Meet Toffee the Greyhound and her owner Charlotte!
Age: 5 years
About the Breed
Greyhounds are part of the sighthound family. In modern day; due to their speed (a greyhound can run about 40mph) they are usually bred for racing. Greyhounds have been around for centuries, and during that time they have also been used for hunting. They were originally brought to Australia from Europe for that purpose. However, greyhounds are often depicted in many forms of art work dating back to ancient Greece showing them as loyal and loving companions.
Why did you choose this particular breed?
I have always loved the breed since I was a little girl. Greyhounds can look so elegant and graceful with their long legs but half the time they are the goofiest and funny dogs. They have a huge capacity for love and many hound owners agree that once you have owned a greyhound it’s hard to ever imagine your life without one. Also as someone who has always been keen to ‘adopt not shop’ there are always hundreds of greyhounds needing a home once they have been rescued from the racing industry. Not only do you get an amazing companion you are literally saving a life.
Is their personality/behaviour in line with what people associated with the breed?
No. There are a lot of myths about greyhounds.
1) They need loads of exercise. False, greyhounds sleep roughly 18 hours of the day and are notoriously couch potatoes. They do fine with two 20-minute walks a day.
2) You need a big house and garden to own a greyhound. False, greyhounds can be great apartment dogs because of their low energy. Toffee lived with us in an apartment for a year and we had no issues.
3) Greyhounds wear muzzles because they are vicious. False, once retired from racing in some states across Australia greyhounds are required to be muzzled. The majority of greyhounds do not need to be muzzled and there are many states that are now getting rid of this law. As with owning any kind of dog, it is the responsibility of the owner to know and understand their dog’s behaviour and to muzzle their dog if it is needed.
Any tips for someone considering getting this breed?
I couldn’t recommend them enough, I think they can be so misunderstood and misrepresented. They are such sweet dogs, most are affectionate, smart and adapt well into adopted life. The greyhound community is also fantastic, we have met so many likeminded people who we get to share our journey with. We organise walks and social gatherings to catch up with each other and they are always there for advice etc. There are lots of amazing greyhound specific rehoming charities that will work with potential adopters to figure out what greyhound will suit their home situation/family arrangement.
How interested/good at training or obedience?
We did some training classes with Toffee to help build her confidence. On command, she can lie down (sometimes sit, although due to their anatomy sitting is not always easy or comfortable for greyhounds so some will prefer to go straight to a lie-down position), shake paws, spin round in a circle, and go to her bed.
Any tricks, community work?
Toffees main skill is getting the couch all to herself… most hound owners will understand that one! Greyhounds make great therapy dogs due to their calm and quiet nature and it is definitely something we are looking into with Toffee.
You can catch Toffee’s adventures on Instagram: @toffeethegreyhound