Greyhounds are an intelligent and affectionate breed. Although people associate them with their speed, retired racing greyhounds tend to be big couch potatoes and are calm-natured. They’re patient with small children, generally get along well with other pets, and rarely bark. Their overall level of shedding is low. They adapt quickly to new environments and settle into homes in a short period of time. For larger dogs, they have a long lifespan—on average living to 10-13 years.
When you adopt a racing greyhound, there are a few things you can do to make the transition easier:
- Due to the narrow shape of a greyhound’s head, you want to use a martingale collar, which is designed to prevent the dog from slipping free without being too tight. Leashes are needed outside of fenced areas—about six feet is a good length. (Retractable leashes are not recommended because of the noise if they’re accidentally dropped, which could startle the greyhound into running.)
- It’s recommended that you have greyhound micro-chipped by a veterinarian for identification. Racing greyhounds also have ear tattoos with letters and numbers based on the kennel where they were raised. This can be recorded by your vet and used as a secondary form of ID if your greyhound is ever lost.
- Fences need to be solid barriers—not just hedges or split-rails. Electronic fencing can be ignored if the greyhound is focused on a chase. It’s rare for a greyhound to jump a fence, but about five feet is a recommended minimum height.
- Food bowls can be raised on platforms to meet the greyhound’s height. Since they respond well to routine, a regular schedule for feeding is helpful. Keep food available for about 30 minutes before removing it until the next meal time. Two smaller meals a day is better than one large one.
- Have a large wire crate (recommended 48” deep by 30” wide by 36” tall) to serve as a place of safety for the greyhound as it adapts to your home. Line the crate with soft padding.
- Greyhounds often have no initial experience with children and small animals, so supervision will be needed in early meetings.
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