Chitter Chatters and Leggy Roaches: Greyhounds and Their Quirks
Nov 25, 2022
Greyhounds are such strange creatures: some of my friends claim they are not of this world, or not even dogs at all. They're a weird concoction of long legs and attitude, and my three catch me off guard all the time with their quirks! I've compiled some of my absolute favourite greyhound-isms for you, so that you can look out for them in the hounds you know.
One of my absolute favourite greyhound behaviours is chattering. The first time most people see a greyhound chattering their teeth, they (fairly) assume that the tall creature is cold, or even scared. However, in greyhounds, the opposite is often true! Greys are known for chatting their teeth when they are feeling happy, safe, contented, or excited. My hounds chatter most when they're getting good scratches, or they hear me pull their leads out. It's surprisingly loud and unsurprisingly adorable - and absolutely nothing to be concerned about!
Another adorable hound trick is something affectionately referred to as ‘roaching’ - the act of a hound flipping onto its back, legs all over the place, and falling asleep. They look somewhat like dead cockroaches, hence the nickname for the behaviour. If your greyhound is roaching, it's a positive sign - being on their backs with its bellies exposed is a vulnerable position for a dog, and they need to feel safe and happy to do it. It can be very funny to look at, and my friends often comment that my greyhounds look like they ‘haven't been assembled correctly.
There is nothing that makes me laugh harder than a greyhound with the zoomies. They get the sillies, much like other dogs - but with four times as much leg, and ten times as much speed. They jump in circles, run in leaps and bounds - legs kicking and tongues flying in the wind. It normally only happens in sudden and short bursts and is always hilarious. Greyhound zoomies truly are the best.
Greyhounds can sing - well, some of them can. Greyhound singing is often referred to as ‘rooing’, and the sound is like howling. Some hounds are good at it - my small girl, Mayonnaise, can hold long operatic notes worthy of a church choir. My old girl, Rhythm, has a lot more soul - her voice is rougher and deeper, coming with lots of passion. And my fawn girl, Bean… well, she wasn't cut for the recording studio I suppose. All we get from her are some high-pitched squeaks and an unsure glance - she doesn't really get what she's meant to be doing while her sisters howl. You can encourage your hound to roo a couple of ways - by doing it yourself (I'm not ashamed to say I know the exact pitch to hit to get Rhythm going), or by playing videos of other hounds rooing from YouTube! When one hound gets going, the others tend to follow. It's loud, chaotic, and oh-so-beautiful.
Greyhounds truly aren't like any other dog. I have only scratched the surface with these stories - there are a million things that make greyhounds unique, and you honestly need to spend time with them to really experience all their quirks and curiosities. Greyhounds are fun, endearing, and strange - and they're the best pets I have ever had.
Author: Charlie Jayde
Greyhound Owner for 4 years / GAP Volunteer
Experienced Dog Trainer