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If I asked you to name the most popular dog breeds among the modern family, what answer would you give?
Labrador? Spaniel? Jack Russell?
What about the Greyhound? Are Greyhounds good pets?
I suspect very few of you came up with the Greyhound as a popular breed choice for the family of today.
And that’s no great surprise. You see, since as far back as Egyptian times, the Greyhound has been long associated with race tracks and hunting grounds instead of dog parks.
Described by the American Kennel Club as the’ cheetah of the dog world’, the Greyhound is the world’s fastest breed and can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. And it’s for this very reason that the Greyhound has a reputation for being a racing breed rather than a family pet.
Because of their unrivaled speed, many over the years have also used the Greyhound as a trusty hunting companion. This is due to their skill as a sighthound – but again, not as a house pet.
But things might be about to change.
Across the United States, Greyhound racing is on the decline. And with 41 states already making the sport of racing Greyhounds illegal, hopefully, it won’t be long until this majestic, and pleasant natured animal is finally bred with the sole purpose of bringing much joy to families around the world.
So, for anyone considering a Greyhound, let’s take a closer look at this breed as we answer the question: do greyhounds make good house pets?
Are Greyhounds Good Pets?
In short, yes. Greyhounds make wonderful pets. In fact, if you want to find the definition of the perfect house pet, then look no further than the Greyhound!
Whether you chose to adopt a greyhound later in its life or whether you get one from being a puppy, you can be safe in the knowledge that Greyhounds are friendly dogs. They’re as friendly as they come, in fact.
Although Greyhounds do need lots of regular exercise, they are, in many ways, quite a deceptive breed. While they might at first seem like a super high energy dog because of their speedy nature, behind closed doors, it’s an entirely different story.
Greyhounds, as it happens, are very much an indoor type of dog that loves nothing more than cuddling up next to their owner on the sofa or curling up in a little ball on their bed in front of a nice warm fire.
They are an extremely calm breed and would make a perfect addition to a loving family.
But what about the grooming and maintenance requirements of a Greyhound?
Well, it’s good news in that department too! Greyhounds are well known for their short, shiny, soft coats. Thankfully, that means they shed very little, and it also means grooming is pretty easy too.
You will only need to give them a regular bath to remove any dirt or debris and a regular brush to keep their coats clean and healthy. Greyhounds really are a very low maintenance dog.
As with many other dog breeds, it’s essential to make sure your Greyhound’s nails don’t get too long. And because their nails do grow pretty fast, it’s important to either keep them short by exercising them on a hard surface or by clipping them regularly.
Because so many Greyhounds are bred purely for racing, some owners chose to re-home or adopt a Greyhound that had either been recently retired or didn’t quite cut it as a racing dog.
As you might expect, older Greyhounds coming into a new home and a new environment may suffer from separation anxiety before settling with their new family.
This is mainly because, as racing dogs, Greyhounds have spent their entire lives in the company of other dogs. So moving into a new home, with a new family, with fewer or no other dogs, can be quite distressing for your Greyhound.
But don’t let that put you off. If you know how to treat separation anxiety and are prepared for it, the rewards will be worth it in the long run – for you and your dog.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with separation anxiety:
Install Baby Gates
This can be a great way to slowly build up your Greyhound’s confidence and independence. It may sound silly, but a simple baby gate will give you the freedom of being able to move around your home without your dog following you everywhere you go.
But more importantly, even though you might be in a different room to your dog, they can still see or hear you. That little bit of distance that you create while keeping your Greyhound calm and reassured at the same time is a big step in building your dog’s confidence. It’ll also help their independence and helping to reduce or prevent separation anxiety.
Crate train your Greyhound
Irrespective of the breed, crate training can be a great thing for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Why? Because when appropriately trained with the right crate, your Greyhound will some come to realize that their crate is their sanctuary – their safe place.
By teaching your Greyhound that the crate is their space to sleep and relax in, you’ll also help them to stay calm, stress, and anxiety-free, whether you’re in the house with them or not.
Whether you choose to re-home a retired racing Greyhound or whether you opt for a Greyhound pup, you should buy a crate that can house your Greyhound when they are fully grown. This not only avoids changing crates and disrupting your Greyhound’s training, but it’ll also save you money later down the line!
Why not have a read of our guide on the best crates for Greyhounds?
The Best Crate for Greyhounds
When it comes to the range of dog crates available on today’s market, the list is pretty much endless. And being totally honest, it’s impossible to say that one specific make or model is better than another.
Why? Because it really depends on your dog – and what they feel most confident and comfortable in.
Choosing the right crate is really important, but here are a few options you might want to consider:
Probably the most well known of all, the metal dog crate comes in all shapes and sizes to suit your breed of dog. They are a safe, sturdy fixture and are incredibly comfortable for your dog when you furnish it with their comfy bed and favorite toys.
Metal Covered Crate
This type of crate is exactly the same as the metal dog crate, but with one difference. The metal structure is covered with fabric. This might be the ideal option if your dog is the type that likes to fall asleep under the kitchen table or under your work desk – or any other type of enclosed space.
A fabric crate is ideal if you want the option of easily moving or transporting your dog crate regularly. It’s a lot lighter than a metal crate, but that comes with the downside of not being as safe or sturdy if you’re worried about your dog escaping. That said, it’ll still give your pooch that all-important sanctuary-type feel when it’s relaxing in there.
Think dog crate, but that little bit bigger and without a roof! The exercise pen is a great idea if you’re bringing home a puppy because it acts as an enclosed play area as well as a safe sleeping space – meaning you can leave the room if you need to!
And last but not least, the furniture crate is the mod-con of dog crates. Because it acts not just as a safe space but also as a piece of furniture. And if that wasn’t enough, many of the furniture crates on today’s market have been designed with the specific purpose of relieving stress and anxiety in our furry friends. There is a whole range of optional add-ons, such as wi-fi cameras, detachable doors, memory foam mattresses, and vibration dampening legs. This might be the perfect crate for you if you’re willing to spend a little extra on getting the perfect crate for your Greyhound.
Don’t Make a Big Fuss about Coming or Going
Your Greyhound needs to know that they will always be safe, whether you’re at home with them or not. That’s why you should never make a big deal out of leaving the house or coming home.
Either way, it should be a calm and collected routine that your dog is used to. Don’t make a big fuss of your dog as you prepare to leave home, and don’t get your dog over-excited when you return. Your Greyhound needs a calm and consistent routine irrespective of whether you’re going to be there with them or not.
Prepare your Greyhound for your Departure
They don’t say dogs are intelligent for no reason. And whether we like it or not, our dogs learn to pick up on those tell-tale signs that mean we might be getting ready to leave the house. Whether it’s putting on your coat and shoes, picking up your house or car keys, or picking up a handbag, our pups know.
The best way to deal with this is to train your dog for departure using those departure cues as training aids. Get ready and prepare yourself as if you were leaving home, but don’t actually leave. And when your dog remains calm – reward, reward, reward. Whether it’s with their favorite treat or their favorite toy, let your dog know that they did good by staying calm.
Never Punish your Greyhound
Punishing your dog is an absolute no-no – especially if it’s a dog that suffers from separation anxiety.
Greyhounds, in particular, are extremely sensitive in nature, and punishing them will only do harm. Even if your dog has soiled, urinated, or destroyed a part of your furniture, punishment is just not the answer.
If your dog doesn’t quite get it right when you leave home, simply stick to your training principles and keep at the hard work. Your dog will get there eventually, and your hard work will pay off in time.
Are Greyhounds Aggressive?
In short, no. Greyhounds are a wonderfully peaceful breed that will avoid aggression at all costs.
Even barking is very much a rarity for the Greyhound, meaning they are the type of breed that is more often seen and not heard.
With such low levels of aggression, the Greyhound can be an excellent option for families with children, other dogs, and even smaller pets. In most cases, the Greyhound will learn to live quite happily with other animal species.
Although be warned, while Greyhounds can and do co-exist very happily with other animals, they are by their very nature a hunting breed. So it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that you might find them on occasion chasing the family cat around the garden.
But even then, you can be safe in the knowledge that the worse they will do is chase!
Are Greyhounds good with Children?
As I’ve mentioned, Greyhounds are not an aggressive breed. And as with many other dog breeds, if they are properly socialized and introduced to children, they can be a great companion and playmate for your little ones.
If you plan to bring a Greyhound into a family with small children, it’s a good idea to teach your children how to treat them and behave in advance.
Points to teach your children to include:
Don’t Torment your Greyhound
That includes pulling at their body parts, tugging their fur, or prodding them in general
Don’t Wake a Sleeping Greyhound
That’s right, this isn’t just a well-known phrase. It’s also excellent advice. Waking a sleeping dog can startle them, and that’s not a good idea, especially if a child is the one causing them to wake up abruptly.
Leave them to Eat in Peace
It’s never wise to disturb a dog or make it nervous when it’s eating.
Greyhounds need their own Space, too
if your dog has a crate, teach your children that it’s a no-go area. Dogs can be territorial over their space. And, even if all they do is growl, it’s best not to cause your Greyhound stress by allowing children to play in or disrupt your dog’s sanctuary.
Do Greyhounds have any Health Problems?
Thanks to their DNA, Greyhounds are generally extremely healthy dogs that suffer relatively few health problems than other breeds.
With a very low level of body fat, they are a fit and energetic dog. If they’re given a lot of exercise and plenty of space to run off their energy, they have an average life expectancy of anywhere between 10 and 13 years.
However, because Greyhounds are deep-chested dogs, they run the risk of getting bloat or gastric torsion – as with any other breed that’s deep-chested.
That’s why owners must always be careful not to allow a Greyhound to guzzle too much water in one go. No matter how thirsty they might be after all that running at such a high speed. As tempted as you might be to let your Greyhound have a big old drink, try to avoid it if you can. It’s for their own good, after all.
As a breed, there is one hereditary condition that prospective owners should be aware of, and that’s something called Greyhound Neuropathy. Specific to Greyhounds only – and a disease that can only be passed down from parents to their puppies – Greyhound Neuropathy presents itself at the very early life stages. At the same time, the dog is just a puppy.
While Greyhound Neuropathy is a serious disease, if you’re considering a Greyhound for your family, there’s an easy way to avoid it.
All you need to do is ask your breeder if the parent dogs have been tested for the disease before being bred. If the answer is yes – and the tests were clear – then you’re safe in the knowledge that your new pup won’t suffer from Greyhound Neuropathy.
So, are Greyhounds good pets?
Greyhounds might not be the most popular of dog breeds, but they are absolutely one of the best and certainly a breed to consider when it comes to the best pets.
With the mildest and sweetest of temperaments, this loyal breed will make the perfect family pet. Whether you adopt it later in its life or whether you bring it into your home as a young pup.
So if it’s a calm natured, playful, and relatively low-maintenance pet you’re looking for in a family pet, then you can’t go wrong with the gorgeous Greyhound.
Greyhounds may run into issues with their coat, this is something that must be noted. To combat this, we’ve written an article of the best shampoos for Greyhounds to ensure you have the best shampoo for the job.