Busting 4 Myths About Greyhounds (And Why They Make Such Great Pets!)

Greyhounds are the talk of the dog world at the moment, however we think they can often be a little misunderstood. To set the record straight, we’ve put together our take on four common myths surrounding the beautiful Greyhound breed, and why adopting one into your home might be the best decision you could ever make!

I hated seeing Greyhounds being used for racing, but surely this still means they’re naturally super active and need loads and loads of exercise?

We don’t blame you for thinking that Greyhounds would need loads of exercise and have an endless supply of energy, given all that running they’ve been forced to do in the past. However, the key word here is definitely ‘forced’. The Greyhounds used in the racing industry were usually trained from birth to run – it wasn’t necessarily what they needed to be doing every day. In fact, it was quite the opposite!

Greyhounds don’t need any more exercise than any other standard dog breed to be kept happy and healthy. As long as they’re taken for two walks everyday they’ll be more than happy to just stroll along with you.

Don’t think that if you have a Greyhound you’ll be running around with her for hours and hours.

I know it’s the law for Greyhounds to wear muzzles in public. This is because they’re really aggressive, right? 

Currently, it is a legal requirement for all Greyhounds to wear muzzles when they’re in public, unless they’ve been exempted through a recognised assessment program, such as Greenhounds. However, this law was born out of the racing industry, and is an extension of the Greyhound racing rules for race dogs living and being trained within the community. This rule is an example of Breed Specific Legislation, as it’s been put in place based on breed, rather than each dog’s individual behaviour. We think this is pretty unfair, as there’s no evidence to show that Greyhounds pose more risk to the public than any other type of dog!

When people see Greyhounds out in public and they’re always wearing a muzzle, it contributes to the perception that they’re dangerous, or aggressive, or snappy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Greyhounds are generally friendly and have quiet, loving dispositions, making them the perfect pet. Thankfully, compulsory muzzling requirements are currently under legal review.

They need massive backyards to run around in, right?

Contrary to belief, Greyhounds often don’t need a lot of space, so might make the perfect dog for apartments or small houses. Of course every dog will have different levels of energy, but in general greyhounds love to sleep, and enjoy nothing more than just curling up on the couch with you. As long as they’ve got a private spot in the house or apartment to call their own, they don’t need a big backyard. They’re also very quiet dogs, so don’t tend to bark or vocalise very much, especially when they’re comfortably at home. This should keep your neighbours happy!

I’ve heard retired greyhounds have problems with toilet training and learning how to socialise with other dogs. Can they ever get better at this?

If you’re thinking about making the decision to adopt a retired greyhound, congratulations. You might have just started the most rewarding and feel-good journey of your life! Greyhounds can, and do, make great pets.

Unfortunately, retired racing Greyhounds can sometimes have issues with socialising with other animals and people. They’ve been through a traumatic experience, and often haven’t been given the care and training they need to know how to behave properly. But there’s absolutely nothing to say that you can’t work with them to help them improve and live a happy life with you.

Being gentle, slow and encouraging and doing daily training with your Greyhound (including steady and careful exposure to other people and animals) will build up their confidence and make them more likely to be friendly. If you’re still having trouble after a couple of months or your Greyhound is starting to become more fearful, consult with a veterinary behaviour specialist to see what can be done. Remember, your furry friend won’t necessarily have grown up in a home environment, so you can’t expect them to automatically know how to behave in one.

In terms of toileting, teaching your greyhound to go where you want him to go doesn’t have to be hard. Most dogs want to go after they wake up or after eating, so recognise the signs (whimpering, scratching at the door, walking around a lot etc.) and show him where he should go. Remember to always use lots of positive words and praise. Never punish your Greyhound if he makes a mess inside – patience is key. And of course, always give him plenty of opportunity to go to the toilet in the correct place. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!

All in all, adopting a furry family member into your home is an amazing experience, and Greyhounds are a great option! They’re quiet, affectionate, minimal fuss and always there for a cuddle when you get home from work.