Greyhound Rescue Advice

(48 Posts)

This may be a tad rambly so apologies in advance! Also, I know there is a greyhoundy thread just below but I'm greedy and want my own grin

My last dog passed away 3 years ago now and I think I am now ready to think about another. I have always very much liked greyhounds, but have never owned one. Last dog was a border collie who we rescued from a puppy and had until he was PTS with cancer age 7, Before that I had a west highland terrier (never again, devil dog!) who my exH kept after we divorced angry and I grew up with a pointer and border collies so I like to think I am a reasonably experienced dog owner.

I have been reading up about greyhounds for a few weeks now on the websites of various rescues in my area and it seems like it would be an ideal dog for us. There's just me, himself and my dd who is 10 and a half and is fairly sensible. No other pets. Stepsons visit regularly but are all adults. I work part-time, 3 days a week. OH works from home so no lengthy periods of leaving any potential dog alone.

I suppose I am looking for someone to convince me that this would be the right dog for us. As much as I adore collies I definitely don't want another BC, in all honesty I don't want to sign up for relentless hours of walking and running with a dynamo dog smile In all the research I have done I can't seem to find any negative aspects of having a greyhound, other than the small furries potential issues, and I am sure that there must be some! confused

So tell me how wonderful they are and then I shall print the thread, hand it to himself and he won't dare refuse me grin

Thanks flowers

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 14:52:29

I've got a lurcher - because we wanted something that had a little bit more get up and go than a greyhound but still was quite laid back (DS is a very energetic 8) - and she's lovely. I suggest you move over to the pointy hound's cushion as there are many rescued pointy hounds there - whilst there are the odd niggle here and there (eg separation anxiety with some of them), generally its all good. If you've coped with a BC, a grey hound should be a doddle.

We have an ex racer/rescued grey.Have had her for 4 years now.
We also have a JRT,which we had when we got the grey.They are two totally different dogs IMO,greys are very laid back,sleep all day,just need 2 short walks a day.After having a JRT (& staffies when I was growing up)I would say that greys don't have a distinctive personality,ours isn't very affectionate or enthusiastic about anything except when she sees a cat grin Don't get me wrong we love her to bits,but the difference from other dogs was a bit of a shock for me.
Also she has cost us a fortune at the vets.If you let your grey off the lead when out for a walk & they spot something,they will run through anything - barbed wire,trees bushes etc ,they do not see things in the way(due to their training)which results in injuries.Ours tore her cruciate ligament on her back leg,we had it pinned,but it didn't heal so she ended up having it amputatedhmm
She copes great with 3 legs though.

mistlethrush Tue 17-Sep-13 15:15:50

You see, this is why we went for a lurcher instead - we wanted a cuddle monster who liked to play, including on walks. She does have a high prey drive - but is safe off the lead and has only once gone over a barbed wire fence (and back the other way, jumping between the top two strands despite the shouting).

Will sidle over to the other thread then!

chickens - yes, lots of my reading has brought up the off lead issue so I think if we do go for it we will be keeping him/her on lead for a good long while! Bless yours with only three legs.

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Sep-13 15:34:29

We have a rescue lurcher, and he is soppy, enthusiastic about many things, a bit dim, but does recall and doesn't have much prey drive. He certainly has personality, and we love him.

I'd really recommend a lurcher - the same need for only a little exercise, then a lot of snoring. Mines currently snoozing on a mat by the patio door as the cat is in the chair and the chickens are pecking the glass by his head

topbannana Tue 17-Sep-13 21:15:31

High vets bills if you are unfortunate and a tendency towards bad teeth. Insurance will cover the injuries but likely not the dental work sad

moosemama Tue 17-Sep-13 21:48:20

I have a lurcher to, well actually two of them now, as I have a 15 week old pup.

Lurcherboy is the best of both worlds, he's laid back and a very steady dog, which is great with three dcs, but he's also very demonstrative and loves nothing more than a cuddle. He has some Border Collie in him, which means he loves to retrieve and will bring back balls and frisbees to your heart's content. He's not the brightest bulb in the box, clicker training is interesting, as you can see him desperately trying to work out what you want but it taking a really long time for his cogs to turn! He has a great recall, which isn't true for all Lurchers, they are sighthounds after all, but shows it is possible with the right dog.

The best thing about him is his flexibility. He is quite happy to snooze the day away on two walks a day, but is equally happy to spend the whole day out and about with the family walking or playing on the beach.

His mix is Deerhound/Saluki x Greyhound/Border Collie and I would happily recommend that mix as a fantastic family pet.

My pup on the other hand is a total different make. We don't know his mix, but from his build there's probably quite a bit of Saluki, definitely some terrier and some Border Collie, but who knows what else. He is a real live-wire, very quick to learn, but equally as quick to get himself into trouble. grin

Another advantage of Lurchers is that as long as they're not a first cross sighthound to sighthound (technically called a 'Longdog) or sighthound to working breed (definition of a lurcher) you can get them classed as a crossbreed for insurance purposes which brings down your premiums.

I've never had a greyhound, but have known a few and just like any other breed in my experience they are all individuals, some are laid-back, some are more nervous, some are cheeky and comical, some gentle and affectionate, whilst others may be more aloof etc.

Greyhound owner here - we have four. Please feel free to ask me anything specific to greyhounds, as although lurchers are adorable, they are a very different dog.

Firstly, please don't ignore the very real reason why greyhounds need adopting - for many, this is a compelling contributory factor. The racing industry spits out thousands of young healthy dogs each year which would otherwise be killed or dumped (and sadly, many still are). By adopting one (and they often come up for adoption as young as two or three) you will be providing a loving home for an animal that would otherwise be a discarded byproduct of the racing industry.

Personality wise, they do vary considerably. As a generality - in so far as any breed has typical character traits - they are relaxed and laid back. Not the brightest of dogs but having said that, ours have all done obedience classes, and I've previously done KC Gold with one aged 12, and am working through the APDT scheme levels with one at the moment. They make excellent PAT dogs, DH loves running with our younger ones (so you can think about shorter length CaniX) and I'm going to have a go at Rally O next year. A young grey could probably have a go at basic agility, heelwork etc. So please don't form the impression that they are only good for sofa surfing and the odd zoomie.

They are remarkably healthy - apart from the teeth but even then with care you can keep them looking good. Our 11 year old male has just been in for a dental and had a couple out - but since he's otherwise in fabulous health I'm not too concerned about this. They generally live to 12 - 14, but 15 is not uncommon and even 16. Yes, they have thin skin but you quickly become very used to the odd cut etc and in any case you should only let them off the lead where it is safe to do so - you quickly get used to checking out safe spots and bookmarking areas.

They are very addictive - most pointy owners start with one and quickly acquire more. Greyhounds genuinely thrive and benefit from multi dog living as they have in their racing lives always lived with their own kind - they find the adjustment to solo living difficult at times and are always happier with another pointy around.

Also addictive - the shopping. Most greys have a stunning wardrobe of coats, collars (ah, the collar porn), velvet leads, bandanas, tassels etc. - not unusual for a grey to be considerably better dressed than their accompanying human.

There is also a wonderful pointy based social world. Having a greyhound introduces you to a world of regular sighthound playdates, greyhound walks, greyhound gatherings, specialist events and the company of fellow adopters/greyhound addicts. There's a huge social side to this - you could spend practically every weekend in teh summer going to some sort of pointy related social activity.

I could go on. blush But feel free to ask if there is anything i haven't covered.

mistlethrush Wed 18-Sep-13 08:35:45

I would agree with Scuttle that there is a whole world of pointy events that I was completely unaware about before I got mistlehound. Not everyone's cup of tea - but if you like doing things like that its great fun and you get to meet some lovely people and their hounds and you normally bring back a dog that's completely exhausted, even if it was only all the mental energy required meeting so many other pointy dogs. Oh - and not only do the owners flock together, pointy dogs often recognise other pointy dogs and are more drawn to them than other breeds (although that doesn't stop them wanting to play with others necessarily)

Alix81 Thu 19-Sep-13 16:29:05

We have just adopted an ex racing greyhound smile we had border collies before so he is quite different. We only got him saturday and he seems to be settling in nicely and wanders round the house a bit more than when he arrived. He has made his 'home' in the smallest room in the house but its nice when he comes and sits in the living room with us in the evening!

Thanks for all the responses on this thread. Meant to come back to it sooner but been laid low with heavy cold.

After some lengthy sexual blackmail discussion I have managed to get Himself to agree to adopting a greyhound grin

Next step....approaching the Landlord with such a sensible and reasoned argument that she can't possibly refuse me.

Alix81 - when you say "we had border collies before so he is quite different" - could you explain what you mean? I feel like I have read so much greyhound information on the web that I am a bit overloaded!

mistlethrush Fri 20-Sep-13 09:31:46

Too old - my experience with collie crosses is that they need exercise then mental stimulation then more exercise and more mental stimulation and when you're completely exhausted at 9.30pm having walked and played and trained and walked some more all day, they will bring you a toy to play with - and if you don't play with that one they'll think... 'I know, she might play with x if I got that - now, where did I last see that... I know, its upstairs, I'll just dash off and get that and see if that is a more tempting toy. Oh, perhaps that's too shaggy, perhaps she'll play with the squeeky bone that I got the squeek out of... That's in the hall.... SHE'S NOT PLAYING. What's that bushy thing that keeps following me. I'm going to catch it. This is fun. I need to get a better grip... just need to go a bit faster... Bother, dropped it and its got away I'm just going to have to catch it again. Perhaps if I growl a bit louder at it I will get a better grip. Its going round in circles very fast... ' and so on until you go to bed. And then they'll be waiting ready for the postman to come at 6.30 in the morning, ready to shred the post. Most pointy hounds will work out its the evening, perhaps suggest a chew, then stagger to the sofa and sit next to you and drop off to sleep. Stagger down the garden last thing, and go to sleep again. And still be asleep when you get up in the morning. grin

Sounds like my kinda dog grin

Now to spend valuable work time composing a letter to Landlord. Tips appreciated!

mistlethrush Fri 20-Sep-13 14:03:04

I would offer an increased deposit, a full, professional carpet clean on leaving the house, and suggest that you would returf the garden if that was necessary.

I would stress that you have chosen a greyhound due to their laid-back nature, rather than a breed such as a spaniel or collie which might be more likely to do obsessive behaviour that could lead to damage to the property.

Can you say anything about length it will be left alone ever?

Thanks for tips. Was definitely going to mention the breed and the benefit of lack of lots of dog hair and dog smell everywhere.

Will also be putting in a sentence or two about dog not being left for very long at all.

There is also a specialist insurance you can get for dog tenancies - can't remember its name but is specifically designed for dog owning tenants.

Bear in mind that most rescues won't (quite rightly) let you adopt until they can see written authorisation from the LL.

Well, in the spirit of keeping the thread updated...

I have emailed the agents this morning with my pleading letter to landlord attached so now will have to wait and see. Already spotted about 20 dogs in various rescues that I 'want' grin

He is my favourite at the moment grin

mistlethrush Mon 23-Sep-13 09:23:31

Aww he looks lovely - and black dogs often get overlooked - although, when they are in good condition, they can look absolutely stunning as they get such a gleam on them!

sooperdooper Mon 23-Sep-13 09:27:07

We've got a rescue greyhound, and I grew up with a boarder c

Does anyone know how greyhounds are with birds? I feed the garden birds quite obsessively regularly and it just occurred to me that it might be a bad idea to encourage birds into a garden with a greyhound confused

Anyone know?

mistlethrush Mon 23-Sep-13 11:23:13

Any dog might chase them. A greyhound might make it up to the bird table though - so you might need to take measures to stop that - otherwise I can't think it will be worse than any other dog.

Oh - and we managed to get several lots of dogs to accept pet bantams and not chase those (too much) but they would still differentiate between them and 'other' birds which were fair game...

Good point, we had a budgie with our last BC and she used to walk around on the dogs back but then he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer grin

Getting carried away with excitement now tbh and it could all fall down with an email back saying no, jog on, no dog for you in my house. Very anxious <bites nails>

Re birds - ours take zero interest in our garden birds - of which we have many. They also ignore frogs. At the park they will occasionally show interest in ducks, but nothing serious.

Squirrels are a different matter. grin

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