Still at the early stages of deciding which way to go, but we are looking for a rescue dog as a family dog (we have young DC).
Our initial plan to adopt was a small- medium adult dog. However when looking around we have come across a lovely rescue greyhound currently in foster care relatively local to us. I have left a message on the foster carer's phone to ask if we can visit. The dog is described as good with young children, and I have been reading up on greyhounds.
I am well aware of the fact it is unlikely we'd be able to let a rescue greyhound off the lead. What I am wondering (and obviously will also discuss with the foster carer, not only rely on MN, but am interested in a bit of advanced knowledge) is whether it would be crazy to let children of 6+ hold the lead on walks, after a settling in period. I would be there, but I would like them to be able to hold the lead and feel they were walking the dog. This wouldn't be practical if he'd catch sight of a rabbit half a mile away and try to bolt off at 80km an hour with a 6 year old attached to the end of his lead obviously!!!
Whilst this would be a family dog, and I know you can't get a dog just for the kids, I don't want one that the kids couldn't play a part in walking.
Any greyhound owners have an opinion? I must confess I love the idea of a big dog and the greyhound seems to be a more practical big dog, in terms of limited exercise requirements (2 x 20 mins a day instead of needing to do 10 miles plus running after a ball ;) ) and the laid back, rather lazy temperament sounds rather nice...
Hello Scuttlebutter - I'd never heard of Galgoes! How sad that they are treated that way once they are no longer useful for hunting. Definitely an option for next time... Will look them up out of interest and for future reference.
However the foster family who had the terrier mix we went to see yesterday also had a spaniel mix (they are guessing a cocker mix). When she met us the fosterer suggested the spaniel mix as probably a better match than the terrier. She (the spaniel) came straight over to us when we arrived but was very calm once she had initially greeted us, and after about 5 mins spent a lot of the visit sitting on DD's lap. We were in the garden with them (lovely weather) for over 2 hours, and DH left work early and came to join us to meet her to.
The foster family have boys of 6 and 9, which is great - very similar in age to our older 2, and the 6 year old at least was loud and rowdy just as our boys can be (like ours gentle and loving with the dogs but then ran off to play a rather wild water squirting game with our boys in another part of the same garden) All the 3 foster dogs they had there were totally unruffled in any way by slightly wild kids playing in the vicinity - neither over excited nor afraid
The little spaniel mix is 3 years old, and has been with the foster family for 6 weeks. She is reliably house trained and good on a lead and in the car, and can be left for a few hours in the house - the foster carer works part time and leaves them for 5 hours with no problems as long as they have chew toys Poor little dog has no tail and a sad story - she was found in Greece in July, probably a rejected hunting dog due to the severely docked tail. Apparently she was just skin and bone and very dehydrated when found. She still is too thin and needs feeding up slowly, but is healthy looking with a shiny coat and bright eyes The foster carer says she's frightened of rabbits, which is probably why she didn't make the grade!
So she is a rescue from abroad, but has been with the foster family here for 6 weeks, and we have had the chance to spend time with her.
Foster carer is coming over to do a home check today, and if she's happy we could keep our little dog straight away!
The charity who organise the foster placements support fosterer and adopters with telephone support from a trainer and a vet, and we can phone the foster carer with questions as often as we need to as well. The fosterer also takes some of her ex-foster dogs to board when owners go on holiday (for a fee of course, but about half the price of kennels and much less stressful for the dog I imagine).
Only down side is this dog is going to cost us a 350 donation to the charity, 100 more than the dog we saw in the morning, but it is a "small" price to pay in the scheme of things for a dog that is a good match - would be crazy to take the wrong one on.
MrTumbles She sounds lovely and friendly. It's great that you've been able to see her and she's already used to being in a family environment with children of similar ages. You must put up pictures as soon as possible! Just out of interest, do you know what rescue she came from originally in Greece? Good luck and hope it all works out well.