10 THINGS YOUR GREYHOUND WANTS YOU TO KNOW
Science continues to uncover your Greyhound’s most fascinating secrets. Here are some of the most basic things your hound would want to tell you.
1. I’M BASICALLY A TODDLER.
The secret to understanding your greyhound’s behavior is that the average dog has a mind that’s roughly equivalent to a two year old person. There are some super smart dogs, but on average, dogs comprehend about 150 words, more than “cookie” or “ride”. It is easier for them to learn words associated with activities or objects, rather than emotions. Although they do respond to our tone of voice: “Good boy!” versus “Who did that?”
2. I NEED SOME TIME TO ACCLIMATE TO YOUR WORLD.
While some greyhounds will eagerly fit into your family, many will have a period of adjustment while they learn to navigate a world outside of the farm and track. Most likely, everything is new – from kids to stairs. Be patient and go at their pace. Once they are comfortable in your home, and with your family, start taking them out to see the rest of your world. All dogs, not only greyhounds, are enriched by new sights, sounds and smells. Don’t wait too long to have them meet a new person or two – that will ensure that they don’t become fearful or aggressive.
3. ONCE WE BOND, I’M FOLLOWING YOU EVERYWHERE,
and when I can’t, I’m unhappy. Your greyhound may be thinking “Now that I’ve found you, I’m not ever letting you go”, leading to being joined to you at the hip. Not many of us can have our dogs with us 24/7, so we will have to help them get used to our absences, or times we need our privacy. You might find these articles helpful: Velcro Dogs
Keep Your Greyhound Busy While You're at Work
4. I’LL TELL YOU WHEN I’M LONELY
Although Greyhounds are a quiet breed, dogs who become comfortable in their surroundings often bark. Alert hound owners know that the pitch, duration, and frequency of their dog’s bark differ depending on the circumstances, and researchers are learning what some of that nuance among vocalizations means. For example, dogs bark differently when someone’s at the door than when they’re hungry or want company. Two to four high-pitched barks mean a dog senses a threat and is alerting the pack to potential danger. But a long string of single barks with pauses in between most likely means your dog is lonely.
5. I ALSO USE MY OWN SIGN LANGUAGE
Dogs do talk to you through barks and whines, but don’t ignore their more physical communication, such as when they paw at the treat drawer to ask for a treat. “Dogs are excellent at adapting their body language to provide us clues about how they feel and what they want,” says Monique A.R.Udell, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of animal and rangeland sciences at Oregon State University. You might find this article interesting: How to Speak Greyhound
6. YOU MIGHT BE TRANSFERRING YOUR STRESS TO ME
According to dog training experts, tension flows down the leash. If you are tense and upset, your dog will start to act tense and upset too. Try to be aware of how you are feeling and what the situation is in your house if your dog starts to seem stressed. Stressed Greyhounds can pace, whine and act out.
7. I DON’T FEEL GUILTY – EVER.
Like their intelligence, dogs’ emotional maturity is similar to that of toddlers. The average two-to-three-year-old has all the basic emotions, like joy, sadness, fear, anger, disgust and surprise. But they don’t have complex social emotions like guilt, shame, and pride. When you come home and find that your pup has made a mess and he tucks his tail and looks ashamed, he’s really just afraid of your anger. He’s smart enough to associate the mess with your being upset, but guilt is not the reason.
8. BUT I DO GET JEALOUS.
Did your hound turn his back on you when you got home from your friend’s house after playing with their dog? He could be jealous. Researchers compared how dogs reacted when their owners were paying attention to either a stuffed dog or to another inanimate object such as a pail or a book. Nearly three quarters of the dogs exhibited jealous behavior about the fake canine, but only 42% and 22% reacted badly to the pail and book, respectively. Scientists suspect that canine jealousy dates back to the days when dogs competed for food and other resources.
9. I MAY HAVE A MOOD DISORDER.
Eight percent of dog owners have given their pups medicine for anxiety and other mood disorders, according to a study by market research firm Packaged Facts. The FDA has approved pet variations of human medicines for separation anxiety, noise aversion, and cognitive dysfunction, the Washington Post reports.
You might find this article helpful: Does My Senior Dog Have Dementia? Or
Strategies to Help if Your Senior Dog has Dementia
10. I CAN DETECT CANCER.
Several studies have shown that dogs can detect whether a person has certain types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancer. How? By sniffing a person’s breath, urine, blood or even skin. Given a dog’s acute sense of smell, scientists think canines can pick up on volatile organic compounds that cancer cells give off. Unfortunately dogs have not proved to be reliable diagnosticians; they get bored and lose interest in sniffing samples after a short while. But this is not the case with sniffing their owners – they are good at discerning when something is not right. Not surprising when they depend on us for just about everything.
You might find this article interesting: Can Dogs Detect Cancer?
“I used to look at [my dog] Smokey and think, “If you were a little smarter, you could tell me what you were thinking,” and he’d look at me like he was saying, “If you were a little smarter, I wouldn’t have to.”
Great article. Thank you for posting. I always say our Greyhounds don’t speak but they can communicate when they need to out side to do their business. We do not give them enough credit for being so smart. Love Greyhounds one very special breed. I have been owned by Greyhounds since 1998 and would not think of adopting any other breed. I’m on my 5th ex racer