Elegant. Poised. Gentle. The Greyhound's reputation as the world's fastest dog belies their slothful nature. They are great house pets for a variety of owners including families with children and seniors. Greyhounds, especially ex-racing dogs, appreciate the creature comforts of couch life afforded to them upon retirement.
If you are seeking a soft-natured companion dog, then you should seriously consider adopting a genial Greyhound.
Where I'm From
Greyhounds are one of the world's oldest breeds of dog believed to originate in Egypt thousands of years ago. The breed, or similar looking species, appear in ancient Greek and Roman texts and drawings, and are even mentioned in the bible.
Making their way to Europe in the early 1000s, Greyhounds became prized for their keen hunting skills with the ability to take down large prey due to their incredible speed and agility. Upon arriving in England in the 1500s, Greyhounds became celebrated for their skills in the competitive sport of hare coursing.
In the United States, Greyhounds were first recognised as a breed in 1885, with the first Greyhound race occurring in 1886. The Australian Greyhound Racing Association was established in the 1960s when the first official Greyhound races began in the country. Since then, Greyhound racing has become a contentious sport given the astounding number of dogs destroyed at the end of short-lived racing careers.
What I Look Like
Greyhounds have a particularly slim and athletic build, which makes them nimble and fast runners. Tall and elegant with a long, slender face, Greyhounds have a regal and graceful air. They have a short smooth coat that comes in numerous colours including blue (grey), black, white, brindle and fawn or in combinations of these shades.
How I Act
Greyhounds have a friendly and kind demeanour, and can even be a little shy with strangers. Though it is nothing that a small treat would not fix. They can be good family pets and patient with boisterous children. Greyhounds are also good with older owners that could do with a loyal companion pet.
Greyhounds can be trained and respond well to a firm, consistent owner. Training and socialisation should begin young to ensure a well-adjusted pet. If adopting an older ex-racing Greyhound, training needs to begin as soon as you get your dog home. Greyhounds respond well to food treats for good behaviour and need a patient master that refrains from harsh scolding.
Despite their racing credentials Greyhounds love to just laze about the home. They make excellent household pets that can suit apartments if they get a decent dose of 30-40 minutes of exercise per day. When outside the home, Greyhounds need to be kept on a leash to prevent any temptation to chase after prey. Let them run free at your own risk; you may never be able to catch them again!
Looking After Me
Greyhounds are usually a hardy breed of dog without many health issues. However, some problems that may arise include skin irritations, injuries and medication sensitivities, especially to anaesthesia.
It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Greyhounds have a lifespan of 10-14 years.
They are not huge eaters and should be fed a nutritious, high-quality meal twice a day. Extra portions should be removed until the next feeding time to discourage overeating.
Greyhounds have a very short, low-shedding coat. They only need a weekly brush down to keep them clean and smooth.
They are inside dogs that require a soft, comfortable bedding area to prevent bedsores. Due to their slim frames they are prone to getting cold and may require a dog coat to stay warm in chilly months during outdoor exercise.
If you plan on keeping your Greyhound outside for any period of time, you must ensure that your fences are tall enough to prevent any high-jumped escape in chase of exciting neighbourhood prey including cats, rats and possums!
Am I the pet for you?
Greyhounds are best for families with children, seniors and other dog lovers seeking a gentle pet.
- Greyhounds are docile pets that just need a loving home to call their own, especially ex-racing dogs that would otherwise be put down. They are good with kids and the elderly, though like all dogs should always be supervised when around children.
- Greyhounds have an easy-care, low-shedding coat.
- Greyhounds are not good guard dogs and probably would not even bother to alert you if an intruder gets into your home.
- Greyhounds have to be kept on a leash outside the home to prevent any attempted getaways. Some states across Australia also ask for Greyhounds to be muzzled.
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