Sunday, March 2, 2008

Greyhound Glossary

Are you a new to Greyhounds? Or, maybe you're not new, but you're confused by some of the Greyhound lingo? Maybe this will help.

Below is an unofficial glossary of Greyhound terms. The glossary is geared towards life after the track. We'll try to keep adding to the list, so if you have know of any Greyhound "slang" that's not here, please let us know!

(Disclaimer! We're pulling definitions from many resources, including Adoption Group sites and online dictionaries.)


Baboon Butt (Bald Butt): Some Greyhounds lose the fur on their "behinds" as a result of the bedding placed in their crates and/or from the transport to and from the tracks. Others might lose their fur due to stress.

Blue: There's a myth that Greyhounds are mostly grey in color. There are approximately 17 color variations of Greyhounds and the dark smoky gray color is only one of them. (Chocolate being the rarest) Blue, blue fawns, blue brindles and white w/ blue patches are rare but sometimes seen as well.

Blue slip: A form you can send to the Greyhound’s original owner to formally transfer ownership to you. For more information about how to request a blue slip, contact the NGA.

Bounceback (or Bounced): A dog that has been returned by its adopter. Often Greyhounds that are "bounced" from their first home go on to find bliss in their second home.

Brindle: Various degrees of dark striping on a lighter background much like a tiger. The backgrounds can range from a pale fawn to a deep mahogany.

Chattering: The teeth chattering that Greyhounds do when they get excited. It often looks like they are cold or scared. They literally vibrate with excitement. They are just letting you know that they are so happy to see you!

Chip (or Chipping): No, not the kind you eat. Surely you've heard the old saying, "Greyhounds are like potato chips, you can't have just one." You haven't? Well you should have. Chipping is adopting another Greyhound. You have room for just one more Greyhound, don't you? Of course you do.

Countersurfing: Often a favorite indoor activity, next to sleeping or eating. Counter surfing is when a Greyhound will reach up onto a counter (or other surface on which humans leave interesting tidbits) to either (a) steal something or (b) make sure there isn't anything there to steal. Because they are so tall, and have such long necks, this is a quite easy thing for them to do.

Double Suspension Gallop: At high speeds, Greyhounds and some other sighthounds have two points at which all four feet are "suspended" in the air. One point is at the fully-extended stretch (or "bus" position). The other is when all four paws are closest together beneath the dog."

Escaped Tongue Syndrome (ETS): ETS (also know as Extended Tongue Syndrome) is an "affliction" that affects hounds at rest. While the hound is sleeping or daydreaming their tongue slips out of their mouth and hangs aimlessly. If you see a Greyhound exhibiting ETS, don't be alarmed... you just witnessed a very content and relaxed hound!

Fawn: A blonde or tan coat color. It ranges from a pale champagne colour to a deep dark gold. Cissie is a champagne fawn.

Forever home: Greyhounds that are retired and placed with adoption groups often times live the first part of their new lives in a foster home. This home volunteers their time to train the dog, feed them, care for them, nurse them and love them. The family that finally adopts that dog, is the "forever home" and the foster home is only a temporary one.

Gotcha Day: Adoption day. Some adoptive families celebrate this day just like a birthday. It's a great reason to celebrate with extra treats, toys, or even a party!

Helicoptering: What some greys' tails do when they're especially happy. (Move in a circular motion, instead of side-to-side.) Some hounds have such exuberant helicopter tails that their tails must be bandaged to prevent breaks!

Leaning: Anyone who has a Greyhound will know the lean! It’s their version of a Greyhound hug. It's a show of affection and trust. Make sure you have both feet firmly planted on the ground when a Greyhound is around!

Nitting: A sign of affection. The dog's tiny front teeth are moved in a fast chomping motion against the beloved's skin. Varies from adorable to excruciating and probably won't produce a wearable sweater.

Needle Nose: Have you ever actually looked at a Greyhound profile? They have loooong, needle like noses, with a pointy end, all the better to greet you with.

Play-bow: Behind is in the air and forelegs are stretched out on the ground. Sometimes they'll sort of slap the ground with the forelegs. This is an invitation to play, or it can be a nice stretch after a nap in which case it is done much slower.

Red: A color ranging from that of a new penny to a deep auburn red coat.

Roaching: Lying on the back with all four legs in the air. Most Greyhounds are excellent roachers!

Roman Nose :
(AKC definition) A nose whose bridge is so comparatively high as to form a slightly convex line from forehead to nose tip. Ram's nose.

Roo: AKA howling, but with style and even harmony! Greyhounds will sing together, in four part harmony - get one started and a whole group will quickly follow suit if they are within ear shot!

Scritch: This is a Greyhound scratch usually behind the ear or at the base of the tail. Best done in short fast furious strokes. If you hit just the right spot you may get to see that involuntary hind leg spasm that is guaranteed to produce a fit of giggles.

Sighthound: Sighthounds are dogs of the Greyhound type which hunt game by sight. Their focus on distant objects is very sharp. Please note that they also have an excellent sense of smell, but not as highly developed as the scent hounds, such as the Bloodhound. Generally included in this group are the Greyhound, Saluki and other desert breeds, Ibizan, Pharoah, Whippet, Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound, Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound), Afghan Hound, Italian Greyhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Lurcher. Some definitions also include the Basenji. But don't forget, Greyhounds are the fastest of all dogs."

Smiling: A greyhound smile almost looks like a snarl, except the top of the muzzle isn't pulled back. They have a way of lifting their front lips and to show their teeth and it looks like much like a human smile.

Sphinx: Greyhounds will often assume the same position as the Egyptian Sphinx. Because of the way they are built this position is much easier for them and many greyhounds find it uncomfortable to sit in the standard sitting position.

Tuck: This refers to the Greyhound shape, very narrow around the waistline with a large chest and ribcage. The "tuck" or "tuck up" is the area just in front of the rear legs where the greyhound is the thinnest.

Yellow Slip or Bertillion: Official Registration Document provided by the NGA with the dogs complete description, owner at time of registration, tattoo numbers and markings all the way down to the toenails described. Also listed are the sire and dam, their parentage, and date of birth.

Zoomies: Greyhounds love to run! Sometimes they'll run in circles or crazy-eight patterns, sometimes called zoomies. Zoomies are short sprints with lots of turns!


Anonymous said...

My husband and I loved reading your blog about the made us laugh to see all the different terms that we see our dogs do all the time! Thanks for blogging this "day in the life of a greyhound"!

Anonymous said...

hi we recently adopted a greyhound. ON her vet checked she passed, BUT after a very fast run her tongue turns a bluish colour! Are greyhounds like horses? Do their tongues turn a funny bluish colour after strenuos excersice or should we consider a heart work up with our vet?

Maltese Cross said...

Thank you for the definitions! On a forum, ETS is mentioned all the time; I knew it was a comical thing...but never knew what it actually stood for. I am looking forward to fostering some Greys in several months.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the definitions! Andy was chattering this morning and we thought he was cold. lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the "greyhound glossary...
I have one to add.
We were told that the extended overbite that somes greys have is called "Parrot Mouth" How funny

Anonymous said...

Body blocking: the art of a greyhound dead-stopping directly in your path, effectively and immediately halting human pedestrian traffic.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these brilliant definitions! We have as all greyhound adopters would say the most gorgeous GAP SA greyhound called Bruce, but his race name Victa Bruce!, and always wondered why this sweet creature sleeps with his tongue hanging out!! No we know why!! and yes his tail is pure helicopter!!

Anonymous said...

Your list has just about everything. The one thing that we have noticed that is missing is the....
GSOD (Greyhound Scream of Death). This can happen for numerous reasons.. an actual harmful injury, you stepped on their foot, their leash is dragging behind them or a leaf fell off the tree during a walk and landed on them. You will know it when you hear it, take care it is not always serious. Check your hound over, if no injuries, just know you have a Diva. :)

Anonymous said...

I have had my beautiful girl Twiggy for four fun filled years. She displays all of the above including the recently posted sudden frontal stop. Another is "train carriage" where the nose is almost attached to you as you walk up the hall, making it almost impossible to stop and turn around without a collision.

Anonymous said...

And one more for the list... anyone else experience this? ... the nose goose! Your excited to see you grey sticks his nose between your lower cheeks for a quick goose. :-)

Anonymous said...

We have been owned by three greyhounds (Cleo, Daisy and now Yankee). Daisy had "parrot mouth" and loved to roach and always had her tongue lolling out of her mouth. Both Cleo and Daisy loved their stuffies, Yankee not so much. Cleo often did the GSOD when she was getting (gentle) ear rubs. I was told that sometimes the trainers yank the dogs by the ears. And Yankee teeth chatters, spins like a top and is always at my side leaning. If I am in the kitchen washing dishes she is between me and the counter. It is almost impossible to film her because she stays so close to me. They are lovely dogs, and each one has been different and special.

Anonymous said...

I have a grey hound and he Is always chattering. Thanks for the definition of chattering. I was worried something was wrong with him

Anonymous said...

We adopted a Grey two weeks ago and I can relate to this article already, he is so funny!