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Adopting a retired greyhound

(53 Posts)
eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 08:33:46


I've been thinking about adopting a retired greyhound for a year now, and have finally persuaded my DH.

But pet insurance - if I were to get comprehensive lifetime cover, what sort of figures am I looking at per month? Is it ££ or £££?

We have no cats, older children (youngest is 8) and a very calm household. I think we're the perfect family for a greyhound grin. Any tips, other things to think about?

Daily walks aren't a problem. Only problem I can see is finding a fenced in field so it can have some off-lead running time, assuming it won't respond to recall...


ShoesJerry Sat 08-Jun-19 12:16:03

We just got our greyhound two months ago, so similar position to you. We are a calm household with one 10 year old and our greyhound has settled really well. We love her to bits, and I'm so glad we got her!

Insurance-wise, we've gone with Petplan lifetime cover. I researched threads on here trying to decide what cover to get, and the majority of posters said go with the top monthly cover. Our quote for that was £75 per month which we felt was too steep, so we went for the next level down of cover which is around £50 per month. That covers us for £7,000 per year of treatment (top level was £12,000) and has no limit per condition.

Good luck, they are fab dogs!

eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 12:19:35

Thank you!

What was the adoption process like? How long did it take? Did you have to factor in time to be at home with the dog full time for a period? I'm sure it depends on the rescue centre, but a general idea would be very helpful...

Sorry, so many questions grin. I read old threads on greyhounds, but I still have unanswered questions!

BorderlineExperimental Sat 08-Jun-19 12:27:16

Greyhounds can have really crap teeth and they rarely get much dental care prior to being rehomed so it’s worth checking which insurance policies will cover dental work (which can be surprisingly expensive) as not all do. Tooth brushing is also particularly important for them, ideally you want to build them up to having them brushed every day with a good toothpaste such as Logic Oral Hygiene Gel.

Try this site for secure off lead areas, there’s also an accompanying page if you’re on FB. These fields are becoming increasingly popular and more are popping up all the time so it’s worth checking regularly.

RuthW Sat 08-Jun-19 12:45:56

We have two greyhounds and they make lovely pets. The only problem is that they are prone to separation anxiety so you may end up with two as one may not be able to be left alone.

RuthW Sat 08-Jun-19 12:46:57

Also don't get a greyhound if you want a very energetic dog. They sleep about 22 hours a day, hate wet or cold weather and don't need much exercise.

ShoesJerry Sat 08-Jun-19 12:48:21

Our adoption process was really simple. We visited our local greyhound trust one Saturday and they'd selected four dogs for us to walk that afternoon. We liked one in particular, so they brought her to our house for a home visit the next weekend. This was partly for them to check our house (whether the garden was secure, etc) and for us to see how she responded to the house. Greyhounds have often never been in a house before, so ours was unfamiliar with stairs and surprised by noises like kettle, washing machine, tv, piano.

We really liked her and the charity were happy with us, so we arranged a date for her to come to us permanently. Around 10 days after she arrived, we confirmed with the charity that we were happy to have her and they made all the paperwork and microchip over to us.

The charity are really supportive and have given us advice on a few things like barking and how to get her to jump in the car. We go on the monthly greyhound charity walks with her to keep in touch with our local greyhound community.

In terms of spending time with her, she arrived in the middle of the Easter holidays so we were around a lot. We decided to get her in the spring because DH and I can often work from home in the summer term (we are academics) and so we have around 6 months of being around quite a bit. I also work part time.

How we are doing things at the moment is walking her for about 30-40 mins before breakfast, then we all go out to work/school. DH comes home and gives her a lunchtime walk around 12 or 1, then ds and I get home around 3:40 and walk her again. Or sometimes one of us works from home all day. She does sleep a lot, so has been ok being left for around 5-6 hours once or twice. Mostly it's around 4 hours, though we will probably increase this in autumn term as she's more settled. We have a webcam on her so can see that she sleeps when we aren't there. We leave classic fm on for her so she's not in silence.

She's settled really well, and understands what she can and can't do. She doesn't try to eat ds's lego, and is happy to lie around wherever we are.

Hope that helps, happy to answer other things?

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 08-Jun-19 12:50:23

I deal with lots of retired greyhounds via a couple of charities (I'm a vet) and I think they are the ideal dog for just about anyone! We often do their teeth when neutering for the charity before they are rehomed. They have few health issues really, compared to other breeds, and have lovely natures. They don't need as much exercise as people think and make fabulous pets. Go for it!

ShoesJerry Sat 08-Jun-19 12:54:33

Reading my post back, it sounds like we do masses of walking. Some days we only do 2 walks, and part of the reason we got a dog was because we like to walk a lot anyway. So some of the walking is her coming with us, rather than us taking her, if you see what I mean.

It's pouring with rain here today, and she has looked disdainfully out of the door and not been keen to go beyond the garden for essentials so far!

eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 13:11:49

Thank you! Lots of advice here.

The charity I'm looking at does neuter and do a deep clean of teeth before homing them. But I understand you really have to give their teeth a daily brush then, get into a good routine?

Lazy dog is perfect, although I do go for a 3 mile run 3x a week and was hoping to take the dog along. Do you think they'd be happy with that sort of distance at a really slow pace (crap runner)?

BorderlineExperimental, thanks for that site. They found one 40 min drive away on a good day. Hmmm, I'll have to investigate...

Thanks ShoesJerry, for the idea on insurance cost. Nice to hear ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs that they don't tend to have too many health issues. I grew up with german shepherds, and in an ideal world would absolutely love one, but their hip dysplasia is a worry.

I hadn't thought of having two, RuthW. I read about the separation anxiety, and that does concern me. While I WFH most days, there might be a couple of times a week where I'd have to go out for 4 or so hours. Did you adopt yours both at the same time to get past the anxiety or did you try with one first?

Anyone who has just the one?

eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 13:13:06

ShoesJerry, yes I get you! On the rainy days will she just refuse to go on walks then?

BorderlineExperimental Sat 08-Jun-19 13:19:24

We often do their teeth when neutering for the charity before they are rehomed.

Sorry, I realise my previous post sounds critical of the rescues themselves but I was meaning whilst the dogs are racing/in training/whatever prior to ending up with the rescues blush

I’ve got whippets (who can similarly be somewhat prone to rubbish teeth) and they get their teeth brushed every evening before bed. It’s definitely making a huge difference to their teeth. Rather shamefully I didn’t brush them as often in the past resulting in one needing some extractions but since I’ve been keeping up with the brushing their teeth are absolutely spotless.

ShoesJerry Sat 08-Jun-19 13:23:03

Ours will walk in the rain, but it's a bare minimum walk and she looks horrified throughout. She's a bit of a princess!

eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 13:25:40

I understood what you meant - you can't do a deep clean while the dog's awake can you? So makes sense to do it while they're

OK, I take the importance on board!

mydogisthebest Sat 08-Jun-19 13:31:31

I have quite a lot of friends who have rescue greyhounds (most of them are ex racers) and a lot of their dogs can be let off lead as they have very good recall.

Spockster Sat 08-Jun-19 13:43:02

Ours has a 30-40 min walk once a day, unless it's wet, and she's more than happy with that. She can be happily left for 5 or 6 hours; she'd only be asleep anyway! We don't have insurance, but she's about to cost us £800 for minor surgery and a teeth clean. She is a bit stinky, but we love her smile

RuthW Sat 08-Jun-19 15:23:33

In reply to your question, we had one at first but it was causing a problem with the separation anxiety (my partner is retired) so we got him a 'sister' and they are fine together.

Ours wouldn't cope with a three mile run. They would struggle with a 3 mile walk.

NoNoNoOohmaybe Sat 08-Jun-19 15:44:22

We used to have a greyhound. Fab dogs but more like a cat!

She loved running when she was younger and I'd regularly take her on 3-5 mile runs but she was off lead so could run at her own pace. Greyhounds tend to sprint then slow rather than keep up a steady jog the whole way.

Ours loved cold weather but terrible in hot weather and rain, she just wanted to stay inside.

The teeth became a real problem as she got older and were costing us approx £800 a year. But other than that a couple of skin tears she cost us nothing in inseam vets bills until she got poorly at the end. If you can get an insurance policy that covers teeth (and public liability - make sure you always have public liability) do it!

We got ours from tia greyhound rescue in west yorks, I think they're a little unconventional in that they don't do home checks etc.

Greyhounds really suppress their personalities in kennels so you probably won't see the real "them" until they're home a few weeks. If you can find a charity which has them in foster homes you might get a better idea of how lively/cuddly they are. Whilst lovely and friendly they can be quite aloof.

Wolfiefan Sat 08-Jun-19 15:47:40

Having two wouldn’t solve separation anxiety. It’s about wanting people.
And the greys I know tend to want to potter or run full out. I wouldn’t run with one.
Don’t forget the full wardrobe of coats and collars and comfy beds. grin

CMOTDibbler Sat 08-Jun-19 15:55:56

If you'd like to run with your dog, then a lurcher might be a better fit - they are a mix of a sighthound (greyhound, whippet, deerhound, saluki, wolfhound etc) and at least one other breed (some are probably technically long dogs as a combination of sighthound but are referred to as lurchers). The cross means that they have a lot more endurance than greyhounds who really are pure sprinters, where lurchers have been bred to really pursue game over longer distances.

Lots of them in rescue through no fault of their own too. I have two lovely lurchers of my own and they go nuts when I get my running shoes out as they adore going out for a jog.

The collar and coat habit can get pricey! My dogs have collars for all occasions, and more coats than I have

eddielizzard Sat 08-Jun-19 18:51:52

OK, running might not work but I'm still not put off grin

I heard that their recall isn't great, so if I went running on a common (think more staggering) with grey off the lead, and there are lots of other dogs around, is it going to be a nightmare? I guess it's very personality dependant, but I have looked after a friend's dog who's recall was dreadful and I aged about 20 years in 5 minutes taking him on the common.

Maybe a lurcher is a good compromise...

Wolfiefan Sat 08-Jun-19 19:49:27

Today I saw a beautiful lurcher in Cotswold RSPCA home. Wouldn’t hurt to look at their website! wink
Greys are big. If they REALLY run you couldn’t keep up. And relentless jogging really isn’t their speed. Most people who do canicross etc have a very different type of dog.

NoNoNoOohmaybe Sat 08-Jun-19 20:16:26

I had a cat tested grey (as we had cats) and she had low prey drive so was fine off the lead, I always let her off in parks etc.

I think reading this thread she was unusual tho, we did lots of hiking and as long as it wasn't longer than 3-4 hours she was fine. Used to take her a snack for lunchtime. She did the each of the 3 peaks with us for example.

We've thought about getting a lurcher but I've been put off as I've heard they can be very high energy (as depends what dog they've been crossed with) and high prey drive (as many of them are bread for hunting or from hunting lineage). Which might counteract the greyhound lazy laidback nature? And therefore you've almost got a different breed type again, and an unknown one. Anyone got any experience of lurchers?

Branleuse Sat 08-Jun-19 20:24:36

Make sure you muzzle in public as theyve been taught to chase, which is the same as teaching to kill. Youre fine in your home, but i read a sad story in local news the other day about someone who had recently got one, and someone asked if their chihuhua could approach it, they said yes, and the greyhound picked it up and killed it. A few people with rescues said that it shouldnt have happened as youre encouraged to muzzle. I must admit all the ones ive seen in public are muzzled anyway.
Beautiful dogs though. So graceful and so soft.

CMOTDibbler Sat 08-Jun-19 20:40:21

NoNoNoOohMaybe - the collie cross lurchers can be high energy and need the mental stimulation etc, but the majority like a good run round and then 22 hours a day upside down on the sofa. My two (one greyhound/saluki ish and one whippet/doberman ish) love running up and down on the nearby hills and will go for hours. But if its raining, they will not move all day and be fine for that.
WRT to prey drive, many who end up in rescue are there because they don't have much of one. My salukish one was supposed to be a hare courser and gets beaten up by the chickens and the other was bred for deer coursing and is not interested in chasing anything. Obv some dogs, esp when they are older coming into rescue have learnt the hard way that they have to chase and kill to eat, but it seems less inherent than you'd think - of all our foster pups only 2 have been a complete no go with the cats

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