1 – Greyhounds can’t live with cats, small dogs, rabbits etc.

If you get a Greyhound from a society that rehomes ex-racing greyhounds, and young greyhounds that don’t want to chase a lure, then they will have been temperament tested and also tested for their reaction to cats, small dogs and perhaps other small animals.   But just because a Greyhound doesn’t want to chase a lure doesn’t automatically guarantee it will be cat safe!  Also a top racing Greyhound CAN be cat friendly!  An average of 50% of Greyhounds are cat friendly, some are cat tolerant or cat trainable. The average for those who are small dog friendly is higher. You will also be matched with a dog who suits your lifestyle. It pays to be honest with the society about your circumstances to avoid a mismatch:)

Bonnie And Her Cat

Three NZ ex-racing Greyhounds and their cat.  On the couches, Gracie and Astro, Mr Spurs and Oscar on the cushions:)

Beryl with some little friends
Beryl with 15 year old Spot

Of course, sensible people keep their Greyhound muzzled for a week or so when it and the cat/s are together, and never leave the cat and new dog unsupervised:) It’s better to err on the side of caution rather than take unnecessary risks. There are also dog aggressive cats out there!!

Greyhounds who come straight off the track or out of the kennels may not have met other breeds of dogs so they will need to meet lots of different dogs and learn that other dogs can be fun too, not just Greyhounds:)

2. Greyhounds need a LOT of exercise.

People think because Greyhounds can run very fast that they are extremely fit and need a lot of exercise. Most Greyhounds are lazy. They are not a breed that would ever be recommended as a training companion for someone getting fit to run a marathon:) They are bred for short bursts of sprinting, not sustained endurance type jogging or running. Having said that, there are exceptions to that rule. Also young dogs around a year old will have more energy than a young dog who has matured and finished racing at around 4 years old.

Greyhounds do seem to make excellent hiking companions. A blog with lovely photos and stories of hiking expeditions with Greyhounds that is well worth a visit is Hiking Hounds, I am green with envy at the places they go! Another wonderful Greyhound blog which mentions hiking often is Tails and Tales. The star of this blog, Bunny, often goes hiking with her GSD sister, Morgan.

While Greyhounds sleep a lot, if their exercise is built up gradually to the stage where they are quite fit then they can take and want more exercise. Beryl lets me know when she wants some ‘action’. She is possibly fitter now than when she was racing:)

Also important is mental exercise. A tired dog is a good dog and a happy dog. Beryl loves the mental stimulation of going to new places. She smiles and prances and bounces and gets a real kick out of it. She also enjoys her Rally O classes.


3. Greyhounds are large dogs that need lots of space to live in.

Well, they are not Chihuahuas, but they are indoor dogs. Greyhounds have virtually no body fat so outdoor temperatures to either extreme are not tolerable to them. Even if you live in a house with a fenced yard, the dog will need to live indoors. We have people who live in two bedroom apartments with a Greyhound and they are very happy and comfortable there. The uninitiated are always amazed at how “small” a sleeping 30kg Greyhound can be. Beryl weighs about 28kg and isn’t a small female by any means but she can curl up into a ball slightly bigger than a pillow:)  She and Asher can also spread out and take up lots of space.  These days I’ve got a superking sized bed and even so it is often a struggle to fit Beryl, Asher, and Frankie on the bed with room left for me!

If only she slept like this all the time!

 

4. Greyhounds can’t sit.

It’s true that many Greyhounds don’t find sitting comfortable. I taught Beryl to sit and it took a while and I have never seen her sit for comforts sake. She will keep standing and look miserable if there isn’t anything comfortable to lie on! Put down any sort of mat and she will lie on it happily, but sit, no way. However if I’m eating something she wants then she sits with great aplomb:)

Beryl Sitting
Me with Louie and Lucy
Greyhound sitting, Greyhounds can sit, Can Greyhounds sit
Asher is a natural sitter!

5. Greyhounds can’t be trained for obedience, agility etc.

I call Greyhounds ‘why’ dogs. If you ask a Greyhound to jump it won’t say “sure, how high?” It will say “why, what’s in it for me”. And there are plenty of breeds of dogs with this attitude. While it makes them a challenge to train it also makes them very good at problem solving as they aren’t afraid to think for themselves.

There are a couple of blogs written by owners of very high achieving Greyhounds with plenty of training tips and videos. Never Say Never Greyhounds and Aragon Greyhounds take great pleasure in training their Greyhounds and it shows in the way they perform so happily:)

Another blog chock full of training tips for the “why” dog is Honey The Great Dane. Great Danes aren’t normally associated with obedience and while Honey doesn’t compete she does do ‘doggy dancing’ and demonstrations. She’s had articles written about her in magazines and her owner, Hsin-Yi, writes articles for pet magazines about training and various other topics. There are many suggestions for training your “why” dog for polite behaviour in every day life. Her training tips are full of common sense and ingenuity. Sometimes you have to be quite clever yourself to outwit a “why” dog …. perhaps that’s where I fall short, lol!!

6. Greyhounds can’t be off lead except in fenced areas.

This is a very contentious issue amongst Greyhound owners. I have only owned a Greyhound for 10 1/2 months so I’m no expert. I was told this before I got Beryl and I very nearly didn’t get a Greyhound just because of this. But if you look at my photos and videos you will very rarely see Beryl on lead. There are quite a few things to do before and after taking the plunge to unleash your Greyhound. Recall training begins at home! And never ends:) I always carry high value treats with me and whether I call Beryl or if she’s just hanging with me on our walks she gets treats. I never take it for granted that she comes, it’s always a big deal:) I never call her when I’m going to do something she doesn’t like, e.g give her a bath or have her toenails done. In those instances I go and get her. I am extremely vigilant when at the park, river or beach. I’m the one that’s doing the scanning, not her! I’m looking for little dogs mostly, but anything that may cause her to take off. Beryl is good with little dogs but if I had a little dog I wouldn’t want a comparatively huge dog racing up to my baby at 40 mph!! It is important to be a responsible Greyhound owner (and dog owner!) as we want people to realise they are wonderful pets, not give them a bad name. You have to know your dog, and this takes time.

I’m still learning about Beryl. I’m going to confess that at the beach last night (yes, the 3rd trip to the beach in just over a week!) Beryl went AWOL on the way back to the cars!! This is the first time she has ever done such a thing. She’d chased a rabbit on the way to the beach but came back quickly enough. When we were walking back to the cars she was wandering in and out of the scrub on either side of the ‘road’ and when we were almost back to the cars she just didn’t turn up after a few calls. We waited for a while then Fatima and I went back to where we’d last seen her and found a narrow track which we followed for a while and met her coming back towards us. Only Beryl knows where she went or what she followed! So she has now lost off lead privileges on the walk to and from the beach. She is not going to be happy about that, especially on the walk to the beach! Being off leash isn’t a right, or something she can take for granted either, it has to be earned and she slipped up last night.

She Did Have a Wonderful Time Though:)

7. Just some of the advantages to owning a Greyhound:)

Most Greyhounds are good with children, some are besotted with children, some would rather live without them. This applies to all dogs though. Beryl would rather live without them but she hasn’t met many. Children need to be trained to treat a dog with respect to avoid any potential problems.

Greyhounds are very adaptable. You are virtually getting a blank slate when you get an ex-racing Greyhound. They don’t know how to be a pet and as they are intelligent they soon learn the rules. Some will have to be shown how to walk up steps, they won’t know who the other dog in the mirror is, sliding glass doors are new to them etc. But it’s fun watching them learn about life as a pet:) House training is generally a breeze.

While Greyhounds do shed it isn’t in copious amounts. They have very little oil in their coats so doggy odour is at a minimum and they are a good choice of dog for people with allergies. And that lovely short coat is so easy to keep looking good!! Having such a short coat and lack of body fat means they appreciate and need a coat (or 2 or 3!) during the winter. This is wonderful for people who like to dress their dogs up, you don’t have to have a handbag sized dog to have a dressed up dog:) And then there are all the stunning martingale collars available. Beryl has quite a few!

25 Responses

  1. […] to content HomeAbout UsAwards/Blogroll/LinksGreyhound TopicsMuzzles and MoreRequired Reading?Some Greyhound Myths Search […]

  2. 47
    | Reply

    I came over here specifically to see a greyhound sitting. Wow! They CAN sit! O.O

  3. Elizabth Beni
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    I adopted a medium sized terrier mix from a shelter. He is wonderful, but he can’t sit (although he does it very well for cheese!). Then someone said, “He looks like he is part sight hound.” That explains everything, the prancing steps, the incredible running speed, the funny sitting style. Thanks for the photos!

  4. Helen/Aragon
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    Excellent post! I can’t count the number of times I have heard all of these comments.
    Have you heard the one-they must not eat much they are so skinny?
    And thanks for the comment on my blog. My dogs do like to work/perform.

  5. Human Rescues Dog
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    I LOVE, love, love greyhounds but I already have two dogs and can’t get another one. So in the interim, I stalk gorgeous photos of greyhounds, like these ones on your blog :) Thanks for giving me the opportunity to daydream about one day owning my own.

  6. Human Rescues Dog
    | Reply

    PS I have linked to this article in my post “Greyhound…The Most Beautiful Dog In The World?”. I hope you don’t mind.

  7. […] as apartment dogs for these reasons. Unfortunately, myths get propagated about them.  Look at this wonderful blog post that clears up some of the […]

  8. Tash
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    I have to admit I didnt know that greyhounds cant sit as mine whoes with me since 8 weeks old sits at his own leisure (admittedly, given a chance he is landing his skinny backside on something soft) and by command… But he is grown up with my other dog so may be just learnt from him…

  9. darkwolf
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    I train my retired racers. They have a small repitoire of tricks. But please don’t risk your grey on walks back to the car. One adopter had her dogs for years, let them out of the garage, and usually they go right to the car. Except one day they decided to haul butt. Luckily they were caught at a gas station two miles away but they could’ve been hit by a car and who knows how many other things. They can see so much farther than a human, I really wouldn’t advise anyone to risk a grey off lead no matter how well they think know them.

  10. Carol Lafon
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    Muzzleing a dog for more than an hour or so can be dangerous.I would suggest muzzling for short periods and then separating the cat and greyhound or small animal until they get used to each other.

  11. Phyllis
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    Hi,

    I adopted my first greyhound after losing my “heart dog”, Princess in April. Clint will be 4 years old in October and is very sweet and easy going.

    I’ve visited your blog many times and want to ask…what happened to Beryl’s tail???

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      Hi Phyllis, thanks for visiting us so much! Don’t be a stranger, feel free to comment :) Rather than tell the whole sorry saga of Beryl’s tail here I’ll give you a link to a blog post I did about it, and the next post carries on with the tail saga! http://greyhoundscansit.com/2011/03/tale-of-a-tail/ I don’t miss her tail any more, I don’t think she ever did, lol. And I don’t have to worry about slamming it in the car door … but I still wish she had it! I had a look at your blog, Princess looked lovely and she made a great age. So sorry for your loss. Well done on adopting a Greyhound though! I’d love another one but I’m enjoying fostering when I can. Give Clint a hug for us.

  12. applemoon
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    I love Greyhounds. I volunteered @ an animal shelter and there were 2 greyhounds. I would have to force them to go for a walk and after they went to the bathroom they wanted to go back inside. I loved being with them so sometimes I would make them sit in the yard with me and play with them. Sometimes when the female would get excited she would nibble on me. Greyhounds are one of my favorite breeds the fact that they are so lazy makes them so cute. Your post is cute I love how much dog owners love there dogs it’s just so awesome to read so thank you.

  13. Darcelle Popoff
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    I have a smile reading of your beach experiences. I lost two dogs in the past 5 years with great sadness from this home. I had a dog trainer tell me that just because I am a free spirit, does not mean that I can expect that nor Want THAT from my dogs but I will argue that till the end. When I see your posts I realize I must work on obedience today !! Thank you so much

  14. Paul
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    This is my first post on this site and I must say I love the enthusiasm shown by the many owners. Just thought I would throw in my few pence worth by saying that it is possible to teach your greyhound to sit, although it does not paper to be a position that is comfortable for them if my girl “Dream” is anything to go by.

    She is a retired and rescued racer who became a member of the family at three years of age and is now approaching ,nine years old. During this time she has learned to sit and has become very successful at Staying-put on command. I can have her lay down on d with a firm command to stay, can walk at least a quarter of a mile from her without her budging an inch (even when approached by other dogs and people. When called from a distance I have to be careful that there are no other folk (particularly children in the shortest line between her and myself) she responds instantly and dashes excitedly to me at 40 mph! This has been achieved by starting with a very short distance between us and giving a tasty reward when she arrives after a short wait. Gradually, the distance and wait time can be increased since as others have commented, Grey hounds are “thinking” dogs and with patience and appropriate tasty rewards,it does not take long for the “penny to drop!” If she ever left the wait position without being given a command to “come”, I simply always returned her to her original position without a reward and tried again.

    Whilst attempting this exercise in our local Country Park (480 acres!), I was approached by a professional dog trainer who commented that “you will never train a greyhound to “stay on command” they do not have the intelligence!….imagine my delight when some two months later on meeting him when he asked me where “Dream” was and I told him to look into the distance some (five hundred yards away) where she was awaiting my call and on calling her she responded like a streak of lightning and promptly arrived at high speed….he looked more than a little embarrassed….it gave me so much pleasure…….with enough patience, rewards and kindness your grey hound will surprise you with what he/she can do…even if I still can’t get her to take any interest in chasing a ball….perhaps if I disguise it as a rabbit…..now there’s a thought!!

  15. Tiffany Dryburgh
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    Thank you so much for number 6 myth in particular! I have had my beautiful boy Buddy for a bit over 18 months. He is not only my first greyhound, he is my first dog. At first I bought into the never let him off lead thing. In fact they actually made me sign an agreement that I would never under any circs let my greyhound off lead when I adopted him. It is also actually against the law in the state of Victoria, Australia where we are so I never thought I would. However, after seeing how much the other dog love to run and play free in the park it really seemed such a shame. So after a few months we started slowly by only letting him off at a local fenced off dog beach always making sure to call him back for treats every now and then and also always having two of us there, one at either end, so he was always running between the two of us. After about 6 months of that I then started to let him off at the local dog park where I had been taking him religiously every day around the same time getting to know a wonderful group of locals. When he’d first come to live with us he didn’t even seem to recognise dogs other than greyhounds as dogs! So, even though I never let him off leash, I made sure he had lots of time to get to know other dogs and he now has lots of friends in the park. Anyway, when I first started letting him off in the park for very short periods he would still just stand near to me as if he was still on the lead! He now has a little wander and loves to interact with the his friends but he still rarely plays which is good really as his play style is rather obnoxious as he tends to rush at his playmates scaring many of them off. He doesn’t seem to understand doggy play rules and he absolutely does not understand the ‘play bow’! So I spend a lot of time making sure he only plays with dogs who don’t mind his style and can take him on. When he does run though he runs mostly in large circles around me and always comes back to me for a big cuddle and big drink. And then a lie down! Wow, sorry for such a long post but I was so relived to hear someone else felt the same as me! I have spent a lot of trawling all sorts of greyhound sites and always come away feeling like such a bad mother! Apparently I do everything wrong, down to having the wrong lead! I just think it’s much the same as having any other kind off dog, you need to know your dog and make sure he/she understand what is expected. Surely, any dog is capable of getting it wrong and running off and into trouble. I appreciate of course that most dogs aren’t as fast and won’t get as far as quickly but we really live our lives expecting the worst at every moment? Life is miserable lived that way and not just in respect to dogs. All we can do is take all sensible precautions and enjoy the fun while it’s there. It could be me who gets hit by a bus tomorrow and I want to be happy if I do! PS. Buddy can sit too! :-)

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      Hey Tiffany, you probably won’t get this as you haven’t left any contact details but I just wanted to say you sound like a pretty good Greyhound/dog owner to me :) I know if I asked Beryl whether she’d rather live for 15 years in bubble wrap with virtually no chance of injury or take her chances tearing around in the sand dunes after rabbits and risk injury and a shorter life she’d go for the sand dunes! She’s doing what she was bred to do and loving every minute. Keep up the good work with Buddy :)

      • Tiffany Dryburgh
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        Thank you! I know I don’t want to live my life safely wrapped in cotton wool and I know Buddy is a very happy dog so I think I’m going to stop trawling greyhound websites! A lot of people on those sites take their dogs to slipping tracks to let them run but I just can’t bear the thought of taking him back to anything resembles his previous life. He utterly adores running on the beach so bugger the law and bugger the nay-sayers! Thanks again :-)

        • Greyhounds CAN Sit
          | Reply

          I hope you’ll keep coming back to mine :) It’s all about knowing your dog and being very careful and aware of your surroundings. I don’t let Beryl (or Frankie, my non-GH) off leash just anywhere. They both love to hunt and I’m lucky enough to have access to a huge area where we rarely see any people, dogs or vehicles. As long as there is no possibility they could hurt something they shouldn’t then I’m prepared to take the risk that they may hurt themselves …. touching wood!!!

  16. Ruth Fridhandler
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    Our dear departed Luke loved running on the beach more than anything in the world. When he got to the beach, he would spin in circles while still in his leash. Then he’d take off running on the wet sand – it was a sight of pure joy. He’d sprint 250 meters down the beach to visit a little white dog that he’d spotted with his keen sight, then stop and we’d catch up. His recall sucked but because he’d sprint, then stop, we always managed to keep up with him. Then we got him a herding dog to go get him. They were a perfect match.

  17. Doug
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    My Greyhound Cleaver is 11 and his teeth are bad what should be done, ex racing name ( Clever Move)

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      Hi Doug, I’d suggest taking him to your vet and getting his teeth examined. He probably needs a dental … make sure your vet is aware Greyhounds are sensitive to anaesthetic and require special care when being put under! Good luck!

  18. Dianne Walshd
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    Hi, I am new to the greyhound world. I did my homework of course visiting every greyhound related site I could find before adopting a retired racer, the very loveable 3 year old Harry. It’s been three weeks now and he has wormed his way into mine and my husband’s hearts. We’ve always had dogs but never an inside dog and so far he’s turned our quiet lives upside down although not in a bad way. Our last dog was a ‘much loved lab who died last year aged 15. I recently retired and decided I could give a home to a retired racing greyhound and now had the time to train him hence Harry’s adoption. He was pretty anxious at first but settled in after a few days with lots of petting and gentle praise.
    Training started straight away. I use a clicker and rewards and already he can
    Come- although I am not brave enough to let him off lead outside of our garden
    Sit – a work in progress but he is getting it sometimes even though some people say they can’t do this.
    Stop- handy at crossroads on our walks or if we run into someone we know
    Heel- can’t claim that one, he was already good at this
    Leave it- he responds immediately but it took a week of constant effort and it’s a command I need to use constantly as he is a mischief
    Drop- not yet
    Wait- at meal times he waits politely and he stands quietly when putting on his leash, coat or muzzle
    Stay- only does when lying down and I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to come
    Off couch- responds to that well and hasn’t sat on the furniture ( that I’ve seen) for the last week.
    On your bed- still working on that
    Stairs- he can go up but down is a work in progress so the stairs are blocked off until he’s comfortable and safe coming down
    Fetch- with a squeaky toy and for the first half dozen throws and then he gets his toy, takes it inside and places it on his bed. I am sure he’s laughing at me and saying “that’s a stupid game anyway”
    He loves affection, attention, grandchildren, family members, visitors, squeaky toys, comfy bed, and of course food. He’s a pretty strong willed dog but I am strong willed also and luckily he is very intelligent so is working that one out. I think we are progressing famously and thanks to helpful sites such as yours we will continue to do so. I am so glad we have our giant puppy in our lives. Cheers Di

    • Greyhounds CAN Sit
      | Reply

      Hi Dianne, welcome to the world of Greyhound addicts, lol! Wow, you’re doing really well with training Harry! I’m impressed and jealous. Have you been to http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com yet? The best Greyhound site on the internet for training help and learning about the GH psyche. I hope you’ll keep visiting us, you won’t learn anything but hopefully you’ll see some pretty photos :) Cheers, Sue

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