There’s plenty of urban definitions for the word ‘roaching’ out there, so what does it mean in the greyhound world?
What is greyhound roaching?
Roaching is a position lots of greyhounds like to snooze in. Lying on their backs with their legs in the air, they look a bit like dying cockroaches when they roach (which is where the name comes from).
Our greyhound Pepper is a master ‘freestyle’ roacher – she can sleep upside down absolutely anywhere. Our boy Finn prefers to roach when he’s resting up against a wall or lounge. Either way, it always gives us a chuckle seeing them in such silly positions!
Does roaching mean a greyhound is happy?
People tend to think that if a greyhound is roaching, it means that they’re happy. It’s usually a sign that a grey feels comfortable and safe in their environment, since the upside position would ordinarily leave them vulnerable to threats. If you’ve brought a new greyhound home, roaching is a good sign that they’ve settled in.
Is greyhound roaching normal?
While roaching is pretty common, not all greyhounds like lying in this position, so if you can’t seem to catch your fur baby in the roaching position it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t content. On the other side of the spectrum, some greys are obsessed with roaching and will do it anywhere (Pepper is one of these!), so it doesn’t always mean they comfortable either.
Regardless, roaching is one of those quirky greyhound traits that greyhound owners love to see!
You might think greyhounds belong on the side of a bus, or zooming around a track on the sports channel. But where are greyhounds truly in their element? As pets in your home!
These beautiful dogs aren’t often given the attention the deserve as pets, because they don’t really fit the ‘family dog’ stereotype. They’re not the cute fluffy companion most people have in mind when looking for a dog.
Here’s why you should consider bringing a greyhound into your home – you won’t regret giving an ex-racer a second lease on life!
1. It’s far better to adopt than shop:
Most people nowadays are concerned about puppy farms and the inhumane breeding conditions of the dog world. With the surplus of dogs in shelters growing, there’s never been a better time to consider adopting a furry friend rather than buying from a breeder.
There’s plenty of deserving dogs waiting in shelters, so why should you get a greyhound?
Well, unlike most other dogs in shelters or adoption agencies, greyhounds have often had a hard working life in the racing world. They’re raced until they’re no longer profitable to their owners, and then put down if they can’t be rehomed. Greyhounds are constantly being retired out of racing, so there’s always a long line of gorgeous greys waiting to be adopted at any given time.
There’s definitely something special about giving a working dog a second chance at a life. For most greyhounds, they have never experienced love and care from a family before!
2. Greyhounds aren’t expensive to adopt:
Most greyhound rehoming agencies have very reasonable adoption fees for their doggos – they’re focused on forever homes, not making profit. We paid around $400 each to adopt Finn and Pepper. This adoption fee covered registration, microchipping, desexing, worming and vet checkups before we brought them home.
Compared to the thousands of dollars you can spend getting a purebred puppy, greyhounds are an affordable pet to bring into your family. Not that you could ever put a price on the love of a dog!
3. Greyhounds are purebred:
If you’re hell bent on a purebred dog, a greyhound is the perfect choice for you. When you adopt a retired racer, there’ll be no doubt as to its pedigree. Since the racing industry take lineage very seriously, you’ll be able to trace your fur baby’s family tree with a quick internet search.
Greyhounds are the supermodels of the dog world – they’re lean, defined and instantly distinguished from other dogs. Your greyhound will never get lost in a sea of fluffy purebred doggos.
4. Greyhounds sleep almost as much as koalas:
People think greyhounds are full of energy… After all, they run for a living! It’s all a lie. Greyhounds are lazy as anything, they’ll sleep all day if they get the chance.
Our two greyhounds, Finn and Pepper, love going on short walks and the occasional run around the dog park, but if they miss out on some exercise they won’t be upset. They would much rather be stretched out on a bed than running amuck in the backyard. You can come back after being out for hours and find them sleeping in the same positions as when you left!
5. Greyhounds are used to human contact:
In the racing world, greyhounds are constantly handled by people, so as a dog breed they are incredibly familiar with human contact. This means when you bring a greyhound into your home, your new furry friend will already be comfortable around people.
This is especially great for young children who can make a habit of pulling ears and tails unannounced – a little poking and prodding will leave your greyhound largely unphased. Finn and Pepper naturally gravitate towards humans (and their pats!) and are well-behaved in crowds of people, which can’t be said for all dog breeds.
(Not all greyhounds have had positive human experiences in their racing life, so be sure to check with the rehoming organisation if an individual dog has issues with human contact or aggression towards people)
6. There’sno puppy phase:
There’s no denying puppies are adorable, but what about their constant barking, chewing and need for attention? Not so adorable.
When you adopt a retired racing greyhound, you skip all the naughty puppy behaviours that have new dog owners tearing their hair out. Sure, there may be some retraining to get your grey settled to their new home (they may not be used to stairs, their new toilet spot etc.), but it will be far less stressful than navigating puppy training from scratch.
While your rescue greyhound might not be a puppy, be aware – they’ll still whip out their ‘puppy dog’ eyes when they want some of your dinner!
7. Greyhounds don’t shed:
Greyhounds have short coats that don’t shed* or need haircuts, so apart from a bath every now and then they’re very little maintenance. You can kiss the dog groomers goodbye with a greyhound!
*While the general consensus is that greyhounds don’t shed, there’s a few furry doggos here and there that do – Pepper is one of them! Although since the fur is so short, it’s easily managed with a quick vacuum.
8. Greyhounds are a conversation starter:
I’m not suggesting you should get a greyhound purely as an icebreaker, but your furry bag of elbows (an affectionate nickname that the greyhound community love to use) will definitely get people talking.
People are naturally curious to see greyhounds as pets, and often have lots of questions about the adoption process and the racing industry. When we walk around the neighbourhood with Finn and Pepper, people often come up to have a chat and a pat. Having a greyhound is a great opportunity to educate the community about these gorgeous dogs and their life post-racing.
9. They’re just so cute:
Come on, how could you say no to these faces?!?
So there you have it, 9 reasons greyhounds make great pets! Greyhounds are incredibly adaptable to new environments, and are great at settling into retired life. Finn and Pepper took no time at all to weasel their way into our hearts – now we couldn’t live without them!
If you’re still not sure about greyhounds, you can always foster a retired racer to see whether it’s right for you. Have a chat to your local greyhound rescue organisation to see if there’s a perfect fit for your family.