Greyhounds are exceptionally affectionate dogs. They are loving, clean, quiet, and smart. Greyhounds make great family pets—and they are great apartment dogs!
There are about 55,000 working Greyhounds in the United States, actively engaged in the racing industry.
Many racing dogs are kept under cruel conditions, and dogs that can’t win races are often euthanized.
Adopting a greyhound saves its life. Not very many Greyhound puppies are available for adoption, but adult Greyhounds come available frequently.
Vetstreet estimates that 120,000 Greyhounds in the USA alone have found homes through animal rescue.
10 Reasons a Greyhound Is a Great Choice for Apartment Living
The National Greyhound Adoption Program has collected hundreds of testimonials from families who have had a wonderful experience with a rescue Greyhound.
Here are 10 ways that Greyhounds are a good choice for apartment living.
Greyhounds don’t bark much
Greyhounds don’t bark or growl very often. If they are unhappy, they will try to get your attention, but if you aren’t at home, they won’t bother your neighbors.
Be forewarned that Greyhounds can learn to bark from other dogs.
Greyhounds love to lounge around
Greyhounds are capable of generating bursts of high speed on a racetrack. However, like many other breeds of sighthounds, their favorite activity is just resting.
An adult greyhound is fine taking naps all day while you go to work.
You should dog-proof your apartment (putting locks on cabinets where you keep chemicals, putting up a gate to keep your Greyhound out of rooms where you have fragile valuables, and so on) but your Greyhound won’t be an escape artist, and won’t disturb your neighbors during the day.
Greyhounds can sleep anywhere
Greyhounds sleep almost as much as cats, up to 18 hours a day.
They assume unusual positions, called “roaching,” that they learned when they were crammed into kennels with up to 10 other dogs at the racetrack.
They extend their long legs at every imaginable angle. Your Greyhound will appreciate her own comfortable bed, of course.
Greyhounds have good manners
It takes a Greyhound a while to warm up to someone new, especially if they spent most of their early lives at racetracks.
But Greyhounds won’t get aggressive with your neighbors and guests. They just won’t be friendly until they get to know the new people.
Greyhounds do well on vacations
Want a dog you can take with you on your vacations? Get a Greyhound!
Greyhounds are accustomed to traveling in cars and trucks.
They don’t get carsick, and they can enjoy a ride in their kennel if they are provided with their blanket and their favorite toys.
Don’t forget to let them out, on a leash, at roadside dog parks and recreational areas for potty time and exercise.
Greyhounds don’t have any difficulty keeping up with you when you take a ride or a run
Greyhounds can keep up with their humans on a run.
They don’t have problems following their humans on a bike.
You will need to keep your dog on a short leash, that can’t get tangled up in roadside obstacles, or take your dog with you where leashes are not required. But even a retired Greyhound will enjoy a daily run.
Greyhounds love to cuddle
Greyhounds spend their early lives with their littermates. They live in a scrum, competing with their siblings for attention.
When you adopt a single Greyhound to live in your apartment, he will still do everything possible to get petting, attention, and treats.
Even without competition from six, seven, eight, or more littermates, your Greyhound will work hard at getting loving attention.
Greyhounds are easy to groom
You won’t ever have to take your Greyhound to the dog groomer. Due to their short, sleek hair, all they need is a weekly combing and a monthly bath.
They do shed, but it’s nothing more than you can keep up with by vacuuming several times a week.
However, the Greyhound’s short hair is one of the reasons it is an indoor pet.
Unless you live in a benign climate like parts of coastal Southern California or Hawaii, you can’t keep a Greyhound outdoors.
Greyhounds get cold and overheat easily. They need sweaters and mittens in cold, icy weather, and they need cooling in the summer heat.
If you take them outside during temperature extremes, wash their paws as soon as they get back indoors.
You need to remove road salt in the winter and asphalt in the summer. Let them run indoors or on grass.
Greyhounds aren’t prone to any major health problems
Greyhounds usually don’t develop hip dysplasia, unusual dental problems, snoring, uncontrollable flatulence, or any of the health problems common in other breeds.
They are unusually sensitive to anesthesia. but your veterinarian will be aware of the problem and take precautions to make sure they stay pain-free without breathing complications.
Greyhounds usually live to be 10 to 13 years old.
Your home will seem like heaven to a rescue Greyhound
Most rescue Greyhounds have never had the experience of riding in a car while sticking their nose out the window.
They have not had toys, a soft bed, or kind words with a pat on the head while they are eating.
They will never have had a chance to socialize with other kinds of dogs or play with children.
The new life you give your Greyhound will seem strange at first, but Greyhounds almost always adjust by showing affection.
With a little patience and love, they blossom into well-mannered, loving pets.
Frequently Asked Questions About Greyhounds
Q. Is there any reason my apartment complex would not accept Greyhounds?
A. Greyhounds may not meet the size limits some apartments place on pets.
Males weigh 70 to 80 pounds (32 to 36 kilos), and females weigh 60 to 65 pounds (28 to 30 kilos). Your apartment complex may exclude the breed, or ask for a larger pet deposit.
Q. Are Greyhounds destructive?
A. Greyhounds need sensory input.
That can come from you, or it can come from playing with their toys, or it can come from digging, chewing, urinating to mark territory, and running away.
As long as someone checks on your Greyhound during the day, visits for 10 to 20 minutes, and interacts with your dog, it should be fine. Kennel training also helps.
Q. Why does my Greyhound have a tattoo on her ear?
A. English-bred Greyhounds often have a tattoo consisting of three letters and a number.
The letters identify the owner of the dog, and the number refers to the dog’s number in her litter.
If there were more than nine dogs in the litter, the fourth character will be a letter.
Q. My neighbors have a Greyhound. Why do they always muzzle her before taking her on walks? It is because she is aggressive?
A. Greyhounds are not aggressive dogs. They have sensitive skin around their mouths.
They can easily injure themselves on sticks, rocks, or bushes. Even when they are wearing the muzzle, however, they can still enjoy all the scents of the outdoors.
Q. How long can I expect my rescue Greyhound to live?
A. Greyhounds are unusually long-lived for a large-breed dog. Their average life expectancy is 12 years.
Greyhounds start racing at 18 months and usually continue racing until they are 2 to 5 years old.
Your rescue Greyhound should be with you for 7 to 10 years. However, Greyhounds that are allowed to become obese (so you can no longer see their ribs) have a shorter life expectancy.
Q. What’s the deal with Greyhounds and hookworms?
A. Many rescue Greyhounds have hookworms. They catch them by standing in, rolling in, or eating dog poop.
The adoption agency will probably run a fecal test for parasites before they offer your dog for adoption, but you may need to take it to the vet for a follow-up test and deworming pills.
Q. Are Greyhounds safe with cats?
A. Greyhounds are trained to chase a metal rabbit around a track.
Some Greyhounds identify housecats with the targets they are trained to chase, and others do not. The adoption agency usually will have “cat tested” every rescue Greyhound before putting it up for adoption.
Some Greyhounds are gentle with cats despite being winners on the track, while other Greyhounds wash out for racing but aren’t safe in the same home with a smaller animal.
Make sure the rescue shelter knows how your dog interacts with cats if you already have a cat in your home.
Q. Are Greyhounds good watchdogs?
A. Generally, no. If they are asleep, they won’t wake up just because a stranger comes into their apartment.
Q. Do I have to keep my Greyhound in a crate?
A. Keeping your Greyhound in a crate at night when you first get it helps it adjust to new surroundings.
Once you have dog-roofed your home, and your dog is used to her new surroundings, a crate is not necessary.
Q. Can I ever let my Greyhound off his leash?
A. No. Greyhounds are sighthounds. They instinctively chase things that move. They can reach top speed in just three steps, and you will not be able to restrain them once they have set off after a target.
Most Greyhounds are not street-smart. They do not realize that they can be hit by a car, attacked by larger dogs, or tip over baby carriages or trash cans.
They need to be restrained when they are outdoors for their protection and for yours.
Q. Can I keep my Greyhound on a Flexi-leash?
A. Flexi-leashes are not a good idea for Greyhounds. They can reach the end of their leash very quickly, and they will pull most people down to the ground with the strength they generate in just their first pace at their full 40-mile-per-hour (64 kph) speed.
If you can hold onto your dog, it will suffer serious injuries to his neck and spine. For the same reasons, you should never tie a Greyhound to a stationary object.
It can accelerate so quickly that it will either break the leash, tip over the object, or break its spine.
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