Greyhounds are a rather unique dog species that makes a great pet for families and individuals. They are rather laid-back and will be happy with at least 20 minute walks twice a day. The greyhound is likely to spend most of the remaining part of the day dozing off on its back with all its four feet in the air. However, this tall, elegant hound is the fastest dog breed reaching up to speeds of 70 kilometers per hour. This speed is enabled by the breed’s long legs, narrow head, and a rather muscular rear end.
While all dogs are pack animals, Greyhounds tend to feel the desire to be close to their masters more strongly. They like to show their affection with their whole body by rubbing their bodies against you. They might spend most of their time curled up against you or leaning their weight against you. This explains their nickname “Velcro dogs.” The greyhound also displays its affection by gently grasping with its mouth agape. While they do not bite, they are likely to lick your hand.
Also, the greyhound’s start to life is quite different as it is not socialized to other dog breeds and people. This can make their transition to a home environment rather challenging. Knowing how greyhounds show love will help you know how best to handle them.
Why are greyhounds so affectionate?
The greyhound is arguably the most exploited dog breed due to its speed. In a home environment, the greyhound is affectionate, loyal, and he is not aggressive towards strangers. He will let you know that a visitor is coming by pricking his folded ears or by barking.
As they spend most of their time in a racing environment and in kennels where they go through extensive handling, they crave human affection and company. This makes eager to please and will also soak up all the love you give. They are rather sensitive and will sense a change in your mood by your tone and body language. When they are not curled up on the couch, your greyhound will follow you around, so he knows where you are.
Do greyhounds like to cuddle?
In most cases, greyhounds wear a muzzle in public due to the belief that they like to chase after small animals. This causes most people to think that greyhounds are dangerous and aggressive, which could not be further from the truth. The stately greyhound is a couch potato that also likes to cuddle.
Apart from keeping him warm, greyhounds use cuddling as a way of bonding with their masters. Experts say that there is a rise in Oxytocin, a love hormone, associated with trust and social bonding.
How can I tell if my greyhound is unhappy?
Greyhounds are seldom vicious. Indeed, they are one of the most gentle dog breeds. This makes them lousy guard dogs. Just like other dogs, you can tell that your greyhound is unhappy if they snap or growl at you. When this happens, your dog is showing restraint rather than biting you.
This is common before they adapt to your home’s setting, especially when you’ve invaded their personal space. Others may growl when you place your hand on it for long or when you hug them. Due to their independent nature, they might take time to adjust to affectionate gestures such as touching or rubbing them.
Growling or snapping should not be taken lightly. Analyze the reason for this behavior. Does he growl when you make direct eye contact? Or when he is restrained? Does he growl when you are grooming or touching him? Or when you take something from him? If this behavior is sudden and you cannot point out its cause, think of anything that may have changed in the environment or space both of you share.
Greyhounds are naturally independent and require positive reinforcement and patience to respond to commands. When they are relaxed, they like to keep their ears folded back. This should not be mistaken for being upset or scared. Also, they mostly walk with their heads hanging low, a characteristic that makes them look aloof or sad.
Keeping your greyhound happy
The greyhound craves human company. Spend time with him by either going out to play or allowing him to spend time inside the house. While this breed does not necessarily need a lot of space, they need a place they can retreat to. At night, avoid shutting your dog in a separate room. Greyhounds adjust faster if they can sleep near their masters. However, avoid letting him sleep on your bed. Rather, get him a soft pillow or a blanket on the floor adjacent to your bed. Keep rewarding your greyhound with playtimes, food, or a gentle stroke.
Also, make sure your greyhound is well-groomed. This is easy as their coat has very little hair. For this reason, this breed does not have the ‘wet dog smell.’ Their hair does not also shed a lot. You will never worry about trimming hair from your greyhound’s eyes or costly salon visits. This breed can survive with as little as two or three yearly baths. Make sure you dry his coat completely to avoid exposing him to chills.
Due to their thin coats, greyhounds aren’t outdoorsy dogs. If you live in areas that can be extremely cold, buy him a warm coat that he can wear when he is outdoors. This breed has a strong prey drive and will usually run after a squirrel or rabbit before you realize it. Therefore, they should be allowed to run without a leash. Just like humans, each dog has a personality of its own. If you are looking into adopting a greyhound, speak to a specialist for advice on the perfect one for you.