Misconception Three – Greyhounds are so big – I don’t have the space!
I must admit when I first saw a kennel full of full grown male greyhounds, leaping at the bars to come out and play, even I was a bit alarmed by how tall they can be! A group of cheerful boy greyhounds like that, who are pleased to see you (which they always are) can be quite a sight and you could be forgiven for thinking “My, there’s a lot of dog in there!”
However, really height is all there is to it. With both boys and girls evenly, you actually find that they are quite slight and seem to evaporate into the floor when they lay down. As Greyhounds are renowned for their love of sleep you soon notice that once laying down in their customary posture (after a short walk of course) they don’t take up much room at all. All they ask is for a quiet duvet, a couple of walks a day and some company; and they’re all set. They seem to need a lot less space and energy than several other more compact breeds I can think of (I can remember a friends lovely little Jack Russell doing ‘wall of death’ around my front room as Suzie watched bemused). It is also amazing how little they demand in the home in general.
You might think that having a dog who could be up to 30” at the shoulder, wandering around your home, would mean there was not much room for anything else. What you have to remember however, is that they as well as spending most of the time laying down snoring, the breed is normally naturally quiet, delicate, polite and very biddable. Of course it is worth saying that it does depend on the individual dog, its age and its stage of adaption to home life – so you have to match personality with potential home and lifestyle.
In my particular case I’ve had greyhounds in a bungalow and also in a one bed flat, both with no issues. I would actually say for the older greyhound (who I would like to recommend to everyone) a smaller place is actually better. When I take Suzie to my parents’ house she always wants to be where we are – and in a larger house that changes a lot and it’s hard for her to keep up – especially with wooden stairs to other rooms! In my little flat though she could virtually see me at all times from her bed and she could certainly hear me all the time. I believe that the security of the sounds and layout of my little place definitely helped to settle her in to her new life with me.
Suzie regularly comes with me on visits to other people’s homes, dog friendly pubs and has stayed with us at many a dog friendly hotel. I’m not the sort of dog owner that believes in leaving dogs at home when not necessary! As long as she has a duvet folded into quarters, or even a pile of coats, she’ll doze literally anywhere. If there are people around to rub her tummy then so much the better – but she will frequently go unnoticed when with me in a public place.
I certainly have grown used to being able to rely on Suzie to be still and calm and not get in anyone’s way like this, and it is yet another joy of the rescue greyhound which I can heartily recommend.