Adopting Greyhounds-Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure if a greyhound is right for you and your family?
I’ve gathered together some of the questions people ask  at Meet and Greets and other places where I meet people when I’m out and about with our greyhounds.

Do I need a huge yard for a greyhound to run?  Do I have to run with my greyhound?

You don’t need a huge yard for a greyhound, but you will need a fenced yard. Greyhounds can reach speeds up to 40 mph, and will quickly chase an interesting animal. So it is important to have a fenced yard for running and exercising.

You don’t have to run with your greyhound, but they all do appreciate an energetic (or leisurely) walk.

What does sight-hound mean?

Some dogs hunt by smell or scent like the beagle, basset, foxhound and dalmatian. But greyhounds have very keen sight and are extremely fast.  The greyhound is considered a sighthound as he uses speed and sight to hunt.

How big are greyhounds?

Greyhound males weigh from 60-88 pounds. The female greyhound is slightly smaller 60-75 pounds.
Height is 27-30 inches tall.  Sizes can vary, but generally the male greyhounds are larger and heavier than female greyhounds.

How long do greyhounds live?

Greyhounds typical lifespan is  10-12  years, but some greyhounds have lived over 15 years.

Are greyhounds gray?

Very few greyhounds are actually gray.  Those few gray greyhounds are referred to as ‘blue’. The colors of the greyhound are many and number around 18  from a white to a combination called brindle that is black and gold striped.

Are greyhounds house broken?

Coming off the racetrack, greyhounds are not housebroken.  Depending on the rescue group, greyhounds may spend time in a foster home where they learn basic commands and start housebreaking training.  Most greyhounds are crate-trained, that is they will not soil the crates they stay in.

How are greyhounds with children?

Just like people the personalities of greyhounds vary.  Since greyhounds are large dogs, close supervision is important for both the child and the dog.  In our home, the children and the greyhounds learned mutual respect. Children need to learn appropriate behavior around the greyhound. And the greyhound needs to learn to be gentle with children.

How are greyhounds with cats?

Not all greyhounds are compatible with cats. Some greyhounds will use their in bred training as a hunter and will also chase small animals such as cats. Other greyhounds ignore or are even scared of cats.

With a rescue group which has fostered greyhounds, you will find out whether or not a particular greyhound is cat friendly or not.

When I adopt through a greyhound rescue group, what can I expect?

When you adopt a greyhound through a rescue group, you can expect a greyhound that has been spayed/neutered, who is up to date on shots, has clean teeth, and is heart worm free.

Rescue groups vary. Some rescue groups foster the greyhounds from the track.  The foster families act as the pre-training stage for the greyhounds.  The foster families work on socialization introducing the greyhound to living inside, stairs, cats, children and all the comforts of a forever family.

Other rescue groups place dogs directly from the track to forever homes.

In Charleston, (as noted on the adoptcharlestongreys.org site): we include a martingale collar, leash, muzzle, and information/adoption binder. Each adoption comes with a home introduction kit including a chew bone, toy, dental kit, grooming glove, shampoo, fish oil pills, (1) heartworm pill, and (1) Frontline application.  All of the greyhounds are micro-chipped for fast identification should they become loose.

Are greyhounds noisy dogs?

Most greyhounds are calm, quiet dogs. Some bark to talk, but usually greys are much less vocal than other breeds.

What is a greyhound’s personality like?

Greyhounds are calm, sensitive dogs.  They are very people oriented and eager to please. Greyhounds tend to be couch potatoes and spend much of their retired lives sleeping and lounging.

Greyhounds also enjoy the company of other greyhounds, which is why so many owners have more than one greyhound.

Do greyhounds need a person with them at all times? I work so being home all the time isn’t an option.

Once a greyhound becomes used to your home and your routine, you can safely leave them alone in your home. Adjustment varies by dog, which is why most rescue groups suggest adopting your greyhound before a vacation. This way you, your family and your greyhound will have lots of time and opportunity to bond and adjust to each other.

Are there common health problems associated with greyhounds?

Unlike many other pure bred dogs, greyhounds don’t have genetic problems associated with the breed or inbreeding. However, be aware greyhounds are very sensitive to anesthesia.  They are also particularly sensitive to pest control chemicals.  With proper caution pest control for homes and flea and tick control can be accomplished without hurting your greyhound.

Why is there a charge to adopt a greyhound?

Rescue groups are made up of volunteers.  The adoption charge  covers some of the costs associated with food, and veterinary treatments.

In the rescue group here in Charleston, the $250 fee just about covers the spay/neuter, micro-chipping, teeth cleaning, shots and heart worm check.  But we, like most other greyhound rescue groups, cover the expenses of people who are acting as foster families for retired greyhounds waiting to be adopted.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote the “Adopt A Greyhound Guide”  to enable greyhound rescue groups to earn extra money to meet some of the expenses of the greyhound rescue process.  If you know of a rescue group  who would like to participate, have them submit their information on the contact us form or they can go to Regan Black Adopt A Greyhound Guide.