It’s natural to assume that large dogs can’t live in small spaces, but that’s not strictly true. Depending on the breed of dog, you might find larger couch potatoes than small dogs. It’s all about the temperament and overall behavior of the dog.
So, what about greyhounds? Greyhounds actually suit apartment living quite well despite their size, but, of course, some challenges come with such a large dog living in a small area. If you’re prepared and keep yourself organized, greyhounds can make amazing apartment dogs.
Why Greyhounds Make Good Apartment Dogs
Despite appearances, greyhounds aren’t more active than other dog breeds. They’re sprinters, built for short bursts of speed, so if you take them out regularly (2-3 twenty minute walks), they don’t need much space within the home.
In fact, they’re known to be quite lazy. Most greyhounds, especially if they’re retired racers, would rather stay indoors cuddled on the sofa than waste energy on walking.
They also really hate cold or wet weather, so if you live in a colder climate, you might actually struggle to get them to walk at all.
Unlike many dog breeds, which are known for being yappy and loud, greyhounds rarely bark at all unless there’s something wrong. They’re almost at the top of “the list of quietest breeds”. This makes them great apartment dogs as they won’t bother your neighbors.
Greyhounds actually like small spaces. Their temperament means that they bond with you easily and really want to protect you and the home. However, they can suffer from anxiety, and the larger your home is, the more anxiety it provokes.
Therefore, having a smaller living space can actually ease their anxiety and make them feel more confident about doing their job
For the same reasons, greyhounds respond really well to crate training, meaning that you can be confident that your greyhound will be fine in a crate while you’re out of the house.
Greyhounds are known for being incredibly affectionate dogs and their favorite pastime will be cuddling up with you and sleeping. They’re one of the largest ‘lap dogs’ you’ll come across.
The closer they are to you, the better they’ll feel, so the amount of space that they have doesn’t really matter to them, as long as you’re in it.
They Don’t Shed Much
Because greyhounds have very short fur, you can be confident that your apartment will be fairly fur-free.
They’re easy to clean up after and although they aren’t classed as hypo-allergenic, their type of fur means that they can still be suitable for people with minor allergies, even in confined spaces.
The ‘dog smell’ that is sometimes present when you enter a small home is usually due to the long fur that dogs shed. The fine, short hair that a greyhound has and the fact that they don’t shed much means that you won’t get a doggy smell.
Why Greyhounds Make Bad Apartment Dogs
Even though we’ve established that greyhounds don’t need too much space to run around in the home, they are still a large breed. Males can reach up to 36kg (80lb) and about 71cm (28in) at the shoulder. Females are slightly shorter and reach around 29kg (65lb).
You’ll need to consider how big your apartment is and whether you’ll be able to fit a greyhound, if it’s a really crammed studio, it’s probably not the best idea.
They Are Extremely Sociable
Greyhounds are extremely sociable, especially if they’ve been brought up to be racing dogs. They’ll stay with their mother for much longer and will most likely end up working alongside their brothers and sisters on the track.
This means they’re usually not as happy if they live alone. You might need to consider getting two greyhounds if you’re not home a lot.
Greyhounds are no different from any other type of dog when it comes to walking. They need a walk 2-3 times a day to take care of toileting needs.
You can’t litter train a greyhound like you can with cats and some small dogs, so you’ll need to consider how far away you are from an outdoor space to accommodate these walkies.
Can You Leave A Greyhound Alone All Day?
Greyhounds are incredibly intelligent dogs, which means they get bored very quickly if they’re left on their own.
This, coupled with separation anxiety, can mean that they damage apartments just because they’re wanting to play and find something to do to take their mind off you being gone.
All dogs are pack animals and suffer from loneliness, and greyhounds are especially known for their loving and affectionate temperaments. For this reason, it’s recommended that you don’t leave your greyhound for more than 6 hours a day.
If you’re planning to be away for 12+ hours at a time, it’s best to employ a dog sitter to look after your greyhound and spend some time playing with them.
Do Greyhounds Have Separation Anxiety?
Yes, greyhounds are known for having separation anxiety. In fact, it’s one of the most common behavioral problems affecting greyhounds.
This means you might have to make more effort to make them feel comfortable. For this reason, they aren’t the best choice for people with a busy lifestyle or demanding job.
How To Recognize Separation Anxiety In Greyhounds
If your greyhound is suffering from separation anxiety, there are a lot of tell-tale signs that will alert you to the problem.
Your greyhound might chew your furniture; table legs, cushions, or window ledges while you’re out of the house.
This kind of chewing is separate from chewing objects such as teddy bears or shoes – which is just playfulness. If your greyhound is eating your furniture, there’s something wrong.
Look out for digging in the rooms’ corners or scratching to get out of doors and windows. This signifies that your dog is feeling trapped inside when you aren’t there.
Greyhounds aren’t big shedders of fur. Generally, their coat is relatively short anyway, so it’s not noticeable. However, if you notice excessive shedding on your sofa or carpets, it could mean that your greyhound is feeling stressed.
An increase in barking, howling or whining means that your dog is feeling lonely. If you’re not at home, you might find this out from your neighbors.
Although your greyhound is toilet trained, peeing around the house while you’re out doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve forgotten the rules.
Look at the way the pee is laid out. If it’s in a puddle, it could mean that you’ve left them for too long and they couldn’t hold it.
Or, if it’s a small amount of pee, usually in a line as though your dog was peeing while they were walking, this means that they’re feeling scared when they’re alone and were unable to control their bladder.
You might notice your greyhound pacing up and down in the house before you walk through the door. This typically means that they’ve been waiting for you in that same spot for hours – terrified that you might not come home.
Excessive panting could mean that your home is too hot during the day – which is an easy fix. However, in average temperatures, if your dog hasn’t just finished a long walk, they shouldn’t be panting.
Panting is their way of regulating their body temperature if they’re feeling too hot – another sign of stress.
What Should You Do If Your Greyhound Has Separation Anxiety?
If you have an unavoidably busy lifestyle, there are lots of things you can do to ease your greyhound’s separation anxiety and keep them happy and healthy while you’re out at work.
Despite their size, greyhounds do really well with crate training. The small space is comforting for them if they’re formally racing dogs, as it looks just like the gates they go into before a race.
When they’re allowed to run free in a house, they feel the need to protect the whole area while you aren’t there. However, putting them in a crate means that they only feel responsible for that smaller area which lessens their anxiety.
Make sure you leave the crate accessible all the time and don’t just shut them in when you’re leaving the house. This way, the crate isn’t associated directly with separation.
Having a dog sitter is a good idea, not just for separation anxiety, but to give your dog some exercise throughout the day.
Paying for someone to go in midday and take your dog for a short walk, give them a treat, or let them out to pee, can make them feel much better and it isn’t too costly.
Every dog needs plenty of exercise, but greyhounds thrive on being able to sprint around and stretch their muscles regularly.
Exercise releases endorphins in dogs, just like it does in humans – that’s why they love walking so much. Feeling good about themselves will reduce the anxiety when they return home.
Try to take your pooch out for a long walk just before you leave them. This will tire them out and mean that they’ll be asleep most of the time that you’re away – they might not even notice that you’re gone.
Greyhounds are pack animals and love the company of other dogs. They are particularly sociable as racetrack dogs spend the first couple of years of their lives with their immediate family, rather than moving away to find homes at 6-8 weeks like other puppies.
Getting a pair of greyhounds or even bringing a greyhound into a home with another dog will help them to feel secure. Although, this might be a big ask if you live in a small apartment. If you live in a small apartment, possibly consider some of the other options first.
Make sure the toys that you give them have incentives. Boredom fuels anxiety. Therefore, while you’re away, you really need them to be occupied, which can be challenging because of their natural intelligence.
When you play with them, you’ll need to use interactive toys. It would help if you replicated that effect while you aren’t in the room. Toys like kongs are great for this.
They provide an incentive for your greyhound to play – as treats will fall out – and they can provide a few hours of entertainment.
You can also get a treat-dispensing camera where you can log in from work, talk with them, and shoot them a treat.
Medication (Last Resort)
If you’ve tried all the above methods and your greyhound is clearly still very anxious when you leave, medication should be an absolute last resort.
Your vet will be able to prescribe something that quiets them down by soothing the anxiety for a while until you can find a more permanent solution.
Medication won’t work forever and it’s not fair on your dog, so make sure you put in an action plan to resolve the situation.
So, yes! Greyhounds make great apartment dogs if you follow proper measures.
Remember that smaller areas are actually better for greyhounds when they’re alone. Still, if your greyhound is left to roam around your apartment and not left in a crate, keep your eyes peeled for signs of anxiety or stress.
Plenty of love and affection, exciting and interesting toys and regular walks should ensure your greyhound loves apartment life.
By the way, if you have a cat in your apartment, read this.