It seems that every time my husband or I take the greyhounds for a walk we get a ton of questions.We get a lot of questions about the quality of life at the track, if greyhounds really do love to run, if they need a lot of exercise, if they eat a lot, if they will chase small animals, if they bark, and most frequently if they can sit.
Today I am going to do my best to debunk these six myths about greyhounds.
1.) Greyhound tracks are terrible places. Tracks and kennels get a bad rap due to lack of knowledge about the racing industry.There are state regulations as well as individual track regulations for greyhound racing.These regulations are in place to ensure the integrity of racing and the welfare of the dog.
I think of the racing kennels and tracks as a military school; the dog goes there to learn a trade and is supported throughout its career by a team of people who have dedicated their lives to the breed.As the dog ages it inevitably slows down, cue the adoption kennels.
After a dog is hurt or has graded off she is sent to an adoption group.While in the adoption group she has a health check, is spaded or neutered, and is placed.In the US greyhound adoption is skyrocketing.There are some locations in the country that have waiting list for greyhounds.This excitement about adoption is attributable to the effortless work of kennels and adoption groups.
2.) You must have to exercise that dog all the time! Yes, greyhounds love to run.Please come and look at my grassless back yard and you will see that greyhounds LOVE to run and nothing can stop that love.
Their love of running doesn’t equate to a need for intense exercise.Greyhounds are sprinters.They accelerate quickly but this is not sustained for long periods.Greyhounds are perfectly happy with a nice daily walk and do not need a lot more exercise.
If you want to participate in any dog sports with your greyhound, I would recommend additional exercise.You will have to gradually work the dog up to longer periods of exercise, as they are not used to long endurance intervals.
3.) I bet those greyhounds eat you out of house and home. Depending on your feed it can vary greatly. At the track greyhounds are fed a mixture of raw and usually a good quality kibble. Once these dogs enter the adoption kennel they are switched to a kibble and most continue on kibble. As with all mammals, greys have some GI issues and certain feeds can exacerbate this for certain hounds. Probiotics are important to maintain a healthy system. I can’t average the cost of feeding a grey; it depends on the size and sex of the hound and the type of feed they are getting. The most important thing to remember is to keep the hound within 3-5lbs of their racing weight or at their racing weight. Greyhounds are skinny we should not be trying to fatten them up!
4.) I bet those dogs can’t live with a cat or small dog. It’s true, greyhounds love to chase things. Honestly all dogs love to chase but there is something special about watching a greyhound chase. Sometimes greyhounds mistake small fuzzy animals for a lure.This can be an issue when a grey has a strong prey drive.The good news is that most adoption groups test the dogs with smaller dogs and cats prior to adoption so that the adopter understands how the new dog will fit it their home.There are plenty of greyhounds that co-habitate with small dogs and cats without issue, but please check with your adoption group before bringing your greyhound home.Supervision between these interactions is needed until stable relationships are formed in the home.
5.) Greyhounds don’t bark.Overall greyhounds are rather calm quite dogs but yes, they do bark and sometimes they will even sing. Most greyhound owners find this trait charming and even encourage it, I know we do at our house.
6.) Greyhounds can’t sit. Of course my greyhounds can sit.Sitting is not the most comfortable position for most greyhounds and sometimes they appear a little odd while sitting but most can sit.Some hounds are natural sitters and seem to enjoy the position while others are not.Sitting is a great command for your grey to learn and is easily taught.
Myths busted!Greyhounds are truly dogs and enjoy doing dog things.The important thing to remember is that there is something special about this breed, something much better than any other breed can offer!