Greyhound and Adoption Frequently Asked Questions

Related links: Available for Adoption · Our Special Needs Hounds · About Greyhounds · About Adoption · After Adoption

Until one has been adopted and loved by a greyhound, a part of one's soul remains asleep.
-- Author Unknown

What qualities make a racing greyhound a good pet?
They are friendly, affectionate, gentle, quiet, sweet, loyal, clean, loving, sensitive, trusting and good natured.

How long will it take for an adult greyhound to bond with the new owner and adjust to life as a pet?
Greyhounds are very friendly and thrive on human companionship. Consequently, bonding is usually established within a matter of days, and getting used to a new environment and routine may take a few weeks. The older dogs tend to be better mannered from the start, while the younger dogs are generally more curious and active.

Is a racing greyhound difficult to housetrain?
At the track, racing greyhounds are accustomed to being let out of their crates several times a day to relieve themselves. Because of this, a similar routine in a new home makes housetraining relatively easy. When the adopter employs patience and common sense, the greyhound's natural cleanliness will assist in the process. The use of a crate can be of great assistance in helping the dog adjust to a new routine and environment.

What provisions need to be furnished by the adopter?
A greyhound needs a safe, warm "inside the home" environment, good quality food, basic annual veterinary care, monthly heartworm preventative, a soft bed and lots of love and companionship.

What ages are available and what is the life expectancy of a racing greyhound?
Most are between two and ten years of age. The average life expectancy of a former racing greyhound is 12-15 years.

What is the size of a racing greyhound?
Racing greyhounds stand between 26 and 30 inches at the shoulder, and they weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. Females are usually smaller than males.

What are the colors of a greyhound?
Black, fawn, red, blue, several shades of brindle, and white with a combination of these colors.

Are greyhounds good with children?
They are better than most breeds, but not as tolerant as some. If a child becomes overbearing they will usually walk away rather than snap or growl. However, every dog has its limits. Because greyhounds are gentle by nature, most are fine with children who have been taught respect for animals. (Click here for photo.) Most adoption groups are hesitant to place a dog in a family with toddlers unless there is specific assurance that strict supervision will be provided over both child and dog.

Are greyhounds good with other dogs?
They are friendly by nature and socialize well as a result of their exposure to other greyhounds at the kennels. Adopters should advise their adoption counselor about the other breeds of dogs living in the household. Also, common sense must be exercised during the introductory period and with regard to food. Feeding separately is recommended.

Are racing greyhounds compatible with cats?
Maybe half of track greyhounds that come into our adoption program can be placed with cats. Greyhounds Unlimited attempts to test the cat-socializing skill of each dog before placing it, however, a greyhound safe with one cat, may not be with another in a different circumstance.

Why do greyhounds have to be kept on a leash?
Because greyhounds are "sight hounds", they follow their instincts and run without heed and therefore can be off leash only when in a large fenced and totally enclosed area.

Can greyhounds be obedience trained?
Many former racing greyhounds have earned obedience titles. However, greyhounds do not possess the same predilection for taking commands as the working breeds. All training must be done with a light encouraging hand. Positive reinforcement and/or food are the best incentives for both formal and informal training. Leash rules must be heeded, even with a highly obedience-trained greyhound, as voice control is not sufficient in a dangerous situation.

Are greyhounds hyperactive?
No. The most common misconception about racing greyhounds is that a dog capable of great athletic feats is a dog in perpetual motion. In reality they are rather lazy and greatly enjoy lounging with the family. They are actually 45 mph couch potatoes!

Do racing greyhounds require a lot of exercise?
They enjoy, but are not dependent on, moderate exercise. They make good jogging companions after they are properly conditioned for long distances. In most households, the shared experience of a brisk walk is enough to keep both the adopter and the adoptee in good physical health.

Do females make better pets than males?
No, males and females make equally good pets. The females are generally more independent, and the males are somewhat more affectionate.

Will adopting a greyhound change my life?
Yes. You will have the satisfaction of having saved a life and will gain the companionship of a devoted, affectionate and loyal friend.

Updated: 22 January 2013 18:53