Once the trial was complete, we filled in all the paperwork, paid a donation to The Dogs Trust and had his check done at the vets. He was now officially our dog and had as they say, found his forever home.
Next priority was to give the big lad a proper leg stretch. Obviously he’s built for running but had only had on lead exercise for about 3 weeks.
First we needed to find a suitable location, which had to include a good place to run, no other dogs – or plenty of visibility to see anyone else coming, and be properly enclosed. If he caught sight of a rabbit or pheasant we wouldn’t see him for dust, so until we had built up good recall a good fence was really important.
One of the biggest thrills of owning a skinny hound is the speed they can run. Second only to a cheetah, a greyhound can reach more than 40mph, so we figured Dexter was probably quite quick.
We were not wrong.
He shot off, leaving us both open mouthed at the acceleration. It seemed like he’d be at the top of the field in seconds but turned and did a big loop back to us, overshooting and looping back again. We let him have another go and tried calling him back. He came to us immediately and it was clear that we had made enough of a bond and with the help of treats and positive reinforcement, his recall was going to be just fine.
You may have heard that these dogs need lots of exercise. You could be fooled into thinking with a physique like that they could run all day. Wrong.
Like cheetah’s they’re built for speed, not stamina and they don’t need huge amounts of exercise. More often than not they prefer a comfy sofa to doze on and can, for up to 18 out of 24 hours.
This is one of many reasons why a sighthound (greyhound, whippet, saluki, lurcher, etc.) makes an excellent pet. Especially if you’ve not got much time for exercise or don’t get around as easily as others.
I’ll get to the other reasons.