Greyhounds – Interview with an owner

Greyhounds: The Best Couch Potato?

What do you think of when you imagine Greyhounds?  Do you think of them racing around a track at a million miles an hour?  Maybe you imagine them chasing (and killing) small furry animals?  Perhaps you think they would not be at all suitable as a family pet?  Well you’d be wrong, as Becca can explain:

“Greyhounds are brilliant for first time owners as they are gentle, loving and relatively low maintenance! There’s a preconception that they need loads of exercise, but they are described as 30mph couch potatoes – this is so true! They are the laziest dog you will ever meet. Greyhounds are more like cats than dogs.  They love to sleep all day and will demand fuss.”

GreyhoundsChoosing the right breed

Becca says she’d been desperate for a dog for as long as she could remember and luckily, when she met her husband, he was persuaded he would like one too!  They wanted something that would fit into their lifestyle, but were also keen on getting a rescue dog.  Becca’s godmother had a Lurcher and this is what started her interest in sighthounds.  She did some research and felt Greyhounds were perfect for them.

There are so many Greyhounds needing homes, as they are often retired young after racing (if they even race at all) and are either euthanised or end up in rescues.  Greyhounds are part of the Hound group of dog breeds, (see Types of dog).  They are a healthy breed, as they have been around for a long time.  They generally live for around 12 years.

“They’re great for older people looking for a companion as they don’t need miles and miles of walking and they’re quiet and gentle. This also works for families with children or people who want a dog, but don’t have hours and hours of time to dedicate to exercise or don’t want a really high maintenance breed.”

GreyhoundsSettling In

Sora arrived with Becca and Neil around 6 years ago, arriving just after they bought their first home.   She took a few days to settle into a routine and learn what their routine was, but after a bit it was like she’d always been with them.  Basil came as a ‘foster’ but he chose them as his forever home, and again, felt like he’d always been part of the family.

Great for working homes

Although I would not normally recommend people who work full time to get a dog, Greyhounds are a good choice if this is your situation, because they are so lazy!  Becca says

“We both work full time so we needed a dog that would be ok with being left for a few hours (with a walk in the middle of the day). Sora was perfect, as long as she’d had a walk in the morning and was taken out midday, the rest of the time she just slept. Neil now works from home, but they still sleep all day! The best thing about them is that they will walk for as long or as short as you’re happy to do. “

Becca and Neil took their Greyhounds with them on their honeymoon to the Lake District and walked for hours each day, which they adored.  Equally they will settle down after a 20 min walk when you’re pushed for time or the weather is vile.

Love sponges

Becca describes her Greyhounds as ‘love sponges’; they just want to be with you and be loved!  Sora thinks every visitor to the house is there to see her specifically. Poor Basil was abused and is very wary of new people, but he adores Becca and Neil.  He is the most loving, special boy, despite everything he’s been through. They are so gentle, very respectful of you and other dogs and generally very placid.

GreyhoundsSora doesn’t like bouncy dogs and will tell them off, but in the politest way possible.  Greyhounds will give you hugs by leaning on you! Becca says she has never known other breeds to do this and it makes her smile every time she meets one! (Busy does this too by the way :p)

“Greyhounds are like skinny Labradors in that they are food obsessed! They are also the biggest drama queens you will ever meet. If you are owned by a Greyhound, you will be aware of the scream of death!”

A minor hurt or injury (such as accidentally treading on them) will elicit the most blood-curdling scream from them.  It is horrifying when you first hear it and they will always do it in public!

The prey drive

The prey drive in Greyhounds can be very strong and this is to be expected due to their breeding.  That being said, many Greyhounds live with cats and Becca’s two live with chickens! They pretty much ignore them now, although she wouldn’t trust them not to chase if the chickens got out .

“We have to be aware of small furry things when out on walks as cats are still quite interesting for them. We never let them off lead except in enclosed spaces.”

They’re happy with this and don’t need to be let off.  On the other hand, it is fabulous watching them run! Becca and Neil took them to a beach in Norfolk and thought they’d successfully tired them out, until they started trotting off down the beach together.  They then decided to race each other and disappeared off over the horizon!

GreyhoundsThey have very selective hearing; once they get excited and start to run/chase something they will go deaf.   You have to be aware of  the front door being open and the dogs being around in case they spot something they want to chase…

Words of advice

Becca says she would get a Greyhound again in a heartbeat; she can’t imagine having any other type!  They would always go for an ex-racer.  There are so many needing homes.

“The best piece of advice I would give myself is to give myself time, let them settle and don’t panic if they’re a bit stressed or make messes when they first arrive. They will settle, find their feet and becomes the most loved member of your family that you can’t imagine being without. Be prepared to lose your sofa (as they are a large breed).  Hide anything edible – they will find it and they will eat it!”

GreyhoundsAs always, I am incredibly grateful to Becca for giving us such a clear insight into owning these adorable dogs.

Ask for help?

I hope you have enjoyed my insight into owning Greyhounds?  Please comment and share your views and experiences?  What breed would you like to know about?  Or do you have a breed of dog and would like to share your views on living with your dog?  Please CONTACT ME to let me know?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice?  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.


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