Is a Greyhound the right dog for You?The Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world, but this aptitude for speed can have a tragic downside. Once a dog doesn't make the grade, or starts to lose too many races, the tendency has been to put the dog down.
Fortunately, dog lovers have responded, and today there are many hundreds of Greyhound adoption groups throughout the world who re-home these likeable dogs.
These charming dogs can, and do make wonderful pets. They are sweet natured and intelligent. If you do decide that you would like to adopt an abandoned ex-racer there are a few problems that you need to consider.
Racing Greyhounds are trained to chase down a mechanical hare. Sometimes these dogs can't always distinguish between a hare--a cat, or a small dog.
Also these are adult dogs, housebreaking wasn't part of their training. Do speak to the rescue people about the problems that you are likely to face when adopting one of these dogs. Re-training them is not a major problem, and well worth the effort.
Dogs resembling Greyhounds have been discovered on 4000 year old Egyptian tombs. They are refered to as early as 1016 in England, and were first used for hunting by English noblemen. Racing them came later.
Eventually the crossed the Atlantic to America, where their owners started to popularise the new sport. The breed was quickly recognised by the American Kennel Club, and classified them as a member of the Hound Group.
They are powerfully built dogs. The weigh in at 60-70 lbs, and stand 26-30 inches in height. Long legged and narrow bodied, this breed is all muscle. Dark eyed, with a long, whip like tail, its sleek coat can come in almost any color.
Grooming is an easy task as they are short coated, and reasonably light shedders. A brisk brush and combing through once a week to remove loose hair and dirt is sufficient.
As fast as Greyhounds are, they are not the most energetic of dogs. Indoors they are real lazy-bones making it hard to believe the incredible stamina that they have inherited. Apartment life is okay for this breed, but a fenced yard would be better.
A brisk, daily walk, and some off of the lead romps where there is no danger of traffic will keep your dog in good condition.
If you decide to buy a puppy he/she is going to need training. Puppy obedience classes are a good idea. Socializing your puppy as frequently as possible is important, since they have a tendency to be a bit shy around people they don't know.
You will need to feed him a quality dog food. These dogs are prone to bloat, so do not allow him to overeat. Healthwise, 2-3 small meals are much better for him, than one large meal.
A good vitamin supplement is also recommended for these dogs. Otherwise, they are a relatively healthy breed.
This is a friendly, sociable breed. They rarely bark, love family life, and are very playful. Snuggling up on the sofa beside their owners is Greyhound heaven. They enjoy playing with children and can be very gentle with them.
They get on well with, and will happily play with other dogs. But, you will need to keep a close eye on him if you have other small pets, as the prey instinct is still strong in this breed.
Owning one of these dogs can be a real pleasure. However, you must be prepared to understand the traits of the Greyhound. If you do, you will be rewarded with a loyal companion, and a truly devoted family pet.