What is it about Greyhounds that makes us love them so much? Once we are privileged to live with a Greyhound, we are completely smitten, and have joined the “Cult of the Greyhound”. Here are ten Greyt Quirks that make the breed unique and so adorable. See if you agree…
Have you ever experienced a small nibbling or teeth chattering from your Greyhound? Don’t worry! It’s not a sign of aggression - it is usually quite the opposite. This is a behavior known as nitting (or “nittering” as some say) – and it is quite unusual compared to other dogs. Some people think they do this to show happiness or contentment, like a cat’s purring. Consider the context – depending on the circumstances, it could also possibly be excitement or anticipation of something yummy or fun. Eliminate other potential causes though, like pain or feeling cold. It is a harmless and endearing trait.
When you have a Greyhound living with you, sooner or later you probably will hear an amazing sound coming out of your hound – nose pointed to the sky and the sound is like a howl “Awrroooooo”! This could start out of the blue or be brought on by music/singing, hearing a siren or other dogs howling or even hearing the phone ring. This is known as “rooing” in Greyhound speak, it will continue for maybe a minute, then they quit and retire to the sofas/doggy beds/beds for a rest. It is fun if you have several Greyhounds, or are at a playdate with other hounds – when one starts, the rest follow! Not all Greys roo, but most do with the proper “prompt”. Search “rooing” on You Tube to test if your Grey roos – if you play one of those videos, that is a sure-fire roo starter!
Zoomies are all about excess energy and happiness. This could be speeding around the yard in circles or spinning in place. They break out spontaneously, inside or outside, depending where the mood strikes them. Our first Greyhound would spin in the middle of the bed almost every time I tried to change it (difficult to do with her doing her “washing machine” impression in the middle of it!)
A content Greyhound will often “cockroach” or "roach" (lay on its back with legs up). You only see this when the hound feels perfectly at ease with its people and its home. If one leg is straight up in the air, that is called the “flagpole” pose. Most, but not all, hounds do this occasionally.
5. MARTINGALE COLLAR
Because of their narrow heads, they need a different type of collar than the traditional buckle collar. One of the most popular collars for sighthounds is called the Martingale collar. The Martingale collar is also known as a limited-slip collar. It consists of a length of material with a metal ring at each end. A separate loop of material, 1-1/2” to 2” wide, passes through the two rings. The leash attaches to a ring on this loop. When your dog tries to back out of the Martingale, the collar tightens around their neck. If the collar is properly adjusted, it will tighten just to the size of your dog's neck, without choking them. You should still have the quick-release buckle collar on them with tags at all times (just in case), but the Martingale is only necessary when on a leash.
“No one can have just one!” applies to Greyhounds too – once you get the bug, the temptation is there to keep adding to the pack. Many Greys are happier with canine companions, thus the saying “If there’s room on the floor, there room for one more!” Check out these cute chip clips http://bit.ly/GreyhoundChipClips
Greyhounds CAN sit, it’s just that most of them don’t like to do it. Thanks to their very tight muscles, the dogs have trouble sitting like other breeds—it’s rare for their rumps to actually touch the floor when they hunker down. You can teach him to sit for treats and obedience, but you likely won’t find him doing it on his own because he wants to. Most greyhounds opt for standing or lying on something comfortable instead.
8. COUCH POTATO
You may think of greyhounds as energetic and athletic, but they have a lazy side as well. Animal Planet lovingly refers to this breed as "the world's fastest couch potato” thanks to their calm and quiet indoor personas. It has been said that Greyhounds have two speeds – flat-out sprinting or total couch potatoes. Dogs take their cues from their owners, however, so whatever lifestyle you lead, your dog is sure to mirror.
9. DOUBLE SUSPENSION GALLOP
Because Greyhounds are so thin with a very supple spine, it takes less energy for them to rocket themselves forward. If you watch them in action, you’ll notice that their feet leave the ground twice during each stride: Once when their legs are fully extended and a second time when their legs are tucked under their bodies. As a result, the dogs appear to almost glide through the air. This stride is called a double suspension rotary gallop. It is seen almost exclusively in sighthounds, and while it facilitates speed, it does not allow for much endurance. Thus, the average Greyhound race in the US is only about 1,600 feet!
All Greyhounds who are racers in the U.S. must be tattooed and be registered with the NGA (National Greyhound Association). They are usually tattooed between the ages of 2-1/2 to 3 months old. The actual tattoo for each puppy must be on a "Litter Registration" form and turned in to the NGA by the end of 3 months. The key is Left Ear = the left ear should contain a 5-digit National Greyhound Association litter registration number. Right = the right ear will have 2 or 3 numbers and a letter. Here's how to read the right ear tattoo: the first one or two digits indicates the month the dog was whelped, and the last number (always a single digit) is the year of birth. The letter indicates the order in a given litter in which that dog was tattooed (not the birth order). For example, 66B means a birthdate in June 2016, and the second dog tattooed. 105C means a birthdate in October 2015 and the third dog tattooed.
Greyhound s are known to be calm, affectionate, adaptable, and clean. They love to be with their people. For active families, they are satisfied with hiking and walking and some game playing and then are just as happy to lounge on the couch at the end of the day. That makes them perfect for a more laid-back lifestyle as well. Are you the proud owner of one of these dogs? Do you have any fun facts about Greyhounds you can share with us? Leave them in the comments below!