To Muzzle Or Not?
In the UK, muzzling a dog while walking or playing off-lead is not required. This choice should be carefully considered, considering the breed's possible actions. Are retired greyhounds muzzled? I'll try to answer it below.
The greyhound is a sighthound. Unlike its scent hound cousins, these dogs hunt with their eyes. Their prey drive is well known, and they are known to pursue their prey over long distances. They do this at incredible speeds, which is why they are in the Formula 1 dog world. A leaf blowing in the wind has often triggered my own grey. A tiny creature would have the same urge to pursue, so a muzzle might be a good idea. Greyhounds have been bred for centuries for hunting, coursing, and sport.
Greyhound muzzles are a precaution. An owner should avoid unnecessary incidents if a greyhound's instinct to chase kicks in at the park. Greyhounds aren't vicious. A greyhound is a calm, sweet-natured dog. It will lean into or stand behind its owner in a hostile situation.
No greyhound muzzles are worn because they are dangerous to humans. Owners must understand that their dogs' instinct to chase and "catch" is not an act of aggression. Because this pursuit involves catching with the mouth rather than a fair, less menacing pair of paws, using a muzzle can protect an owner and their greyhound from an unintended consequence.
First, congratulations on adopting a retired racer, as they all need homes. Second, and most importantly, use a muzzle until a good relationship and confidence in a recall are established. Owners who are nervous or unsure of their greyhound's behavior should use muzzles. I used a muzzle for over a year before I stopped. When my beautiful boy was on his lead, it took about two years for me to be satisfied with his obedience to un-muzzle him completely.
When my grey is out and about, I still keep an eye out for small dogs, especially pugs with their curly rabbit-like tails. I usually re-attach Tipps' lead if I sense he's in the mood to defy authority and follow his instincts. Sooner or later, all owners will learn their greys' tendencies and act appropriately. Until then, no owner should be concerned about using muzzles.
Greyhound muzzles are designed with the above traits in mind. In addition to allowing your pet to breathe easily, pant while exercising, and drink fluids, greys' muzzles are non-restrictive. They're well padded to prevent rubbing and painful knocks.
Most are made of plastic or metal wire, allowing your dog to run around freely. Ordinary dog muzzles don't fit. No greyhound muzzles in many pet stores I visited. However, many online stores sell muzzles for greyhounds and their long, narrow heads.
Colors and styles abound, and most are reasonably priced. There are luxury padded options for dogs bald quickly or need extra warmth in colder climates. Some have neon or reflective straps for night walks. That is a great way to add to your greyhound accessories collection for a low cost.
I've talked a lot about using muzzles to prevent accidents. They're still great for other reasons. They can be used to lick open old wounds or attack post-surgery stitches and bandages. Muzzles can protect large groups of dogs from rough play. Their skin is thin and easily pierced, causing skin tears.
Greyhounds can bark, but it is rare. Other barking dogs will teach the normally quiet greyhound this new form of communication. It's easy to find muzzles that prevent barking. A muzzle may be helpful when visiting the vet.
All dogs get nervous around vets, especially if they've been the ones with the scalpel or thermometer before! Also, visit the groomer for nail clippings – greyhound nails are rigid, and trimming them is difficult. These can be used for any type of training. Muzzles can help with socialization, aggression, and food etiquette.
When I walk my grey, I use a muzzle to keep him from eating unwanted objects. It sometimes feels like I'm driving a snorting pig around town instead of my sleek, graceful grey! Muzzles allow for a carefree scavenging walk when on a restricted diet. Greyhound muzzles can be used for many purposes.
They are not cruel or inconvenient but valuable for the greyhound's toolkit. When we first adopted our dog, he was fine with the muzzle. He's seen with and without his muzzle. He is happy playing with his ball in both photos and a few more greys in.
To learn more about dog muzzles, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Greyhound Muzzles
A. While greyhounds do not need to be muzzled at all times, we do recommend that you keep them muzzled when out and about, at least until you are secure with their behavior around other breeds. If you feel the need to let your dog off the leash, do it in a confined place while wearing a muzzle.
Greyhounds wear muzzles for two main reasons: they are highly stimulated and aroused when racing. Their bodies are saturated with epinephrine (adrenaline) when they are thrilled. Another reason greyhounds race with muzzles may surprise you.
The requirement that pet Greyhounds wear muzzles works against the purpose of rehoming Greyhounds by creating a negative social impression of these animals. In the past, the requirement for muzzles in racing animals was most likely linked to the illegal practice of live baiting.
Your gray may be unsure or uneasy and will growl or snap at you from time to time. Adopters may misinterpret this as aggressive behavior when the dog has no other way of expressing his discomfort with you in his space.
Greyhounds in racing are confined to their cages, subjected to brutal standard practices throughout their lives. They are subjected to injury and even death. Greyhounds used for racing spend up to 23 hours a day in cages that are barely huge enough for them to stand up or turn around in.
Contrary to popular misconception, UK law does not require greyhounds to be muzzled or on a leash when out for a walk. However, it is a precaution that the owner may choose to take. Genetically, greyhounds are one of the healthiest breeds. They don't have any health concerns due to inbred genetics.
All greyhounds in Queensland are forced to wear muzzles in public unless they are QLD GAP greyhounds, which may be identified by the GAP green collar. Please check with your local government to see if greyhound muzzling is legal in your area.