“He Actually Sleeps More Than Our Cat!” Why Adopting a Greyhound Makes the Best Family Pet

Greyhounds are fast. We know this. In fact they’re the second fastest animal on the planet after the Cheetah. Not surprising really given their long legs and all that muscle! But put them in a domestic situation and they’re nothing more than a glorified lounge lizard. They’re actually lazy AF and we’re all for it!

I would never in a million years have thought that I would end up adopting a greyhound. Sure, they’ve got a reputation as speedy racing dogs, but these pups are also known for their gentle nature and loving personalities. That’s exactly what makes them wonderful family pets. And two years ago, completely out of the blue, I joined the throng of growing Aussie families who have chosen to adopt a greyhound into their happily ever after ‘furever home’.

And what have I found? Well, let’s just say it was NOTHING like I was expecting.

I expected a dog who may need a little more exercise, a little more food and a little more attention.  What we actually got was a big sook who loves cuddles on the couch, sleeps most of the day, thinks he can climb into bed, loves going in the car every day for school drop off and gets on completely fine with our little dog and our CAT!

Meet Lenny, Our Big Black Bundle of Fun

A couple of years back, one of my friends put up a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to adopt a greyhound. Now, I’ve had my fair share of furry companions over the years, but they’ve always been tiny lapdogs. Not gonna lie, I’m not exactly a fan of larger pooches, most often for fear of them jumping up at me or being overbearing ..  that’s just not my jam. But I’d learnt that greyhounds were gentle giants, with such a chilled demeanour, so we decided to take a leap of faith and say YES to adopting one.

And let me tell you, it’s been quite the ride!

adopting a greyhound - meet Lenny
Adopting a greyhound has been the best thing for our family! Source: Supplied

Lenny is 32kg of goofball. He’s lean, playful, cheeky and absolutely the most beautiful dog we’ve ever had, inside and out. Loyal, affectionate and loads of fun, Lenny has absolutely changed our world. And as a bonus, adopting him was absolutely FREE OF CHARGE for us too!

Let me tell you, since bringing Lenny into my life two years ago, I’ve realised just how much of a blast greyhounds can be. I mean, these pooches are seriously underrated. Lenny, for example, has the quirkiest little habits and a huge personality to boot. And if you’re a fellow greyhound owner, then you’re probably nodding your head in agreement right now, aren’t you?! You know exactly what I’m talking about!

This pup is an absolute trip and has totally won us over! These furry friends come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from other adoption centres, which can set you back a cool $1,000 or more. That means your new four-legged BFF will already be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, wormed, and had a dental check. Plus they go through a thorough temperament check to determine if they’re suitable for young families, older families, other dogs, are cat friendly etc but without the high price tag.

So let’s dive in and find out what life with a greyhound is really like and how you can give one a forever home too! 

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6 things you never thought you’d hear about a greyhound

MYTH 1. Greyhounds are hyperactive dogs that require a lot of exercise 

IN REALITY: Surprisingly for many, as retired racing dogs they don’t actually need a large amount of exercise. No more than a standard pet really. That means you don’t need a backyard that goes on forever either – this is time to live their best life and as such, you’ll find them on the couch (or their bed) more than anything! Remember the saying “IT’S A DOG’S LIFE”. Never truer!

Lenny loves a good walk, and a run here and there, but doesn’t every dog? He also loves nothing more than just to chill out and sleep. Like a lot. Well, like all day. So much so he’s one big lounge lizard. Literally.

And the sleep positions! Oh, they love to sleep in the most uncomfortable and awkward-looking positions too! I mean he’s all legs, and it’s so hilarious!!

They do really sleep in some funny positions! So cute! Source: Supplied

MYTH 2.  Greyhounds are racing dogs and wouldn’t get on with my family and other pets

IN REALITY: That couldn’t be any further from the truth! In fact, Lenny probably has the biggest of personalities of all the dogs I’ve had, which goes a long way to explain why we’ve fallen in love with him so much so quickly! Some of his favourite traits are:

THE CHATTERS: When greyhounds get excited, they do this adorable thing we call “chatters”. Their little jaw quivers and their teeth chatter out of anticipation, usually when it’s dinner time. It’s such a funny sound and something only greyhounds do. Check out the chatters in our video above – it’s super cute!

Another hilarious thing about greyhounds is that they not only love being with you, but they love leaning up against you. This is their unique way of seeking comfort. Kind of like a greyhound’s version of a toddler grabbing mum’s pant leg when he’s feeling shy.

ZOOMIES: Greyhounds are notorious for their fast pace, and zoomies are what we call quick sprints at super speed! A real spectacle and a reminder of why they are noted to be one of the fastest animals on the planet!

Lenny loves soaking up the afternoon sun on the couch. Source: Supplied

MYTH 3. Greyhounds are better suited to an outdoor life than indoors

IN REALITY: Greyhounds, with their lean build and delicate coat, can feel the chill more than most. That’s why it’s important that they have a cosy, dry, and secure space to curl up in whenever they need it. And when those winter winds start to howl, a snuggly coat is an absolute must to keep them toasty warm. Through the cooler months we lay a blanket over him when he’s in his bed and he has a nice variety of groovy coats and pyjamas to keep him warm! Accessorise!

Remember when I said Lenny loves to cuddle on the couch, or on my bed, or in his – that’s exactly it. They think they’re one of us and love a good cosy up and cuddle. Think that’s why he stole my heart so quickly.  

Our greys love a good snuggly blankie at bedtime. Source: Richard Skipworth

MYTH 4.  Greyhounds can’t be trusted around my cat and other small animals

Not all breeds of dogs like cats. We know that. Quite surprising to some, greyhounds and cats can get on totally fine. Obviously, it’s all down to temperament (as it is with any dog) so don’t write off adopting a greyhound because you have a cat! The temperament check will determine if they’d suit a cat-friendly household. Take a look at Lenny – he gets on totally fine with our cats – check him out with our new kitten Ash below! He didn’t care that she was wanting to muscle in on his dinner – and if we’re being honest, our other cat Charlie really rules the roost!


MYTH 5. Greyhounds are hyperactive and wouldn’t make a relaxed house pet

IN REALITY: I’d heard that greyhounds had a gorgeous temperament but I wasn’t really aware of just how chilled-out they were until we adopted Lenny. He just loves being in our company, happy chilling on the couch, or in the backyard. He’s also perfectly fine to be home alone, or out in public milking all the attention as he struts along the beach or in the car for the school pickup or dropoff!

He’s great when out with other people too and amazing with other kids and animals. We took Lenny away with us last Easter to a dog-friendly caravan park and he joined us on the steam train on our day out.  He loved it, and so did everyone else!!

Lenny loved the train ride (and so did the kids!) Source: Supplied

MYTH 6: Greyhounds are high-maintenance and need a special diet

IN REALITY: Lenny is incredibly low maintenance – very minimal upkeep. He doesn’t shed a thick coat like other dogs, doesn’t require trips to the puppy salon (although loves a hydrobath here and there!). Given they don’t have a lot of body fat, in cooler weather they do wear coats and special ‘greyhound PJs or similar) so that’s always fun too! He really loves his coats!

But, as far as daily needs, greyhounds are as low maintenance as they get. Feed them. Love them. Give them a comfortable place to sleep and they are happy. He eats a pretty straightforward diet of dry kibble, some canned meat, and other snacks and leftovers as they come. In a nutshell, no special diet is necessary here.

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Source: Ambitions Photography

How to adopt a greyhound 

Once a greyhound is ready for retirement, greyhounds must have a 30-day wind-down period from their last race start and fed accordingly, exercised, exposed to new environments etc to help them adjust to life as a pet.

To what degree this happens depends on the adoption channel you choose (there are many to choose from including the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) in each state, directly with the trainer or via one of the many not-for-profit adoption services varying in each state.

Your greyhound will be desexed, microchipped, wormed, fully vaccinated and their teeth checked so there really isn’t anything to worry about except keeping on top of their shots and worming.

One of the most valuable channels of support for us (especially in the early days) is a few awesome Facebook groups for greyhound owners like Retired Greyhound Owners and locally for me with Adelaide Responsible Greyhound Owners. Everyone’s so passionate and supportive, and once you’re a greyhound owner, “you know” and we get each other. Sounds a little cliche but seriously it’s one of the best sources of information and advice! So don’t think you’re on your own – the power of community is real here! They even organise regular catch-ups and walks where all the dogs get together and the greyhound owners get to meet each other. The dogs love it too!

Prices vary depending on the channel you use too which can vary from free of charge to a small fee, and either way definitely a valuable investment in a new family member.

So, if you are looking at adopting a greyhound, I say go for it. Lenny has blended into our family so beautifully and I have to admit, he’s absolutely captivated my heart. He means the world to me and my children and husband feel the same way. Heck, even our Maltese Terrier Bella and Charli our cat love him!

Adopting a greyhound - Lenny on the couch
Living his best life, Lenny knows where the comfort’s at! Source: Supplied

If you are considering adopting a greyhound, or even are slightly curious, simply complete the form below and we will get someone to call you to discuss the options and discuss the finer details based on where you’re located.

REMEMBER, adopting a greyhound is simple, straightforward and pretty soon you too can have a gorgeous new addition to your family, just like we did with Lenny.

Honestly, adopting a greyhound has been MORE than I ever dreamed of, and I think Lenny agrees.

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Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.

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