Fact Sheet 7: Homing a Greyhound with Young Children

Your new dog may never have lived in a house before. Everything will be new and strange. Imagine you have just landed from the moon and seen televisions, vacuum cleaners, glass doors and mirrors for the first time. Naturally it will take your dog some time to settle down.

When any dog enters a new home, whether it is a puppy that the parents have bought, or whether it is an older rescue dog, it is important that parents put the following rules in place to help keep their children safe.

  • Children should know that they must not go near a dog when it is eating – either its meal or a bone.
  • Children should know that they must not go near to the dog when it is in its own bed – or what it may regard as its own bed i.e. a particular chair or sofa.
  • Children (and adults) should never touch a sleeping dog.  Some greyhounds can suffer from sleep aggression and become alarmed when touched while in a deep sleep.
  • If the child wishes to play with the dog, instead of invading the dog’s space he/she should invite the dog into his/her own space. The child should keep the play short and end the play by turning away from the dog – before the dog has to find a way of ending the play.
  • The child must know to move away immediately after a warning growl.
  • Young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog.

Just like us, dogs sometimes do not like to have their space invaded.

Just like us, the nicest dogs can have an off day.

A dog that walks away or growls has had enough interaction. If we do not notice these subtle requests, a dog has only one more way of asking us to leave him alone.

Ask children to respect your dog’s space and help keep them safe.