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Anyone have a pet greyhound?

(12 Posts)
BettyTurnip Wed 23-Sep-09 12:18:36

I've posted this on another thread addressed to Valhala but wanted to get more opinions (and Valhala doesn't seem to be around at the mo).

Do you think a retired/recue greyhound would make a good pet for a family with three young children - age 15m, 3yrs and 5yrs? I'm a SAHM, the eldest is at school, middle one at nursery 9-1pm and we have no other pets. Are greyhounds noted for being gentle and tolerant?


BettyTurnip Wed 23-Sep-09 13:18:57


jumble Wed 23-Sep-09 18:22:07

Me and my DH adopted a retired greyhound after we had been together a year. We then went on to have 2 dds who are now 4 and 5. The greyhound is still around and has been absolutely faultless as a family pet. Not an aggressive bone in her body. Obedient, gentle, non-demanding, patient and gazed on unflustered through horrific pregnancy hormones, toddler tantrums and PND. I know the greyhound charities are often reluctant to re-home them to families with young children and I understand dogs have different personalities, but I would never consider owning any other breed having had the experience of our beautiful dog.

claricebeansmum Wed 23-Sep-09 18:26:10

Another greyhound thread running at the moment - they seem to eat a lot of kittens

BettyTurnip Thu 24-Sep-09 12:26:13

No kittens near here!

Jumble - your experience backs up everything I've heard and read. However, I called a greyhound rescue in our area and they won't rehome to families with children under three. I saw a beautiful friendly, black and white boy at the local (all breed) shelter, but again they won't rehome where there are children under 18m, which we're three months under sad.

I can understand where the charities are coming from but it is still a bit frustrating.

Cakesandale Thu 24-Sep-09 12:35:50


We are experienced dog owners and had always wanted a retired racing greyhound having understood they made great pets.

Adopted a very big male dog aged 5 when dd was 3. She was very good with him, but he got into a bit of a power struggle with her and growling escalated into snarling pretty fast. We had to send him back, as he was face height with her and she was v scared. sad

In fairness to him he could have bitten her but chose not to, it was a power struggle not all out war.

he loved her as well, he used to sit outside her room at bedtime, guarding her.

But we could not risk it.

A real shame - becuase he was really really great. We were told it was probably becuase he had been reared and trtained by a man - they then tend to like men, and think they are a man - well, he was, really. But it did not work well becuase she was just too small.


BettyTurnip Thu 24-Sep-09 12:40:00

That sounds a bit worrying! The woman from the rescue I spoke to said there can be issues with the greyhounds being a bit 'bouncy' and also snatching food from children - they're usually completely unused to them.

Hope it hasn't put your dd off dogs.

Merrylegs Thu 24-Sep-09 12:47:32

Well - yes and no. Remember rescue Greyhounds have been trained to chase. And they are not used to being pets. They can be all the things that jumble described - but not always. A friend has just had to return her rescue greyhound because it took to growling and snapping at her and the children when her DH was away.

My whippet was attacked by two normally placid greyhounds when they were were all having a nice run together. (Basically my dog got backed into a fence and couldn't wriggle free and in a split second the game of chase turned into an attack by the greyhounds who, excited by the run and faced with a trapped prey just went for my dog. It was quite horrible.)

And greyhounds are really big dogs also.

TBH, with such young kids I don't think many rescues will rehome to you.

I did a mahoosive amount of research before we got our dog and in the end decided to go for a puppy so we could be absolutely sure of its background (ie us!). Our whippet has a high prey drive, but has never raced and has always been a family pet. Hence I can be as confident (as you can be with any animal) that he is safe around children. He is fab actually.

minxofmancunia Thu 24-Sep-09 12:58:17

I don't have one now but as a child my Mum rescued and re-homed various greyhounds and whippets. They were all absolutely lovely, gentle, placid, adorable. Aside from the whippet they were all bitches though. I think they generally have a gentler temperament than dogs.

They got on well with the cats too! Re children i do seem to remember my little sister was a least 5 though when we started having them.

I loved them all, would strongly recommened them!

SingleMum01 Thu 24-Sep-09 13:00:29

I adopted a greyhound after losing my Irish Wolfhound (I love hounds!) nearly 2 years ago. My DS is nearly 7 now, so he was just 5 when I had her.

I explained my situation to the Kennels who don't normally let you adopt until your child is older, however, as my DS had grown up with a very large dog they were happy for us to try. They found us a very placid, gentle, lazy (!) female greyhound. I visited first, I then took my DS to see how they got on together. We then took the greyhound on a trial to see how it went. As you can see all went swimmingly and I can't believe 2 years have gone already.

I would say, even though she is excellent with my DS and his friends, she is very 'bouncy' and I still keep an eye on her and retrieve her from them when they're getting a bit mad! After all she is retired and deserves a quiet-ish life!

My DS is very good with her, he knows to leave her alone when sleeping/eating etc.

I think it also depends on you, ie, I've only recently allowed my DS and the greyhound to be in a room alone together - although she's very placid you still need to be careful.

Hope that helps.

Cakesandale Thu 24-Sep-09 15:46:20

Thanks for the concern BettyT - no, dd def. not put off dogs of any kind.

I think it might be possible of you are careful - would be better when the kids are a bit older - and a bitch might also be better.

As Merrylegs says - they are very big dogs, so you do have to be careful.

Good luck!

BettyTurnip Thu 24-Sep-09 19:19:27

Thanks for all the comments. I have been thinking a lot about this today and have decided to put all plans for a dog on hold until the children are at least 2/3 years older then go for my first love which is a Golden Retriever (from puppy).

I was possibly getting a bit carried away with feeling all altruistic wrt rehoming an adult dog, however my gut instinct is to go for a puppy so it is used to us (and vice versa) from a very young age.

Thanks again.

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