Can Greyhounds Sit Down?

By Brian Cooper •  Updated: 06/29/23 •  9 min read
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When we first got a Greyhound, I was pretty curious about many things about them. One of the questions that came up was can Greyhounds sit down?

They are pretty slender and have long legs and that made me wonder if it was even comfortable for them to sit down. I think it’s a common question that many aspiring Greyhound owners want to know, as Greyhounds are physically different than many other dogs.

The short answer to this question is yes Greyhounds can indeed sit down. However, the way they sit is a bit different from other dog breeds. In a nutshell, Greyhounds have elongated and powerful muscles which can make sitting down in a traditional “doggy way”pretty difficult and less comfortable for them.

Brittany the Greyhound sitting

Understanding Greyhound Anatomy…at least a Little Bit

Spinal Structure and Muscular Composition Can Affect Greyhound Sitting

As I looked into Greyhound anatomy, I did learn that their spinal structure is very different than other dogs. They have very flexible spines which is what gives them incredible speed and agility. The flexibility of their spines is also due in part to the very unique spacing between the vertebrae, which gives a Greyhound a long range of motion. So in a nutshell, a Greyhound’s spinal structure plays a big part in their ability to sit.

Without getting too deep into the biology of the muscular system of the Greyhound (which I am no expert), Greyhounds do possess a higher than average number of muscle fibers which are responsible for sprinting and accelerating. Those particular fibers contract quickly and powerfully and are made for running basically.

So the muscular system of a Greyhound is more designed for speed and agility than it is for just
plain sitting down.

That Being Said, Can Greyhounds Sit Down?

In my time owning Greyhounds I’ve learned that they are a very unique dog and have very distinct body structures. When it comes to their long legs and their narrow chest, it may seem at first that they cannot sit down like other dogs. However as I have found with both Gill and Brittany, they can indeed sit down although they may look a little goofy at times.

Another image of Brittany the Greyhound sitting

That slim and muscular body gives them an excellent ability to run at high speeds and doing zoomies in the backyard, but it also means that sitting is probably a little uncomfortable for them. Nonetheless, Greyhounds can and do sit whenever they feel the need to rest or relax and I see it just about every day!

Controlling a Greyhounds Posture

During my time having Greyhounds I’ve noticed that it’s important to teach them how to control their posture when they are sitting. Just like any other dog, Greyhounds can be trained to sit on command. But to make sitting more comfortable for them, I try to train them and focus teaching on controlling the muscles and maintaining a proper sitting position. It’s definitely not easy!

I try to keep in mind that patience and consistency will help greatly in teaching my Greyhounds to learn to sit correctly and comfortably. And to be honest, a little treat here and there doesn’t hurt either! Teaching a Greyhound to sit

When I first started training my Greyhounds to sit I discovered some pretty cool training techniques and some common challenges that are pretty unique to this. I wanted to share some of my experiences and insights so maybe teaching very how to sit will come a little easier for you.

Some Easy and Effective Techniques To Teach Your Greyhound To Sit

As with teaching any dog a new command or trick, being positive and consistent is important to teach your Greyhound to sit. Although some of this seems basic, it’s what I did and what works.

  1. Choose a clear and simple command, like “sit.” Pretty obvious huh? Yeah I like the old ‘sit’ command too!
  2. Find a treat your Greyhound loves. Using those treats, lure your Greyhound into the desired sitting position by holding the treat above their nose and moving it slowly towards their tail as you tell them to “sit.” This should slowly pull they’re head back and at the same time push their butt to the floor.
  3. As soon as your Greyhound sits, gush over them and reward them immediately with a treat. You’ll see that happy face and they’ll start to understand sitting is a good thing!

Remember to always be patient while training your Greyhound. It’s super important to practice this a few times a day for only a few minutes at a time to ensure they retain the information. Pounding this into their heads for an hour just won’t work. Plus that’s a LOT of treats!

Common Challenges I Encountered Getting My Greyhounds to Sit

I encountered a few challenges while teaching my Greyhound to sit and I thought I would talk about them briefly here.

Physical Limitations: As mentioned before, Greyhounds simply have physical limitations that don’t fully prevent sitting, but make it difficult. It’s sometimes awkward to watch Brittany the Greyhound sit, but she gets the job done considering her big long legs and squirrely muscles. It’s sort of fun to watch to be honest!

Stubbornness: If you don’t know by now, Greyhounds can be a bit stubborn, so it may take more time and patience for them to learn new commands. Sometimes it’s a chore just to get Brittany to get out of bed in the morning so you can understand getting her to sit sometimes takes and Act of God….or a few treats. It’s crucial to remain calm, patient and persistent during training sessions and trust me they’ll eventually get it.

Prey Drive: So you might not think that this would be an issue when sitting, but try getting them to sit outside when a bunny runs by. It’s like watching an Indy Race car speeding for the checkered flag! Best to train your Greyhound to sit when you’re inside the house, or at least when you know a bird, bunny or squirrel won’t run or fly by.

I’m sure you may encounter other issues, but these are the main ones I would watch out for. Again this is not a hard behavior to teach but sometimes Greyhounds will do what they want when they want to. It comes with the territory!

Unique Greyhound Behaviors When It Comes to Sitting

The Sphinx Sit

So many Greyhound owners know this seating ‘position’, especially me when it comes to my Brittany. As you’ll see her below, she sits in this position quite often and it’s called the ‘Sphinx’ position as it looks like the Great Sphinx of Giza which was a a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx in Egypt.

Brittany the Greyhound sitting Sphynx style

This unique sitting style not only looks adorable when Brittany does it, but it also allows Greyhounds to avoid straining their muscles. She seems to be very comfortable doing it, although it doesn’t look comfortable to me.

Greyhound Roaching

Another peculiar behavior my Greyhound Brittany also does often is called “roaching.” Roaching is when a Greyhound lays on their back with all four legs up in the air resembling an upside-down cockroach. I would say this is easily my Greyhounds’ favorite position as you’ll see them laying like this often throughout the day.
As a Greyhound owner, you should get used to seeing this. It’s actually quite funny and makes for a great conversation when people stop over. I’ll often send Greyhound selfies to my family with Brittany in this position and they all love it!

Brittany the Greyhound being a couch potato

Some reasons for ‘roaching’ include:

Comfort: Because Greyhounds have an arched spine, this position provides them some much needed relaxation that comes with lying on their backs. Often Brittany will also prop herself up against the couch for some needed support, but she’ll ‘roach’ just about anywhere in the house.

Temperature Regulation: Lying on their back allows Greyhounds to dissipate heat from their belly and inner thighs during warmer times. If you ever felt the belly of a Greyhound you’ll know they hold quite a bit of heat under there so releasing that heat by roaching is quite relieving to your Greyhound.

Trust: This position exposes their vulnerable underside also indicating they feel secure in their environment. It took a few weeks before our Greyhounds felt comfortable enough with their surroundings and our family before they started doing this. We knew the moment we saw them roll on their back that they felt at home. it’s a good feeling for us and our Greyhounds for sure.

As I continue to observe and learn about these remarkable animals, I’m constantly reminded of how special Greyhounds are. They have such unique mannerisms and ways of doing things that other dogs simply do not share. I think that’s why we’re huge fans of Greyhounds and think they’re one of the best family dogs one could have.

Wrap Up The Greyhound Sitting Question

So there you have it, Greyhounds can definitely sit down and can be taught to do so relatively easily too. If you have any other questions about teaching a Greyhound to sit or any suggestions that would help our readers, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you enjoy your Greyhounds. They’re really special animals and we’re lucky to have them with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do Greyhounds sit comfortably?

In my experience, Greyhounds can indeed sit comfortably, even though they may not do so as naturally as other dogs. Given their unique body structure with long limbs and lean muscles, they might sit in a more slouched or “frog-like” position compared to other breeds. Considering our Greyhounds sit in the same style just about every day, I would think they’re pretty comfortable. And there’s always a seat on the couch if they need something nice and cozy!

Q. Any other suggestions on how to teach a Greyhound to sit?

As mentioned above, I’ve found that using positive reinforcement works great when teaching my Greyhounds to sit. Not every Greyhound is the same, so it’s always important to be patient and consistent while training them.

I also rely on bribery! A little ‘Scooby Snack’ never hurts a dog so make sure you have some tasty treats when teaching your Greyhound to sit. I use the Old Mother Hubbard Classic Original Mix Natural Dog Treats as my Brittany loves them.

Brian Cooper

Brian Cooper is a 'Greyhound Dad' and is the founder of Rescued Greyhounds. His Greys "Gill" and "Brittany" are his inspiration and his mission is to teach about and promote the adoption of Greyhounds. He also has over 40+ years experience with many other breeds including Toy Poodles, Collies and Border Collies.