The information listed here is an effort to try and help you decide if a greyhound is the right dog for you.
Conformation, Care, and Health
Temperament and Behavior
Requirements for Adoption
Greyhound Adoption Quiz
A greyhound in full stride, muscles straining against thin skin, attention focused on a prey animal or on the internal itch to run, is a creature of rare beauty. In sharp contrast to this insatiable drive to hunt and to run, a greyhound in the home is a pet of uncommon sweetness and gentility.
Are you looking for a nuzzler, cuddler, lover and a lifelong companion? If so, you might want to consider a retired racing greyhound. Yes, these ex-athletes that are bred for speed, health, intelligence, and sociability make excellent house pets.
Because they have been in bustling kennels and a racing environment that requires extensive handling they crave human company. As pet owners, we don't care about speed, but the breed's gentle, loving personality makes it a compatible family member for those with children, cats and other dogs. But remember, no dog likes to be scared or tormented by small children.
Do you have a gender preference? There is no difference in the personality of the male or female greyhound. From a size standpoint, males are one to two inches taller and ten pounds heavier. 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.
If you had to pick one word to characterize this ancient breed, it would be polite. It is eager to please, delights in you attention and prefers to be alongside you at all times. In essence, it's your shadow.
Because of being constantly handled and moved from one track to another, the greyhound adapts readily to change - i.e. home life. However, everything in the home will be new - stairs, sliding patio doors, linoleum floors, and so forth - and some time will be required for adjustment.
The greyhound is basically a quiet dog and will spend much of its time sleeping in the corner of the room or may even bid for part of the sofa, if allowed. It loves to go for car rides and we suggest that you take it wherever you go.
While it does very well on a leash and doesn't require a lot of exercise, the greyhound makes an excellent jogging companion. Because it wants to be everyone's friend and seldom barks, it is not a good watch dog.
Short coated, it is a clean breed known for having no smell and shedding minimally.
On the track, these dogs are fed raw beef and high protein dry food. Vegetables (for iron) and corn oil (for coat maintenance) are also ingredients in most kennels' feeding programs. You should feed you pet greyhound four to six cups a day of any good grade of dry product.
Greyhounds come in a wide array of colors, with various shades of brindle being most common. Gray, which is called blue by some breeders, is somewhat rare.
The average racer is worth $2000.00 by the time it ventures onto the track. Our dogs typically range from two to five years old, and barring accident, will normally live to be twelve to sixteen years old.
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The greyhound is easily recognized. He varies in height from 26-30 inches and in weight from 60-90 pounds. He can be any color from white to black, including fawn, gray, red, or brown, and any pattern from solid to pinto to brindle.
He has a deep chest for great heart and lung capacity, slender legs for speed and agility, and well-developed muscles for endurance. He has a slender head with wide nostrils for more effective breathing while running. His ears are small and folded over when he's racing or at rest and tend to stand upright when he's alert. His dark eyes reveal a gentle, intelligent soul.
His feet are tough, cat-like, and well-suited to swift pursuit over rough terrain.
The greyhound has a soft, fine, short coat that sheds little and needs only an occasional rubdown. However, his thin skin tears easily, so daily once-overs are a good idea.
His deep chest makes him susceptible to bloat, a serious condition that should always be treated as an emergency, for it can lead to death within minutes. He is sensitive to some anesthesias and flea treatments. His light bones may be brittle, leaving him susceptible to fractures. Although show greyhounds have some incidence of hip dysplasia, the condition seems to be absent in racing greyhounds.
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The greyhound shines as a pet in a quiet household. He is sensitive, easily distracted, and somewhat distressed by noise and bustle. He's good with considerate children past the toddling stage, and he gets along well with other dogs. Cats, however, can be another story; he may consider them prey and chase them whenever the opportunity arises.
Unlike breeds that must be socialized as puppies to temper their dominant tendencies, the greyhound needs early socialization to give it confidence and build self assurance. A greyhound puppy that is not accustomed to noise and people at an early age can be excessively fearful of loud or persistent sounds and painfully timid with strangers.
The greyhound's sensitive nature makes obedience training necessary and time-consuming. Training does build confidence and help forge a bond between dog and owner, but greyhound owners must be extra patient and gentle to avoid unduly stressing the dog.
Like all sighthounds, greyhounds must not be allowed to run free, for they may end up in the next state when they come to a halt. The drive to run and hunt is deeply ingrained, so fenced yards and leashes are a must.
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The requirements for adopting a greyhound are simple.
First, you should be looking for a house dog and a companion. The dogs are adopted strictly as house pets and are the finest companions you could ask for. They do not do well outside, since they have no fat nor a thick coat to keep them warm. And, as your best friend, they want to be with you.
Second, you need a fenced yard or placed on a lead to protect your dog when it goes outside to relieve itself. The greyhound is totally innocent and will likely be killed on the road if allowed to run loose. You must plan on your dog being confined in the house or a fenced yard. If you walk or jog with it, make certain it is leashed at all times. Often people say they live on five or more acres and they think this should be plenty of room for a dog to live without a fence. This simply doesn't work because of the dog's breeding and extensive training.
Third, there should be someone with the dog at all times for several days in its new home. Because of its track background, the dog may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. To avoid soiling and damage, we recommend you purchase or borrow a crate for housing your greyhound while you're gone for short periods or several hours. The Adoption Organization can help you with this. Remember, crates are not cruel. They've been the dog's home while it resided at the track and kennel. However, be realistic in how long you leave the dog crated, since it will have to relieve itself within several hours.
Fourth, you must keep the Adoption Program informed of the dog's whereabouts, and if for any reason you cannot keep the dog, you must return the dog to to the Adoption Organization. Depending on the circumstance the Adoption Organization may let you try another, so both you and your dog are happy.
Greyhound Adoption Organizations always represents the dog's interests and will not allow it to be put in a risky or compromising situation. Too many tragic incidents occur to people who chose not to follow this advice. If the Adoption Organization requirements are not acceptable, you should consider another breed. Finally, most Adoption Organizations request a non-refundable donation of $150.00 to $250.00 to help perpetuate this non-profit rescue program.
Take the Greyhound Adoption Quiz to see how an ex-racer may fit into your home and what your adoption fee covers.