Did you know that greyhounds are a popular dog breed known for being great at racing? Their bodies are streamlined and muscular to accommodate the speed. They also have long heads and necks with folded flat rose ears, which gives them a distinctive appearance among other breeds of dogs.
Most adopted greyhounds are retirees from the racetracks. They can make great family pets because of their loving nature. But, since they have no experience living with a family like yours, training and guidance are needed to help them adapt to your household. They could show signs of distress like heavy panting, pacing, listlessness, lack of interest in food, and obsessively licking of paw. These are some signs of experiencing anxiety, so look out for these.
If you’re planning to adopt one, you can know more at Greyhound as Pets, NSW. In addition, to help you navigate your greyhound adoption, here are some tips on how to train your dog:
Obtain these materials first
Get the necessary tools to facilitate training your adopted greyhound. These are the basic things you’ll need, so make sure to take notes:
- flat, comfortable lead (soft webbing or leather)
- a leather collar specifically made for greyhounds (fishtail shape collar)
- a muzzle (box-type for greyhounds)
- treats that are the size of large peas
- quiet, spacious area without no to few distractions to train in
- crate for house training (at least 42 inches or 110 cm)
Use positive training techniques
Before starting training, it’s essential to teach your adopted greyhound to build their attention span and focus. You can quickly help your dog pay attention and focus during the first stages of training. However, make sure to employ attention-building exercises by making eye contact with your dog.
Greyhounds are a silent and sensitive breed of dogs, so they don’t respond well to harsh training. Start the exercise by employing positive training techniques. This will facilitate learning by rewarding desired behaviors from your pet and ignoring unwanted behavior.
Note that working with a positive reward system should refrain from dominating or shouting as it will only cause unwanted behaviors. Moreover, the key to successful training is to provide a reward. Give your dog tasty treats and lots of praise at the beginning, so the dog grasps the concept of what you’re asking the dog to do.
Rewards could be:
- Food rewards: For greyhounds, food works best as a reward. Rich foods like heart, liver, and turkey are excellent choices and are relatively cheap. The serving size should be small, so the dog doesn’t get full too quickly.
- Praise: They could also use recognition, but it shouldn’t be over-the-top. You could do this in a high-pitched voice and verbal.
- Toys: These could be stuffed toys, squeaking plush dog toys, or tennis balls. These could ignite your greyhound’s prey instincts.
- Playing games: Playing games with your greyhound can appeal to their innate characteristics. This is done to avoid sudden bursts of energy during unnecessary times.
Set training times
Greyhounds are very active dogs who enjoy giving and receiving love from their owners. Their energy level is significantly higher in healthy puppies and young dogs. But, adult greyhounds are more adaptive and responsive to their owners’ energy levels. Their attention span can be short, especially if they’re bored. So, remember to keep a training session and fun. A 5- to 10-minute one is way more beneficial than a long session. Doing so will build attention span and focus on your adopted greyhound quite easily.
Many greyhounds thrive in a structured training environment, gradually socialize the dog to new surroundings aside from your home—including new dogs and new people.
The timing is critical because your greyhound might get overwhelmed if you place the dog into social situations too early. Doing so can cause unwanted behaviors from your dogs, or worse, cause your dog to withdraw.
Note that new interactions must be conducted gently and voluntarily to help them gain confidence that the unknown is not a threat and should not be feared.
Final thoughts on greyhound training
Training an adopted greyhound is highly influenced by its owner’s behaviors. That’s why their efforts will determine the success or failure of the training. Although most greyhounds have no difficulty quickly transitioning into a home environment, it’s paramount to train them to be adaptable in many settings, not just your home.
Most adopted greyhounds are retired from their racetrack life, so a domestic environment is a whole new experience for them. Therefore, as an owner, you have to be patient with your greyhound. Employ the tips above to help them settle. In return, you will be rewarded with a loving pet.