Greyhound Haven Tasmania

Greyhound Rescue and Education

FAQ

Greyhound FAQ

  1. Do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise?

    Despite being bred to race, greyhounds generally require less exercise than most other breeds of dog. Exercise requirements are dependant on the individual dog but most are happy with a twenty to thirty minute walk per day. Exercise needs also vary greatly depending on age, younger dogs may require more stimulation to keep them happy. When applying for a dog, if energy levels are a concern, it’s a good idea to note what exactly you’re looking for.

  2. Why do greyhounds have to be muzzled?

    While greyhounds are no more likely to bite people or other dogs than most breeds of dog, they are required by law to be muzzled in Tasmania when in public (unless competing in agility, obedience or racing activities or being exhibited in show).

    Muzzles are often unappealing to people but from our experience, the dogs don’t seem to mind them too much and they do serve a few purposes and if used correctly, can be valuable training tools.

  3. How big are Greyhounds?

    Greyhounds, like most breeds, can vary considerably in size, especially between males and females. Male Greyhounds can vary between 67 – 72cm in height and approx. 30 – 35 kg in weight (in racing condition) and up to 40 kg after retirement. Bitches are generally smaller, usually measuring between 62 – 68 cm and 24 – 30 kg and up to 35 kg at pet weight. It’s worth bearing in mind that although they are slender dogs, they can often be quite tall and this can result in “counter surfing” or stealing food or toys from higher surfaces that other breeds might not be able to reach.

  4. Can greyhounds be trained to obey commands?

    In most cases, your greyhound will already be trained to walk on a lead without pulling excessively but some of them do respond well to additional training. Greyhounds can have difficulty with sitting, owing to their body shape, and due to the nature of the breed. Most breeds of the hound group are bred to hunt with minimal human guidance and greyhounds tned to be independent thinkers which can make for more challenging training. As with any dog though, patience and positive reinforcement can achieve impressive results, even in older dogs or dogs that aren’t especially motivated by food.

  5. Are Greyhounds okay with children and other pets?

    Being lower energy dogs, greyhounds are generally quite good with children, although as with any other pet, supervision and educating your children are the most reliable ways to ensure they remain safe and the benefits of education extend outside the home to other dogs, too. In regards to other pets, this varies between dogs. All greyhounds adopted out by Greyhound Haven will be tested with small dogs to ensure safety but we can’t provide guarantees regarding cats, poultry or small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, etc) unless the individual dog has been tested and has been deemed safe to live with other species of companion animal. For this reason, it’s very important to note on your application all other pets in your household- to ensure both their safety and the dog’s.

  6. Do they make good guard dogs?

    Greyhounds aren’t especially territorial dogs and they’re also usually very quiet, unless excited; so, in general, their behaviour makes them unsuitable for the role. They may offer a deterrent value owing to their size and reputation but an intruder (particularly an intruder who behaves aggressively) is more likely to be avoided than confronted.

  7. What is a sighthound?

    A sighthound is any breed of dog bred to hunt by sight, rather than by smell (scenthounds, which include beagles and bloodhounds) and the group includes greyhounds, whippets, Italian greyhounds, borzoi, wolfhounds, salukis and Afghan hounds.

  8. How well do retired racers adapt to family life?

    Most greyhounds adapt very well to life in a home but there are often noises, objects and surfaces that they’ve never experienced before. Generally speaking, they adjust to these new experiences with little trouble given time and understanding. Vacuum cleaners, lino floors, mirrors, glass and the like may be difficult for a greyhound initially but by the end of the fostering period, a minimum of six weeks in care, most dogs are comfortable enough to function normally around these things. Those that struggle with home life remain in our care until they’re able to cope acceptably.

  9. Do females make better pets than males?

    This generally depends on what exactly you’re looking for in a dog and often, it’s a better idea to look at temperament as a whole, rather than relying on gender alone.
    Although greyhounds seem to display less sexual dimorphism in behaviour than other breeds of dog, there are some common behaviours that may influence suitability. In terms of assertiveness, neither gender are usually overly assertive and for this reason, they make great “second” dogs.

    Female greyhounds may be slightly less tolerant of young children and treat them in a way similar to how they'd treat puppies whereas males are more likely to see small children as equals. These difference can be good or bad, depending on your situation-  a large male dog trying to play with very small children may result in accidental injuries or a female dog may find older, more active children to be a little too boisterous. We highly recommend that when applying for a dog, potential adopters take the ages and gender of their children into account, as well as taking the time to consider other gender related issues (marking of territory, size difference, etc).

    Overall, males can often be a little more friendly and outgoing so it's also worth thinking about preferred temperament and providing as much information as possible on your application form.

  10. Are greyhounds easy to house train?

    Usually, greyhounds are very quick to toilet train and this has a lot to do with life in the racing environment.

    In a kennel situation, dogs are let out several times a day to "empty out" and because this is so consistant, most greyhounds will never soil their kennels, meaning that toilet training for the home is often just a matter of helping the greyhound to understand that the house is its new kennel- once this is established, most greyhounds never have any issues with being clean in the house. Routine and consistancy play a huge part in successful house training so after fostering and adoption, there is still obviously some responsibility on the new owner to maintain these things to avoid confusing the dog or disrupting correct behaviours.

  11. Do greyhounds make good pets?

    In our experience, greyhounds make great pets. Often very clean, quiet and easy dogs to care for, greyhounds are ideal for first time dog owners, allowing them a chance to learn how to manage behaviour with a breed that is easy to handle, not especially prone to any health issues and in terms of temperament, a lot more forgiving of mistakes than more assertive or driven breeds of dog.

    Greyhounds are also usually low maintenance in terms of grooming and require less exercise than many other breeds.

  12. Why do greyhounds have to be kept on lead?

    In Tasmania, in public places, it is the law that your greyhound be on a lead (no longer than two metres) unless racing, competing in agility trials or being shown. The person holding the lead must also be at least sixteen years of age.

    This aside, owing to the nature of the breed (sighthounds), it is far safer to keep your greyhound on a lead as a greyhound that sees something it wants to chase cannot generally be stopped, placing the dog at risk of hurting itself or being hit by a car. Greyhounds also often have little road sense and can be easily startled, making them very difficult to catch if they become scared by a sudden noise- and in areas with traffic, the results of this are sadly quite predictable.

    Even with extensive lead training, we still strongly recommend that greyhounds be walked on lead, for everyone's safety.

  13. Are greyhounds grey?

    Usually, no. The grey colour (actually called blue) is a dilute of black and not an especially common colour in greyhounds.

    Greyhounds come in a variety of colours- black, brindle (and all the variations of underlying colour), fawn, dun, blue (the grey colour) and white and within those basic colours, there is a huge amount of variation.

    For example, fawn can be anything from a pale, biscuit colour all the way through to a dark red.
    More information on coat colours and examples of those colours can be found in our Greyhound wiki here.

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Adoption FAQ

  1. Why are inside homes preferred?

    Unlike many other breeds, greyhounds do not have a double coat and also lack the body fat most dogs carry, leaving them more susceptible to extremes in weather. The greyhound’s coat is generally thin, soft fur and this insulates poorly and as such, we prefer to adopt to homes where the dog would have access to sufficient shelter, whether this is inside the house or in a kennel built to meet the needs of a greyhound (bearing in mind their height and length).

  2. How much does it cost to adopt a greyhound?

    Our adoption fee is $250 and this includes desexing, C5 vaccination, microchipping, a muzzle, collar, lead and coat.

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Health FAQ

  1. Are greyhounds prone to any particular health problems?

    As a rule, greyhounds are very robust dogs but some conditions have been noted as being somewhat common.

    Pannus (an eye condition) occurs and gastric torsion (also known as "bloat") is slightly more likely.

    For more information, visit the GreytHealth site (link is available on our links page) or visit our greyhound wiki.

  2. How long do they live?

    Greyhounds can live anywhere between ten and fifteen years, depending on a few factors. Keeping your greyhound’s teeth clean, managing parasites appropriately and exercising caution when allowing your dog to run freely will contribute to a longer, happier life.

  3. What do greyhounds eat?

    Generally speaking, greyhounds do far better on super premium kibbles than on supermarket brands. Alternatively, raw meat such as kangaroo is often just as inexpensive as supermarket brands of commercial dog food and, providing the raw bones are included, have the added benefit of keeping your dog’s teeth clean without the additional expense of artificial bones or dental chews. Regardless of food chosen, care should be taken to time meals well apart from exercise as greyhounds may suffer from bloat or gastric torsion. 

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