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Is everything I’ve heard about ex-racing greyhounds true?

Greyhound lying down

Every greyhound is an individual, so do not automatically assume that everything you heard or read will apply to your newly adopted greyhound. The following pointers will help to unravel some of the key questions relating to greyhounds discovering a new life.

Will all greyhounds like living in an apartment?

Not all greyhounds will feel comfortable living inside a home and as most are not toilet trained; therefore, apartment living will be a significant challenge to start with for many greyhounds. However, many greyhounds can successfully adapt to life indoors, including living in smaller homes. Remember though that all greyhounds need daily exercise and enrichment to keep their minds and bodies healthy. Be aware that some dogs may not like the company of other dogs, so you may need to choose your exercise location carefully to avoid creating anxiety or possible conflicts.

Do all greyhounds like lazing on a couch?

Some will and some won’t, so try not to be too disappointed if yours is not a couch potato. Remember, it is highly unlikely that your greyhound has never even seen a couch before, so if you’d like your dog to share your couch, allow more time and give gentle encouragement.

Do all greyhounds like being walked?

Some greyhounds may initially be wary of being walked, especially if they haven’t been on a leash before. If your greyhound is hesitant about walking on a leash, consult with a veterinary behaviour consultant and in the meantime, encourage exercise through playing in the backyard. Freezing (suddenly stopping and refusing to move) on walks is a sign your greyhound is feeling extremely fearful and overwhelmed. If this happens, just give them time to relax and talk to them reassuringly and then follow-up by seeking advice from a veterinary behaviour consultant.

Can greyhounds live with cats and other small animals?

Many dogs, including greyhounds, can be quite predatory towards other animals. Dogs are largely carnivores, and their ancestors had to hunt, chase and kill other animals in order to survive; these instincts can still be strong in some dogs s. Breeding and training play a huge part in how strong this prey drive might be; like all dogs, some greyhounds can happily co-exist with cats and other small animals, while others can never be safely left alone with them. Always err on the side of safety, and don’t expect that your dog will become best buddies with other furry family members, including other smaller dogs. Many shelters will suggest you introduce your greyhound to other family dogs, before you bring them home.

Do greyhounds wear muzzles because they are aggressive?

It is still a legal requirement in some States/Territories that greyhounds must wear a muzzle in public, unless they have been exempted through a recognised assessment program. The muzzling law was introduced as an extension of the greyhound racing rules for race dogs living and possibly being trained within the community. Due consideration was not given for implications this may have on retired or non-racing greyhounds. For further information, read: Should pet greyhounds have to wear muzzles?

Any dog showing predatory aggression must wear a muzzle for safety.

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Updated on May 31, 2022
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