Greyhounds, especially racers, spend a great deal of time around other Greyhounds. You may be asking yourself if your Grey needs a dog companion to be happier.
The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think.
Like all dogs, Greyhounds have unique needs and personalities. Some Greyhounds are happy to be alone. Others thrive in groups and create lasting bonds in pack situations. Your Greyhound might appreciate a dog companion.
Below, we’ll look at whether Greyhounds can benefit from a dog companion, how they get along with other dogs, and how to add another dog to your household.
Do Greyhounds Need Another Dog?
Before we can definitively answer whether greyhounds need another dog or not, we need to understand how greyhounds are raised.
Most greyhounds are raised for racing. They are rarely available to adopt as puppies. Usually, younger greyhounds are put up for adoption when they don’t seem to race well.
This means that the entire first year(s) of their life, these dogs are raised with their litters and trained for racing.
That means there are two universal truths about (most) Greyhounds:
- They are used to their breed and have probably never seen a different dog or even a cat.
- They have been raised with a group of other Greys.
Your adoption may be the first time that your Greyhound has been in a single dog household or an ‘inside dog’.
With that in mind, Greyhounds can thrive with other Greyhounds.
They can get along very well with members of their breed, especially if they are socialized properly at that young age. There are exceptions to this model, but the lives of most Greys (including racing Grays) follow this pattern.
Greyhounds likely don’t ‘need’ another dog, but they can benefit from the companionship.
Do Greyhounds Get Along with Other Dogs?
For the most part, Greyhounds are known for being laid back and easy-going.
Greyhounds get along with other dogs most of the time. Special care must be taken with smaller dogs, as they may trigger the sight-hound hunting instinct.
However, this depends on the dog. Like all breeds, Greyhounds may have been brought up in different environments and may even be hostile to dogs of other breeds.
Do Greyhounds Do Better in Pairs?
Many Greyhound owners agree that adopting a pair of Greyhounds is the best practice. This way, they aren’t being exposed (and potentially aggressive) towards other breeds.
Also, sibling pairs who have been raised together are a common occurrence in the Greyhound community.
Once the Greyhound has retired from racing (or has shown that it won’t be good at racing), they are put up for adoption. In many cases, siblings are put up for adoption at the same time.
Getting a pair of them means bigger bills, more food, and more room – but it also gives your Grey a companion for when you aren’t home.
Plus, transitioning your Greyhound into family life alongside a dog they are already bonded with is generally a net positive.
Do Greyhounds Get Lonely?
Greyhounds can and will suffer from loneliness, particularly if you are away for a large part of the day. Greyhounds like to be involved in your activities. If they can’t go with you, they can become lonely and depressed.
Some Greyhound owners believe that getting your Greyhound a companion is a good idea. This way, the two of them are always together.
Your Grey will still feel lonely because you aren’t there (and they tend to bond strongly with their owners), but at least they will have some companionship.
Pro’s and Cons of Adding a Companion for your Dog
There are numerous benefits to adding another dog to your household, especially if your Greyhound would be better for it.
Unfortunately, there are also some drawbacks. It’s not all rainbows and puppies! Here are just some of the pros and cons of getting a second dog.
- More dogs, more love. Your family will enjoy pampering two pooches and getting all of that love back in return.
- Your partner can get attached. Greyhounds are one of the breeds that bonds to a single caretaker most of the time. Getting another dog can help your partner form a special bond with the other dog.
- Greyhound loneliness. Some Greys get lonely when left alone for long periods, but another dog can help alleviate that loneliness.
- Greyhound security. Greyhounds are raised in a pack environment most of the time, and getting another dog may help them feel safer.
- New personalities. Each Greyhound and, indeed, each dog has their unique personality. Getting another dog can be entertaining as you see your dog and another unique personality interact.
- Jealousy. Your Greyhound may become jealous, especially if they are bonded to you.
- Bills. Food, vet bills, toys, beds – you’ll have to pay double for everything when you have two dogs.
- Bad habits. If your old dog has any bad habits, be prepared to train them out of your new dog. This is true the other way around as well.
- Training can be exhausting. If you are still in the training phase, training two dogs at once is much, much more challenging.
- Space. Greyhounds are already large dogs. Getting a second large dog can make your home feel a little claustrophobic.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Second Dog
Another dog is a big responsibility. There are a few things you should look at before you consider adding another dog to your household.
- Do I have time for another dog?
- Do I have the funds for another dog?
- Will adding another dog decrease the attention and care my first dog gets?
- How will my first dog react?
- Do I have space for both dogs?
- Do I have the energy to play with both dogs?
- Am I home enough to give both dogs enough attention?
- Am I ready for the potential problems that could arise from a new dog?
- Can I handle the chaos of a new dog in my household right now?
These and many other questions can be the starting point for your decision to add another dog to your home.
Always consider every angle, including how a new dog could change your life. Be prepared for new behavioral problems, unexpected issues, and increased food and care bills.
Consider Your Greyhound’s Personality
If you’ve had your Greyhound for a while, you are the authority on their personality. Consider their personality traits, how they act around guests, and whether they act aggressively toward other dogs on walks.
If your dog is friendly, laid back, or simply doesn’t care about other dogs or strangers, bringing another dog into your home might be easy.
However, if he often acts aggressively and pushy towards strangers, it might not be the best idea.
If he seems like he’d be okay with animal companionship, that’s great! Just remember to think critically about his personality before moving forward with an adoption.
5 Steps to Introducing Your Greyhound to Another Dog
Your Greyhound requires a little bit of patience when introducing them to another dog.
This can be true of most dogs. Keep in mind that most adoptable Greys, including ex-racers, have been around other dogs their entire lives. They are usually socialized with other dogs well.
However, it’s always a good idea to introduce your dogs with caution. Use the following tips to introduce your Greyhound to a new dog.
- Use a muzzle. Until you are sure how your Grey will react to another dog, make sure to use a muzzle. This is especially useful if you are introducing your Grey to a smaller dog or even a cat.
2. Neutral territory. Have the dogs meet in neutral territory. This can be anywhere that your Grey doesn’t see as ‘theirs’. At a park down the block, on the sidewalk – choose somewhere your Grey has no claim to.
3. Keep leashes on. Never let your Grey and the new dog go without leashes during this first meeting. Even if they seem to be getting along, you should make sure to keep them under control with leashes.
4. Walk them together. A side-by-side walk back to your home can be a great first experience to help your Grey get used to the other dog (and vice versa). You can even give them a tour of the yard or property before going inside.
5. Let your Grey lead the way. When you are ready to bring the new dog inside, make sure to let your Grey lead the way. Let them enter the house first, and make sure that things progress smoothly once inside.
It’s a good idea to supervise your Grey and the new dog during their first few weeks together. Separating them at night can help keep aggression down and promote a smooth transition.
Are Greyhounds Aggressive?
The good news is that Greyhounds are usually not aggressive. The breed does not have a reputation for aggression. Calm and docile Greyhounds are the norm.
However, like all dogs, Greyhounds can show signs of aggression as a response to fear or stress.
The usually laid-back Greyhound may become agitated if they have been mistreated in the past, or if they are sensitive to sounds or sudden movement.
Each dog is different, as with all behaviors.
However, Greyhounds are generally cool and collected, and even snobbish at times. They rarely become aggressive, even in the presence of other dogs.
Do Greyhounds Get Jealous?
Greyhounds, like most dogs, can get jealous if you bring home another dog. The following ‘tells’ indicate that your Grey is feeling a little jealous or left out.
- Pushy behavior, such as squeezing between you and the new dog or putting themselves into your space when you aren’t paying attention.
- Aggression, including attacking, growling, biting, snapping, and more towards you or the new dog.
- Acting out in other ways. They might get into the trash, go to the bathroom in the house, or perform other behaviors they’ve been trained out of.
- Snobbish behavior is unique to Greyhound jealousy. Greyhounds may behave as though they are ‘above’ other breeds.
To combat this jealousy, get your Grey involved. Whenever you do something with the new dog, make sure to include your Greyhound.
Give them treats at the same time and show them equal attention when you interact with the new dog.
Other trainers suggest building positive associations for your Grey.
When you interact with the new dog, give your Grey some attention, their favorite treat, or start their favorite game. This can teach your Grey that the new dog means positive things.
Do Greyhounds and Cats Get Along?
Cats and Greyhounds can start on shaky ground. While they can keep each other company while you’re away, it’s recommended to keep them separated at first.
That’s because Greyhounds are sight-hunting dogs. This unique group hunts based on sight alone, creating a strong prey instinct for smaller animals. If your Greyhound has been socialized with a cat, there shouldn’t be a problem.
However, some Greyhounds can chase cats down and harm them. If you have a cat and are thinking about getting a Greyhound, considering working through an adoption agency. Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption and many other agencies perform cat tests to ensure that their adoptable Greys are no danger to cats.
Getting a companion for your Greyhound can be a great way to keep them occupied. However, certain Greys may not be okay with another dog in their space.
Learning your dog’s personality and considering how they were raised is the best practice for determining if your Greyhound needs another dog.
Do Greyhounds Get Jealous?
Most dogs get jealous, and greyhounds are no exception. A jealous greyhound may show aggression, act pushy, or misbehave. They might begin to act out to get your attention. Make sure to involve your greyhound in all activities with your new dog to curb jealousy.
Should I Get a Male or Female Greyhound?
If you want an affectionate, calm dog who enjoys hanging out with you, a male greyhound is best for you. If you’re looking for a stubborn, independent dog who won’t want to be at your side as much, go for a female greyhound. Males are also slightly larger than female greyhounds.
How Can I Tell If My Greyhound is Happy?
Greyhounds have unique ways of showing that they are happy. Besides wagging tails, greyhounds will chatter their teeth as if they are cold. This makes a loud sound, and you can’t mistake it. Other signs include nibbling on their owner with front teeth and snapping at the air when excited.
Do Greyhounds Bond With One Person?
Greyhounds are one of a few breeds that seem to bond strongly with one person. This is usually the person who shows them the most attention, feeds them, and gives them additional treats. While Greyhounds will spread the love around the family, they usually reserve some behaviors for their special person.