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Greyhound - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


The Greyhound was developed in Ancient Egypt as a hunter of small animals. Their keen sense of sight could spot tiny animals across great distances, and their speed was unmatched by any other domesticated breed. Today, Greyhounds still maintain their quiet elegance, love to chase and can sprint faster than horses. They make excellent companion dogs as they are quiet, well mannered, independent and clean. Greyhounds are sensitive creatures and should live in a home where there is not a lot of yelling or tension. They startle easily and are sometimes shy, but proper socialization can ensure a well-adjusted Greyhound.

Activity Requirements

You don't need to be a runner yourself to raise this breed. Greyhounds should be allowed to sprint several times a week, but they are not built for endurance activities. A few sprints and a Greyhound is done for the day, happily retiring to his bed for some rest and relaxation. They are fine city dwellers, as long as they are allowed to get to a park for regular sprints. Other than that, regular walking will keep the Greyhound happy and healthy. Their size makes them unsuitable for small apartments, but they are graceful dogs who don't need excessive room to move around indoors.

Taking your Greyhound to the agility track where he can use his mind and body also provides an excellent outlet for exercise. Lure training is the ideal sprinting activity for Greyhounds. If there is a track nearby where you can take your Greyhound to chase a mechanical lure, you should absolutely take your dog for regular visits.


Greyhounds are docile animals who need to be treated gently at all times. They are never aggressive, and freeze up when another dog postures towards them – they have absolutely no fighting instinct whatsoever. Treating a Greyhound harshly can cause them psychological harm, as they are incredibly sensitive. Gentle consistency and lots of praise and treats are all you need to train a Greyhound. Though they are independent, they pick up on tasks fairly quickly. They are naturally well-behaved so training is usually quite easy, even for first time dog owners.

Housetraining a Greyhound is a crap shoot. Some take to the yard quickly, while others can struggle for months before they catch on. Patience may be required to get through this stage of development.

Early and frequent socialization is very important so that their natural tendency toward shyness does not become all out fearfulness.

Behavioral Traits

Greyhounds have often been compared to cats. They are quiet, well mannered, regal and independent. But their independence can cause problems. They have been known to scale fences to get out and chase other animals, and they aren't likely to return on their own. Fences should be at least six feet high and Greyhounds should always be supervised in the yard.

Their chasing instinct is strong. Cats and small dogs an be in peril if your Greyhound's hunting instinct is as strong as his need to chase moving objects. Running should always happen in an enclosed area, and if you take your Greyhound to the dog park, make sure there are separate areas for large and small dogs.

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