firm NO! is all that should be needed. If your greyhound even looks at your cat, jump right in and say NO! It will quickly learn the right behavior towards a smaller animal. Never leave your greyhound alone with your family cat until you are sure they get along. Your tone of voice and a firm NO! will quickly let your greyhound know how to behave around your home.
 
Return to top

Are greyhounds gray?
Actually, gray greyhounds are rare.  A gray greyhound is officially called a “blue.”  Greyhounds come in solids, from white to black, and in patches and in brindle coloring.  They are a very colorful breed. You can find a color chart here.
Return to top

How fast are greyhounds?
Very.  They run up to 45 MPH and can hit top speed in 30 feet.  For this reason, they must be kept on a leash unless they are in a fenced area, and must NEVER be placed on a cable-run or other type of tether.
Return to top

How much exercise does a greyhound need?
A greyhound appreciates a brisk walk every day.  They also enjoy a good run in a fenced area a couple of times a week.  We recommend a fenced yard for your home but is not required.
Return to top

How big are greyhounds, and how much do they eat?
Weight ranges from fifty to ninety pounds, although most females are in the 55 to 65 pound range while males generally weigh between 65 and 75 pounds. The dogs stand 23 to 29 inches tall. Many males are smaller, and many females are larger. When you adopt a greyhound, it will be at "racing weight". Most will reach "pet weight" in about a month. This is usually a gain of 5 to 7 pounds. It is recommended to use a low protein food - approximately 20% to 26%. Initially, you will want to feed you greyhound 6 to 8 cups daily- half at breakfast, and half at dinner. We recommend using a dry food covered with water, as canned foods are too rich for a greyhound. Dry dog foods come in either chicken/corn mix or lamb/rice mix, which ever fits best with your budget. As your dog begins to add weight and eats less 4 to 6 cups daily should do for weight maintenance.
 
Return to top

Do Greyhounds have health problems?
Greyhounds have no genetic difficulties (hip dysplasia), unlike many other pure bred dogs. Greyhounds (and other sight-hounds and collies) are more sensitive to chemicals and anesthesia than other breeds of dog.  This is not a problem if the proper procedures and recommended chemicals are used, particularly flea and tick remedies. For general checkups and shots, your family vet will need to know some important things about greyhounds. It is important that if your vet is unfamiliar with these sensitivities that they contact a Greyhound Adoption representative if they need further information.
 
Return to top

How long do they live?
If given good care, your greyhound can live 14 - 16 years, a delightfully long life for you and your family.
 
Return to top

What is the difference between adopting a greyhound and another breed of dog from a shelter or breeder?
Greyhounds, unlike other dogs, have never lived in a home.  They have never met other breeds of dogs.  Their world has been limited to the kennel setting where they have seen only their trainers and caretakers.  They need socializing with adults, children, babies and small pets.  Some dogs adjust to the outside world very quickly, while others take more time.  When you adopt a greyhound, you are getting a dog that needs to be taught about steps, windows, mirrors, small animals and children.  All these things are brand new to a greyhound, but you will be getting a gentle, clean, quiet, affectionate dog that will become very devoted to you.  If you have the desire to help a greyhound adjust to the outside world, then a greyhound will be an ideal companion for you.
 
Return to top

Are greyhounds house-broken?
No.  They are kennel broken (crate-trained).  This means that they will not soil their crates.  If they do, it is because they are ill or anxious about something.  Most greyhounds can be house-broken in a very short period of time.  Some will never have an accident in the house.  A vigilant owner who learns to “read the signs” of a greyhound in need of going outside will be able to train their greyhound very quickly.  Some groups kennel their adoptable greyhounds, while others foster their greyhounds in a home setting before they are adopted out.  Their adjustment has already begun before the adopters take their new greyhound home. It is important to know that greyhounds, although leash trained have to be taught to go to the bathroom while on a lead. This requires a little more time than teaching them where the door is. When letting your greyhound into your yard to go, don't distract him/her, as you want to let him/her focus on the reason for being outside. When all business is done, then comes playtime.
 
Return to top

Does My Greyhound Need A Special Space In The House?
In the kennel, greyhounds always have their own kennel crate. This was a space where it felt safe and secure. By using a crate in your home or making a special bedding area, you will help your greyhound adjust to the new freedom of your house. Indeed, by using a crate, you can help your greyhound feel safe and secure while left alone. This will help to prevent any problems associated with separation anxiety. You can think of a crate as a large dog bed that your greyhound will be happy in.
 
Return to top

Will my new greyhound cope with being alone when I go to work?
We recommend that you adopt your greyhound when you are on vacation so that you may gradually acclimate your greyhound to being alone over longer and longer periods of time.  Most organizations will give you lots of tips on how to do this when you bring your new greyhound home.  Many people keep their greyhounds in crates or a dog-proofed room while they are at work.
 
Return to top

I have cats.  Will a greyhound chase my cats?
The greyhound was bred as a hunter five thousand years ago.  Some greyhounds have a keen prey drive and will chase small animals, including cats.  Some greyhounds are afraid of cats.  After a period of educating and adjusting, the vast majority of greyhounds live peaceably with cats and even sleep with them.  Most organizations offers advice on helping your greyhound adjust to your small pets.
 
Return to top

I have a toddler.  Are greyhounds good with children?
Greyhounds are much larger than infants, and even some youngsters up to the age of five.  As with any larger dog, small children must be supervised when with a large dog.  In general, greyhounds are very tolerant, if the child is good with the greyhound, the greyhound will be good with the child.
 
Return to top

Will the greyhound have been neutered or spayed, and will it have had dentistry, shots and tests?
In most cases, yes, this work will be done before you take your dog home. Most Adoption Organizations have also made arrangements with some “greyhound-knowledgeable” veterinarians who can perform this work for you after you adopt. It is far more cost-effective for you if the medical work is done with one of the recommended veterinarians before you adopt or immediately after you adopt.
 
Return to top

What If I Have Other Questions?
Always feel free to call your local Greyhound Adoption representative if you have any questions or comments. We'd love to hear from you and greatly appreciate your interest in rescuing a retired racing greyhound. :-)
 
Return to top