Questions regarding: Exercise, Male vs.Female and Dental Issues:
Q: I decided not too long ago that Greyhound would be the dog for me, and is currently studying all my brain can take. I do, however, find myself with some unanswered questions. Like, how long must a walk be to give sufficient exercise?
A: Giving them a walk at least twice a day is recommended and I would say at least 1/2 an hour. But as they are runners they have a lot of excess energy and it would be ideal to run them once a day if possible--or as often as possible. If you could find an enclosed area somewhere it would be good if you are adopting a racer. If you are getting a puppy you can train them to stay close and return when called. I had a Greyhound from a puppy and was able to run him on the beach and in fields with out any worries. But an adopted racer is a different matter and you have to be very careful there.(But as they are sprinters one or two good distance sprints can be enough--having said that as a puppy they will probably have more energy to expend.) Older dogs don't need as much and the wonderful things about Greyhounds is that when they are at home they are quiet and famous for being couch potatoes, they are not hyper. Some Greyhounds may have problems if they are not given the exercise they need so an appropriate food for high energy dogs may be a good idea.
Q: And what are the differences (pro and cons) between male female?
A: Honestly there are no downsides to either, I find they are equally as good as pets. If you have a male and do not neuter him there may be some issues with aggressive tendencies, by them or other dogs, so there is something you will have to consider. Also there is a way to check if your dog tends to be a bit more dominant and therefore having it neutered if a male would be ideal. If an adopted racer they will be able give you an idea of their temperament. But Greyhounds are like any other dog and both male and females can tend towards passiveness or aggressiveness in nature so it is more about the individual I would say.
Q: I have also read that Greyhounds has bad teeth, and that you mentioned toothpaste for dogs, what is that or is there any brands you can recommend?
A: Yes that is a concern, so getting a regular regiment regarding teeth is a good idea. There is natural tooth paste for dogs that some pet food stores carry and various types of ways to brush their teeth.(Finger brush etc.--and if getting a puppy get them used to handling their mouths and teeth early so it isn't a struggle.) You can go to any pet food store and get some information there. I would have a vet look your dog over right away and even have yearly cleaning done. But they usually have to be under when this is done and Greyhounds are very sensitive to anesthetics so make sure the vet understands Greyhound physiology.
Continued correspondence with Kamma re Greyhound care:
Thank you very much for answering.
Q: Is it ½ an hour for each walk or put together?
A: 1/2 an hour for each walk and I would say at least. If you can make the one in the evening a little longer it would be good. On the w/e longer walks may be more possible. If you work out of home a short trip out in between is good too, especially when they get older. It's hard on their badder otherwise.
Q: So a puppy can be trained to come? Will it be safe even if there are a moderately trafficked road right next to said beach or could it be safe running in a forest? And, for the enclosed area, will it have to be really big or just bigger than the average town house/terrace house garden?
A: You can train a puppy to come but do it in an enclosed area first to make sure they are really trained before letting them off near traffic areas. Best to wait until they are a little older, puppies have a tendency to test you. But generally it is best to keep a dog on leash when near traffic areas just in case. But with an ex-racer you can never really let them off leash outside of an enclosed area.
I would say a large baseball field type area so they can really run a straight distance and get the running urge satisfied; they can run up to 40 mph and so a bit of a distance is needed. But in a pinch an enclosed house yard can give them the space to run around in circles to get their energy out. If that's all you have they will take advantage of this but if you can find a bigger area once a week or so for them to really run, it would be the best for there mental health.
Q: All coming down to the individual, huh? Well, that's actually pretty good, considering for how many breeds it would make a huge difference. Then again, the breeders of these dogs had very little space to be picky with... That would make it a bit easier to look over a litter of eye-bleeding adorable pups and say which one I thought would be the best current-behavior wise instead of having to take gender into a lot of consideration as well.
A: Well, there are some gender difference to consider but I don't think they are as significant as individual personality. Most breeders can tell you the basic temperament of the puppy and there are books that teach you how to identify, personality traits. A good one is 'The Monks of New Skeet" They are famous for raising dogs, I can't remember the title but they have one on raising and training a puppy. You can google or ask a book store. But if you are getting a puppy I highly recommend their books. They focus on positive reinforcement which in my mind is the only way to train a healthy, happy dog.
Q: Okay, so I'll check with my local pet food store to see what they have, thank you. But about the finger brush, are you sure something like a child's toothbrush would be better suited, as I would have to stick less of my hand into the dogs mouth? Or would the plastic be too dangerous if it should take a bite of it by mistake? Which would of course be a good reason to use the hand at first if nothing else... And I'll make sure to check with my vet if he/she knows how to treat Greyhounds.
A: Well, different people had different results and it depends on the dog. Sometimes they bite on the regular tooth brush a lot and not a lot of cleaning gets done. The finger brush gives you more ability to get into the mouth and may be less likely that you hit the gums. Yeah, you get your hand in their mouths but that's owning a dog, can get pretty messy at times.
That's a good idea, some locations have vets who specialize in treating Greyhounds, you may have one, just ask around.
Kamma: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. Even if they only spawned even more. In this case, however, it's better to learn through others' experience than trial and error.
I don't mind at all it brings back lots of memories which I enjoy. Owning a dog is a life long learning experience, there is always so much to learn and it never really stops I guess that's what inspired me to create my site.
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