Ten reasons to adopt a greyhound (why ex-racing greyhounds make such good pets)

Ten reasons to adopt a greyhound (why ex-racing greyhounds make such good pets)

Today I am going to take you through ten reasons why Greyhound make amazing pets, so if you are considering adopting a greyhound or getting a dog, or you just want to learn a bit more about these amazing animals then you’re in the right place. In no particular order, here are 10 reasons (plus bonuses ) why ex-racing greyhounds are so special and make such wonderful pets and household companions.

1. Greyhounds are very adaptable to different living conditions

Whilst it would be perfect for every dog to go to a big quiet home with a massive garden, of course we don’t all live in houses like that! They can really thrive in flats, houses, towns or the countryside as long as you make sure they have the opportunity for interesting walks and somewhere safe to run around off lead once a week. When I got Miss Nancy I was living in a first floor flat! Whilst it may not have seemed perfect to me, it was definitely the nicest home she’d ever had. We went for long, quiet countryside walks, and after she’d settled in I started taking her to a private secure field that we rented for an hour for her to run around. Now I take her everywhere with me, I’ve had her three and a half years, and it’s really been a beautiful experience watching her grow and gain more confidence with different places and people. I have no qualms taking her to pubs, cafes, peoples houses, anywhere outdoors, shops even, because she is such a good calm well behaved girl. I’m generally so proud of her behaviour!

2. Greyhounds learn new things fast.

Of all the adult dogs you can get, they probably have the most limited scope of experience as they lead a very sheltered life in the kennels. They don’t get to meet lots of different people or breeds of dogs, or go out and see the world! Everything will be new to them when you bring them home. But they pick things up super quickly. One thing they won’t know how to do is climb stairs. As my flat was first floor, me and Nancy obviously had to go up and down multiple times a day which was tricky as first, but by the fourth day she was going up and down them like she’d been doing it her whole life. I had to encourage her to jump up onto her sofa as she didn’t know what to do, but as soon as she was up she definitely liked the idea! She also didn’t really know how to play with was really sad, so I introduced her to toys and how fun they could be and she was soon throwing her new octopus around the room making him squeak. She also plays a pretty good game of ball in the garden, throwing it in the air, catching it and chasing it around - this is such progress from the first months when she had no idea what a ball was or how it could entertain her. It’s a wonderful experience watching a greyhound grow and learn.

3. Greyhounds are loving and enjoy being with people.

Despite their past lives they are very sweet dogs who really do enjoy being near their humans, and in the case of Miss Nancy meeting new people too! They get very attached, you will be the only stable thing in her life after leaving the animal shelter and racing kennels, and they will stick to you like glue at for the first few months and maybe longer. But I have found Nancy has a very big heart with room to love lots of other people too, she adores my sister, parents, and pretty much all the friends she has met! They generally seem to be happy just to be near you, Miss Nancy is a great companion while I am working. She will happily sleep in her bed and let me get on with things, occasionally groaning and stretching, or saying hello can I have a stroke.

4. They don’t jump up

Greyhounds are not given to jumping up, it’s not a behaviour they will have performed in their previous lives as kennel dogs (and dogs repeat behaviour that they have peviously found rewarding), so if you don’t want muddy paw prints and pulled threads all over your clothes you’ll be happy! Obviously they are a fairly large dog, but they really are gentle giants who will just stand being quite reserved, so you don’t need to worry they’ll knock over your granny when she comes to visit.

5. They are easy to clean.

Greyhounds have short coats which are super easy to clean. If they do get muddy, you can just brush it off when they dry so they do not need constant baths. I only bath Miss Nancy maybe once every sixth months if that. They also tend to be quite ladylike and walk around muddy puddles, and walk down the middle of paths instead of thrashing around in the bushes like a spaniel so they really don’t usually get too mucky in the first place.

6. Greyhounds molt very little.

When they first arrive home with you, they will go through a big molt which is them loosing their kennels coats. That’s an extra layer of fur they develop to get by in the cold outdoor kennels. After that though greyhounds really don’t leave much hair around, I only really find Nancys hair in her bed where she lies everyday and it’s only little short hairs. You will find they shed more in Summer like any other animal.

7. Greyhounds are used to being handled.

This means it’s usually quite easy to take them to the vet, or give them treatment at home. I’d say the word is stoic, I actually feel bad sometimes at how sweet Miss Nancy is letting me do things to her! For medical reasons of course, but it’s not all fun. She’ll let me endeavour to clean her teeth, clean her ears, put treatment in her ear, check her all over for cuts, groom her, wash her, clean her paws etc. She may not like it but she just stands there with her head lowered waiting for the unpleasantness to be over. I may just be lucky but she also happily eats any pills I have to give her, either by themselves or with a blob of peanut butter on to sweeten the deal. She even lets me put shorts on her and acts like she doesn’t notice they are there.

8. They are incredibly deserving.

This probably deserves to be number one. I’m not going to go into the greyhound racing industry now but in the UK/Ireland they still breed around 18000 greyhounds annually, out of which only about 8000 actually make it to the race tracks. The rest are either killed, abandoned, or taken to shelters to await adoption. The dogs that race have a tough life spending most of their time in kennels, sometimes being driven to tracks to race. If they are injured or not good enough they will usually be got rid of, either killed or taken to a rescue. This obviously leaves a huge number of greyhounds looking for homes in animal shelters, and sadly they are the last dogs to be adopted. Hard to believe when you look at Miss Nancy but there it is! They don’t ask to be bred, and they spend there lives working without comfort so somebody else can make money. I think they truly all deserve to be taken to a proper home to be loved, spoiled and shown the world.

9. Good at walking on the lead

For a big dog greyhounds really are quite genteel and don’t tend to pull, so it’s really easy to walk them on the lead. I would never give a large heavy dog to a child or someone that wasn’t generally ok physically because of course they get excited sometimes like any other dog and you need to be able to hold them to keep them safe! Miss Nancy weighs 29kg as an example, fine for most adults. It makes them extra great really because you can be so flexible where you walk them. Miss Nancy does go off her lead quite a bit now when we are in safe places in the countryside or beach, but she is always on her lead anywhere near a road and in towns etc and she doesn’t mind at all. A lot of greyhounds will be nervous at first of the things they see in the big new world so you do need to be prepared to build up their confidence gradually, using positive reinforcement only.

10. Greyhounds smell great

Greyhounds have lovely short coats, and really don’t smell doggy. I personally have walked into other peoples houses and gagged at the pungent dog smell but you won’t have that problem with a greyhound! Because they don’t have the long thick fur or undercoat of other breeds they just don’t seem to harbour smell. Nancy Drew actually smells totally amazing which I have had confirmed by independent witnesses.

BONUS 1 - They are super quiet

Most greyhounds that I have met rarely bark, so if you’re someone like me who does not find the barking of a dog a melodic sound, you should definitely consider a greyhound! I actually wasn’t sure Miss Nancy had a bark for a few months. She generally saves it for when she is super excited about having seen a cat somewhere, so if you want a nice peaceful household, and to be able to take your dog out to pubs and cafes without them being a total nuisance, think about getting a greyhound.

BONUS 2 - They sleep a lot!

Nearly forgot to mention this but it’s true, you may have heard greyhounds sleep up to 20 hrs a day and I can confirm that. Nancy happily has a lie in, gets up for breakfast and a wee, then retires back to bed until lunchtime. It makes it so much easier to get on with your own things at home when your dog is happy to sleep a lot and doesn’t constantly require entertaining. They really do need a lot of sleep as well, and as long as you provide them with a super comfy bed or a sofa they will happily while away the hours chillaxing until it’s time to go on the next adventure.

BONUS 3 - They are disgustingly cute!

Watch any of our videos to see Miss Nancy up close and personal and I don’t think you can disagree, honestly I just think it’s too much sometimes! The long nose, the soulful eyes, the elegant athletes physique makes greyhounds so graceful, yet they can also be the biggest clowns and it’s such a funny and sweet contrast.

BONUS 4 - They run like poetry in motion.

Watching a greyhound run of its own free will is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. They are pure joy and freedom, and you will feel it in your heart too when you watch them go.

So there you have it, ten reasons plus bonuses why the greyhound is not only an amazing animal but makes a really brilliant pet. I’d love to hear your experiences with your own greyhound or any other things you can think of so leave a comment below and we can get a conversation going!









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