The Greyhound is the fastest dog in the world and can reach speeds of up to 45mph. They also tend to be very sweet-natured, so they are gentle with children and other dogs making them great family pets. But how much exercise does a Greyhound need?
Well, you may be surprised to learn, as a general rule, these intelligent dogs only need moderate exercise of about an hour a day. They are built for speed and are not long-distance runners like Huskies or Border Collies who require much more.
As long as they have a safe enclosed space where they can charge about and get rid of any pent up energy, they are happy to spend their time indoors relaxing.
That being said, it’s essential to keep your canine companion occupied with free play, plus toys and games to provide mental enrichment alongside physical activity.
Let’s take a look at how much exercise time a Greyhound needs, exercising a Greyhound puppy or senior Greyhound and some other things you can do indoors to provide mental stimulation and ensure they have a healthy and happy life!
Why is Exercise Vital For Your Greyhound?
Dogs require exercise to lead a healthy life; not only do the sounds but smells and sights of the outside world also offer mental stimulation; walks give dogs the opportunity to see other animals, which builds confidence and helps them become more rounded.
Then there are the health benefits; Greyhounds can easily become overweight, putting pressure on their joints and bones, causing issues as they get older.
Exercise releases excess energy and reduces anxiety, so it can often prevent unwanted behaviours in dogs; however, how much they require will depend on the age, general health and personality of your Greyhound.
A Greyhound will enjoy a couple of leisurely strolls, an opportunity to run safely and play with toys that give their brains a workout.
How Much Exercise Do Greyhounds Need?
Surprisingly Greyhounds don’t need as much physical exercise as many people think. An hours exercise daily is enough for these dogs, a couple of walks at a leisurely pace along with some added playtime, mental challenges and training.
Take care in hotter months as your Greyhound can easily get over-excited when playing with other pets and may suffer from heat stroke if overexerted. Greyhounds are also prone to developing bloat, so never walk your dog immediately before or after eating.
Exercising a Greyhound is a balancing act; whilst they don’t need as much as, say, a Husky, they need a varied routine to stop them from becoming overweight and preventing behavioural problems such as digging, chewing, and excessive barking!
Best Types of Exercise for Greyhounds
There are plenty of ways to get these couch potatoes up and moving from puzzle toys and snuffle mats that provide a mental challenge to kongs and flirt poles. Below are some excellent activities that you can include in your Greyhound exercise routine that both you and your dog will enjoy!
Self-playing dog toys
Unlike some other breeds, Greyhounds are not overly destructive chewers, so they tend to prefer plush toys over hard nylon or rubber. Puzzle dog toys can keep Fido busy for hours, offering essential mental stimulation and are a fantastic alternative if a visit to the local park isn’t an option.
There are tons available in pet stores and online we especially like the hide a squirrel one by Outward Hound; although you can make your own, this article by the American Kennel Club has some excellent ideas for DIY dog toys.
What dog doesn’t love a game of fetch at the dog park and this is one of the best forms of exercise for our canine companions. Greyhounds do have a powerful hunting instinct, though and are easily distracted. They could chase after a small animal, so always ensure these games are played in a secure area.
This is the best exercise for impulse control as although Greyhounds have the motivation to chase; they are not inclined to always bring things back; just remember to keep each exercise session short; these dogs get bored quickly.
Agility training has many benefits and is a great alternative to a long walk. You could find a local class or create your own obstacle course in the garden with a few weave poles, some jumps and perhaps a tunnel or A-frame depending on the individual dog.
Not only will this give your Greyhound more exercise, but it will also improve balance, coordination and obedience, plus strengthen the bond between dog and owner.
Become a therapy dog
Greyhounds are a sensitive breed that pick up on emotions, making them perfect for therapy dogs. Of course, temperament is important for therapy dogs. Your pooch must be calm and not boisterous and have an understanding of basic obedience.
The Kennel Club run the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, the largest training programme in the UK, which is an excellent place to start if considering training your Greyhound to become a support dog. You can meet other dog owners and Fido can work towards the Bronze, Silver or Gold awards.
Try a flirt pole
Greyhounds have a strong chase instinct, so flirt poles are a fantastic way to tire this breed out and offer mental stimulation alongside a daily walk. Flirt poles are simply an oversized cat toy, a long pole with a toy at the end, which your dog chases. This taps into their natural instinct to hunt prey and teaches basic commands like “wait”, “sit”, and “leave it” in a fun way.
Can a Greyhound Have Too Much Exercise?
You wouldn’t think these sprinters of the dog world could get too much physical exertion, however like any other dogs, they can succumb to heat exhaustion and as this dog breed has a deep chest, they can also be susceptible to bloat.
What is Bloat
Bloat, also known as (GDV) is a life-threatening condition for dogs that causes the abdomen to fill with gas and twist, ultimately cutting off blood circulation.
Bloat can occur very quickly and can be fatal, so it’s essential not to go on overly strenuous walks immediately before or after eating.
Some signs of bloat include:
- A hard swollen stomach
- Persistent drooling
- Constant licking of lips
- Excessive panting
- Discomfort or restlessness
- Stomach pain
If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect bloat, your dog will require emergency veterinary care immediately!
Greyhounds are a lean dog, and the lack of body fat and single coat does little to protect them from extreme temperatures. A winter coat is needed for these dogs when the temperature drops (Why not check out our guide on the best coats for Greyhounds) and it’s important to keep your dog’s temperature regulated in the Summer too.
When the temperature hits above seventy degrees, avoid walking your dog, always take plenty of water and try to keep your beloved pet in the shade.
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Greyhound Need?
As your Greyhound starts to age, they will not need as much exercise. As with most breeds, several health issues may occur during their senior years, including heart disease, joint problems, and arthritis, especially in retired racing Greyhounds who may have suffered injuries.
That being said, it’s essential to provide adequate physical exercise to manage weight and keep joints flexible as these conditions will worsen if your dog leads a sedentary lifestyle and becomes overweight.
A nice quiet walk a couple of times a day with some extra free play will keep your pooch healthy and happy in their golden years.
How Much Exercise Does a Greyhound Puppy Need?
Like any large breed dogs, it’s crucial not to overdo Greyhound exercise when they are puppies as their muscles, bones and joints are still developing. Training, playing with dog toys and socialising with other puppies are excellent ways to burn off extra energy for young Greyhounds.
Puppies under six months of age
Between 3-6 months, your Greyhound will be happy with 15-30 minutes walking, maybe quick zoomies around the garden and a chance to work on some problem-solving skills. As they get older, you can increase this and work towards a more active lifestyle.
As your dog gets older, walks can be increased. However, high impact activities such as jumping and twisting should still be monitored, as dogs can easily injure themselves, which could lead to serious problems later in life.
Greyhounds are a breed like no other. They’re bred for speed but also make excellent housepets! If you’re looking for an energetic dog that will happily sleep in your lap when it’s time to unwind, then the Greyhound is perfect.
Yes, they need regular exercise, but two daily walks of around half an hour are fine, as long as they have the opportunity to run around like loonies every so often to get rid of excess energy. There are plenty of other things you can do with your Greyhound apart from long walks to prevent boredom, so get ready to have some fun!
Do any of these exercises sound like something your pup would enjoy? Let us know on our social media channels.