Greyhounds as Pets
Are Greyhounds high-energy, active dogs?
This is one of the most common misconceptions about this breed. Greyhounds are bred and exploited as racing dogs for their natural speed and ability, however off the track they are docile, gentle, and friendly animals who love human attention and companionship and are known to be quite lazy. Often described as the ’60km/hour couch potato’ Greyhounds like to spend much of their time relaxing or sleeping, and they love comfort. They are low-energy, low-maintenance dogs that only require regular, short walks to keep them happy and healthy.
Do Greyhounds make good indoor pets?
Greyhounds are low-energy dogs that love human companionship. Their calm and quiet nature, combined with their relaxed and sedentary behaviour make them perfect indoor pets. Minimal shedding, a distinct lack of doggy-odour, and an aristocratic appreciation of the good life supports such indoor privileges. Greyhounds love to be part of the family and are grateful for ‘creature comforts’ and are very well-suited to indoor life. It is the preferred situation for them.
Greyhounds are sighthounds, whose natural prey is the hare. Greyhounds are encouraged to chase as racing dogs. Some Greyhounds have too strong an instinct to chase – or ‘prey drive’ – to live with small animals.
However, some Greyhounds are able to live in harmony with small, furry animals. Friends of the Hounds Inc. has rehomed many Greyhounds, including ex-racers, to homes with small dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, pet rats, guinea pigs and even rabbits. Dogs with a low prey drive, or non-chasers, or those that have successfully ‘let-down’ in their retraining can often live happily with other animals.
Do Greyhounds require a large yard?
Greyhounds do not require a large yard. They are very suitable pets for high-density suburban areas as they are quiet, docile and adaptable. Surprisingly, these sleek, sinewy, stylish hounds do not require a lot or room or excessive exercise, being quite content with regular short walks. Short bursts of energy and long bouts of lethargy typify the Greyhound’s character, and they can often live happily in homes with a small backyard or courtyard (this is apparent when you consider that they are routinely kept in small cages or kennels by racing owners and trainers).
Greyhounds do enjoy occasional “zoomies” – running a couple of laps around the yard, lasting only a few minutes, before returning to their bed!
Greyhounds are often recommended for those living in townhouses, duplexes or apartments due to their quiet, calm and sedentary nature, but there are certain requirements to ensure a happy hound.
Do Greyhounds need a coat for winter?
Greyhounds have no undercoat and very short hair. They also have little body fat to insulate them from either the heat of summer or the cold of winter. The rule of thumb is that if it is cool enough for you to need a jacket or coat, it is cool enough for your Greyhound to need one too. Greyhounds tend to love wearing their coats on cold, winter nights.
Greyhounds also do not tolerate heat as well as other dogs of their build and coat type; even if all your Greyhound does is loll in the yard on a hot summer day, you must provide shade and plenty of cool water to prevent heatstroke. Small, wading pools can provide relief from summer heat.
What age do Greyhounds live to?
Greyhounds can live up to 12-14 years of age.
Are there foods or plants that my Greyhound should avoid?
We’ve created a handy pdf for you to get a good idea what foods and plants your Greyhound should avoid. They may be healthy for humans but some foods are extremely dangerous for our beloved hounds.
Are Greyhounds good with children?
The question should also be asked “Are your children good with dogs?”
A placid and tolerant dog, Greyhounds are generally good with children.
In fact, their calm and sensitive nature, combined with their relaxed and easy-going behaviour, make them highly suited as pets-as-therapy dogs and suitable as companions for people of all ages, including young children and older members of the community.
As with all dogs, it is recommended that children are supervised at all times when interacting with the Greyhound.
The Adoption Process
How do I meet a Greyhound for adoption?
The first step in the adoption process is to provide us with your contact details and information. This can be done by completing the online adoption application.
You may view the dogs currently awaiting adoption on our Available Greyhounds pages, however not all available dogs are always updated on the web.
The next step involves the arrangement of a brief home visit at a convenient time by one of our representatives. This helps us to ascertain which of our Greyhounds may be suitable for your situation, lifestyle and environment, and whether your home is appropriate and safe for the dog. It provides the opportunity for you to ask questions and find out more the breed. It is possible that we may bring along a dog, or dogs, for you to meet at this visit. If not, we keep in contact about any potentially suitable hounds that we have available and set up a meet ‘n greet with them as soon as convenient.
How will I know if my home is right for the Greyhound?
All adoptions have a two week trial period in which the Greyhound is given time to settle into the home, get to know other pets and members of the household, become accustomed to the routines and lifestyle and ensure the situation is right for the hound and everyone involved.
We like to know that every adoption is going to be successful and much of this depends on the blending of personalities and temperaments of other pets. The trial period can be extended in some circumstances.
We do try to provide guidance regarding the suitability of our available dogs for each adoption situation. However, we do understand that there are rare cases where it does not work out, and our adoption policy is that in the event that any Greyhound homed by Friends of the Hound Inc. cannot stay in its adoptive home or circumstances require the rehoming of the dog, even if it is years later, the Greyhound must be returned or surrendered back to Friends of the Hound Inc.
What is the role of the foster carer?
To apply to become a foster carer please complete our foster carer application or check out the complete foster caring guide before submitting your application.
Foster carers provide a temporary home as a transition from kennels to family pet. Exposing these gorgeous Greyhounds to living in a house, the joy of walking for fun, and socialising with other animals and humans is most rewarding. It is a win-win-win situation which allows Friends of the Hound Inc. to save more lives, provides the carer with satisfaction and fulfilment whilst enjoying the companionship of a gentle, friendly Greyhound, and the dog gets to live and learn about life as a pet while preparing for a permanent, loving home.
Friends of the Hound Inc. provides dry dog food, health treatments, collar, lead, muzzle and coat, and covers all veterinary expenses; and the foster carer provides love, patience, care, comfort, socialisation, guidance and training.
What does it cost to adopt a Greyhound?
The adoption fee is $375.
Friends of the Hound Inc. provides martingale collar, lead, dog tag, toy, muzzle and warm winter coat with every adopted Greyhound. Single adult membership (12 months) for the new owner and fur friend membership for the hound is included. Ongoing support and advice freely available.
All Greyhounds rehomed by Friends of the Hound Inc. are desexed, C5 vaccinated, microchipped, and on regular treatment for heartworm, intestinal worm and flea/tick prevention.
Greyhounds and the Law
Do Greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?
From 1st July 2019, pet Greyhounds in New South Wales can go muzzle free if registered on the NSW Pet Registry. Greyhounds will still be required to be on leash in public at all times, unless in a council designated off-leash area. A Greyhound will still require a muzzle in an off-leash area if it has not undergone an approved retraining program. Greyhound owners can apply for an exemption through the Greenhounds program.
For more information about Greenhounds
In Queensland, check local laws about muzzling requirements. You can apply for muzzling exemptions for ‘decommissioned’ Greyhounds by contacting GAP Qld.
All Greyhounds rehomed through Friends of the Hound Inc. are supplied with a wire muzzle.
Greyhounds and the Racing Industry
Why do Greyhounds need saving?
For decades, thousands of Greyhounds have been routinely bred, and discarded, every year in Australia.
According to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW held in 2016, between 50-70 percent of Greyhounds bred for the commercial betting industry over a 12 year period were killed after being deemed uncompetitive as racing dogs. For those that do race, they are ‘retired’ by age 3-4 years.
Many Greyhounds will continue to suffer and risk being unnecessarily killed for no other reason than the time, resources and ability to assess and house them.
Given the numbers of dogs required to sustain a commercial racing/gambling industry, Greyhound racing always has been, and always will be, a dog-killing industry.
What are the welfare concerns regarding dog racing?
Animal welfare groups and concerned animal lovers in many countries find it astonishing that the mass exploitation and destruction of a breed of one of the world’s most favoured species of companion animal, is accepted and condoned in our society – in the name of sport and entertainment and, incredibly, for the sake of gambling.
Betting or ‘having a punt’ seems so embedded in Australian culture that the wastage and destruction of animals for racing continues to go unchecked.
The dog racing industry seems to view these dogs only in terms of commercial gain.
There is a number of other welfare concerns regarding care, housing, management and treatment of the Greyhounds, questionable training methods (the live baiting scandal), doping and other corrupt racing exploits, incredibly high injury rates, and the export of Greyhounds.