Some adopters have used crates to house train Greyhounds (with the thinking that dogs will not soil their bed), but this is not imperative to successful house training. Greyhounds are not overly demonstrative dogs, so make sure to check in with them and pay attention to their needs, taking them outside as needed. It’s safe to assume that your new Greyhound will be nervous for the first few days and will need to go outside more often. Take them outside every hour or two so they can relieve themselves. This will usually keep them from doing the wrong thing inside and reinforces the positive behavior you want from them. Help your Greyhound succeed in house training.
They are also very bonded with humans and a Greyhound that is separated from people will be very afraid and unsettled. As a pack animal, dogs need to be with their pack (you) to feel safe and comfortable. Separating your Greyhounds from yourself will make him miserable. Our adoption contract specifically requires you keep your Greyhound as an indoor pet.
Although they are large dogs, they are used to living comfortably in a small kennel-crate so they can curl up and be quite happy on a dog bed or rug. Compared to that, your house is huge and they will usually explore every corner and find their favorite places. They will usually want to be close to you so they might follow you from room to room and find a bed area in each room. No house or yard is large enough for a Greyhound to safely run full out at racing speeds. They are used to running on prepared sand surfaces and banked corners so your yard, no matter how large or small, is nothing like a racetrack. On the other hand, they don’t really need much room to get quality exercise and remain healthy. Like any former athlete, they need to reduce their food intake to match their new energy requirements. A free run in your yard, even a small yard, will give them plenty of exercise for a day. They will usually run and play for 10 to 15 minutes and then just wander sniffing or even lay down and rest on the grass. Taking them for walks in your neighborhood or a local dog friendly park is also great exercise for them. Running at full speed is fun for them but they rarely do it on their own unless prodded by some outside force, like a running animal or a racing lure. Once a Greyhound retires, you need to be careful about running at full speed. Remember, your Greyhound retired because it could not keep up in a race so there might be underlying injuries that you don’t see but will hurt more if running full speed. Enjoy your Greyhound as a retired racer; don’t worry about getting them to run at high speeds anymore.
Greyhounds don’t require much indoor space; just enough to have a soft bed and their food and water bowls. They are happy to share your couch and bed if you let them. They love to be near people. An older dog might be easier to handle since they don’t require as much exercise as a younger dog. However, stairs can be an issue for any Greyhound so whether you live upstairs or on the ground floor can influence which Greyhound will be right for you.
Yes and No. Greyhounds are a very gentle, sweet breed and generally calm in nature. They make wonderful companion pets and placement is made with this goal in mind. GPA-NW is not equipped to screen or train the greyhounds as therapy or service animals. The nature of the greyhound does make them candidates as therapy dogs, especially for hospital and nursing home visits. Please contact the facility and learn if they require therapy dog certification. There are programs available that will provide training and certification for this purpose.
Some greyhounds may have potential as emotional support dogs for veterans or others with PTSD. However it must be stressed that our goal as an organization is to place greyhounds solely as companion pets and any success in certification as therapy dogs is an additional benefit.
Greyhounds are NOT a good choice for service work for people with physical disabilities. They are not suited to be guide dogs or service dogs individually trained to perform the tasks required for this benefit. While excellent companions, other breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are better suited for this type of service work.