Do Greyhounds shed a lot?
It seems to vary a lot from dog to dog. Some will shed an appreciable amount, others hardly at all. "Appreciable" means that when you use a curry comb, you can get loose hair off the dog. There is some thought (and anecdotal evidence) that lighter colored Greyhounds shed more than dark ones do! However, bear in mind that even a so-called "heavily shedding" Greyhound would shed a lot less than say, a Dalmatian or a German Shepherd Dog.
I've heard they aren't good with children. Is this true?
Many breed description books will list the Greyhound as being too "high strung" to tolerate children. This is false. Most Greyhounds have a very calm disposition, and many of them are good with children, especially if they are raised around well-mannered children.
In general, any dog, of any breed, that has not been raised around children or has an unknown background, must be watched carefully. In any case, all interaction between dogs and children, no matter how trustworthy either are, should be supervised by an adult.
Don't they need a lot of exercise?
They need less exercise than you would think. Greyhounds are primarily a sprinting breed, rather than an endurance one. They are happy with several good runs a week -- and will lie on your couch all the rest of the time!
Why do I see many people muzzling their Greyhounds at get-togethers?
Their racing instinct is based on a well-developed prey drive. When you have a group of greyhounds together, especially strange ones, it is advisable to muzzle them to prevent accidental bites. Greyhounds are not dog aggressive, but when excited may nip at others.
Don't let the muzzles lull you into a false sense of security. You must still monitor a group of muzzled Greyhounds since it's possible to catch ears through a muzzle and so on.
Do note that muzzling is not always required; it's simply a sensible precaution if you are dealing with a large group of Greyhounds.
Can Greyhounds swim?
Many people believe that because of their structure and low body fat that they cannot swim. This is untrue. Some Greyhounds are excellent swimmers and others are not. Supervise your Greyhound's entry into water until you are certain he can swim.
How are they with other pets?
Greyhounds are friendly by nature and tend to socialize well with other dogs as a result of encounters with other greyhounds at the racing kennel. They quickly learn to live harmoniously with cats, but, as with all dogs, introductions should be carefully monitored. Being sight hounds, greyhounds may instinctively chase anything fast-moving. Greyhounds are cat-tested at the kennel and provided with a muzzle to use during the introductory period.
Are greyhounds house-broken?
Greyhounds are kennel-broken, which means they are trained to go outside and keep their crate clean. Walk them frequently at first and they will quickly learn that their new home is the place they keep clean and outside is the place where they "go".
Where does GPAC get the dogs?
The greyhounds come to us either directly from the track or from a kennel which obtains them from the track. They are generally between the ages of 2-5 when they come to us. We either maintain the greys at our kennel, or place them in foster homes until we can place them with their new family.
Do they take up a lot of room inside the house?
Greyhounds have been described as 40 mph couch potatoes. They love to curl up on a dog bed or couch and they're particularly fond of overstuffed chairs! In a home, they quickly adapt to a calm atmosphere. Greyhounds also adapt well to small houses and apartments because they are quiet and relaxed inside.
Why do they have to be kept on a leach or in a fenced-in yard? I have a lot of land far away from the road. Can't I ever let him run?
No! Greyhounds are sight hounds, which means that they are attracted to moving objects. To keep your dog safe, it must never be allowed to run free unless supervised in a fully fence area. When they are outside, greyhounds must be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in yard. They must never be tied out because their ability to gain speed suddenly can cause severe injury. Invisible fencing is not suitable for sight hounds. They will run through it if something attracts their attention; also, invisible fencing does not prevent other animals from entering your yard.
Can't my greyhound be trained not to run away after I've had him for a while?
No! In the sight hound, the instinct to chase has been in inbred for thousands of years. No amount of training will override the instinct to chase if something catches their eye.
What about exercise? Do I have to take up running?
A greyhound needs no more exercise than the average dog. If you do not have a fenced-in yard, your greyhound should be taken out 4 times a day on a leash to relieve itself. These dogs are great walking companions and do not have to be run to get adequate exercise. But if you have access to a large fenced-in area, your pet will enjoy the occasional opportunity to really fly.
Can my dog be left alone while I'm at work?
Most greyhounds can stay alone for 6-8 hours, although you should limit the time to half that until the dog is comfortable in your house. They sometimes suffer from separation anxiety, so may want to crate your dog until you both feel more comfortable with leaving him alone.
Do they bark a lot?
Not usually, although some bark more than others. They are not typically good watchdogs or guard dogs.
What about obedience training?
They are reasonably smart dogs and respond well to obedience training. They must be trained gently and carefully because of their sensitive nature.
Do they like traveling in the car?
Most greyhounds love riding in the car because they're used to being moved around frequently.
Do they need coats in the winter?
If they go for long walks in the Atlantic Canada winter, they do need coats. If they just go outside for a few minutes to do their business, then no.
What about vet expenses?
Like other dogs, greyhounds need their shots on a regular basis and should be given heart worm medication at the appropriate time of year. Like other deep-chested dogs, they are subject to bloat. They can eventually suffer from arthritis, cancer and other common ailments. They are not prone to hip dysplasia.
Why do some dogs have little or no hair on their butts and tails or rough spots on their elbows?
Greyhounds spend a great deal of time lying down at the racing kennel, which can wear their hair away. After adoption, the hair sometimes grows back, but not always.
Why are they so skinny?
They're usually thin when they come off the track and will put on a little weight after adoption, but by nature they are lean dogs.
How much do they eat?
An average-size greyhound eats anywhere between 4-6 cups of food daily, depending on size.