The one biggest misconception about greyhounds is that they are not friendly and more aggressive than other dog breeds. Their behavior is similar to other dog’s breeds.
However the slightest change in their risk management system is due to their training as most of the greyhounds are trained for races. The time a greyhound spends in training for winning races is directly related to its behavior.
Greyhounds are the creatures which live in the form of pack therefore it is social animal. Moreover they have respect factor for leaders and authority.
One of the dogs in greyhound’s pack is alpha and other greyhounds respect alpha. Alpha is responsible for the safety of other members.
This leadership behavior of the greyhounds is the reason of their dominance above other breeds. Whenever they lack the sense of leadership they take responsibility.
Greyhounds show great obedience to their owners because they see their owners as leaders. Lack of leadership in this case can be worse for the owner.
Greyhounds’ posses hunting capabilities and sporty nature and the reason behind it is that their lineage is directly linked to the southern wolfs. They have excellent hunting abilities, with sharp eyesight and can run up to 45 miles per hour.
Why do grey Hounds wear Muzzles?
As we have illustrated in detail the nature of greyhounds and it is clear that grey hounds are not vicious creatures rather they are very friendly but there are some good reasons due to which greyhound owners are required to accessorize their dogs with muzzles.
We have discussed the reasons of wearing muzzles on greyhounds in detail here;
It is compulsory by law in all states of Australia for greyhounds to wear muzzles except northern territory and some local councils of Queensland. SA also requires greyhounds to wear muzzles. However USA does not exhibits any such law.
Although various studies prove the innocuous and pet nature of greyhounds, they are required to wear muzzles in various countries due to their instincts of hunting. As muzzles can be effective in case if dogs engage in defensive behavior against other dogs.
Muzzles laws for greyhounds are based upon the assumptions that greyhounds can attack children and small dogs.
Muzzles exemption tests are taken by greyhounds in order to make them eligible for not wearing muzzles in Australia. However these tests are not validated for their accuracy and reliability.
Before muzzles exemption test, GAP green collar test is required in order to evaluate the temperament of greyhounds and their social behavior. GAP green collar test is compulsory before the adoption of the dog by its foster owner.
Once dog has passed GAP test it becomes eligible for taking part in muzzles exemption test. One problematic thing in this regard is that the muzzles exemption application can only be filed by the permanent owners of the dog.
Therefore all the greyhounds in foster care are required to wear muzzles. Compulsory muzzling may leads to the distress among untrained, calm natured greyhounds and young greyhounds.
Greyhounds hold sporty and competent nature due to which they are used in greyhound racing. In greyhound racing many greyhounds are made to chase the lure and while chasing lure the one greyhound which get hold of the bait first is the winner.
During this race the inborn hunting ability of the dog is provoked, after the winner has caught the bait it is most likely that other hounds will be engaged in fight with the winner in order to get their part.
This situation can cause severe events of violence among these creatures and they can have ability to pierce skins easily. Excessive bleeding during fight can cause great deal of loss.
Fastening muzzles around the jaws of greyhound can help you to prevent such unpleasant situations.
It is true that the dog which you have trained is of immense friendly nature but you cannot compromise on the inborn abilities of your dog.
In some case the animal can get confused and its defense behavior is activated which can create problem for owners.
For example if you have taken your dog to visit the vet and your dog is afraid of injections, it will try its best to avoid from injection and during state of fight or flight your dog can choose fight option.
Sometime your hound can be afraid of strange things approaching it, for example other dogs or children and as we have discussed greyhounds have sharp senses and even very small creatures can invoke them, so in this case they can attack not knowingly.
Situation can be worse if your dog is not vaccinated and it can contract various infections to the people or other creatures through its bite.
No matter how much your dog is friendly with you it is only a single incident which can make you conscious and afraid of your own friend (hound) for your whole life, so it is better to take precautions.
In these cases owners do consider the option of muzzles to cover the jaws and teeth of their dogs seriously.
Your dog might be shy to strangers, so you should not force him to get along with every person he meets. Just give your dog proper time to get blend with other people, forced behavioral adaptations can be dangerous for you as well as your dog.
Greyhounds also face problem in adjusting different environments most likely in cold places, so whenever you visit new places along with your dog try your best to tie muzzles around your dog’s mouth.
Moreover wounded greyhounds are more aggressive than healthy one, only small events can make it attack someone so, this situation is also an indication for muzzles.
We have explained all above reasons of wearing muzzles in context of protection of other people and creatures from greyhound attacks, but it is an interesting and well known fact that muzzles prevent dog’s self from dangers too.
Just like all other dogs’ greyhounds have the habit of licking their skins, licking is not dangerous for dog but it can be bad if your dog has acquired some injuries. The tongue of dogs can upset wounds or worse the post-surgery stitches and bandages.
The skin of greyhounds as well as the other dogs is easily penetrated and can be torn by bushes or thorns and other sharp objects. Therefore they are more likely to get injured while playing outside. So muzzles are used as barrier for protection against licking of greyhound’s own skin.
Dogs have this strange licking nature and they prefer to lick each and everything they encounter with, whether it is a person or a bag of garbage. Greyhounds will tend to eat most of the things they will see while sniffing the grass which can cause health problems.
In these situations muzzles prevent the dog from engulfing unsavory objects.
While training your hound muzzles also work well and you can control bark pattern of your dog, although greyhounds bark less.
Use of muzzles for retired racing greyhounds
It is a great deal to adopt retired greyhounds because they have right to seek for home just like the other greyhounds.
We will recommend you to use muzzles for retired dogs before a good relationship is established between you and your hound.
Owners of newly adopted retired greyhound remain confused and sometimes afraid of the unpredictable behaviors of their new pet, so it is essential for them to get muzzles for their pet. Owners will get time to learn about the behaviors of the dog and will learn to trust the dog in matter of time.
After you are sure enough about the relationship of trust between you and your dog you should no more use muzzles. However people are most of the time afraid of hounds, while taking dog for walk or traveling prefer muzzles.
And if you have got other pets too such as pugs, rabbits and other small animals, try to have your hound’s muzzles on while it is in proximity with your other pets because swift moving things can make them more attentive towards the environment.
When not to use Muzzles?
Some people put on muzzles on their dog’s mouth to rectify their manners, for example loud barking and chewing a lot. To use muzzles for accommodating innate behavior of the dog according to your will is not a good thing to do.
Some people think the muzzles as a sign of danger and they tend to show repulsive behavior to the dogs with muzzles, people should try to be more rational and think about the good reasons due to which muzzles have been bound around the mouth of a dog.
Do not use muzzles for extended time period for your dog as it will prevent him from panting (cooling behavior of dog by protruding tongue out of mouth). As we cannot remain silent for much long time so does the dog, so we must understand dog’s emotional state and give it time for barking too.
The muzzles around mouth for too long prevent dogs from eating and drinking; hunger aggravates aggressiveness and leads to the excessive barking by dog.
Avoid muzzling your hound unnecessarily unless you are asked to do so by vet or your professional dog trainer.
Behavior issues cannot be treated by suppressing them, rather suppressing can leads to the more focus towards specific behavior which you are trying to treat.
As an understandable and rational human being you must try to locate the reasoning behind a specific issue and by treating the reason you can prevent a behavior. For instance if your dog chews a lot it may be the indication of boredom, so instead for using muzzles you should play with your dog and get toys for him.
Training greyhounds to wear Muzzles
For making your dog able to accept the restriction on its mouth you must train it properly. In the beginning your dog might not like the idea of shutting its mouth due to no apparent reason for dog, but with the passage of time your dog will get used to such things.
Just allow your dog to observe and sniff the muzzles thoroughly, work with patience and when you feel that dog has no issue with the muzzle fasten it.
While training your dog for wearing muzzles touch the muzzles with the nose of the dog and every time dog sniffs the muzzle, treat him.
In this way a conditioning will develop in dog’s mind about muzzles and treat and dog will feel happy about the muzzles.
In start just fasten the muzzle for shorter time period and in subsequent training sessions extend the muzzling time. Always treat the dog when training session is over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do greyhounds shed a lot?
Shedding varies from dog to dog, some greyhounds shed appreciably and some will not shed at all. Here appreciable means if you are using comb for your dog you can get all the loose hair off the dog.
The shedding of greyhounds hardly cause dog allergies among people therefore they are also known as “hypoallergenic” incorrectly.
Are greyhounds friendly with children and other animals?
The relation between greyhounds and children can be unbelievingly unbreakable with older children. However with younger children supervision is required.
Greyhounds are friendly with other canines too and they have highly developed social behavior. Children under 12 should not be allowed to play with greyhounds because they are too young to understand the personal space of dog.
What is basic nature of greyhounds?
It is common misconception about greyhounds that they are aggressive as well as hyperactive. But the truth is that they are shy with strangers and they readily adjust with their surrounding and their owner.
Most of the greyhounds do not prefer to engage in fight rather they retract but some are very possessive about their territory. They will not compromise on their bed with other pets. They will grumble if you try to share their bed.
But most of time they are humble, friendly and innocuous.
Are greyhounds good pets?
Greyhounds are well mannered and easily trainable creatures. They are ideal dogs to live with and they are easy going, lazy, calm, affectionate and loving. They can be playful and create a happy niche around you.
Well trained greyhounds will respond to your calling and will bark when alerted. They cannot be used as watch dogs due to their quiet nature.
What is the history of greyhounds?
Greyhounds are the most ancient purebred canines and have been originated from Middle East about 8000 years ago. Modern greyhounds are the result of carful breeding in England where they were considered as the signs of royalty and prestige.
They are the fastest dogs to exist and during a race their speed can reach up to 70 kilometer per hour. They are sight hounds with amazing vision power and can clearly see up to 1 kilometer with the peripheral vision of 270 degrees.
Greyhounds are the descendents of the wolf due to which they tend to behave differently as compared to other breeds of dogs.
They are fast, sturdy and highly competent which can make them easy target for aggressiveness. They can get easily alerted by swift moving small things and sometimes strangers can be unpleasant to them.
Greyhounds are used in sports during which they can pose danger for other dogs and can engage in fight for lure with the competitors and can injure each other badly.
These animals have licking habits and they are most likely to lick their wounds and stitches too which may cause further skin damage.
To minimize the chances of uninvited and unpleasant events, muzzles are used by pet owners for greyhounds. Muzzles not only prevent other animals and humans from greyhounds but greyhounds themselves too.
It should be made clear that muzzles are not symbol of danger or a tool of torture; rather these are very useful devices and if used correctly can make your life easier.