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  • Is a Greyhound Right for Your Home?

    A noble breed with a rich history, the greyhound is among the most respected and adored breeds with dog enthusiasts. Originally brought to the United States by Spanish explorers to serve as hunting and guard dogs in the 1500s, greyhounds have developed a history of pride and purpose in America.

    Though they are generally associated with competitive racing, greyhounds also make phenomenal pets for both individuals and families. Furthermore, there are plenty of greyhounds across the country that were formerly used as racing dogs and are now in need of good, loving homes. Even if raised in another home and trained for racing, greyhounds are quick to adapt to a new home and are gentle, affectionate, and loving companions. Intelligent, peaceful, and in need of people to spend their retirement with, racing greyhounds are ideal companions, and they are in need of rescuing.

    GreyhoundThe greyhound breed exhibits many personality traits that make them an ideal home companion. For example, greyhounds are typically non-aggressive by nature. When presented with confrontation, a greyhound's default response is to freeze, not responding to challenges from other dogs or people. Because of this, they tend to be peaceful around dogs of a medium to large size. However, due to generations of breeding, they can sometimes find themselves chasing after cats or smaller dogs, so greyhounds are much better suited to homes without tiny pets.

    Big Dog, Big Heart

    A sensitive breed, greyhounds prefer owners who match their own peacefulness, taking immediately to quiet or soft-spoken people, as the dogs themselves seldom bark.

    Greyhounds are also a sleek and graceful breed, highly aware of their bodies and movements and unlikely to run about toppling lamps or bumping tables. Because of their peaceful nature and deliberate movement, greyhounds are a great breed around children. Calm and self-conscious, these dogs do not present a threat to children and won't cause them harm through either intentional or accidental actions.

    Affectionate dogs, greyhounds will generally take to any owners that show them love and compassion, and children have these traits in abundance. Of course, as with any breed of dog, greyhounds also need their own privacy at times, such as when eating or sleeping, so it's still important to teach children about a dog's needs and how to respect them. Below is some information that may help in determining if rescuing a greyhound is a good choice on a personal level.

    Though some have reported poor behavior with greyhounds, bad behavior is typically the result of improper training by previous owners and not a quality of the breed itself. When adopting a greyhound, it helps to keep previous owners in mind and to ask questions about the particular dog itself. Since conditioning toward bad behavior generally goes against a greyhound's nature, they aren't overly difficult to retrain, provided they haven't lived an entire life under poor circumstances and aren't so old they've become set in their ways. Whether training or retraining, however, greyhounds are an intelligent breed of dog, and as such they are quick to learn new rules or adapt to a new lifestyle.

    Dogs in Need

    Greyhound rescues focus on finding homes for retired racing dogs. Once their career has ended, greyhounds need a welcoming and loving home to spend their remaining years in, surrounded by a caring and compassionate family. Because some choose to keep dogs kenneled at their race tracks, rescue greyhounds can find themselves lacking the warmth and friendship they need, making them a prime choice for rescue. By choosing to rescue a greyhound, a person or family can show the former race dog a comforting, affectionate environment which they will take to and come to love.

    This is not to say that all former racing dogs have been neglected, nor that every rescue dog hasn't had a gentle hand to raise them, but that retired life brings a shift away from a work-focused mind for dogs – just as it does for humans – and prepares them for a more relaxed, people-centered lifestyle that comes naturally to the greyhound breed. Of course, having lived an exercise-filled life, rescue greyhounds still like to get out and run around for a bit of time each week, but they generally only require moderate exercise, and nothing quite as intense as regular racing.

    Bringing a dog into the home can also have positive health benefits. Research shows that dogs can not only help lower the chance for heart disease, but provide numerous other benefits to their owner's health.

    Infographic by ZocDoc

    Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

    Whether for companionship, assistance, or as a work dog, greyhounds are a wonderful breed to consider for adoption. Loving, friendly, and potentially enhancing the health of their  owners, they make perfect companions.  Keep this noble breed in mind when searching for a dog who needs you, and then get yourself a beautiful greyhound sticker here!

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