Preparation and a few things you should have on hand.
LEADS/FENCES - Repeat after me: "No Greyhound should EVER be allowed to run off lead in any area that is not securely fenced." Even if your Greyhound is an obedience champion, don't trust him off lead in an open area. With Greyhounds there is no such thing as 100% recall. He might come when you call him 99% of the time. But that one hundredth time can get him killed. Greyhounds have been bred and trained for thousands of years to chase. That instinct is stronger than anything you will ever be able to teach him. You cannot train out thousands of years of instinct! If you let him run loose and a rabbit (or a squirrel, bird, piece of paper, etc.) catches his eye, he's gone and no amount of calling or commanding him to come back will make him stop and come back to you. He won't stop until he's either caught his prey or lost sight of it. But by that time he may well have also lost sight of you, too. He can cover a lot of distance in less than a minute. Being a sighthound, he'll have no idea how to find his way back to you if he can't see you. He doesn't know how to retrace his own steps by scent. But even worse, that path in pursuit of his prey may lead him across roads, into traffic or other dangers. He won't see that oncoming car. All he sees is what he's chasing. So DON'T TRUST HIM! Trust has been called "a deadly disease" and with good reason.
A securely fenced yard is a blessing worth its weight in gold, but it's not an absolute necessity. Many apartment dwellers live successfully and happily with Greyhounds. But it takes a special commitment. If you don't have a fenced yard you (or somebody) will have to snap on that lead and walk your dog several times a day, no matter how rotten the weather is or how tired you are or even if either you or the dog is sick. You can't blow it off because you have a headache or because it's sleeting outside. If you're really too sick to walk your dog you must find someone else you trust to do it for you or be willing to clean up after "accidents" and do some remedial house training.
TOYS - A few Greyhounds seem to have no interest in toys at all, but most love them. Some have to "learn" to play. Their taste in toys varies as much as their other traits. But stuffed toys with squeakers are a favorite. If your dog becomes a squeaker eater, then we suggest rope toys.
By the way, if you have a Greyhound who just never develops an interest in toys, don't worry about it. He will almost surely make up for that "shortcoming" in many other ways, like unfailing devotion and understanding.
EQUIPMENT - In addition to the things already mentioned here and in other sections, these are some things you will, or at least might, need...
Collars - Because Greyhounds have muscular necks which end in relatively slender heads, they can back out of regular collars. For this reason we not only strongly recommend martingale collars, we provide one with each dog who is adopted from us. But a martingale is only safe and effective if it's fitted properly. Make sure you learn how. ID tags should also be kept on your dog's collar at ALL times. You will be provided with a Project Racing Home tag with the dogs name and emergency phone number. You should also get a tag with your name and number on it, double coverage is extra safe!
Crates - We recommend the use of a crate however; they it is not an absolute necessity, but they can be invaluable as training aids. Also many Greyhounds prefer having their own space and love their crates. After all, most of them have spent much of their lives in crates. For home purposes, the crate should be as large as you can get (and fit in your house). Measurements should be at least 42"l x 26"w x 28"h. If you need to use a crate for car travel, however, an airline crate that is just big enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in is best.
First aid kit - Greyhounds are pros at getting "owies". The great majority of cuts and scrapes are simple enough that most owners can treat them. You should learn as much as possible about animal first aid, but the most important thing to learn is when to let the vet handle it.
Your dogs first aid kit should contain:
- Vet wrap
- Gauze (rolled
- Non stick Gauze pads
- Cortisone cream
- Benedryl tablets
- Adhesive tape
- Super Glue
Muzzles - Muzzles are a must for most Greyhound owners. They're indispensable for keeping them safe from each other when two or more are turned out together. They're also very handy in the house, especially during the settling in stage. A muzzle will prevent your dog from chewing on the furniture (or the cat!) while you're not home. Greyhounds are used to wearing plastic basket muzzles, and an undamaged and properly adjusted muzzle will not be uncomfortable for them. They're simple and cheap insurance against any number of disasters. You will get a brand new muzzle with your dog.