Are Greyhounds Affectionate: Do They Cuddle, Are They Clingy & More

Greyhounds are one of the most affectionate breeds of dog out there. They have an utterly non-aggressive nature and are excellent companions for children. They are loyal, calm, and relatively easy-going. All they ask of you is your unconditional love

It’s thought that many greyhounds show extreme affectionate behavior because of their breeding and start in life.

As racing dogs, they are only ever socialized with other greyhounds and their owner who takes care of them. This lack of exposure to other people, animals, or the outside world makes them form deeper attachments. 

When they retire from racing and come into your home, they form the same kind of attachment with you as ‘their person.’

Although there will now be outside stimuli, other people, and animals around them, they still only have eyes for you. 

The lack of love in the first part of their lives – being more of a working dog – means that they’re even more hungry for love and acceptance afterwards, so they’ll seek it out.  

Do Greyhounds Like To Cuddle?

Do Greyhounds Like To Cuddle

Greyhounds would love to cuddle up with you. Despite their appearance and racing history, they are actually very lazy, and their favorite pastime is laying around on the sofa.

On cold mornings you might even struggle to convince them to go on a walk with you as they’d rather stay in bed. 

This is because their thyroid uses the food they consume surprisingly quickly, so they often need to sleep to conserve energy.

You’ll find that they can sleep for up to 16 hours a day just to have enough energy to go on a couple of short walks. Aside from walking and eating, they’d be happy to spend the whole day cuddled up with you.

Studies also show that cuddling produces oxytocin, a hormone most associated with feelings of love and happiness. Cuddling with you increases their bond with you and makes them happy. 

How Do Greyhounds Show Affection?

How Do Greyhounds Show Affection

Nitting

Nitting is a nibbling behavior that’s common in greyhounds. Although there hasn’t been enough research to prove the cause definitively, it’s thought that your greyhound might do this because they’re trying to show affection. 

Nitting is where your greyhound will gently nibble at your skin or clothes with their front teeth. It’s not enough to draw blood and doesn’t feel like a bite, but persistent nitting can cause bruising. 

It happens most regularly when you’re petting your greyhound or sitting having a cuddle, so it appears that this is an affectionate action. 

It could be that it’s a behavior leftover from when your greyhound suckled at their mother or perhaps an attempt to groom you. 

(Check out the full article about nitting – in a new tab.)

Grasping

Alongside nitting, they may also grasp your arms or hands. This is when they gently place your arm in their mouth but don’t apply any pressure.

It’s not a bite; it’s more that they just want to hold your arm there for a while for closeness. 

Lap Dog

Despite their size, greyhounds are just lazy lap dogs when they’re not out chasing game.

You could train them repeatedly that their place is in their bed on the floor, but they’ll still find a way to get onto the sofa to snuggle up next to you. They feel that their place is always where you are. 

Comfort

Dogs can sense emotions, and your greyhound will understand when you’re upset.

They’ll make it their mission to come and cheer you up if you’re sick or not feeling yourself, even if that means following you around wherever you go just to check that you’re still okay. 

Body Rubbing

Greyhounds are one of the few dogs that display affection through body rubbing. They do this just like a cat would – gently rubbing their whole body against your legs, leaning against you, or sitting on your feet. 

Tail Wagging

Greyhounds aren’t traditionally thought of as a ‘tail wagging’ kind of dog. But they do wag their tails when they’re happy to show you that they’re having a good time.

Because of their tail’s positioning and bone structure, it will just be the end of the tail that wags, so you may need to look a little more closely. 

Barking

Greyhounds are known for being an extremely quiet breed of dog. They rarely bark at all, which is one of the reasons that they make great pets.

However, they may bark in excitement when you come home from work, which is a clear sign that they’ve missed you and that they’re happy you’re home. 

Licking

Like all dogs, greyhounds do lick to show their affection. Although it’s a compliment, it can be slightly disgusting to some people. You’ll need to put in place some training to show what you feel is acceptable, loving behavior and what isn’t. 

Are Greyhounds Clingy?

Are Greyhounds Clingy

The simple answer is yes, but that’s what makes them great pets most of the time. Greyhounds just love the company and can get quite depressed if they’re lonely.

They’re affectionately named ‘Velcro dogs’ as they just won’t leave you alone. You’ll find that they follow you around the house when you’re at home as they need to check that you haven’t left them. 

They’re listed as the 13th most clingy dog breed. And there are a few reasons that they love to stick at our sides so much:

Medical Condition

Particularly in elderly greyhounds, as they start to lose their sight and hearing, they’ll stick to you more closely as you’re the thing they know most, and they’re confident you’ll keep them safe.

Separation Anxiety

Greyhounds suffer pretty severely from separation anxiety, so it’s recommended that you don’t leave them for longer than 6 hours at a time.

Being away from you for longer than that can cause them to get stressed or panic, which displays destructive behavior, such as chewing furniture or scratching at doors as they attempt to break out and find you. 

Crate training can really help with separation anxiety as the small space reminds them of the kennel life they used to have and feels more familiar to them.

It also means that they have a place to call their own where they feel safe, and they don’t feel the stress of having to protect the whole house. 

Boredom

A lack of mental stimulation can cause your greyhound to follow you around just out of curiosity or something to do. Try to take them on a walk to a new place or give them a new toy. You should see them relax a little bit. 

You!

Your greyhound could be clingy because of the way you behave. If you stop to fuss your greyhound or give them a treat every time you see them, they’ll obviously start coming to you more often, expecting treats and fuss. 

You can get around this, not by completely ignoring them, but try not to make it a big deal every time you see them.

A quick pat on the head will reassure them that you’re happy with their behavior without encouraging them to follow you constantly. They need to know their place, so set some boundaries. 

Despite being clingy, they do sleep for a huge chunk of the day, so you can still get things done around them while they snore away.

What To Do If Your Greyhound Isn’t Affectionate

Greyhound signs of affection

Greyhounds are known for being affectionate, so if you have a greyhound that is quite standoffish, there’s probably an underlying cause that you’ll need to determine and deal with. 

Ex-Racers

Greyhounds are bred for dog racing but only actually race for around two years of their lives. After this time, they are typically put up for adoption to go into a loving home for their retirement. 

During their working life as a racer, they won’t be used to the home comforts that you offer. They generally live with other greyhounds in kennels and get the love and affection they require from their kennel mates. 

After years of kennel living, it can be daunting to come into a home with carpets, a nice warm fire, and potentially other pets and children. 

If you have a newly adopted retiree, the reason for the lack of affection may be that they’re finding the whole experience a little overwhelming. 

Give them a few weeks to settle down into the new routine, and they should come around. Ex-racers are known to be even more affectionate in the long run, just to make up for the years they’ve lost when they were working. 

Anxiety

Greyhounds suffer from separation anxiety, but they can get anxious about new things, loud noises, or routine changes too.

If your greyhound used to be very loving and confident with you and has suddenly changed, it’s probably because something around them is upsetting them. 

If they’re clearly upset, offer them a treat, and let them approach you slowly. Stroking their head and talking to them in a soft tone should make them feel a little better.

Usually, if you’re not worried, they’ll start to realize that everything’s fine. 

Depression

Depression can affect greyhounds quite severely. It can be caused by a few things, including loneliness, stress, or a change in their environment – moving to a new house, for example.

The symptoms of depression are lethargy, loss of appetite, lack of energy (more than usual), and a loss of interest in toys. You might even notice them sleeping more often away from you and keeping themselves to themselves.

Usually, the effects are temporary, but seeking help from a dog behavioral therapist would be a good idea if you do get worried. 

Jealousy

As we said, greyhounds can be clingy. This also means that they get pretty jealous if your attention is directed elsewhere, and they’ve even been known to sulk.

If you have guests around and aren’t paying attention to them, or if you’re having an evening cuddling with the cat, they might try to teach you a lesson by staying away for a few hours. 

You’re Stressed

Dogs can sense your emotions, so if you’re feeling stressed, they’re less likely to approach you because they’re worried that you might lash out.

The effects will be temporary; they’re just being respectful and giving you some space. You must never take out your stress or frustration on your greyhound.

Shouting at your dog will only upset and confuse them and may damage your relationship.  

Sleeping Arrangements

Most dogs sleep in a separate room from their pooch parents as it allows both parties to get some sleep without getting too excited.

However, it could really develop your bond with your greyhound if they were to sleep in the same room as you. 

They feel a constant need to check if you’re okay, and them being able to see you will lessen their anxiety and form a greater attachment to you, as they see you more often.

You don’t necessarily need to allow them to sleep on the bed with you – you do need to maintain some boundaries – however, sleeping in their crate on the floor in your bedroom could really increase their levels of affection. 

Summary

Greyhounds are incredibly affectionate and will love you unconditionally. However, this can take up a lot of your time, so greyhounds aren’t the best choice of dog if you have a busy schedule. 

Their clingy nature can be cute for a while but might quickly become annoying and may undoubtedly put people off visiting you. It’ll take some training and patience to set the proper boundaries. 

You need to be prepared to give them the time and love they need and be around for them during the day. Greyhounds can live for up to 14 years, so it’s a big commitment if you don’t feel you have the time to cuddle just as much as they want you to. 

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