Today, we are asking Are Greyhounds Good Family Pets. And also attempting to answer another bunch of home-related questions about these fabulous dogs.
So, if you are really interested in greyhounds like I am (I have owned 4) then read on!
We are going to attempt to answer some of the common questions that a prospective new owner may well ask about these loveable hounds that have sometimes had a pretty poor start in life.
Also, we are going to keep things simple so no jargon or extensively over-explained or technical stuff either.
You want to be able to get the answers quickly and easily!
One question frequently asked is if these dogs can adapt to life in a home alongside us and also if there are children in the home.
These are perfectly understandable questions and they are easily answered too.
Do Greyhounds make good family dogs?
Table Of Contents
- Do Greyhounds make good family dogs?
- Are Greyhounds Good With Children?
- Can Greyhounds Be Aggressive?
- What are some ways to tell if a Greyhound is happy?
- When greyhounds chatter their teeth, what does it mean?
- How does a Greyhound show affection?
- Can you leave a Greyhound alone all day?
- 1. Greyhounds are not suited to be left alone all-day
- 2. They need at least a couple of hours of exercise per day
- 3. The dog needs mental stimulation as well as physical activity to keep them happy and healthy
- 4. It is best for the dog if they have someone that can come home in the middle of the day for an hour or two to take care of them.
- 5. If you must leave your pup alone, make sure there is water and food available, along with plenty of toys and blankets.
- In summary
Greyhounds are sighthounds as we know and they instinctively have that in-built chase mechanism in their DNA.
That’s not to say they are all like that. They are not.
I only have ever let any of my dogs off-leash in a safe and secure area where there are no other dogs around.
This has served me well. It’s well worth following that piece of advice because if they start to run off you have ZERO chance of them coming back unless they have excellent recall training..and with a greyhound, this can be extremely difficult to attain.
Are Greyhounds Good With Children?
In my experience, they are superb with children.
I have seen my greys be very curious of babies and small children and is always a positive and “sniff, sniff..what is that?” manner.
They have always been super affectionate toward children and often this is because they see them as much smaller than they are and this must be a factor. Greyhounds really love humans!
As I always say, with all interactions between your dogs and children, and especially small ones, supervision by yourself must take place until you are sure everything is OK and again, until your child understands how to treat a dog, any dog for that matter, correctly.
Greyhounds are especially used to their own breed and also humans as they have had very little to do with other breeds for much of their lives, it’s one of the reasons they adapt so well to us as owners.
They are huge in the affectionate range of dogs!
Can Greyhounds Be Aggressive?
In short, yes they can be.
I have witnessed my latest dog chase and injure a cat and a smaller dog.
It is important to remember what many Greyhounds were bred for. Racing.
In this, they are taught to chase a small electric-powered hare around a track with the intention of catching it and killing it. Tearing it apart actually. It’s grim stuff.
A retire and rescued grey will most likely have that burned into their DNA and it’s a devil to detrain that instinct.
Animals such as rabbits, cats, squirrels, chickens, etc. will be chased by a greyhound and, if caught, killed by them.
This is just the way they are programmed and this has been happening for thousands of years because that is how sighthounds are. It’s natural for them.
It’s up to YOU as a responsible owner to minimalize the opportunities they get to do this.
They can be wary of people at first as they may well have been on the receiving end of harsh treatment by their previous owners, so it’s important to factor all of this in.
The best way to rehome a rescue dog is to let them get used to you and your home slowly and get them to build up trust in you and your family.
This can be an overwhelming factor in rehoming an ex-racing Greyhound.
You have to introduce positive nurture over their negative nature.
This can take time and my most recent greyhound, Wilson, took around 3 months before he could really feel comfortable with things like cuddles, checking him physically for bites, ticks, or scratches, and having his nails clipped.
Remembering that all dogs are individuals is vital whatever the breed.
What are some ways to tell if a Greyhound is happy?
When greyhounds chatter their teeth, what does it mean?
Chattering teeth is when they’re happy, and it’s quite loud.
Additionally, they will do it when they anticipate something good like getting fed or going for a walk, or just having your undivided attention.
How does a Greyhound show affection?
It really is one of the best feelings when you are going about your business at home and all of a sudden you feel your greyhound essentially, leaning into you.
It happens all the time with my boy and I never tire of knowing that I mean a lot to him.
Is it love?
I don’t know, but it is with great certainty that I can say it must be the canine equivalent!
Can you leave a Greyhound alone all day?
My own personal take on this is that it’s not great to leave any dog alone all day.
I don’t do it with my boy Wilson as I know he really suffers from separation anxiety.
Here is a useful 5 point checklist
1. Greyhounds are not suited to be left alone all-day
You can easily be creating a lot more problems for yourself by leaving your dog alone. They struggle to understand this. They are pack animals and need to know you are around.
It is extremely important to remember these three things:
A greyhound’s upbringing is unlike any other dog’s.
When you leave your dog alone for the first time in its life, it may be the first time it has ever been alone.
Greyhounds frequently suffer from separation anxiety, which is understandable.
2. They need at least a couple of hours of exercise per day
The fact that won’t be able to relieve themselves and will be getting extra nervous and worried because you are gone will only result in them going to the toilet through stress. And this is not pleasant for them or for you when you get back in and have to do the clean-up!
3. The dog needs mental stimulation as well as physical activity to keep them happy and healthy
Just having you within sight or sound is enough for their mental health to be in a relaxed state. A dog that is relaxed and happy will be a better dog. Simple eh?
4. It is best for the dog if they have someone that can come home in the middle of the day for an hour or two to take care of them.
But this isn’t always possible.
If you can’t organize this then I urge you to use doggy daycare at a local, well-run kennel near where you live.
These places are worth their weight in gold and for around $15 a day, they can provide a great service that your dog will benefit from and you will know that they are safe and happy and not wrecking your home or worse.
5. If you must leave your pup alone, make sure there is water and food available, along with plenty of toys and blankets.
Some Greyhounds can get used to being left and if they can, then great. Just make sure that you leave them with adequate comfort.
As I say, it’s not best practice to ever leave your dog alone for long periods but I understand that you might have no choice.
So, what we have touched on here is all about them being the right fit for your home and the people in it.
I love Greyhounds and of course, I am a bit biased but if you give one a chance in your home they will be a wonderful addition to you and your family.
They love kids and are such relaxing guys to have in your home and heart.
You have to be extremely mindful if you have cats and smaller fluffy pets though.
And as long as you try to tune into their needs, wants, and fears then you will be just fine.
So hopefully, those of you who want to know Are Greyhounds Good Family Pets will now have a little more knowledge about them and if they are the right choice for your home.