YOU & YOUR GREYHOUND
If you have just adopted your greyhound or are still deciding, we have put together a host of helpful hints and tips that will ensure that you get the best possible start with you new friend.
Training should begin as soon as your dog arrives home. House training greyhounds is generally not a problem. After the greyhound’s initial visit to the garden, it is advantageous to take your new pet for a short five minute walk every hour on the first day, every hour and a half on the second day and every two hours on the third day. During this time, it is unlikely that the greyhound will have had a chance to have an accident and at the end of this three-day regime, he will be thoroughly familiar with the idea that any ‘toilets’ are to be done outside.
Thereafter, if your dog does have an ‘accident’ indoors bear in mind punishment does not work and can make the dog worse. Anticipate when your dog needs to go and take him outside and praise him when he ‘goes’. Any ‘accidents’ inside the home should be washed thoroughly in a solution of biological washing liquid, as this will take the smell away for him, it is the only thing that really works, otherwise he will constantly re-mark over that spot. Take him to the toilet immediately after food, when he gets up and before he goes to bed and, of course, in between.
Some signs to look for when your dog needs to go to the toilet are pacing up and down, whining, scratching at the door or circling. Of course, at first there may be no signs as it will have been used to living in a kennel, but greyhounds are generally clean animals and learn really quickly.
Your dog should at all time wear a collar and identity tag. We also recommend that you muzzle your dog when out walking.
Your dog will not be used to family life so have patience with him and he will settle in fine.
Do not force him into situations he is not sure about and do not force him to meet people unless he wants to. Let him do the approaching and get people to offer titbits so he associates people with a pleasant experience
NAILS AND VACCINATION
Keep your greyhounds nails clipped. Greyhounds require yearly booster inoculations. As a racer, greyhounds would have had all puppy and subsequent inoculations and only require annual boosters during their retirement.
BABIES AND SMALL CHILDREN
It is essential that when introducing any canine into a home where small children and babies are present, special care is taken – there is no exception with a greyhound. Children and babies should never be left unattended with the dog. The children should be educated to be calm and gentle with the dog and have respect for its needs and its bed (an escape place is a good idea, so when the dog has bad enough it can retreat to its own space)
Your greyhound will appreciate having its own bed. A folded duvet complete with cover is very good and inexpensive
EARS & COAT
Ears should be checked and washed carefully with warm water, as should eyes when grooming. In order to keep your dog’s coat healthy, a good brush and a bath will help. After giving your dog a bath, ensure he is dried quickly and can lie down somewhere warm
There are a variety of products available to control parasites, however the more effective ones need to be obtained from a veterinary surgery
UPON ARRIVING HOME
Upon arriving home, let your dog into the garden or designated toilet spot, wait until he relieves himself and then praise him profusely. Do this before entering the house and it will help prevent him from having an “accident”. On entering your garden and before letting your greyhound free, ensure other animals such as squirrels, foxes or cats which may have wandered onto your property, are given adequate chance to retreat.
Greyhounds do not require any more room than any other dog of a similar size, your garden does not need to be a racetrack, and they will be happy and safe within a fenced garden where they can be let out regularly.
INTRODUCING YOUR GREYHOUND TO AN EXISTING DOG
If you already have a dog, it is recommended that you arrange a first meeting between the two in a neutral area. This does not include any areas where your dog regularly walks, as these will be considered secondary territory. Allow them to smell each other on loose relaxed leads. Continue walking until the dogs are relaxed with each other, and then take them back to the house and into the garden. Ensure your existing dog’s toys, beds, bones, food and water bowls are taken up and put out of sight, so there is nothing for them to fight over. Your existing dog might not like another playing with his belongings at this stage. When you start to put the possessions down make sure there are more than enough for both dogs. To avoid future problems between your dogs remember to ‘back up’ your pack leader. The pack leader will be the first through doors, the first to seek attention and the first at the food bowl.
The opposite of reward is not punishment it is non-reward. The dog will soon learn that good behaviour equates with attention from you and good things happening and undesirable behaviour get him no reward, as a lot of bad behaviour is actually attention seeking!
WINDOWS & PATIO DOORS
Be aware that animals may not be conscious of the dangers of transparent glass and are likely to try to run through patio doors unless they are obscured in some way.
Greyhounds over the centuries have been specifically bred for chasing. You will have been advised if the dog is suitable or not to go to a home with cats. However, if you have a dog which apparently shows no interest in cats, you should be aware that it is possible, even if your dog eats and sleeps with the cat, if the cat runs or comes charging through the cat flap, your dog may chase it. Not having cat flaps avoids the situation and when letting your dog into your garden, alert any cats in the garden and allow them time to leave the area before letting your dog free. Your dog may see the garden as his territory.
Do not excite the dog when introducing him to the cat. Do not pick the cat up, as this will heighten the dog’s interest. It is essential to put a muzzle and lead on the dog during the introduction to the cat and that the person holding the lead is confident to do so. Ensure that the cat has a place to escape. If necessary, put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs so that the cat can get through but the dog cannot.
If your greyhound is not already neutered we strongly advise that this be done as soon as possible. There are many reasons why all pet dogs (not just greyhounds) should be neutered but very few reasons not to have this done.
Some greyhounds suffer from poor teeth because of the soft diet they have been fed whilst racing. Do not let their teeth get into a bad condition, as the acids caused by tooth decay will cause stomach complaints. Regular chews, bones and a good brush when you groom your dog should aid good health. Regular brushing with canine toothpaste helps. Check your dog’s mouth for ulceration’s regularly and if your dog has bad breath it can be a sign of tooth decay. Seek veterinary advice if in doubt.