11 THINGS YOUR GREYHOUND IS TRYING TO TELL YOU
We adore our Greyhounds and wish we could understand them better. Even though we live closely with our beloved hounds, we are not always on the same wavelength. Have you ever found yourself wondering “Why on earth would he DO that?” We have all been there. Maybe it will help a little to list some things your Greyhound wants you to know.
1. TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR PHONE!
Our dogs need us for everything and we can’t maintain a bond with them unless we spend time with them, play with them, snuggle with them and just interact with them. Set a timer for just 10 minutes a day and do whatever your dog wants to do….play, snuggle, go for a walk. Without enough attention from you, your dog will not thrive and may even become depressed. A desperately bored pup may resort to “bad” behaviors to elicit a reaction—even a negative one!
Related: 10 Sure-Fire Bond Builders
2. I ADORE YOU!
If you have a Greyhound who is a Velcro dog, know that you are not alone. Dogs are pack animals and hounds are very social, having been raised with lots of other Greyhounds. Now, you are their pack, and because they love you, they want to be with you 24/7. It only becomes a problem if they become compulsive about it, leading to severe distress when they are away from you.
For information on separation anxiety, you might find this article helpful: Separation Anxiety
3. WHAT MY KISSES REALLY MEAN
Sure, your dog loves you, but that’s not why he’s licking your face. A puppy learns to lick its mother’s mouth to snag a little leftover food, so your pup isn’t kissing you in our sense of the word; he just wants a snack.
4. TAIL TALES
All tail wagging is not equal! A happy wag is a slightly upright tail wagging at moderate speed, and a super excited wag is called “helicopter tail” – wagging faster and faster in a circle. Dogs wag their tails to the right when they see something (or someone) they want to approach and to the left when they see something they want to avoid. When frightened, dogs tuck their tails under and when submissive or fearful, the tucked tail is wagging slightly between the legs. A tail arched over the back with a fast wag is likely aggressive, and a curious wag is with the tail straight out and a slight wag.
Check out: Greyhounds and Happy Tail
5. SORRY/NOT SORRY
Dogs feel lots of emotions, but they do not feel guilt. If your pup looks guilty when you ask “Who did this?”, it’s because your tone of voice and body language shows him that you are upset and he doesn’t like that! Bad things happen when you are angry. IF you can catch him in the act of doing something you don’t like, a stern “No!” will communicate that you do not want that behavior. This is not effective after the fact.
You might be interested in this article: Is Your Greyhound Destroying Items Around the House?
Also Tactics to Stop Your Dog from Chewing Furniture
6. STRESSING OUT
The following behaviors can mean that your Greyhound is stressed: changes in normal activities, such as excess or decreased sleeping, lowered body posture, loss of appetite, destructive behaviors, pee accidents, avoidance; excessive grooming, vocalizations, sniffing, panting, blinking, licking, yawning, shaking or pacing. If you do not know of anything that could be stressing out your hound, it might be good idea to have your vet check him out, just in case there’s something else going on.
If you have an anxious Greyhound, this article could help: How to Deal with Greyhound Anxiety
7. TUMMY TROUBLE
If your dog arches his back while tucking his belly up, he’s in pain—likely gastrointestinal discomfort, but the pain could also be its back. If this posture persists, have your vet help you pin down the issue.
8. GRASS IS YUMMY
Contrary to popular belief, the adage that grass helps dogs with upset stomachs turns out to not be true. Dogs are omnivores, so they are wired to eat just about everything. Maybe they like the taste and texture of the grass, or they are bored with eating the same old dog food every day and looking for some variety.
Stanley Coren, a famous dog psychologist and author, sheds a bit of light on why dogs eat grass using some scientific evidence: “The researchers conclude that grass eating is common in normal dogs and is generally not associated with illness or dietary needs. They suggest that grass eating may reflect an innate predisposition inherited from dogs' wild ancestors.” – Stanley Coren, Ph.D.
9. SAY WHAT?
It’s so cute when your dog looks at you with his head titled to one side, but why does he do this? The reason is usually that he is trying to understand what you are saying. There are several theories on why pets do this, but no hard proven facts. Maybe your pup is listening intently to hear the magic words: “treat,” “walk,” “outside,” and “ride.” Perhaps he's trying to figure out where a particular sound is coming from and what to do with it (with that command or word). “We know that dogs continually scan our faces for information and to read our emotional state. Hence, one reason dogs may tilt their heads when we talk to them is that they want to see our faces better...” – Stanley Coren, Ph.D.
10. FRITO FEET
Your Greyhound doesn’t think anything of it, but have you ever wondered why your dog’s feet smell like corn chips? Bacteria called pseudomonas and proteus cause dog’s paws to give off a yeasty odor that smells like Fritos. Dogs also sweat through their paws and that sweat can activate the smell of the bacteria. It’s really nothing to worry about, but if it bothers you, you can get rid of it by washing your pup’s paws with a gentle shampoo and drying very carefully between each toe.
11. TROUBLE’S COMING
Not all dogs are affected, but if your Greyhound hates thunder, pay attention to the warning signs – pacing, shaking, panting, whining, hiding – even if the skies look blue. Dogs can sense barometric pressure changes or even smell the impending rain. Dogs that hate thunder are usually bothered by fireworks too. There are things you can do to help them survive these occurrences.
Also see: Greyhounds & Fireworks Fear
If you live near a fault line, and your hound is freaking out, consider that he may be sensing a disturbance, even if the weather forecast is clear. The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior found that dogs can detect earthquakes up to 20 hours ahead of time.
More for you:
10 Things Your Greyhound Wants You to Know