When a potential adopter asks a greyhound owner to tell them about greyhounds, the answer inevitably involves some form of gushing on and on about how wonderful they are, and how they are just a little bit different from other dogs. Don’t get me wrong, greyhounds are dogs, but their physiology is different, their upbringing is unique, and they have a special way of entering your heart that is difficult to put into words!
One of the things I have enjoyed the most as an Allies’ volunteer is getting to know the new greyhounds as they arrive. Although they all have that wonderful “greyhoundness” to them, they are also very different. Each one has a personality to their own. It is so rewarding to see that personality unfold at meet and greets, in the kennel, and in a foster home. Some greys come right up to you, jumping, panting, and ready to play. Other greys quiver in the back of their crates, keeping as far from your hand as possible. What is the reason for such a wild difference in their behavior?
A common misperception is that these fearful greyhounds have been mistreated and therefore do not trust humans. However, there is a simple alternative explanation. Greyhounds, much like humans, have different personalities. Just like some humans have heightened levels of anxiety- some greyhounds do too.
Here are a few articles that describe this phenomenon in detail:
Ideopathic Fear and Withdrawal In Greyhounds
Naturally Fearful Dogs
The exciting news, is there is a lot you can do with these fearful/anxious/shy/spooky greyhounds. With time, patience, desensitization, and treats you will have a loving, happy, and loyal greyhound on your hands.
If you think you might be a good fit for a shy greyhound , or just want more information, let us know!