Greyhounds have been an established breed for centuries, and they date back to 2900 B.C., as evidenced in carvings and drawings of ancient Egyptian tombs. While they are commonly known as the fastest dog breed, greyhounds are also loyal and devoted family pets. Whether you get a retiree from the racetrack or a puppy from a breeder, it will take time to ensure that your greyhound adjusts to life in your home.
Off the Track
Greyhounds off the track take some time to acclimate to family life. A household environment with kitchens and kids and televisions may overwhelm a dog used to living in a racing kennel. Even stairs may seem daunting. Introduce your greyhound to his new environment slowly and calmly. Have a routine for feeding, grooming, and walks and other outings until your greyhound is comfortable with his new way of life. By all means, have a veterinarian inspect your new greyhound for general health. Make sure the vet thoroughly checks his teeth, as many off-the-track greyhounds have dental issues.
A greyhound is happy to please his owner, but he is still a hound with instincts that require consistent training. Teach your greyhound to sit, lie down and heel to set a foundation of good behavior. You must provide your greyhound with several outings daily to run and get some exercise to keep destructive or bored behavior at bay. Greyhounds have an inherent desire to chase, especially when outdoors. Always keep your greyhound contained on a leash or in a fenced area to ensure he won't give chase to a small animal or other moving object.
Grooming and Health
Greyhounds should never be kept outdoors. Their coats are thin, and they have very little body fat, making it difficult for them to keep warm in colder temperatures and inclement weather. Consider purchasing your greyhound a coat if you live in a cold climate for winter months. Due to his short coat, he needs bathing only a few timed a year. Groom him several times weekly with a rubber grooming mitt to remove dead hair and to keep his coat shiny.
Greyhounds at Home
You will find that a greyhound folds into your life and routine with ease, and gets along well with other family members including children, other dogs and even cats. Always plan to walk your dog on a leash when he can't be contained by fencing or a pen instead of tying him to a tree or post -- greyhounds can bolt and injure themselves as a result. Avoid rough play with other pets and children; a greyhound has fragile skin and slight bone structure.
Kimberly DeCosta is an accomplished equestrian and entrepreneur. She has written for numerous equestrian publications and authored marketing packages for large companies and sports teams.