The Greyhound's Physical Characteristics
Greyhounds have no fat layer on their bodies which makes them sensitive to winter cold or rain. If outside for more than a short time in bad weather, they should be protected with a coat. No dog should be left outside in the cold. They are not barkers by nature, but will bark if excited or trying to tell you something like needing to go out.
Animal anthropologists generally agree that the Greyhound-type dog is one of the seminal canine breeds from which virtually all domestic dogs descend. They can be traced back over 8000 years through early cave drawings and decorative artifacts. The distinguishable modern Greyhounds are descendants of an ancient identifiable breed that goes back to the Egyptians and Celts.
The Egyptians worshipped Greyhounds as gods and frequently showed them on murals in the tombs of kings. In old England, you could tell a gentleman by his horses and his Greyhounds. Old paintings and tapestries showing hunting feasts frequently included Greyhounds.
Legend has it that Cleopatra had coursing Greyhounds and Greyhounds are the goddess Diana's hunting hounds. Modern history has been replete with famous Greyhound owners including Frederick the Great, Prince Albert, and Generals Von Steuben and Custer.
What is their demeanor?
Generally greyhounds are quizzical, sometimes shy, very sensitive and surprisingly gentle. They possess superior intelligence, and can exhibit a quiet but surprising independence. Greyhounds do not typically bite but sometimes show affection as a wolf does with mouth agape, gently grasping. They will lick your hand, too. They show affection with their whole body and may rub up like a cat or lean against you.
Given their past lives, how long do they take to bond with people?
Greyhounds are very friendly and thrive on human companionship. Bonding is usually accomplished in a matter of days.
Do they housebreak easily?
The greyhound's crated life is conducive to easy housebreaking because they are accustomed to being let out to relieve themselves several times a day. Almost all ex-racers are "kennel trained" - they do not "mess" where they live.
Are Greyhounds good with other pets?
Greyhounds are friendly by nature and socialize well as a result of their exposure to other greyhounds at the racing kennels. However, common sense must be exercised during the introductory period and with regards to food, treats, bones or special toys. Feeding separately is always recommended in any multi-pet household.
How about cats?
Most greyhounds can be placed with cats and live peacefully together. It is important, however to follow the advice of your adoption counselor.
Why do greyhounds have to remain on a leash?
Every responsible dog owner keeps his dog on a leash, regardless of breed, near roads or moving hazards. Since greyhounds are "sight hounds", and can see almost 1/2 mile away, they may run after something you cannot distinguish. With speeds over 40 miles an hour in a matter of seconds, it is quite easy for them to get lost.
Are females or males better pets?
Males and females make equally good companions and housetrain equally fast. The females are generally more independent and the males are somewhat more affectionate; but, if you speak with other greyhound owners, they will confirm there is not a lot of difference, as it really just depends on the dog.
Do greyhounds require a lot of exercise?
They enjoy but are not dependent on moderate exercise. They may make good jogging partners after proper conditioning. In most households, the shared experience of a brisk walk is enough to keep both the walker and the greyhound fit and healthy.
Are greyhounds hyperactive?
NO! The most common misconception about greyhounds is that a dog which is capable of great athletic skill is a dog who must be in perpetual motion. In reality they are quite lazy and enjoy lounging with the family. (Does the term "Couch Potato" explain it better?)