Are Greyhounds Lazy?

Before you go ahead and purchase a new dog, it’s important to understand their needs, food requirements, medical issues, and, of course, how much of your time they’ll need. 

Dogs are one of the highest-maintenance pets. You need to be prepared for spending your time making them feel at home, exercising them, and generally treating them just like children. 

Are Greyhounds Lazy?

It’s a common misconception that Greyhounds are always active and running around. They get their reputation from their racing backgrounds, where they can run up to 72 km/h. However, this active behavior is only a small part of their personality and they may actually appear much lazier than people think. 

Many people make this mistake and plan for an overly active dog that needs a lot of walking and space to run around. Then they’re disappointed when real-life lazy Greyhounds appear in their home and who be bothered to get off the sofa. 

So, here’s what to expect from a Greyhound’s energy level in terms of exercise and personality. 

Lazy greyhounds
It’s been a ruff day!

Racing Greyhounds

While Greyhounds are known for their racing abilities, this actually only lasts for a few years of their life. Greyhounds tend to retire from the track at 2-3 years old and are adopted out to families to live a normal dog life. 

At this age, they begin to slow down and dog racers find that it becomes more and more difficult to race them and win. 

But even when the dogs are racing, they are sometimes accused of laziness. 

This is because lots of energy is needed to sprint around a track. The dogs exert all of that energy within a period of 5 minutes around the track. They aren’t built for stamina, just speed. Their body shape, slim build, and stick-like legs can’t take in that much food to give them energy. This means that any calories gained from food and immediately used up, leading to the Greyhound’s energy level being low.

Once they’ve had this burst of speed during the race, they have no energy left to continue. This can even mean that owners are forced to carry them home once they’ve finished – earning them the title of ‘lazy Greyhounds.’

Why Are Greyhounds Known to be Lazy? 

Greyhounds are known to be one of the laziest dogs because they spend a lot of their time asleep or just laying around the house. It’s rare to find a Greyhound that will be up and active with you all day. 

This is because their bodies need to recover from their short bursts of speed. Early Greyhounds were used for hunting, meaning they had to put on short bursts of speed to catch prey. But this comes at a price. Because their bodies need to stay lean, they don’t eat a lot in comparison to other dogs their size. They also typically have a fast metabolism which burns calories quickly when they need to exercise. 

This is great for owners that don’t have a lot of time for walks in a busy schedule, as they only need up to 1 hour throughout the day. They will spend the rest of the day conserving their energy for their next walk. 

This shouldn’t really be seen as laziness, as they do love to walk just like any dog. However, to make the most of it, they need to spend their time looking a little bit lazy to fully enjoy their walk later. 

greyhound lazing in pool
Just chillin’

The Benefits of the Laziest Dogs

Yes, they do spend a lot of time lazing around the house. However, this can be a massive benefit to some dog owners and is actually part of their charm. 

The couch-potato-style dog will always be up for snuggles in front of the TV. If it was a cuddly lap dog you were looking for, then a Greyhound might actually be your perfect match. 

They also don’t need much space to move around. So they’re great for smaller homes and their laid-back attitude also makes them the perfect match for homes with children. 

Why Do Greyhounds Refuse to Walk?

The fact that Greyhounds are not the most active dogs can lead people to think that many of their behaviors are simply down to laziness. But this isn’t always the case. 

Greyhounds freezing on walks and refusing to move is a common topic that Greyhound owners raise. While many think that they’ve just become bored of walking, so they’ve decided to stop, studies have shown that actually, it might be in response to fear. 

It’s actually a response!

If your Greyhound simply stops in the middle of a walk, it’s not usually just a tantrum. They aren’t begging to go home because they can’t be bothered to walk. Actually, it’s probably a fight-or-flight type of response to external stimuli.

This occurs mainly in ex-racing Greyhounds. Their background and upbringing, where they would have existed in kennels with other dogs and rarely saw the outside world except the track, means that lots of things are scary to them.

If you’ve ever had other dogs, you’ll notice that they adapt easily to their surroundings. This is because, from being a puppy, they have normally been in nice homes with a family. This means that normal life in the garden, or walking on the street doesn’t seem odd to them. 

greyhound sleeping a lot
Some interesting sleeping angles there!

For a Greyhound who has only ever been in kennels, a friendly neighbor or even a rustling tree could seem a little odd. This can also happen with dogs that you find at shelters, as you can’t guarantee their life before you either. 

Applying the brakes in this way is your Greyhound’s way of telling you that they aren’t comfortable. It isn’t being stubborn or them just deciding that they’ve walked too far that day. 

To overcome this, systematic desensitization is the process of providing a reward to overcome something scary. Repeatedly visiting a spot that your Greyhound doesn’t like and making it a positive experience will reduce the freezing. 

Do Greyhounds Need Lots of Space to Run Around?

Another shock for Greyhound owners is that they don’t actually need that much space to run around. Because they exert all of their energy quickly, they just need a couple of short walks per day and they’ll be lazing around your home for the rest of the day. 

This means that they actually make amazing apartment dogs, despite their size. Although you may need enough room for them to physically move around without knocking anything over, they don’t need a huge house or yard to run around in. 

Greyhounds are great dogs to crate-train, as they don’t mind the smaller spaces. In fact, the smaller, enclosed space can reduce the separation anxiety experienced by many Greyhounds. They don’t feel responsible for guarding a huge home alone while you’re out. They will be perfectly happy in an enclosed crate with a comfy bed so they can sleep for a few hours undisturbed. 

do greyhounds need much walking
A lazy Greyhound

Do Greyhounds Sleep a lot?

Compared to many other dog breeds, Greyhounds do sleep a lot. They are actually listed in the top 10 laziest dog breeds ad they can sleep up to 20 hours per day. 

However, it’s not just because they can’t be bothered to get up. It’s mainly because they are built for speed, to hunt down their prey, and later to be successful racers. However, this means that they need to spend the rest of the day conserving their energy just so they are fast enough to catch the real rabbits outside or the fake ones on the track. 

Greyhound Health Issues That Could Affect Walking

Even though it is normal for your Greyhound to be lazy, there could occasionally be health issues that contribute to this behavior. 


Greyhounds are prone to corns on their foot pads. This was originally thought to be the result of racing too often. However, it has more recently been seen in non-racers. This points to the fact that it’s actually an issue that Greyhounds are susceptible to based on their genes. 

If your dog is more reluctant to walk than usual, it might not be their normal laziness. It could be because it’s uncomfortable for them to walk. 

Checking for corns is simple. They are small, hard, and usually round bits of skin on your dog’s foot pads. They can be softened and filed off if you’re looking for a home remedy. Or, you could take your dog to the vet for laser treatment. However, once corns have crept in, they tend to reoccur. It’s important to constantly monitor their feet to ensure comfort when walking. 

Greyhound snoozing
Don’t worry, be yappy!

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is when the bones or joints in the hips or just above the knees become misplaced or move painfully. This can be caused by over-exercising. It is common in Greyhounds in later life because their hips have so much use around the track. 

Hips and joints can be put back into place, usually via an operation under anesthesia, but again, the issue is likely to reoccur over time, especially in older dogs. 

If your dog is whimpering or limping when you take them for a walk, then this is often the issue. It might not be the fact that they’re just lazy, but perhaps walking is actually painful for them. 

So….Are Greyhounds Lazy?

Technically yes and no. They spend a lot of their time sleeping, just so they can really let off steam during their walk. It’s the way their body works, rather than behavioral laziness. 

However, lazy Greyhounds make amazing pets for families because they don’t need a lot of exercise, they are laid back, and love to cuddle. 

Victoria Richards

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