Tell me about your greyhounds!

(32 Posts)
MymbleClement Thu 05-May-16 14:02:55

We hope to adopt a greyhound in the next few years (we are waiting until youngest DS is a bit bigger - he is only 4 - and until we haved moved house). I adore them but have never actually owned one myself (I grew up with a lurcher but obviously had no real responsibility for her!)

What do I need to know?

Scuttlebutter Thu 05-May-16 23:28:23

A few things. They are completely addictive, graceful and majestic when you seen them running at full speed. Most greys are chilled out around the house and require plenty of sofa time each day. Although they are larger dogs, they are generally quiet and calm and you are not going to be having them yapping and bouncing all day long. They absolutely thrive on company, especially that of other greys - this is because when they are racing, since puppyhood they will have been raised and have lived full time with other greys. Although they can happily adjust to other dog breeds, most are happiest around their own kind, and this is one of the reasons why many greyhound charities (and individual owners) organise lots of social events such as walks, playdates, etc. When you take on a greyhound, you actually acquire a huge new family.

You will become addicted to collar and coat shopping for your hound (who will quickly become the best dressed member of your family) and will also acquire an expensive scented candle habit for when they have an evening of greyhound farting (notoriously toxic).

Although longlived and basically pretty healthy (life expectancy into early teens is normal) you will probably end up being great friends with your vet as their skin is like tissue paper and they often need to be patched up.

They thrive on engagement - I've done KC Good Citizen tests with ours, Rally classes adn I know lots who are PAT dogs (their temperament and height make them superb for this). I also know greys who do agility, Cani X and obedience.

Most greyhound charities/rescues have regular walks/meet and greets where you can go along, chat to owners, meet some dogs and enjoy the wonder of the greyhound lean (they will gently but firmly lean against your leg as you stand by them). Hopefully this will give you a picture - most greyhound rescues have lively FB pages where you will receive a warm welcome and you will quickly become used to seeing lots of pics of zoomies, roaching, ETS and a great deal of collar porn. Welcome to the cult!

MymbleClement Fri 06-May-16 12:05:43

Thank you!!

I have had the great pleasure of the greyhound lean grin as one of the DSs has a friend with an ex-racer (I should say non-racer, as he was retired early due to showing absolutely NO interest in it!)

PacificDogwod Fri 06-May-16 12:18:44

We have had our hound for just over a year now.

Like you, I waited until DS4 was 5 and I am glad I did.
We fostered a grey first, to get an idea without the immediate commitment (I mainly had to let DH see that this was not an insane idea) and again, I am glad we did, because it mainly taught me that sighthounds are first and foremost dogs, and then greys. By which I mean if you have dog experience you will only adjust yourself a little to figure out what to do with a grey - although it has been a learning process.

Ours was only 20 months old when he came to us, never raced because he was 'too playful', read 'absolutely bonkers' grin
Yes, he lies around and sleeps a lot, but he can also jump higher than me at the sight of a lead being pick up or me putting my shoes on…
He IS a big dog - I had thought I'd thought about everything that entailed and was fully prepared for the cost of foot/insurance/jackets/space in the car etc etc, but had not really allowed myself to consider that big dog + lots of food = lots of poos… I've got over that now.

He is good with the kids (I have 4).
He gets grumpy in the evening and does not like anybody male standing 'over him' or near his bed at night - he gives v quiet warning growls, has never bared his teeth and we now know to just leave him alone.
He is wary of strange men, may growl and disappear.
He is good with other dogs, but had to learn that dogs come in all shapes and sizes. At the very start he picked up somebody's small white fluffy dog (Lhasa Apso type) and shook it shock - other dog was ok, other owner was exceptionally understanding, and I had learnt a very valuable lesson.
He will chase anything that runs away from him: cat, squirrel, dogs - dogs he wants to play with, but he comes on VERY fast which is of course perceived as threatening. I only let him off lead in a fenced field and with dogs of his size/weight, most of whom we now know. They are teaching him better doggy manners. In many ways he is like a rude teenager.

I still go to the monthly walk the charity he came from does and it is lovely company, for him and for me. I've made some new friends. A GH owner's club in the nearby city sometime rent a horse riding school arena for some indoor fun with lots of hounds.

I'd say go for it.
I am sorely tempted to get another grey, but I think we'd struggle for space.
And there'd be more poo….

Do lots of research.
Meet lots of greys.
Develop a relationship with a local charity you like - I visited a few and stuck to the one he came from because the foster ALL their dogs before rehoming them, so I felt we knew a little bit about him beyond just his parents' names and 'was bred for racing but never raced'.

I am very excited for you - good luck!

MymbleClement Fri 06-May-16 12:28:11

Thanks Pacific! We've been looking at breed specific rescues as a lot of them seem to foster and I like the idea of getting the 'real' picture of a dog especially with kids in the mix.

Feeling very impatient as we are finally in a position to offer a good home after years of yearning for a grey of my own (someone at home most of the time etc) - just would like DS to be that little bit older so passing the time researching as much as I can!

PacificDogwod Fri 06-May-16 12:34:03

IME the height of the child is an issue - greys are so tall and long-legged that they are easily nose-to-nose in height with a 3 to 5 year old, and is the long whippy tail that can wag at high speed which can actually be quite painful.
Also, I needed to know that I could teach all my kids good etiquette about how to behave around a dog - i am well aware that dogs have a biting end and that many/most dog bites arise out of a miscommunication between dog and human rather than all out aggression or evilness.

See if a rescue near you does 'public' walks. I walked with them for months before we fostered and then eventually adopted.

CMOTDibbler Fri 06-May-16 12:41:16

I have lurchers (and had the pleasure of meeting Scuttles lovely dogs) and they are such lovely, lovely dogs. What I didn't anticipate was how much time I spend talking to other pointy owners and how much pleasure watching a dog run could give you.
Mine both came from EGLR who don't tend to have so many pure greys in, but do have all their dogs in foster so know them well which is good for rehoming with children.

The collar thing is very true btw !

PacificDogwod Fri 06-May-16 12:46:10

Oh, photos! Did somebody say 'photos'? grin

Clg199 Fri 06-May-16 14:31:43

Our greyhound is a big old softie. He is nearly 11, and spends the majority of his time asleep (although to be honest it's hard to tell what is through age and what is usual greyhound laziness).

In my experience they are as much like cats as dogs. He loves snoozing in the sun, roaming free is far preferable to having to walk properly on a lead, he will not entertain playing with balls or sticks, he has no concept of playing fetch, and thinks that I am here to guard the house for him rather than the other way around. He isn't the most trainable dog in the world, but he's generally good, so what he wants to do often tallies with what we want too. He is an opportunist and will head for the nearest sofa or human bed the second your eye is off the ball even though he knows they're technically off limits. He's scared of fireworks, thunder, motorbikes, some bits of the outside world - I know you get this with lots of dogs but when he's 5.5 stone he's hard to reason with.

Having said all of that, he is the sweetest, most kind-hearted dog ever. He is friendly and happy with adults, kids and other dogs. He is not possessive and doesn't bark. He has always been happy to chill out and please himself while we're at work although we make sure not to leave him too long and always come home at lunchtime to let him out. He hates the cold and will kick his bed around if he gets too cold in the night so he has a kennel coat that makes him look like Wee Willie Winkie for the winter.

I love him to pieces and would probably only consider greyhounds in the future.

hillyhilly Fri 06-May-16 17:25:57

After an awful terrier owning experience that ended up with us all scared of the dog and having to rehome him which almost broke my heart, we too are biding our time to adopt a sight hound, hopefully after the summer holidays as we will be away for two weeks.
I see them everywhere and cannot wait - it may take a while though as we need one with no prey drive (cat and Guinea pig owners and would really not like to not walk it off lead).
I have contacted and walked with the local group and stalk several others on Facebook, roll on August!!
After spring bank I am planning on contacting whippet rescue and talking further to the local greyhound group as well as lurcher link and greyhound gap and then really working to try and find the right dog for us. Now the weather is turning I really wish I had a dog.

MymbleClement Fri 06-May-16 22:58:39

Your dogs are beautiful! envy

Hilly that sounds awful sad

We have a cat but he is 16 so another reason to wait...I don't want to put him through the stress of adapting to a dog in his dotage!

Pacific we are a tall family - me and DH 6 ' 3 and 5' 11 respectively and the DCs are already a gangly bunch! I always think we'd look ridiculous with a small dog - although DS3 could definitely do with being a bit bigger in terms of both height and maturity before we add a dog to our family.

MymbleClement Fri 06-May-16 23:01:52

I mean, DH is 6 ' 3 and I am 5' 11! Not the other way round blush

Scuttlebutter Sat 07-May-16 00:42:38

Some pics to share of the gang. Here's our stripey tiger. She's almost 13 but is still zooming about, full of beans and joie de vivre. She's beautifully affectionate, gentle and utterly adorable.

Scuttlebutter Sat 07-May-16 00:45:59

Lurcher on the sofa - when she's not burying stash in our bed. grin

She's an EGLR dog - like other posters I'd recommend them - they make sure all their dogs are fostered and they have a real expertise in lurchers.

Scuttlebutter Sat 07-May-16 00:50:45

Our first grey - a very large black male who taught us so much about counter surfing and is one of the most accomplished food thiefs I have ever met. Absolutely worships DH and lies on top of him gazing adoringly at him - the only downside is his toxic trumps.

Scuttlebutter Sat 07-May-16 00:58:50

And finally our beautiful diva. This girl has the most natural princess tendancies - she loves meeting her adoring public, and we are very much her willing slaves rather than owners!

She's had a very eventful 11 years but is so full of happiness - there's a real sweetness to her character. Unless you are a squirrel.

PacificDogwod Sat 07-May-16 10:58:23

Beautiful pictures, Scuttlebutter smile

One of the downsides of owning a black dog is that they do not photograph well easily. But I do now have more dog pictures on my phone than DCs' grin

MymbleClement Sat 07-May-16 11:30:16

Thank you all for sharing your stunning hounds smile

Pacific I have a HUGE soft spot for black hounds. My childhood lurcher was a beautiful black girl - and a terrible counter surfer!

PacificDogwod Sat 07-May-16 12:33:05

Oooh, upsettingly huge numbers of black hounds in rescues - you'll have your pick!

Here's him chilling grin

mollie123 Sat 07-May-16 16:23:41

black (and white) 'lurch' (going grey but he is over 12 smile)
he loves to 'lean' and have his side stroked and he used to 'zoom' with the best of them
would have another whippet/grey/lurcher in a heartbeat. They are wonderfull dogs and so calm and gentle with their 'people'

YourHandInMyHand Sat 07-May-16 17:22:43

I have a greyhound, she too was too lazy to race. grin

I adopted her from a rescue that kid tests and cat tests as I had one of each at the time. The rescue did a home visit and although most as fostered if they can be mine came straight from kennels and was so so nervous bless her, although she has come out of her shell now. She was scared of the washer, the TV, the hoover, etc, and I had to teach her, hands on paws how to go up and down my stairs. grin

The things I've noted that I didn't read about, my DS has autism and he took a YEAR to stroke my GH, she and he seem to have a mutual understanding of each other and love each other from a distance. She definitely "gets" him as she's a fussy bum with everyone else.

She has no interest in fetch, ball games, tug games, etc. However she loves collecting shoes and food and hiding them in my lawn and has a soft spot for cuddly toys!

Mine is nervous of men too, but it's quite interesting as some she isn't at all nervous of and I can't see a pattern. I joke she's a good judge of male character.

Oh I just LOVE her. If I had space I'd have tonnes of them. smile

Lollylovesbones Sat 07-May-16 17:29:34

This is my boy - he is the most laid-back and gentle dog ever but not blessed with brains.

Claraoswald36 Sat 07-May-16 21:02:54

They are like giant cats. That's how I describe my rescue girl who is arm
Of Jesus now. (Died naturally an old happy lady)
They don't like to be left alone too long we always left radio 4 on for our big blonde girl.
They have amazing hearing. Ours would hear the car from couple of minutes away and go and wait by the door. She was never wrong. I really notice my spaniel cannot do this though he is trying to.
Agree with pp they are shocking food theives. Ddog stole a whole Xmas cake from
The counter and made herself ill.
They are clingy and needy and not quite as cheerful as some other dogs but very loving and affectionate I would love another

MymbleClement Sat 07-May-16 21:05:37

They are all GORGEOUS! envy

YourHand that is wonderful about your hound and your son. Animals are amazing aren't they?

I've never been fussed about dogs doing tricks. It's the companionship of dogs I love...a head resting on my knee etc

My lurcher used to just come up and stand with her nose in between my legs when she wanted attention grin We think she was a Collie X Grey as she had a tendency to 'herd' us kids and some visitors along with the odd sneaky bum nip!

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Sat 07-May-16 22:16:38

This is my boy with my DD who was 3 when I took this. He is the younger half brother of Scuttle's big black boy smile WRT the whip-like tails, we have an avoidance tactic, whenever DD is around when I'm getting the dogs ready for walks, she stands out of the way, like on the stairs or in another room grin this method works well grin

He's pretty boring at home, sleeps, eats and enjoys lots of cuddles. He only plays with himself, he doesn't 'do' tug, fetch etc, he only occasionally plays 'kill the cuddly'. I know of lots of Greys that DO love to play though so don't take mine as an example for all.

We've been pretty lucky with injuries, I'm amazed actually as Scuttle says, they do have paper thin skin, and Sprocket has never had a daft accident resulting in him needing to be patched up <touch wood> grin

He is intolerant to the outdoors unless it's on a walk, the second photo is of him today, unable to come inside as a clothes horse was in his way. He had been outside for approx. 1 minute when I took this.

He's an idiot, but he's our idiot and we love him grin

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