From Track to Lounge
There are many things around the home that we take totally for granted, however we must remember that most greyhounds have never experienced a home environment before. Kennels can be very sheltered and this means that when you invite a greyhound into your home there will be a great many things that they have never seen before and may not initially understand. Despite this greyhounds learn very fast and with a little bit of reassurance and understanding from you they will adjust to these things very quickly.
All Greyhounds have to wear muzzles in any public place until they have been assessed and exempt by the proper authority. GAP Greyhounds do not have to wear a muzzle once they have been adopted to their new owner. GAPSA will provide the necessary forms and certificates for your greyhound to achieve the muzzle exemption though the Dog and Cat Management Board of SA.
Greyhounds do not have any awareness or fear of cats.
Most greyhounds will get along fine with your cat and/or other pets. We do evaluate our greyhounds to determine their disposition towards cats and other small animals. Should a greyhound show too much interest or any aggression toward a cat we make certain that they will be placed in a home that has no pet cats. A greyhound tested and deemed cat safe is only cat safe with the cats it has been tested with, so you must still take great care when introducing your new dog to your cat and NEVER leave the two alone until you are sure that there are no problems. A muzzle will be provided for your dog to ensure the safety of the other pets during the initial introductions.
Greyhounds have been trained to chase smaller fast moving animals. It is an instinct that is strongly bred into them and then enhanced through their training. We cannot take the chase instinct out of the greyhound, and we do not "de-train" them. We merely teach the greyhound and owner to control that behaviour.
For the safety of your cat you should leave the muzzle on your greyhound if it is in your back yard with the cat and you should NEVER leave them alone together until you are certain that they are comfortable with each other. Greyhounds may be cat tolerant in the home, but when outside the greyhound will chase the cat. For the safety of your cat and greyhound, GAPSA prefers that you do NOT allow the greyhound and cat outside without supervision and the greyhound MUST be muzzled until you are comfortable that your new greyhound will not chase the cat. The message that it is not OK to chase cats needs to be constantly reinforced to them and it wont be long before they understand that you won't accept that behaviour.
Greyhounds have no road sense.
It is law that greyhounds must always be on a lead when in a public place and so they have been brought up this way. They are sight hounds and it is their instinct to chase, this instinct has been further honed through training and coupled with the fact that they can see clearly for up to one kilometre, they should not be let off a lead in any public area. This is law.
Their instinct to chase coupled with their speed means they could be travelling at over 60km per hour before we had the chance to catch them. Disaster could easily occur if they were running loose near roads or if they were to catch whatever they were chasing.
Greyhounds don't know about glass.
Most kennels don't have glass doors or windows so make a point to show your greyhound any glass windows and doors and let them know that they can't barge through them!
Greyhounds don't know about fridges, washing machines, clothes dryers and vacuum cleaners!
Although to us humans these appliances and others like them are second nature, to a greyhound they are all new. Be conscious of the noises that these appliances make as they may frighten, confuse or upset some greyhounds. With a bit of reassurance your greyhound will soon understand that these appliances are neither threatening nor frightening.