Adopting a Greyhound Pros and Cons

It was 2015, when we adopted our goofball Gimli from an adoption group in Northern California.

1. Intense and long preparation

It was a long and surprisingly very intense process but the adoption group really wanted to make sure, that we would be well prepared to adopt a ex-racer which never experiences things like manholes on the street, car rides or other dog breeds in its life.

We can't talk for all adoption groups but our preparation included a visit by a volunteer who made sure that our apartment was ready for the dog and who pointed out possible dangers for the dog like open doors or maintenance people entering the premises without our knowledge resulting in a possible loose dog.

During this three month period, we also received a 70 page document with all the details about the life with a Greyhound. It included facts and tips for day-to-day activities as well as what to do in emergency situations. 

We eventually had a 2hr phone call with the adoption group where they asked us about all the material and what we would do in certain situations. We felt, like we were back in college but the adoption group just wanted to decrease the possibility of any danger for the dog as much as possible.

2. You might not get what you want

When we were visited by the volunteer, we expressed our preference for a young female greyhound but the volunteer explained to us, that the adoption process would involve a matching system where we could tell our preference but at the end could get something different. Luckily, we got matched with a 2yr old female at the adoption event.

3. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"

Given the fact, that Greyhounds offered for adoption could be anywhere between 2 and 12 years old, you could get a dog of any age and have a harder time to teach him or her basic things like walking stairs. It took us almost 3 weeks and a lot of different treats until Gimli felt secure going up and down the stairs. On the positive side, she never had any accidents in the apartment and was house-trained from the beginning.

4. Don't expect a running partner

We received a lot of questions if we could handle all the exercise greyhounds need and many greyhound owners will smile and have their answer ready when people approach them and ask if they are running with their greyhounds a lot. Greyhounds are not endurance animals and not used to long exercise. They are sprinters and really don't need 10 mile walks. If you have access to a closed area, let them run free and if you are lucky, they will start sprinting for 30 seconds, followed by a 8hr nap on your couch.

5.They don't like heat oh and they don't like cold either

The average body fat percentage of a greyhound is around 16-17% whereas other dog breeds usually have twice as much. Although we might be jealous at this number at first, it also means that greyhounds can't regulate their body temperatures as well as other breeds. Heat strokes in 75 degree weather can occur.

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