Do Greyhounds destroy furniture? Get Your Pet Thinking

Destructive Greyhounds: prevention is the best cure

Prevention is the best cure for a destructive greyhound. On the first day your greyhound comes home, as soon as he has settled down into his bed, walk out of the room. Then, come back. Tell him he’s a good dog. Maybe even give him a treat. Then, walk out of the house and close the door, and come right back. Do this a few times, extending your absence a bit each time. Because of your schedule, you may have a limited window of opportunity to work on this, but the more you can do it, the better chance there is of having a vandalism-free experience with your greyhound.

Remember, your greyhound has lived the kennel life. He has always been surrounded by his fellow greyhounds in the safe confines of his kennel. Your home is a huge, overwhelming, solitary space; and when the sensitive greyhound is left alone there, he can become very anxious. Your greyhound loves your presence, he depends on you; and he may fear that you’re not coming back.

The perfect solution for my household ended up being a very large crate with easily washable, expendable bedding. I was halfway through the life of my second greyhound, and had cleaned up after many accidents before I discovered this. Shannon was a very large greyhound, and he hated being home alone. The crate was a real game-changer for him. We would lure him off his bed with a treat, pick up the bed, set up the crate in its place, and then throw the bed into it. We would toss a cookie onto the bed, and he would lumber right in, and settle down, just like Lily does today. Shannon was a bit more of the anxious type than Lily, so we added an old alarm clock, the kind that you can wind up and it ticks. Shannon always found this very soothing.

By the time I brought home my third greyhound, Lily, we had her bed set up right in the crate, waiting for her. Since greyhounds sleep all the time, anyway, she took to it like a duck to water. It’s very cushy, with an orthopedic gel pad, a nice thick quilt, and several washable pillows. My neighbor calls it her condo.

Whenever the house is empty going to be empty, I just throw a cookie into Lily’s condo, and she zips right in, enjoys her treat, and settles right down. I go to the radio, switch on some classical music (don’t underestimate the power of classical music – it seriously engages the greyhound’s brain), leave a few lights on for her, and she’s just fine. I know she is not going to nibble anything poisonous, destroy anything, or hurt herself. If she has an accident, cleaning it up is a simple matter in this environment. If I have to be away for more than four hours, I will arrange for someone to come in and check on Lily, hang out with her for a few minutes, get her out for a little walk, and give her a snack, before returning her to her condo. This has worked absolutely flawlessly for five years now.

One thing that can feed into the anxiety of your greyhound, is your own anxiety about leaving him. If you can leave with a cheerful air of confidence, your greyhound will settle in much better, and crate time will simply be another nap time. Another huge advantage of crating is that you can put a camera on your dog, and see how he’s doing at all times. I can guarantee you are going to see your dog fast asleep, just like he usually is when you’re home.

If your greyhound seems to need a little more help settling in, you can put a Kong toy in there with a little peanut butter stuffed way down at the end, or you can add something that you have worn. Be sure it’s something rather large, like a large T-shirt or sweatshirt, no socks! I have at least two dogs, right here in my own neighborhood, who are chronic sock- swallowers. As they say, it’s all fun and games, till someone ends up in a cone!

Separation Anxiety in Greyhounds

Destructive behavior from a greyhound can be everything from some innocent paper-shredding to full-blown domestic breakage. Greyhound puppies are jokingly known as “landsharks.” The destructive adult greyhound is more like a beaver; chewing doors, cabinets, window frames, and furniture. Some will forget their housetraining. In rare cases, they have even been known to break windows.

Now, before you get completely scared off of getting a greyhound, keep in mind that the root cause of most greyhound vandalism is anxiety, usually separation anxiety.

Every account I have ever heard of a greyhound rampaging through the home has occurred when the dog was home alone. This does not mean that you can never leave your greyhound home alone. Many greyhound owners need to be out of the home for a good part of the day, and never encounter this problem. The story typically goes one of two ways: either it is a new greyhound in the home, or the greyhound has been home for a while, even years sometimes, but the owner has a change in his schedule, which keeps him out of the home for longer than the greyhound is used to.

Shredding: how greyhounds relieve stress

Many greyhounds love shredding paper. The best solution for this is to figure out what they enjoy shredding the most, and find an innocent way for them to do that, supervised, of course. Peaches was partial to my bills, maybe she sensed my antagonism while I was sitting there paying them! We settled we finally settled on me paying the bill,, while she shredded the envelope, and we never had another problem with it.

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