Greyhounds were bred to hunt by outrunning their prey. They are the fastest breed of dog and can reach a speed of over 40 miles per hour.
Many Greyhounds that are kept as pets in many cases are retired racing dogs. They are intelligent, affectionate with a quiet disposition. They make amazing pets for their lucky owners.
Do Greyhounds need a lot of exercise
Despite their lean muscular bodies and great athletic ability, the Greyhound has modest exercise needs. They don’t need the large amount of exercise you might expect of such an athletic breed. Short on endurance, they require less exercise time than most dogs and are often content to spend their day sleeping.
One, or preferably two walks a day of 20 to 30 minutes will usually be sufficient. In addition, some free play and short burst activities along with mental stimulation will complete their daily exercise needs.
The age and condition of your Greyhound will also determine the type of activity they can engage in. A senior greyhound maybe not as keen with high-intensity activity, but would enjoy a nice quiet walk with just the two of you. For more on exercising an older Greyhound refer to the bottom of this article.
For a Greyhound puppy, the exercise needs are different from those of an adult dog as their bodies are growing and developing. To learn more on exercising a Greyhound puppy, refer to the bottom of this article.
A Greyhound requires a daily walk of between 20 – 30 minutes at a brisk comfortable pace for them. This can be a walk on a leash around the block or can be off leash exploring at the local park. Remember that the Greyhounds was bred to chase. If something may catch their eye and they will be gone, at up to 40 miles-per-hour.
The daily walk is not only a good way to release some pent up energy, but is also a good opportunity for training and is great for building your bond with each other. It also provides mental stimulation by way of the sights, sounds and smells they come across and social interaction with other dogs you meet along the way.
Can Greyhounds go on long walks
Every dog is an individual but in general, the Greyhound doesn’t have a lot of stamina. They are bred to be sprinters and they are generally good at letting you know when they have had enough. Often will simply just stop when they have gone far enough.
Usually, any distance further than two miles will be too far for a Greyhound.
Over exercised dog symptoms
With any dog, it is possible to over-exercise them. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a dog that has overdone it. Read “Overexercised dog symptoms” to learn more.
Greyhound exercise ideas
The Greyhound can be a playful dog. They enjoy a good game with people, other dogs and often by themselves. Provide an opportunity for them to play whenever possible. This will help burn energy, stimulate their mind and strengthen their bond with you. Some suggestions for free play include;
The Greyhound in many cases is what we term a light or moderate chewer. This means they tend not to be overly destructive with their toys. Dogs like this quite often favor Plush Toys. To learn more about the benefits and uses of your dog’s toys read “Secrets to the benefits of your dog’s toys”
Dog toys that move on their own
There are many dog toys available that shake, rattle, roll and move about on their own. Being a breed that was bred to hunt prey these type of toys really appeal to Greyhounds. See “Dog toys that move on their own” to learn more.
Self Playing Dog Toys
There are a variety of dog toys that your dog can use to play by themselves. These are great for times when your dog is home alone, you don’t have the time or you are otherwise occupied. This way your dog can still get some physical activity and mental stimulation without your direct involvement. See “Self Playing Dog Toys” for some ideas.
Fetch is a favorite game for most dogs. It not only gets a dog moving but is also a great bonding activity for you both. Remember not to overdo it and end the game if they are panting excessively or showing signs that they have had enough. Try to throw the ball as far as possible or use a ball launcher so they can get up to speed.
Most dogs can chase and catch a ball. But a Frisbee requires a little bit more skill, coordination, and timing. Greyhounds look spectacular playing this. Roll the Frisbee on the ground towards your dog. They will instinctually want to grab it in his mouth. Once you’ve accomplished this, try tossing it at a very low level first to your dog. If you feel like your dog is ready to go to the next level, toss the disc a little higher and further. Great energy burner and you may be amazed at your dog’s agility and acrobatic skill.
A good energy burner if you have stairs in your home. Start at the bottom of the stairs and have your dog “stay”. Throw the ball to the top of the stairs and then say, “Go!” Let your dog walk up the stairs and then return down the stairs at a slower pace to avoid injury.
Stair climbing is an excellent exercise to build and strengthen muscles as they have all their weight on one leg at a time. Strong muscles help to protect the joints and tendons and prevent injury. For more on stair exercise for dogs see here.
Play with other dogs
Provide the opportunity for your Greyhound to play with other dogs. This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind, but teaches them important social skills. Some Greyhounds can be a little anxious, so socialization is good to build their confidence.
Mental stimulation for Greyhounds
Your Greyhound will get some mental stimulation and enrichment from their daily walk and time spent with free play. However, it is a good idea to provide other activities that stimulate the mind. Mental exercise can burn as much energy as physical exercise. Many dog behavior problems are a direct result of boredom. Read “Mental enrichment and mind stimulation for dogs” to learn about the six categories of enrichment for dogs.
Some ideas to provide mental stimulation include;
Puzzle toys are a great way to test your dog’s intelligence and improve their problem-solving skills. Check out “Top puzzle toys for dogs” for my top picks.
Kong toys which you stuff with food and treats work in much the same way. Read “How to use a Kong for dogs”.
Puzzle toys are great for times when your dog is home alone. If your dog is home alone while you are at work or out you may find some helpful information at “Leaving a dog alone while at work”
Teaching new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment. A popular game that involves learning is to teach them the names of their toys. Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names.
Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and has many benefits including keeping them busy and occupying and stimulating their minds. Chewing is also great for reducing anxiety in dogs. To learn more about the benefits of and the best chew toys see here.
Turn mealtimes into an opportunity for your dog to get a mental challenge and enrichment. Instead of feeding them from a bowl, give them activities that require them to work for their food. To learn more about feeding enrichment for dogs see here.
Enrich their environment
Environmental enrichment is the process of making a dog’s living space more engaging and interesting. To learn more about environmental enrichment for dogs see here.
How much exercise does a Greyhound puppy need
The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy adult Greyhound. The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different. With puppies, their bones, muscles, and joints are still growing and developing.
Overly strenuous walks are not necessary and in fact, could possibly cause harm. The best exercise for a young puppy is free play with age-appropriate toys. Socializing with other puppies or friendly adult dogs is a great way to burn some of that puppy energy along with teaching them the social skills they need.
As your Greyhound puppy gets older you can take them for short informal walks allowing them to sniff and explore and get used to being on a leash. Puppies under three months probably haven’t had all their vaccinations so shouldn’t be walked in public. Check with your vet when it is alright to venture out to the park or street.
The general rule of thumb for walking a Greyhound puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age. So, for example for a 4-month-old puppy, a walk of 8 minutes to 12 minutes is enough. Monitor your Greyhound puppy on the walk for signs such as lagging behind, lying down or panting. End the walk if they seem too tired.
Mental stimulation is important for puppies and can tire them just as much as physical activity. For more on mental stimulation for puppies see here.
For more on puppy exercise read “How to exercise a puppy”
How much exercise does an older Greyhound need
As a dog gets older they become less active and have lower energy levels. However, it is still important that they remain reasonably active to keep their joints and muscles mobile and to manage their weight. Read ” Dog exercise for a senior dog” to learn more.
Many dogs develop arthritis as they age. Exercise for them becomes a balancing act. It is important to keep their joints mobile and manage weight, but too much can make them sore. Read “How to exercise an arthritic dog” to learn more.
Summary – Greyhound exercise needs
The Greyhound doesn’t require excessive exercise but should receive sufficient to release pent-up energy and to prevent boredom. By providing a walk each day of between 20 to 30 minutes, some free play, and mental enrichment you will have a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog.