Choosing a Boy or Girl Greyhound

Greyhound dog or greyhound bitch

Are you thinking about greyhound adoption? Have you already decided that you want a bitch? Then you won’t be alone, many people are of the same mindset and unfortunately that choice is often at the expense of the equally deserving greyhound males.

Please take a moment to read on and perhaps when you have finished you might just be a little more open minded about the sex of your potential new greyhound pet.

A common problem within greyhound rescue and rehoming organisations is that the greyhound boys are far harder to rehome than the greyhound girls. Sometimes a greyhound male will see a “production line” of ever changing female kennel mates arrive and be successfully re-homed before his turn finally comes.

Why are the boys harder to home?

Many people might have a pre-conceived beliefs that the girls will be easier and more pleasant to have in the home. Below is a summary of opinions expressed about the boy or girl issue:-

Greyhound bitches are more gentle or loving than the greyhound dogs

This belief is incorrect. There are huge variations in both behaviour and temperament in greyhounds individually. It is therefore unfair to judge based on a greyhound’s sex alone. There are gentle boys and girls, there are extremely affectionate boys and girls and equally there are also some “real handful” greyhound girls and boys.

A greyhound bitch will be less “keen” than a greyhound dog

Simply untrue. There are greyhound boys and girls that are easy to detrain around other breeds of dog and sometimes cats too. There are also several “keen” greyhound bitches and dogs, both of which will require hard work and re-training in order to become safe around other animals.

“I’ve always had female dogs and it’s a female I want again”

A commonly heard phrase. It can sometimes also apply to the males and for that most greyhound homing centres are extremely grateful.

A greyhound dog will be too big and strong

This too is a very generalised opinion. There are size and strength variations amongst the boys and amongst the girls too. There are gentle and easy to walk boys and girls, there are some real “powerhouse” bitches and dogs. Strength and ease of walking out does not relate directly to a greyhound’s size. There are small sized, but incredibly strong greyhounds and there are some huge greyhounds that are extremely easy and pleasant to walk.

A male greyhound will be oversexed or suffer the “wanderlust”

This is possible, every breed of dog will have its share of overtly sexual males, but it is a very rare in greyhounds.There is an effective cure available – castration. Castration (given time for the dog’s hormones to settle) will remove all sexual urges, but it won’t change the character of your dog. Castration is a far less risky and costly operation than that of spaying a bitch.

Greyhound bitches can also suffer from “hormonal moments” and until they are spayed you have the potential problems of changes in temperament, the desire to mate or create a “nest”, the unpleasant mess of a season, the bother of neighbourhood dogs being attracted to your bitch and the worry of a major operation combined with a comparitively more expensive veterinary bill.

Other points worth considering:-

The big greyhound boys are commonly known as the “gentle giants”.

The male greyhound will cause less urine damage to lawns than the female. Boys prefer to mark higher places and the boundaries of their territory. Therefore hedges, fences and trees are favoured above short mown grass.

Bitches can’t physically mark high places and therefore tend to use what is convenient – your lawn. A female’s urine is more concentrated than a male’s and it does cause unsightly burn marks on lawns. However a male with a female companion will overmark wherever the bitch has “been”, so this argument does not apply if you have a bitch already in residence.

A sweeping generalisation perhaps, but one that has been noticed within multiple greyhound households particularly. If the main carer is going to be a woman, it is most often the greyhound boys who form the deepest bond to her. If the main carer is a man, it tends to be the greyhound girls that form the deepest bond with him.

If you have a dog or bitch at home already the ideal combination for a second canine would be one boy and one girl. However some boys can live happily with other boys as can some girls live happily with other girls. There are though bitches as well as dogs that will not accept living with a same sex companion. For households with multiple canines it is better to adopt the dog or bitch who “fits in” the best with your existing pack and that could be a male or a female.

Please do consider the boys as well as the girls and not judge any greyhound’s ability to make a wonderful pet on his or her sex alone. The boys are equally deserving of their chance to experience family life.

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