You’d be forgiven for thinking that by deciding on a greyhound pooch for your family means deciding on a lifestyle of midnight runs and endless hyperactivity; something akin to a high intensity training session at your local gym. Every day. But surprisingly, although they may be the fastest dog breed
around, a Greyhound is one of the laziest, low-key, little slender slothful best friends that you could ever add to your family.
Making appearances in the bible as well as throughout ancient Egyptian art, Greyhounds have featured strongly throughout historical texts and references. Reaching speeds of 40 to 45 miles per hour, they were originally bred as hunting dogs, and set of task of chasing down hares, foxes, rabbits and deer. Given their sharp, quick speeds and their agile sleek bodies, they quickly got a name for themselves as the racehorses of the dog world and made their debut on the race track in 1912 when the modern day oval track and artificial hare was introduced in America. Highly prey driven, show them a rabbit, bird or other small animal and they can take off in a flurry. However, give them a cosy beanbag in the corner of the room in front of the fire and they’ll doze for days.
Overall temperament – Greyhounds make a great addition to any family, young or old, due to their friendly, kind and gentle personalities. Although strangers to the family may in the first instance find them cold and aloof, they are also known for having a sensitive side, and can quickly react to anxieties and tension within the home. Provide them, however with the feeling of security of routine and the peace offering of something a little bit delicious, and a Greyhound will never leave your side.
Exercise and grooming – Although they may be towards the lower end of the energy scale than you probably anticipated, Greyhounds still do need their exercise. And while it doesn’t have to be a marathon session, they need daily walks and fresh air in order to keep them engaged, stimulated and alleviated of any potential boredom. So take them down the
park and while you’re there, give them a good old groom; despite their short hair Greyhounds do still shed but the overall maintenance level is low and manageable.
Intelligence and training – They may struggle with the standard “sit” command, but that’s only because of their bone and body structure, which makes this position a difficult one for them to get comfy in. Greyhounds are intelligent animals that once you get past their sometimes stubbornness and win them over with the usual treats, they are easily trained and respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques.
Suits a lifestyle -– Despite their racehorse image, Greyhounds are well suited to indoor and apartment living. They could literally sleep for days, and so given this docile and sloth-nature, they can be well suited to homes with small gardens and yards where they’ll be taken for a daily stroll or
two around the block. Just be sure to keep them on a leash – their tendency to like to chase things
may end with you running down the road to try and catch them.
Adding a Greyhound to your home – A racing Greyhound will be in the business until the age of 4 to 6, after which, before the formation of many Greyhound “life after racing” rescue centres, many retired Greyhounds were simply euthanized if they weren’t deemed the best of the bunch and kept for breeding. Many of these rescue and rehome organisations exist in Britain, such as the Retired Greyhound Trust (https://www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk/) which ensure that as many of these soft and gentle natured canines are re-homed as possible. If you’re in the market for making a Greyhound addition to your family, then do your part and check out the rescue homes in the first instance.