What kind of pet does a Greyhound dog make?

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VenvierraValentine: What kind of pet does a Greyhound make?
Me and my boyfriend are looking into getting a dog soon and we have been thinking of rescuing a Greyhound. I’m a little curious to know what they can be like as pets and companions. I haven’t been around many dogs but my boyfriend has been most of his life and hes really wanting a dog, I’m just wanting to know what I’m really getting myself in for lol

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Answer by ultramad81
As a breed, greyhounds are usually gentle, submissive and non-aggressive. Believe it or not they are lazy – the original ‘couch potato’! They require very little from you apart from your company, a soft bed, a walk, warmth and adequate food. Of course, the usual regular veterinary supervision is necessary for any pet.

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  1. Terrier says

    Greyhounds make fantastic pets. I know because I have one (and will be getting another when circumstances allow).


    There are lots of greyhound websites that will give you wonderful information about adopting greyhounds. I don't want to repeat what they say. Just Google 'retired greyhound adoption' and you'll find more information than you'll possibly know what to do with!

    You have to be careful with small furry critters. But many greyhounds and lurchers can live with cats and rabbits, etc. Check with your rescue!

    Greyhounds and luchers still attract a lot of attention because so few are rehomed in the UK. This is slowly changing as more and more people realise what wonderful pets they make.

    Even though people think of them as big dogs, they readily adapt to smaller spaces. They can curl up small on sofas and dog beds and can even fit onto your lap for a greyhound cuddle!

    Even with a King size bed, one single greyhound, once given the opportunity, can expand to fill it. I know, it's happened to me!

    Greyhounds rarely bark. Tjis can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Whilst you're not going to annoy your neighbours or keep your kids awake at night, you are not giving a good signal to burgulars. They don't call greyhounds the ultimate watch-dogs for nothing: they'll watch them take the stereo, they'll watch them take the TV, they'll watch them take the jewellery…

    Greyhounds are sprinters, not marathon runners. By the time you've rehomed one, the chances are it has run its little leggies off. They'll happily have a walk for 20 mins or so, twice a day (and will manage a little run if they're allowed off the lead), but the rest of the time, they like to relax…. and sleep…… and sleep some more…..

    The above listing was slightly lighthearted. Here are some hard facts:

    Most people think that full-time working means they cannot ever have a dog. Some greyhounds can adapt to being left. They will need letting out for a lunchtime piddle, but apart from that, they will happily sleep whilst you are not there. This isn't true for all greyhounds. Check with the rescue.

    As most greyhounds are happy with a potter on the lead, twice a day, and the rest of the time on a sofa, they can make the perfect companions for older people. They are relaxed, calm, friendly dogs who happily adapt to their home with a retired, older person.

    Some greyhounds will have a 'keen' racing instinct still. Especially if they have just finished racing. It is best to muzzle your dog if you intend to let it off-lead, just in case the racing instinct takes over and they try to attack smaller dogs. Many greyhounds can learn to live with smaller dogs and cats. Check with your rescue if you need your dog to be able to do this.

    Most greyhounds available for rehoming have just retired from racing and therefore new to a home situation. A house is likely to be unfamiliar to your grey because it will have spent its time in kennels during its racing career.

    He may find some things very scary – the washing machine, the vacuum, the tumble dryer may scare him witless. Rather than giving up on household chores (however tempting that may be), try to introduce these things gradually and in a very calm way. Chasing after your dog with a fully charged up Dyson is not a good way to introduce him to your home!

    He may never have come across stairs before. Because of his physique, he may find it very difficult to negotiate stairs. If you don't want him to go upstairs, this is a good time to lay down the boundaries. You may find fitting a child-gate helps to stop him exploring them. If you don't mind him going upstairs then you may need to be patient with his efforts to go up – and especially down. That said I live in a 3 storey house and my grey learned how to negotiate stairs very quickly.

    Contrary to what many people believe, they do NOT need lots of exercise. Two 20 minute walks a day should be enough for him, with a few longer walks a week thrown in to keep him in good shape. That said, if you want to give your dog a really long walk then he'll be more than happy with that.

    They don't need to run every day. You will find that his recall is not good. Or even if it is good, he won't take a blind bit of notice of you if he spots a squirrel or a cat in the distance. Please be VERY careful when letting your GH off the lead to run. If he spots a small furry thing running he'll chase it. It's what he's been trained to do. And he'll chase it over a road or onto a railway track, so beware. Certainly in the early days it is advisable to muzzle the dog during walks.

    Some greyhounds, despite years of living quietly in a home and not chasing any small animals, suddenly turn and attack small furries. Don't risk the dog being destroyed because of one freak moment – pop a muzzle on him. This is not cruel, the dog will already associate being muzzled with going for a walk, and will probably get very excited as you try to put on the muzzle.

    Greyhounds do not need a special diet – they enjoy a mixed and varied diet and can thrive on complete dry foods which are readily available.

    Please don't feed your greyhound just before or after exercise. This can lead to Bloat (see below)

    You greyhound MIGHT be able to co-habit with smaller furries e.g. cats etc. However, the time to find this out is NOT when you've gone through the adoption process and brought him home to meet Flopsy the house-rabbit, Ginger the tomcat and Stan the jack russell terrier.

    The rescue who rehomes your GH to you will have asked you about your other animals. If they're a good rescue, they will have tested him with small furries. Even if they have – be very careful when introducing Rocket to Flopsy, Ginger and Stan. Make sure he has a muzzle on and there are escape routes for the small furries. If in any doubt, talk to the rescue and they will give you advice on how to make sure the introduction goes as smoothly as possible.

    Rocket should be fine around children – the majority of greyhounds are gentle and placid and live quite happily even with the smallest of children. However, as with all breeds, common sense and adult supervision is the order of the day.

    It is imperative to check that your vet is aware that Rocket will need a special anaesthetic before allowing him/her to treat him. Rocket will also need special pain control after operations, so talk to your vet about this when first registering Rocket with the practice. If they don't know what you're talking about – find another vet!

    Greyhounds are prone to a condition called gastric torsion or Bloat which is a serious condition which needs him to go STRAIGHT to the vet.

    To stop your dog getting bloat, raise his feed bowl off the ground (place it on a box or buy a special stand to feed him from)

    Don't exercise your GH before or straight after a meal. I leave an hour between excercise and feeding.

    As with all dogs, it is important to keep your GH's vaccinations up to date. Most rescues will have dealt with this prior to adoption but annual boosters are required. He will also need worming every 4 – 6 months and de-fleaing every month or two. Your vet will be able to provide you with lotions and potions for this.

    The dog's teeth may not be too wonderful. Greyhounds who have raced may have poor teeth due to their diet. If in doubt, get your vet to look over your dog's teeth. You'd do well to brush his teeth too – you can get special meat-flavoured tooth pastes and doggie tooth-brushes from your vet.

    A rescue greyhound is worth taking a chance on. With patience and love they will repay your kindness ten fold. These dogs show a bond and devotion to their owners that can only be described as second to none.

  2. Rinnie says

    They make amazing pets! We rescued one last year and he has turned out to be the best dog we have ever had. Our whole family is dog mad and 'Tassie' our new edition has fit right in. He is gentle, obedient, attentive (as in – wont leave your side even sits beside the bath tub waiting for you) and healthy. The only problems we have found is that, because he is sooo big, he doesnt fit comfortably in cars or the lounge and he is really needy. If we leave him alone, he drags all of the pillows, shoes, clothes etc out onto the lawn. Apart from that, he really is a heavenly boy. But be gentle, they really are very sensitive dogs. Far more than any others we have had. Please rescue one – so many need homes.

  3. Wine Snob says

    They are fabulous and as mentioned, are not as high maintenance as people think.

    However, they can have high prey drives. If you have a cat, small dog, or if your dog will be around any, you'll want to get one that does not have a high prey drive. In fact, I don't know that I'd even keep a "safe" one around any small animals. I've just heard too many horror stories.

    Greyhounds also have a chance of getting bone cancer – and sometimes at relatively young ages. If financial issues would prevent you from caring for your dog through expensive surgeries and possible chemo, then reconsider the breed.

    They are also family dogs. If whoever will have custody of the dog will be working 8 hours a day 5 days a week, this may not be the best breed for you. They really like to be part of the family.

    If you are touchy about your furniture, they may not be great for you. I know of many who sleep on their owners' beds and who constantly take up half (if not more) of the couch.

    They *are* big dogs. This means large amounts of food and poop. And, they should only get a high quality food.

    None of this is to try and convince you that they are bad dogs. I just believe that the negative should always be weighed so that surprises are minimal. They are such gorgeous and wonderful dogs. I'm seriously considering one my next time around.

  4. SAK says

    Personally, I have heard nothing but good about greyhounds. They are very loyal, and don't be surprised if the dog you get wants to stay by your side. I came across a couple of people who have one, and they said she would lay by their feet when they sit on the sofa then if you get up, move to a chair, the dog will get up and move over there to be near you. They are gentle, loving, loyal, wonderful dogs. They will need long walks, walking more than once a day, and some running if you can find an area (your backyard?) or somewhere for the dog to run. Enjoy! Take care.

  5. mups mom says

    retired greyhounds generally make wonderful house dogs…they seem very loving and eager to please. they seem to take great pleasure in lounging about the house. A friend has three.

  6. luckato says

    I've had greyhounds for pets for 30 years and although people think they need plenty of exersise they do all that for themselves. Just find a flat piece of land preferbly with no one else around and let them off the lead. They'll just run themselves stupid while you just watch. They can be sometimes hard to catch though. They are very loyal dogs and are brilliant companions.

  7. CctbOh says

    They are wonderful dogs, very affectionate. Make sure you have time to give the dog plenty of exercise though. They were bred to run and they love to do it.

  8. friendofbart says

    Despite popular misconceptions greyhounds are:

    Gentle and adaptable, making them ideal family pets.
    Lazy couch potatoes needing only two twenty minute walks a day.
    When re-homed responsibly, they can live in harmony with other pets.
    Totally addictive – once you've owned a greyhound you'll never be without one!

    Females tend to be smaller than the males

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