Are greyhounds protective? (Are they good guard dogs?)

Are greyhounds protective

Are you planning to adopt a greyhound? If so, are greyhounds protective? is a puzzle that will certainly pop up in your mind. The solutions are below!

Are greyhounds protective, or are they good guard dogs? Usually, greyhounds are not protective. They aren’t as effective as guard dogs because they are calm, docile creatures bred for hunting. But they can be made to be protective by some unique training methods and some other proven tactics.

There are more drawbacks than benefits when adopting a greyhound as a guard dog. So, you must seriously focus on these drawbacks before you adopt a greyhound as a protective dog.

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Can greyhounds be protective? Can they protect their family?

Usually, greyhounds are not protective dogs, and they are not as effective as guard dogs. But there are exceptional individuals too. But, there are several reasons for the ineffectiveness of greyhounds as guard dogs.

Greyhounds belong to the group of sighthounds. Dogs of the sighthound group were, and still are, hunters. They never bark when chasing their prey. This can be due to the difficulty in sprinting and barking at the same time.           

As mentioned above, as barking was never a principal part of their job, they are quiet creatures. Also, including the greyhounds, as sighthounds have rarely been used as guards, they are not protective of their territory.

So, we can’t expect a greyhound to be protective and protect its family. But you can make your greyhound buddy a guard dog to some extent by some unique training methods, patience, consistency, and some other proven tactics.

How to teach your greyhound to be protective?

At first, you need to be aware of the characteristics of a good guard dog. So, these are the characteristics of a guard dog!

  1. Loyalty
  2. Intelligence
  3. Moderate aggressiveness
  4. Socialization
  5. Alertness 
  6. Dominance
  7. Self-confidence

1. Loyalty

A good guard should have faith in his family members. Then he or she will depend on the owner or the family members and tend to protect them. 

2. Intelligence

Guard dogs should follow commands like sit, lay down, wait for, etc…by the owner or family members. The most important point is that dog should not obey commands from other than his owner, family members, or the trainer.

Also, the dog should have a clear understanding of his territory.

See, How to Prepare Your Dog for Guard Dog Training

3. Moderate aggressiveness

If a dog will not tend to protect himself when a threat occurs, how can he protect the family members and home from threats?

So, the dog should show his aggression to the approaching intruders at the owner’s command or when the dog encounters an abnormal situation.

4. Socialization

So, your dog needs to be familiar with all the family members, including the other pets. Then he will be able to protect the family members from threats.

5. Alertness 

A guard dog should not lie down or engage in his regular routine when an intruder approaches. He should always be aware of what’s happening in the surrounding. He must train to bark other than silent attacks. Because alertness is an outstanding feature of guard or protective dogs.

6. Dominance

The dog should show his dominance over other neighboring pets.

7. Self-confidence

A good guard dog is confident, and he is alert about intruders and unusual situations in his surrounding.

When we consider training greyhounds as protective dogs, they do not possess aggressive behavior. It is due to their hunting behavior as sighthounds. Sighthounds were, and still are, hunters.

They never bark when chasing their prey. This can be due to the difficulty in sprinting and barking at the same time. As mentioned above, as barking was never a principal part of their job, they are quiet creatures.

Although they can be trained to obey the commands, their lazy behavior acts as a hindrance. Even food motivation will not be able to wake them from their sleep!

Now let’s dive in to find what you can do to teach your greyhound buddy to be protective.

Try to take the following approaches in order to make your greyhound be a protective dog.

  1. Train him to obey basic commands.
  2. Train him to be alert.
  3. Train him to ‘quiet’ command.
  4. Try to build self-confidence.
  5. Socialization.
  6. Treat him as a family.

1. Train him to obey basic commands.

A guard dog should be trained to follow every command (both verbal and physical) of the owner or the trainer with immediate response, unlike the companion dogs.

Basic commands are ‘sit down,” lie down’ and ‘come to us,” stay,” off,” don’t touch’ etc.…Basic dog obedience is essential to start the next steps in protective training. Keep in mind to reward him every time he followed a command appropriately.

2. Train him to be alert.

After your dog is trained to follow the basic commands, you can start his protective training. First, you should train him to alert the human approach and bark as a signal to the family members.

Greyhounds belong to the group of sighthounds. Dogs of the sighthound group were, and still are, hunters. They never bark when chasing their prey.

This can be due to the difficulty in sprinting and barking at the same time. As mentioned above, as barking was never a principal part of their job, they are quiet creatures.

So, you should take special care when training your greyhound to bark. You can use a unique training word such as ‘bark’ to stimulate his barking. At each time you use that word, enthusiasm will be built in him, and he will tend to bark.

Praise him verbally, physically, or with a reward if he obeys the command correctly. Then gradually train him to follow this command immediately.

Consistency is most important when training to follow these protective commands. You should allocate sufficient time to teach him during his training period.

You must not confuse him when giving these commands. You should state the commands clearly.

3. Train him to ‘quiet’ command.

As you need a guard dog to protect your family, excessive barking is not at all appropriate. So, you need to stop his barking when necessary. Using the word ‘quiet’ is much suitable.

If he obeys your command, praise him verbally like ‘good boy!’ or pat him or use a treat. Never give him rewards when he is still barking unnecessarily.

Instead of the quiet command, you can use the ‘sit down’ command to prevent his excessive barking. Dogs find it challenging to bark while sitting.

4. Try to build self-confidence.

Provide him with relationship-based training. Relationship-based training includes activities that enhance the relationship between the owner/trainer and the dog.

The owner or trainer should spend as much time as possible with the dog during training. The owner should respect the relationship between the two and should treat him as his best friend.

5. Socialization.

It is better if you can start his socialization training from puppyhood. Now do not worry if you have adopted an adult greyhound. They also can train to be socialized.

Understand, it is a gradual procedure that you should deal with much patience.

Interact with new persons and new environments. Then he will be comfortable with new situations. Use positive reinforcement at each time your dog experiences an excellent social interaction.

6. Treat him as a family.

You must treat him as one of the family members. Then it will increase his loyalty level towards the family. Every family member should build a healthy relationship with him.

It will build mutual trust. Stimulate your buddy by patting, cuddling, and reward him verbally. In my experience, I have seen dogs who have turned out to be more loyal when treating them with love and care other than punishments. By doing so, Greyhounds will be affectionate and protective to the family.

Are greyhounds guard dogs or watchdogs?

If you ask me the question, are greyhounds guard dogs or watchdogs? In my honest opinion, greyhounds are not effective neither as guard dogs nor watchdogs.

The first thing I wanna emphasize is that guard dogs and watchdogs are two different terms.

Watchdogs

They watch out and alert you by barking when intruders approach or something abnormal takes place. Then it is your duty to deal with the situation, and they will not tend to bite.

Guard dogs

Like watchdogs, guard dogs, too, keep an eye out for intruders and unusual things. But they will tend to defend their home and family by physical aggression (biting, lunging)

Do greyhounds bark at strangers or intruders?

Greyhounds usually do not bark at intruders. It is basically due to their adaptations for hunting. Greyhounds belong to the group of sighthounds. Dogs of the sighthound group were, and still are, hunters.

They never bark when chasing their prey. This can be due to the difficulty in sprinting and barking at the same time. As mentioned above, as barking was never a principal part of their job, they are quiet creatures. 

What are the best protective dog breeds?

  • German shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Doberman pinscher
  • Boxer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Giant Schnauzer

The above dog breeds possess most of the qualities needed in a guard dog or are easily trained to be a protective dogs.

Things to be aware.

There are several points that you wanna bear in your mind when you are training your greyhound to be a guard dog.

1. Patience

You must bear in mind that greyhounds are hunting dogs and not watchdogs. They never bark when chasing prey. This can be due to the difficulty in sprinting and barking at the same time. As mentioned above, as barking was never a principal part of their job, they are quiet creatures.

Greyhounds belong to the group of sighthounds. Sighthounds have rarely been used as guards. They are not protective of their territory. So, we can’t expect a greyhound to be protective and protect its family.

In order to reverse his behavior to a protective dog, it will take some time. It is a procedure that you should follow gradually with much patience.

2. Harsh training should be avoided.

If you adopt harsh training methods, he will become overaggressive, which is only suitable for an attack dog but not for a family’s guard dog. During training, never give him punishments when he is not responding.

When he followed your commands, you can encourage him verbally or physically, or else you can reward him with a treat.

3. Be aware of his sleeping behavior.

The greyhound is one of the breeds that prefer sleeping very much. It’s mainly due to having fewer fat deposits in the body. So, they cannot afford energy wastage.

Greyhounds sleep to save energy for later usage. It’s normal for them to have 18-20 hours of sleep every day.

4. Identifying the level of aggressiveness.

A guard dog should possess moderate aggressiveness. Over aggressiveness is not appropriate. You can use some criteria to identify the aggressive level.

Suppose he has an aggression level suitable for a protective dog. In that case, he will be alert on human arrival, playful behavior with other pets in the home. He will show calm behavior towards neighboring dogs.

5. Train him from puppyhood.

If you want to make your greyhound a protective dog, you must start training him from puppyhood. Traits like socialization essential for a guard dog should be practiced in him from puppyhood.

4. Should not treat him differently.

You must not treat your guard dog in a different way. You treat a companion dog. They are also seeking love and affection as other normal dogs. So, you should treat him like family.

5. Constant unresponsiveness.

Following the basic obedience commands is the foundation of a good guard dog. If he is not continually responding to basic commands, there is a lower possibility of being an excellent protective dog.

6. Hire a professional trainer.

If you think your training is not improving him as a guard dog, you can hire a professional trainer. 

Conclusion

Most people tend to adopt a dog other than other pet types. It is due to the fact that not only dogs are playful, lovable, but they are also protective of their home and family. But you can’t expect all of these qualities in every dog breed.

Especially if the greyhound is your favorite dog breed and you are planning to adopt one, there are some other things you must consider other than their ineffectiveness as guard dogs. It includes facts like their sleeping behavior and swimming.