Want to adopt a Greyhoundor Greyhoundmix ? These dogs are in your area!
The greyhound, by nature, is gentle, quiet and genuinely loves to be around people. The term “45 mph couch potato” is well deserved. They do love to run and if you have a fenced back yard or access to a large fenced area like a dog park, that’s a plus. If not, a brisk walk three or four times a week is good. Probably the single biggest caution would be the greyhound’s sensitivity to chemicals and certain types of anesthesia so your vet must be familiar with Greyhound physiology.
Greyhounds are known for being gentle, loyal couch potatoes who can sprint up to 45 miles per hour! Because of their incredible speed and the fact that, as sight hounds, they have a high prey drive, they must always be walked on leash, unless they are in a completely fenced-in area. As with any breed, their personalities range from class clown to staid professor. Many make wonderful companions for older children and bigger dogs, and some can be trained to be good with smaller pets as well.
Greyhounds available for adoption have almost always been rescued from a racing track. Greyhound rescue groups do their best to keep up with finding foster and forever homes for Greyhounds whose racing careers have ended. The rescuers nurse the animals back to health and then make them available for adoption. In addition to racing Greyhounds, shelters and rescue groups also take in pet greyhounds who have found themselves homeless for the myriad reasons that any pet may lose their home, such as the death of their owner or unexpected financial hardship. Because Greyhounds are primarily bred for the track (not for selling as pets) Greyhound puppies for adoption are not common, but rarely a rescue may end up with a pregnant adult female and so puppies may be available. Greyhounds may be retired as young as 18 months old, so finding a “teenage” or young adult Greyhound to adopt may be easier. You can also adopt an adult or senior Greyhound and enjoy all the benefits of a mature pet!
Greyhounds have some unique characteristics. Their large thigh muscles can make it harder for them to “sit” so sometimes this common dog training command is not taught in favor of easier commands for their physique, such as “stay” or “come”. They can be particularly sensitive to loud noises and special care should be taken around fireworks (especially since, as extremely fast sight hounds, Greyhounds pose a high flight risk).
Because of their narrow skulls, you may want to walk your Greyhound using a “martingale” style of collar, which is made of thick fabric that slides to tighten when pulled. Greyhounds also have very low body fat and so are particularly sensitive to cold. If you live in a colder climate, get ready to have a nice wardrobe of sweaters, neck warmers, and jackets for your Greyhound!
Greyhounds make great apartment pets due to their low energy indoors. Though they almost always come from a racing background, they generally are calm dogs that don’t require more than average amounts of exercise. They can make good jogging companions, if, like other breeds, their endurance is built up slowly over time. Their sprinting background doesn’t lend itself immediately to a human’s steady jogging or running pace.
Greyhounds don’t suffer from many of the inbred genetic health problems that many purebred dogs face. They do, however, have a very unusual reaction to anesthesia, sometimes requiring only a quarter of the amount of anesthestic other dogs their size might need, and they have unique reactions to some other medications too. Make sure your veterinarian is experienced with Greyhounds, and you’ll both be in good shape!
Find a Greyhound available near you!
Thinking about adopting a Greyhound puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:
Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Greyhound puppy (or, gasp! find a Greyhound puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Greyhound puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears. Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order. Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display. When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals. This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.
Puppies teethe. They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos. Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Greyhound (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.
Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day? A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?
If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours). So a three-month-old Greyhound puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on. If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Greyhound rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.
Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Greyhound adoption, we hear the same things over and over again. If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have. So it’s time for us to set the record straight:
Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Greyhound, even a Greyhound puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group. And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs. In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck. Think about it: let’s say you buy a Greyhound puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Greyhound if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter. The lucky person who adopts your Greyhound would be getting a great dog! Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times. Many of them are housebroken and trained. Greyhound rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Greyhound you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Greyhound to their family!