Read the Greyhound Trust’s most asked questions
Unlike a lot of pedigree breads, there are many myths and misconceptions about Greyhounds. Many owners will tell you the kind of comments they hear from people on a regular basis…”Wow, your dog must need lots of exercise” being a very common one. Here we hope to bust some of those myths and answer some common questions you may have.
• Are greyhounds highly strung?
No. They are naturally calm and rather self-possessed. They are the oldest dog breed recorded in history and are genuine thoroughbreds.
• Are greyhounds good with children?
Greyhounds are as good with children as any dog breed and better than most, because of their characteristic gentleness. They have been around people all of their lives and are usually very people-oriented.
• Are there character differences between males and females?
The difference between male and female greyhounds tends to be less pronounced than in many other breeds. All greyhounds are individuals with different personalities, so the best thing to do is simply to arrange a visit to your local branch to meet the hounds!
• How much exercise do they need?
Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds do not need lots of exercise. Toilet considerations aside, two twenty minute walks a day is usually more than enough. Greyhounds are built for speed, not stamina, and use up their energy in short bursts.
• Do they always need to be muzzled?
Greyhounds do not need to be muzzled at all times, but we do recommend that you keep your greyhound muzzled when out and about, at least until you are confident of their behaviour around other breeds. They are quite used to it and associate it with pleasurable walks. If you feel you need to let your dog off the lead, a confined space and the wearing of a muzzle is recommended. We provide a collar, lead and muzzle with every greyhound that we home.
• Will I need a special bed for the dog?
Greyhounds do not need a special bed, and an old, clean quilt folded in two is perfect. They are used to sleeping off the ground and will need no encouragement to take over your bed as well as your sofa. They do like to stretch out!
• How do greyhounds get on with other dogs?
Most greyhounds get on well with other dogs and many live with other breeds. Common sense and careful introductions are the key. If you have another dog, speak to our volunteers who will usually recommend that you bring them down to the kennels to help pick their new greyhound friend.
• Can greyhounds live with cat and other small pets?
Greyhounds are sighthounds and it is their instinct to chase. Despite this, some greyhounds can be trained to live happily with cats and other small pets (and sometimes, they even become the best of friends!). If you have a cat or another small pet, make sure to discuss this with the volunteers at the kennels.
• Can I let my greyhound off the lead?
Greyhounds are sight hounds and have a natural instinct to chase. This can be amplified in ex-racing Greyhounds who have been trained to chase a lure around a race track.
Like all dogs, you should not let them off the lead unless you have trained them to have good recall. Greyhounds can be trained to have good recall, but their instinct can be very strong and even the best trained hound may give chase to a rabbit in a field in the bat of an eye.
We would always recommend training the recall of your dog and if you do want to let it off the lead, to do so in a safe and secure environment at the beginning.