Fact Sheet 8: Homing a Greyhound with Other Dogs

If coming from the racing industry/a trainer, chances are your greyhound will likely have spent all of his life only with other greyhounds. greyhounds are not fighting dogs. Any greyhound that shows a tendency to fight is banned from the race track for life.  But, it is likely that your greyhound will find other types of dogs completely new and different, and even something to be scared of or to growl at.

This Fact Sheet will help you if you already have another dog and are homing a new dog, or if your new dog is worried about meeting other dogs.

  • When first bringing your greyhound home, make sure he meets the other family dog/s on neutral territory, by walking outside – with all dogs on leads.  Do not walk them side-by-side initially.  Let them gradually come together to walk side-by-side when they are comfortable with each other (do not force it).  Never bring the new greyhound into your house unless he has spent time walking down the street/around the block with your other dog/s first.
  • If your dog is not green collar approved or living in a region where muzzling a greyhound is not required, always have a muzzle on him when in public. If you dog is green collar approved or lives in a muzzle-free area, initially have him muzzled when meeting other dogs in public, until he is used to meeting them calmly.
  • Never “Introduce” your dog to other dogs. If you stand back and let your dog investigate the other dog you are putting him in the front line. It’s like saying “There you are, there’s another dog. What are you going to do about it? It’s your problem”. Instead, shorten your lead so your dog is close beside you. Put yourself between your dog and the other dog and keep walking purposefully ahead. This way you are being a role model. Your body language is saying “I am not bothered about this other dog so you needn’t be”.
  • If another dog is coming to your home, make sure the dogs first meet on neutral territory. Again do not “introduce” your dogs. Simply put yourself between the dogs and go straight into walking together. Make the walk purposeful; give your dog something else to focus on (i.e. the walk). When you get back to the house go straight into the garden and if all is going well, let the dogs off the lead in the garden but keep the muzzle on. They may chase each other wildly so make sure there is nothing lying around that they can hurt themselves on. There may be a few grumbles while they are sorting out the pack order, do not worry, it is normal.  If they come into the house, the dog that already lives there might find that stressful. Give them plenty of space. Do not give out treats (that is often when fights start).  Do not take the muzzle off until you are happy that they have settled together.
  • If at first your dog is stressed and seems aggressive when it sees other dogs out on walks, and walking purposefully past is really difficult to do, turn and walk away until the other dog has gone. This will help your dog to realise that you are not going to put him in the front line, but that you are going to help him deal with the problem.
  • Do not expect two dogs to live together happily immediately. If you are going out or leaving them for the night it is best to leave them in separate rooms until you are sure they are ok together.
  • Do not expect dogs to be able to share treats or toys until they know each other very well. Just like children, 2 dogs and one toy causes arguments and they always want the toy the other one has!