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About Greyhounds

For People Who Will Be Their Greyhound's Best Friend

I am a trained athlete and am now retired. I may have had a long and successful career or I may be just a-pup who couldn't "make it" in the racing game. My breed has a Hall of Fame in Abilene, Kansas. I'm a descendent of an ancient breed that goes back to the Egyptians. The Egyptians worshipped me as a god and you can see my ancestors inscribed on tombs of kings. In England, only nobility could own a greyhound. I think you'll agree, I have a distinguished background. I'm looking forward to my new life. I'm sure we'll become best friends. Treat me with kindness and I will return your love tenfold.

Things to Know

Basically, I'm a dog, like all others, but have some unique characteristics. I am not a vicious predator, as some believe, but chase by nature. I love people, in fact, more than most breeds, and tend to be quite sociable. I possess superior intelligence. I've never had the opportunity to really be a puppy and may need to act out some puppy behavior, which I'll get over (like chewing). I will try hard to please, so am easily trained. I am quizzical, shy sometimes, very sensitive and surprisingly gentle. I know other greyhounds, but not other breeds or cats. Please be patient with me. I will get to know them quickly. I may not know how to defend myself and may "freeze" if attacked. I look to you to protect me. I have keen eyesight, hearing and sense of smell. I like riding in cars and would love to go places with you. I do not bite but sometimes show affection like a wolf, with mouth agape, gently grasping. I love with my whole body and may rub up against you or lean against you, like a cat. I feel the winter cold or rain and if outside for more than a short period of time, should have a coat. I am used to a leash, love to walk, and will learn to heel quickly. I am not a barker by nature, but may bark if excited or trying to tell you something (like I need to go out). I will probably be confused in my new environment, but willing to learn. I sometimes don't know how to sit, climb stairs or play games. I will learn all these things. I love to run but don't need more exercise than other breeds. I will be safest with a fenced yard. It needn't be big or elaborate.

When I Get to My New Home (the first few days)

I've probably never been in a house before and things will be strange. I may be tense, possibly withdrawn. Be sure I "empty" before entering. I may be afraid, though you may not notice. This is normal. At some point I'll pick a spot and lie down. An old blanket will do for me to lie on. Of course, you'll also be using my crate at this time. It will be a secure place for me to be while I get accustomed to my new home. It will probably be the only thing with which I am familiar. Let me remain quiet, unless I come to you. Be patient, gentle, speak softly and soothingly. Say "no" more strongly for unacceptable behavior.

If you do not want me in a certain room or on the furniture (although I'd love to lie on the sofa), firmly, but gently, tell me "no", while you direct me away. Repetition and softness are the keys to my learning. Mirrors, fireplace glass, glass doors reflect my image. This may perplex me. "Who is the other dog?" Time my feeding (two times daily). Others may want to share in this at first, but it is best for one person to eventually do the feeding. I should go out first thing in the morning (before feeding), around lunch time, late afternoon (before supper) and before bed. At first you will want to take me out more than usual, so I can get the idea about where and when it is appropriate to go "potty". Remember to use my crate when you cannot watch me, at first. I am as a toddler. I should not be left alone to get in to trouble. We will be happier this way.

Don't sneak up on me. Let me know you are there, especially when I am sleeping. I'd love a big rawhide bone for my teeth. Since I've never had one, it may take me some time to understand what to do with it. I may be very afraid the first few night. The sounds, smells, shadows are all new to me. It would be helpful if my crate is placed where I can see you at night. This is even more important if you have no other dogs to keep me company. Remember, this will be the first night of MY ENTIRE LIFE that I have spent without the company of lots of other greyhounds. Your closeness, scent are my security in this bewildering environment. But remember, once you allow me in your room at night, I'll expect to be allowed to do this all the time. Don't allow me to do things at first with the intent of changing things later. Once you commit, I will expect to do the same things again. At first, I may stare ahead and seem unresponsive. Unlike some dogs that may get excited when nervous, this is my way of showing stress. A light and gentle massage over is soothing for both of us (try not to pat).

When it is time to go out, let me loose if you have a safe, FENCED yard (after you have taken me around on a leash to show me where the fence is). If you have no fence, use an 6-foot lead and MARTINGALE COLLAR, so I can't back out of it if I get frightened. After I have done my "duty", praise me with "good boy" and a light pat. I will learn quickly. For athletes, extras are rarely allowed. I would love to learn about 'Treats", but don't let me get too fat. It will be as unhealthy for me as being too thin. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to feel my ribs but not see them. You shouldn't be able to readily see my hip bones, but you should see 1-3 vertebrae in my back.

I'm a puppy at heart (and very swift). Unlike other breeds, I rely mostly on sight. I cannot easily find my way back as scent-oriented pups do, so NEVER LET ME LOOSE WITHOUT THE PROTECTION OF A SECURE FENCE! You will not be able to catch me if I start to run and, while my goal is not to get away from you, I will be lost before I know it! I don't know about traffic. Many of my kind have had their lives ended by well-meaning owners who thought their greyhound was "different". Leave the trust to things that don't matter. Even though you'll never allow me to run loose, I should be trained to come when called. Good books on training are available. I would also love to go to "obedience class". Ask your placement group to recommend a good one!

With your patience and devotion, I'll become your best friend. Then, we'll both be WINNERS!

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