Greyhounds are racers, professionally trained dogs. They also have some unique characteristics.
They are usually raised in crates between the ages of 4 and 18 months. They spend most of their time there between training and exercise sessions. They consider the crates to be their own private den where they cannot be bothered by other dogs.
Like most dogs they have a pack mentality and live according to the social structure of a hierarchy. They are very social animals because they are raised with so many others of their kind.
For greyhounds to thrive they need to clearly know who the leader or alpha is in their pack. In packs there is much proving and competing in order to determine who the alpha is. They learn how to behave appropriately by following the lead of the alpha.
The pack leader ensures the survival of the pack by making sure that the members are healthy and safe. When you become the proud owner of a greyhound, they will expect you to be their alpha and will look to you for guidance and discipline. Without this guidance the greyhound may think that they are the pack leader and be undisciplined.
Most behaviour problems are caused because owners do not understand their role as pack leader. They can inadvertently reinforce timid and apprehensive behaviour in their dogs by trying to avoid distressing situations in order to comfort a fearful or nervous dog.
They do not really understand what cats are and if they have only been raised with their own kind they may not be familiar with other dog breeds either. They could be confused or frightened by them or simply ignore them. While in a conflict they do not understand how to protect themselves by fleeing so they may freeze when afraid.
A very interesting thing about Greyhounds is the they are sight hounds. Salukis, Afghans and other southern wolf hounds are all related to the greyhound. It makes the uses for this beautiful animal different than for a dog who seeks only through scent. They do have exceptional hearing and sense of smell but when hunting they will work in tandem with other dogs and perform their maneuvers spontaneously based on sight. They don’t usually bark but will if they are agitated or need to go out.
Greyhounds travel well. They have a very calm temperament but it is important to keep them warm in inclement weather as they do not have a layer of fat to protect them from the cold. In bad weather they should be wearing a coat.
Contact with a greyhound is normally very functional and pragmatic. They do not get a lot of attention other than what is required during their training for the track but are not usually maltreated or misused.
It’s not ordinary for them to show affection but if they have a relationship with you they may gently grasp your hand and lick it. They will surprise you by holding their mouths agape like a wolf might or by rubbing up against you. All in all, greyhounds make wonderful pets.
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