Kiwikiwi Hounds Adoption Charitable Trust
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about greyhounds. Have a look here and see if your question is one of them!
How old are greyhounds when they retire?
Most greyhounds retire between 3 and 4, but we frequently have younger and older greyhounds available. Greyhounds may come in to the programme at around 2 years old if they are unsuitable for racing. Older dogs may come in after breeding or after being returned following a change in their owner’s circumstances.
How long do greyhounds live for?
The expected life span of the greyhound is between 12 and 15 years.
Do they need a lot of exercise?
No! The retired greyhound is a bit of a couch potato. They tend to have quick bouts of activity followed by much snoozing. So one or two 20 minute walks a day is ideal with a longer walk at weekends. Younger dogs are usually more energetic and bouncy and will need more exercise.
So, no, you can't take them running or hiking until you have spent time improving their stamina, which is a gradual process. Think Usain Bolt being expected to run a marathon after only ever sprinting 100m.....
Group Walks Look Fun!
Yes, they can be. However you need to keep their world small to start with.
This means using a crate for at least the first 3 days, just toileting them - so, no walks, minimal visitors and no cat training!
They need time to adjust to their new surroundings and you will have a happier hound if you allow them to do this.
Are they a suitable companion for an older person?
Yes. Greyhounds are very gentle and usually walk to heel beautifully. Many older people enjoy the companionship of a greyhound and appreciate their placid nature and the fact they don’t have to bend down to pat them!
Do greyhounds have to be muzzled in public?
No, pet greyhounds are classed the same as any other dog. Only the Greyhound Racing Association requires racing greyhounds to wear muzzles in public. However, we do recommend they are if off leash.
Can greyhounds live outside?
No. We prefer our greyhounds to live indoors as they have very short coats and get cold easily. However, they may be left outside during the day, providing they have shelter from the cold, the heat and the rain.
Can I tie my greyhound up?
No! Greyhounds can reach great speeds in two or three strides and have delicate necks therefore tethering can result in serious injury.
For that reason, retractable leads are also a no.
Are greyhounds good in the car?
Yes! Greyhounds love travelling in cars. During their racing life they have travelled extensively and this is something they continue to enjoy as a pet. Most greyhounds lie quietly enjoying the view out of the window.
Can greyhounds and cat’s live together?
Some greyhounds will live very contentedly in a house with cats and other small animals and some will not. It really depends on the individual greyhound and how much time the owner is prepared to spend training them. Some greyhounds, like many other dog breeds, will chase cats, the difference being that a greyhound is more likely to catch one. We assess each greyhound to ensure only ones we consider cat trainable are placed with cats. However, your hound is cat trainable - not cat trained! That part is up to you and will not happen overnight. Some hounds adjust quicker than others, so it can be a long process.
Are greyhounds a suitable pet for a child?
Greyhounds are usually very good with children. A greyhound will normally walk away from any unwanted attention. However children should be taught to respect any dog’s space and it is a good idea to make your greyhound’s bed into a no go area for young children. We temperament test each greyhound to find which dogs particularly enjoy the company of children.
Will a greyhound get on with my existing dog?
Generally greyhounds thrive on the companionship of other dogs as they are used to living with many other greyhounds in the kennel environment. This means they have a strong sense of pack order and will work out who is pack leader in your home environment. Problems usually only occur when you have two dogs of the same sex and who are of similar status in the pack. This can easily be avoided by choosing a dog and a bitch. However if you are keen on having two dogs of the same sex then we can usually match a greyhound who will fit in with your pack.
Are Kiwikiwi Hounds housetrained?
Some of our greyhounds spend around 4 weeks in a foster home, during which time they are taught about the domestic environment. This includes housetraining therefore most dogs will be fully housetrained before being rehomed. However major changes in their routine can result in a few toileting accidents, these soon diminish as long as the owner remains calm and understanding.
Do they suffer from any ailments particular to the breed?
Greyhounds are one of the oldest dog breeds and therefore suffer relatively few ailments. They can be susceptible to tooth decay when older, but this can be minimised by feeding plenty of bones and teeth cleaning treats earlier in life. Occasionally they may have suffered an injury when racing which could lead to arthritis when older; you will be advised of any injuries we are aware of.
What is sleep startle?
Your greyhound will have been used to life in kennels, where they will have been woken by noise. They can sleep very deeply (sometimes with their eyes appearing to be open) and if you wake them by touch, it can startle them. This can cause them to snap or growl. How can you avoid this? Make sure that you wake them by noise - clapping or calling their name before you get to their bed.
This is why you should NEVER allow children to jump or fall on or push your hound when they are resting.
Can I walk my greyhound off leash?
We suggest you take your dog to obedience classes, that way you will be taught how to control your dog off the leash in appropriate areas. Greyhounds enjoy sprinting and are out of voice range very quickly, therefore you must be constantly aware of any dangers. We recommend that greyhounds are never let off leash anywhere near traffic as they have little road sense. Bear in mind that most greyhounds enjoy a good chase and while this is great fun amongst other greyhounds it can be very intimidating to smaller dogs so please exercise discretion when letting your greyhound off lead and choose somewhere where they are unlikely to encounter smaller dogs at play. We also recommend they are muzzled when off leash in public.
Do greyhounds make good pets?
Yes! Greyhounds are affectionate, intelligent and sociable. Thousands of years of breeding have resulted in what the greyhound is today – fast and good tempered!