Why Do Greyhounds Scream? Understanding The Scream Of Death

Greyhounds are unique dogs known for their speed, grace, and gentle nature. They make excellent pets for those who appreciate their laid-back attitude and affectionate nature. However, greyhounds have some peculiarities, one of which is screaming.

Also known as the greyhound scream of death, we look into why do greyhounds scream, how to manage this behavior, and what you can do to ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.

What is Greyhound Screaming?

Greyhound screaming is a high-pitched vocalization often mistaken for barking or yelping. It is a natural and normal behavior usually associated with excitement or fear. However, it can also be caused by physical discomfort or separation anxiety.

Greyhound screaming is a unique vocalization that differentiates it from other dog breeds. It is characterized by a high-pitched, almost human-like scream that can be alarming for those unfamiliar with this behavior.

Why Do Greyhounds Scream?

There are many reasons for the greyhound scream of death, including:

Medical Conditions

Greyhounds can also scream due to medical conditions. Painful conditions such as ear infections, dental problems, arthritis, or cancer can cause a dog to scream.

Greyhounds are susceptible to specific health issues, such as osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects large breeds, which can cause intense pain and lead to


Greyhounds are highly energetic and intelligent dogs that love attention and play. Sometimes, greyhounds can scream out of excitement or anticipation, especially when they expect something fun or exciting.

For example, if a greyhound knows it will go for a walk or play with its favorite toy, it may scream excitedly.

black greyhound
You’re barking up the wrong tree!


Greyhounds can also vocalize when they are afraid or nervous. Loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, or new environments can trigger this.

In these situations, screaming is a way to communicate their discomfort and seek reassurance.

Physical Discomfort

Greyhounds may also scream if they are in pain or discomfort. Various factors, such as injuries, illnesses, or dental problems, can cause this.

If your greyhound is screaming persistently or in pain, taking them to a veterinarian for a checkup is essential.

Separation Anxiety

Greyhounds, like many dogs, can develop separation anxiety, which is a fear or distress response when they are separated from their owners or the people they are attached to.

Separation anxiety can cause a dog to become highly distressed, manifesting as screaming, howling, or barking excessively. Greyhounds who are adopted or rescued from a shelter may be more prone to separation anxiety due to their history of separation from their previous owners.

Behavioral issues

In some cases, greyhounds may scream due to behavioral issues such as fear or aggression. If a greyhound is afraid or feels threatened, it may scream as a warning or defense mechanism.

Aggression can also cause a dog to scream, primarily if directed toward another dog or person. Dog owners must address any behavioral issues their greyhounds may have and seek professional help if necessary.


Greyhounds may also scream to communicate with their owners or other dogs. Dogs use various vocalizations to communicate with each other and their owners, and screaming is one of them.

Greyhounds may scream to indicate that they need something or to get attention from their owners. Dog owners must learn to distinguish between different vocalizations and understand what their dogs are trying to communicate.

Retired Greyhound
It’s a Greyt day!

Genetic Predisposition

Greyhounds have been bred for centuries for their speed, agility, and hunting skills. However, this selective breeding has also resulted in negative consequences, such as a predisposition to specific health issues and behavioral quirks.

Greyhound screaming is one such quirk that may be influenced by genetics.

How to Manage Greyhound Screaming

Managing greyhound screaming requires training, socialization, and medical intervention, depending on the underlying cause. Here are some tips for managing this behavior:

Socialization and Training

Proper socialization and training can help prevent or minimize greyhound screaming by exposing them to various people, places, and situations from a young age. This can help them become more confident and less fearful, reducing their tendency to scream.

Positive reinforcement training can also help them learn appropriate behaviors and reduce anxiety.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Greyhounds are highly active dogs that require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Providing them with daily walks, runs, or play sessions can help them release excess energy and reduce stress, which can prevent excessive vocalization.

Mental stimulation can also help relieve boredom and anxiety.

Crate Training

Crate training can be an effective way to manage separation anxiety in greyhounds. Providing them with a safe and secure space may make them feel more comfortable and less anxious when left alone.

However, it is crucial to introduce the crate slowly and make it a positive and comfy space for your greyhound.

dogs that are similar to greyhounds

Medical Intervention

If greyhound screaming persists despite proper socialization and training, it may be necessary to seek medical intervention.

A veterinarian can perform a physical exam and diagnose any underlying medical conditions causing the vocalization, such as pain or discomfort.


In conclusion, greyhounds scream for many reasons, and dog owners must understand the underlying cause. While some dogs may scream out of excitement or communication, others may scream due to pain, medical conditions, or behavioral issues.

Dog owners need to address any underlying issues and seek professional help, if necessary, to ensure the health and well-being of their furry companions.


Is it normal for greyhounds to scream?

It is normal for greyhounds to scream in certain situations, such as play, excitement, or communication. However, excessive screaming or screaming due to pain or medical conditions may indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

If it starts to become the ‘greyhound scream of death,’ then urgent help and attention may be needed.

What should I do if my greyhound screams excessively?

If your greyhound is screaming excessively, it is crucial to determine the underlying cause. It may be due to pain or a medical condition; therefore, seek veterinary help immediately.

If it is due to behavioral issues or separation anxiety, seek professional help from a dog trainer or behaviorist.

How can I prevent my greyhound from screaming excessively?

Preventing excessive screaming in greyhounds involves providing appropriate training, exercise, and socialization. Ensuring your greyhound is healthy and free from pain or medical conditions is also essential.

Evan S. Conaway

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