Common greyhound misconceptions and the truth
Since adopting my retired greyhound 5 years ago, I have had more than the occasional suspicious glare made in his direction. Common greyhound misconceptions leave people believing this wonderful breed is dangerous or hard work.
To anyone that knows Tipps, this unwarranted assumption that a rabid animal lays beneath the surface of my well-behaved, good-natured dog is laughable.
I want to dispel some of the common myths that are associated with this gentle, affectionate breed.
Greyhounds must be aggressive if they all wear muzzles
Greyhounds are typically not an aggressive breed, even those that have been trained on the tracks. Any trainer will tell you, an aggressive hound will not make a successful racer. When going through the adoption process many new owners are advised to muzzle their greyhound whilst they become familiar with their new pet personality and antics.
It is true that the transition period can be somewhat baffling for a greyhound to begin with and whilst their training is still fresh, it takes a little time to learn that those skills are no longer necessary and all running is now for fun.
Greyhounds are too big to be apartment pets
Contrary to common greyhound misconceptions, Greyhounds are actually ideal apartment dogs. Their tall bodies and long limbs may have people fooled into thinking that they need a lot of space.
In fact, with a couple of moderate walks a day these low maintenance mutts have expelled their energy and will love nothing more than curling up in a ball and lazing the day away.
Greyhounds are dangerous around cats
This is only true so far as any dog could be dangerous around cats. The feud between cats and dogs has existed for millennia, or so popular culture would have us believe. Cats and dogs behave in a very different manner to one another.
Cats tend to hold back and assess the situation whereas most dogs charge in, ready to investigate and play. A cat sees this as a threat and flees, the dog sees a game and gives chase. Greyhounds are placid, quiet breed and will not typically pose a threat to any other animal.
Some ex-racers can continue to have a high chase instinct which could mean rehoming them with a cat or other furry little pets is not a good match, but even those could be trained to co-exist happily. All dogs have their own individual personalities, some will like cats and some won't.
Greyhounds have lots of health problems
Greyhounds are a very healthy breed of dog and have few hereditary ailments. This myth could come from mistreatment stories from the track.
However, mistreatment or injury aside, these powerful lean machines have fewer health problems than the average dog. They can suffer from corns on their pads as they age but these are easily treated.
Greyhounds need a special diet or expensive food
This is not true. A greyhound, like all dog breeds, requires a well-balanced diet that meets its needs. They are, of course, one of the larger breeds and so need more food than your average chihuahua but an owner's choice on food type and brand and expense is down to them.
Greyhounds don't shed like other dogs
Let me tell you now, greyhounds shed. This is a myth that I wish was true. It's hard to believe when you look at them where all the hair is coming from but every summer, without fail, my grey's hair sheds by the bucketload.
Greyhounds need lots of exercise
Many of the sites and blogs dedicated to "all things greyhound" touch on this subject. Another one of those common greyhound misconceptions. They do love a good run around but they are built for speed and not endurance.
They love nothing more than a lazy day, snuggled up in their bed or cuddled up with their owners. Hence, the nickname - the 45mph couch potato.