Find a Greyhound available near you!
What do you need to know before you adopt a Greyhound? We asked the experts!
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.
More about Greyhounds:
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!