Is A Greyhound Right For You?

Brindle Picture from Old Website
You may be surprised to know that retired racing greyhounds make wonderful pets. You might have thought them to be hyperactive, needing lots of exercise, since they run like the wind. You might have thought they would be aggressive, since they spend their early lives in competition. Or perhaps you thought that retired racers were “all used up,” with only a year or two left by the time they finished racing. Of course, all of these assumptions are untrue!

Greyhounds require no more exercise than other large dogs. Most greyhounds are perfectly content to spend time with their human companions, whether they are jogging or sitting on the couch watching television, and will adjust their activity level to match yours. Like all dogs, greyhounds look forward to their daily walk. Retired racers do enjoy an occasional off-leash run in a completely enclosed (i.e. fenced) area.

Greyhounds are extremely companionable and social. They are good-natured dogs who have been bred to get along with other animals. They are used to being handled by humans and have been trained to walk on a leash. Retired racers adapt well to home life. They thrive in a home environment and settle in as if they have waited for it all their lives. Sweet, gentle, loving, clean, quiet, and smart—there aren't enough adjectives to describe these wonderful animals!

Due to advances in veterinary medicine and increases in greyhound adoptions, these wonderful animals are living longer than ever before. Many retired racers live to be 15 or more years old. You can anticipate many happy years ahead with your greyhound.

So why not adopt a greyhound now?

Before you pursue adoption, there are two important things to consider:

First, greyhounds are big dogs. True, they are small big dogs; graceful and sleek, they often curl up in tight balls when they sleep. They don't have as much physical presence as other large dogs, but they are tall and have long legs!

Second, greyhounds can never be allowed off-leash except in a fenced area. As ex-racers, greyhounds have been bred for one purpose: speed. They can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour, and when their attention is focused on an object ahead, even the best-trained greyhound may not respond to your call. They can be out of earshot before you can even voice a command.

Living with a greyhound means you will always have a friend, a companion who will love you unconditionally. Every time you walk through your door you will be met with happiness and glee. You will have someone always willing to cuddle with you, content just to be by your side. But be prepared to meet many new people when you leave the house together. Folks are fascinated by greyhounds and will bombard you with questions and lots of attention!

It should be noted that Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption does not adopt to families with children under the age of six.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions regarding greyhounds and greyhound adoption.

Greyhounds have a long an illustrious history. Click here to learn about greyhound history from 4,000 years ago to the present.

Greyhounds as a breed are generally very healthy. There are, however, some health issues that all greyhound owners should be aware of. Click on the links below to learn more.

Greyhounds are extremely susceptible to dental disease. Good dental care, especially daily tooth brushing, is extremely important. Use of a tooth sealant can help to maintain good oral hygiene.

It is completely normal for your greyhound to experience a period of diarrhea or soft stool during the first few days or even weeks as they adjust to their new home life. Any situation that is stressful for your dog can bring on a bout of diarrhea, even if your dog has been regular for years.

Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can affect any breed of dog but is more common in large, deep-chested breeds. Fortunately, greyhounds do not seem to be any more susceptible to bloat than any other large breeds.

As with all breeds, preventive medicine is needed to prevent parasites and viral infections. This begins from the time greyhound pups are born. It is also wise to keep a first aid kit handy in case of lacerations, allergic reactions, cracked or broken nails, and other issues.

As your greyhound ages, it is critical to watch for any changes in behavior that could be early signs of a developing physical or cognitive problem. The earlier these issues are dealt with, the more likely they will be resolved.

Introducing a new greyhound into a household with pre-established pets requires patience, common sense, and caution. This list of tips is helpful to minimize trauma and stress for all.

Separation anxiety can be a problem for all breeds. This article has ideas for helping a greyhound who is struggling with separation anxiety.

Trust is a deadly disease. No matter how reliable your greyhound may seem, don’t ever trust your dog off leash. Make that little extra effort to ensure your greyhound will be safe.

Follow this link to get a list of books, magazines, and websites where you can find even more information about greyhounds.

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Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption • 11247 Foley Boulevard • Coon Rapids, MN 55448

763-754-9754 • Contact Us