The quick, powerful stride that is essential to a greyhound's natural racing ability also makes it easy for you to lose control of your dog in an instant if your dog is not on a leash. Long leashes, often called long lines, are useful for training, both indoors and out. A long leash lets you retain control while you safely train basic commands such as "Come" and "Stay" at a distance, and while the dog learns the rules of your household. Never use a long leash to tie your greyhound to anything. Hitting the end of a long line at high speed could do harm to your dog.
Choosing a Leash
Choose a non-retractable leash. About 30 feet of line is a useful length for outdoor purposes such as teaching your greyhound to "Come" on command from a distance. Anything shorter, and the line won't serve the need outdoors. It's a good idea to find a leash with a rubber grip at your end. Holding on to a bare leash can rip the skin from your hand if your greyhound decides to take off after a rabbit.
Greyhounds who haven't experienced long leashes may be wary the first time they wear one. This is especially true of retired racing greyhounds. Without proper introduction, your dog could consider the leash punishment. Attach the leash indoors. Pick up the end of the leash, and allow your dog to walk around with it on. Do not pull, jerk or tighten the leash. You want your greyhound to feel comfortable and to realize the leash is no big deal. Allow the leash to drag behind your dog, but do not allow your dog to walk the house unsupervised, as the leash could catch on things and topple them. Always use a harness with the leash. Harnesses distribute the pressure that would all be applied to the dog's neck if you used a collar.
Once your dog is accustomed to the leash, it's time for training. For indoor training, give your dog about 15 to 20 feet of line. Always hold the end of the leash while the dog walks around the house. When your greyhound errs, say a keyword and give a little jerk on the line. Your keyword should be consistent, such as "no" or a sharp "ah." Always pull the exact moment your dog engages in the behavior to let the dog know the activity is not acceptable.
Long leashes shine for teaching the "Come" command, known as the recall. Once fully learned, this essential command lets you control your dog off-leash in a fenced area such as your yard or a dog park.
Allow your greyhound to roam your yard with the full length of the leash while you remain in place. When your dog is some distance out, command "Come," and gently pull on the leash to bring your dog toward you. When your greyhound begins moving toward you without the leash pull, stop pulling. When your greyhound reaches you, immediately give a treat and great praise. After about 10 to 15 repetitions, stop using leash pressure with the command unless your greyhound fails to respond quickly to the command. This is one of the more difficult basic obedience commands. Do not get impatient or angry if your dog learns slowly. Coming on command must always be a pleasant, rewarding experience for your dog. A quick release for a game after a particularly nice recall is another good way to reward your dog.