Greyhound Dog Questions 

Here are some questions and answers from our Ask Cathy file.. 


  • Why won't my dog bark?

Perhaps they don’t have anything so say. 

Actually some greyhounds are quite vocal, especially the brindle ones.  Out of all the greyhounds we have had over the years there are only a few that I considered barkers. 

Greyhounds are not like beagles or some terriers which are used in packs for hunting.  Those breeds bark incessantly in order to let the hunters know where they are and they are on the trail of the prey.  Greyhounds have not been used like this for centuries.  They don’t have to alert anyone that they are on the trail of the mechanical rabbit, and they don’t have to intimidate the rabbit with a lot of barking.


  • What to do about my dog passing gas?

Greyhounds and most dogs will get gas when some foods are introduced into their diets, this is natural.  Some foods will produce more than others and it is all up to the individual dog as to what may set them off.  Some treats will even affect my girls and set them off passing gas like a NASCAR Pit Crew. 


  • My greyhound lies around all day? Is he lazy?

Unlike most breeds greyhounds are like Energize batteries.  They will expend a lot of energy running and playing; even long walks, then they “recharge” their energy with a long nap. 

Every morning I take my girls out for a long walk, usually about a mile or so.  Then when we get home they get their vitamins and they take the Morning Nap.  When they get up they will eat their breakfast and maybe go out for a sniff in the yard.  After that it is time for the Afternoon Nap, followed by dinner a little play time and then Last Call outside before settling down for bed.

Greyhounds run faster than any other canine on the planet but they do need more energizing time that most dogs.


  • Should I buy a crate?

A crate is a good thing to have even if you only use it for a short time.  Retired racers are used to being crated and it gives some the feeling of familiarity needed to adjust to being a house puppy.  Initially it is a good idea to crate them when you are leaving them home for the first few times.  Some will feel abandon and will get into trouble if left to their own devices.  Crating gives them a sense of comfort and keeps them from hurting themselves, or the carpets.

We always use a crate when a new greyhound comes into our home but after a period of time it is not always necessary.  Some greyhounds, like children with their blanket, will want to have the crate as their little personal space forever.


  • Does my dog get cold in the winter?

Greyhounds have no body fat—they will get cold in the fall, so coats are a must for greyhounds once the temperature starts going below 50 degrees. 

If you are cold then they are cold.  You don’t need to put coats on them if they are just going out for a quick pee in the yard, but for an extensive stay outdoors they will need to have something to keep them warm.   Remember they are desert animals originally and used to being warm.

Also due to the lack of body fat they can sunburn in the warmer weather, so never leave a greyhound out to the elements.


  • How do I know when he is happy?

A happy greyhound will actually smile, some more than others.  All greyhounds will wag their tail; some can make them spin like a helicopter when they are happy.  By all means stay clear of that Happy Tail it can really hurt when getting hit with that whip like appendage.  My son found that out the hard way—enough said.



  • Can I play fetch?

Some greyhounds love to play fetch or tug-of-war, others can’t be bothered.  If you threw something for Macky to “fetch” he would just look at you like “you threw it away—obviously you don’t want that object so why would I go get it for you?”  Now Murphy watched a Lab and his person playing catch on the beach and would play catch, he would not always bring the ball back to you but he would go and fetch it.  Sometimes he would throw toys into the air and play catch with himself.

Greyhounds are individuals and each one will have their own quirks, likes and dislikes.  Don’t pigeon hold greyhounds and you will not be disappointed in how they act.  Not all greyhounds fit into a mold so just because your friend’s greyhound will sit on command doesn’t mean yours to want to do the same thing.


  • Can I take him to the beach?

We take our greyhounds to the beach all the time, but never let them off leach.  For one thing there are local regulations regarding dogs’ off-leash that must be obeyed.  For another thing some greyhounds feel they must chase all the sea gulls out of town.  They will run and chase things to the point of being so far away that they don’t know where they are.  So keep your greyhound safe and obey the rules of the towns where you live.


  • Why won’t he bite the mailman?

Your greyhound will not bite the mailman because you are a good greyhound owner and don’t let them out of the house alone.  You keep your front door latched so they cannot escape, that is why they don’t bite mailpersons.


  • Does he understand commands like sit, rollover and sic em?

Once you invest time in your greyhound they will understand and obey commands like any other dog.  Keep in mind that they are structurally different than other breeds, so some “tricks” are not feasible for them to perform. 

Their chest is VERY deep to accommodate the lung capacity needed for running so quickly, therefore when they lie down their backsides will not touch the floor.   Sitting can also be difficult for some to achieve, but as with any dog patience and a cookie will usually get you where you want to go. 


  • How often do we go to the vet?

Definitely take your new greyhound to the Vet within the first week of their arrival.  This will get them used to going to the office and will give a base line for your Vet’s medical records.  After that only once a year will be necessary, unless of course they become ill or injured.  If that happens then call the Vet right away.  Greyhounds have very thin skin which can tear easily so if they get a cut it is advisable to have it looked at it right away to determine if stitches are necessary, or perhaps an antibiotic to prevent infection.  Don’t fool around, sometimes it will make things much worse if you wait, and become more expensive.


  • Will he share his feed bowl with another dog?

No dog will EVER share a bowl with another dog.  If you believe that then you should not have a pet.


  • Why is he crying all day?

Greyhounds don’t cry unless something is wrong.  Take your greyhound to the Vet for a check up to rule out any illness or injury.  If there are no issues there they may have separation anxiety.  The best course of action is to call in an expert to show you how to retrain them to not be fearful when you leave the house.  Most times it is the person who needs to learn how to behave.


  • Can he swim?

Not all dogs can swim so NEVER NEVER throw your dog into a pool or lake.  Some will take to water like a duck and others are afraid.  Introduce your greyhound to the water slowly and see how they react.  Mr. T came with me to visit a friend who had an in ground pool.  We were sitting on the shallow end of the pool dangling our feet by the steps when Mr. T put his front feet on the steps and proceeded to walk down and began swimming across the pool, doggy paddle of course. 

On the other hand Macky refused to even get his feet wet—go figure?????

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