Greyhound

run, run, run...sleep!

Greyhounds are renowned for their fast running and are well known for their racing ability. They are the second fastest land creature on earth and Greyhound Racing is big business. They reach full speed (70km per hour) in just six powerful strides, so would you believe Greyhounds are actually great couch potatoes and great family pets?

Greyhounds are sprinters with not much endurance, so they spend most of their time just lazing around or playing quietly. They can sleep 18 hours a day. You may have seen them muzzled and thought they were vicious, but this is not true. Racing Greyhounds are muzzled because their skin tears very easily and in the “chase” of the mechanical rabbit, even a small skirmish with another competitor could cause them injury. Some Greyhounds are muzzled in public simply to protect neighbourhood animals from becoming prey. Remember, this is the ultimate chase dog and should always be exercised on lead because if they get away from you, you will have no hope of catching them.

So how much exercise do they need? A couple of walks a day, not too long, and not in extreme weather. Greyhounds are very sensitive to the extremes of heat and cold and if it's raining they will urge you to go on your own!

Training is essential because of their size and chase instinct. You need to be a strong handler, able to keep them firmly at heel. Don't tie them up - Greyhounds have been known to hang themselves on poles whilst trying to chase something. Instead, contain them in a well fenced backyard and let them have lots of inside time with you.

These dogs are average shedders, so a quick brush a day will keep them well groomed. They are good with children but like a quiet, predictable environment so hyperactive children screaming around the house will not suit them and they will become frightened and skittish. They will also be accepting of other dogs even cats, but it wouldn't be wise to let the Greyhound and the cat out for a 'play' together in case the cat becomes a 'prey'.

Finally, if your Greyhound barks, pay attention. These are very quiet dogs, so barking means something is up!

<ul> <li> Large, very fast dogs.</li> <li>Strong chase instinct.</li> <li>Very quiet, friendly pet.</li> <li>Does not have high exercise needs.</li> <li>Needs obedience training.</li> <li>Must be on lead outdoors.</li> </ul>