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A few questions on Greyhound adoption

(19 Posts)
ChickenLidl Thu 28-Jul-11 16:41:40

Longtime lurker here finally brave enough to post smile

I would love to adopt a Greyhound, but we have three cats who have never lived with a dog. They cope with next door's Labrador - but then the lab is frightened of them hmm grin

Is there any chance of finding a greyhound who could cope with non dog savvy cats? I have no idea how they would react to a dog in the house, whether they would hiss, run, try and bat him on the nose or all three!

Do you think we would ever find a Greyhound that would put up with these possibilities?

SouthGoingZax Thu 28-Jul-11 16:46:48


Talk to a greyhound rescue. Ours are hopeless with cats - but I know some greys are OK with them.

Enjoy, but beware - they are addictive!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 28-Jul-11 16:47:27

Yes, definetly.

I got a greyhound 3 years ago and introduced her to a cat that had never really met a dog and was terrified of them.

You need a lot of advice from where you get your grey from and they need to pick a suitable dog. I was given a choice of 2 dogs who were both very timid and the RGT thought that neither of them would chase cats.

I brought the dog homw for a trial day to see how she got on with the cat before committing myself.

You have to do the introduction carefully. Catflap needs to be locked and cat needs to be shut in a room it can't escape from. Dog needs to be muzzled and on a tight lead and then you go in the room with the dog and see what happens. My introduction didn't go quite according to plan as the cat went up the chimmney. Dog didn't react at all and when we eventually coaxed the cat down still wasn't bothered.

I kept a very close eye on them for weeks. And also didn't let the cat outside for a couple of weeks as I was worried she'd decide not to come home. They share a bed now. Plus we introduced a new cat and the dog wasn't bothered about that one either. But you need a dog with a low chase instinct. And if the dog does react to the cat you need to be very firm with a loud "NO" and the rescue also told me to use a water pistol but I never needed to.

emptyshell Thu 28-Jul-11 17:26:12

I just got my greyhound at the weekend. I had a bit of a wait for a cat-workable one (first made enquiries back in May) and I've got an older girlie than I would have originally liked (she's 7). She's just not bothered at all - not by bunnies, squirrels (even in full furry pelt across a park with the other dog going batshit crazy) and her responses to cats are hilarious - when they cat tested her she licked it (she licks everything), and when we first introduced her to mine - she took one look and fell asleep. Helps if you 've got an arsey bugger of a cat who'll stand their ground though and we're still on very restricted duration of hound and feline overlord in the same room together and muzzled (the hound's obviously muzzled - not the cat!)

Things I've found harder than the cat-thing... you're basically bringing an utterly institutionalised animal home - when we got our first rescue dog he had at least lived in a home (till the bastards threw him out) and had a vague clue what was going on - houndy never has, she's only known the world of her kennels, the transport to the track and the track itself - never seen a kitchen, never seen food that's not for her (she will openly take food off your plate if you're eating at her level and we're working on that), she's never seen or heard the TV - she stared for ages at her reflection in it, and looked completely befuddled when you turned it on. I thought I was prepared for just how alien she'd find the world - but I wasn't really.

She's a sweetie though - a bossy, willful, PhD in lazy sweetie (again - I wasn't prepared for just the astronomical level of laziness - we were measuring her for a coat the other day and she was trying to lie down and splat out between every single measurement and we had to keep on resetting her to vertical like you would a wobbly fence post or something)!

Scuttlebutter Thu 28-Jul-11 18:13:39

Firstly, as others have said, congratulations on what will be the start of a life long addiction. grin

Most rescues work on the rule of thumb that approximately 20% of greys can be cat trainable/friendly. Empty was unusual and lucky in rehoming a grey taht had lived in a working yard with cats around - that's not the norm.

What generally happens is that hounds are assessed for general prey drive - anything with a high prey drive (2 of our 3) wouldn't even be tested as you know it would only go one way. For low prey drive dogs, rescues will try to do meetings, and in some lucky cases can foster with homes that have cats.

Most rescues will have a waiting list for cat friendly greys, but they do exist, you just have to wait a little bit longer for them.

I'd also add that Empty's experience was also slightly unusual in that her grey had literally come STRAIGHT from a training yard. Normally, they come into the care of the rescue who will have them for a bit. Females will often have had season suppressing drugs while racing, so sometimes you have to get that sorted and them neutered asap, males are always neutered before rehoming and most rescues will try to do as much assessment as possible. The gold standard is for the grey to be in a foster home - in this way, the first introductions to stairs, washing machines, comfy sofas etc can be got underway and a more detailed assessment of temperament made. What we also find is that dogs straight from a working environment simply aren't used to being a pet so will appear to be quite closed down in terms of interaction/play and so on. One of the most magical things is watching the greyhound learn that actually these strange flat faced people can be fun to be with, and do loads of good things - they blossom into playful affectionate love sponges (though still very lazy).

Have a chat with your local greyhound rescue to talk through the adoption process and to discuss the availability of cat/small friendlies. If you need any help in finding a rescue or have any questions, just let me know - more than happy to help. Am delighted to find someone to bore/brainwash on the subject of hounds! smile

Oh, and did i mention the collar porn?

jinxediam Thu 28-Jul-11 18:14:49

watching this thread with interest as have 2 cats and always hankered after a greyhound...

ChickenLidl Thu 28-Jul-11 18:31:29

Ooh this is much more positive than I expected grin

I thought you'd all say "are you mad?"

Viva has even answered my next question - do rescues tend to let you have a 'trial' period to see how things go?

emptyshell Thu 28-Jul-11 18:41:54

Well I currently have a cat flat out on the sofa, a slobbery dog mooching in the kitchen and an unconcious greyhound on the floor (muzzle still on - don't trust her THAT much yet).

They'd had another cat-friendly grey in, but it was a dog and since we have an existing dog we were heavily encouraged to go for a girlie this time round. Ours got neutered by the trainer just prior to going up for rehoming - so the poor gal had a really shit week all things considered!

Scuttlebutter Thu 28-Jul-11 18:49:24

Chicken, it depends on the hound, it really does. Two of ours are very high prey drive so are not safe with cats or anything small and furry - that includes Yorkshire terriers and similar small fluffies. So and hence, muzzles on while walking, off lead play heavily curtailed and in fact we hire a secure, specialist greyhound field for regular sessions of offlead play/frolics/training.

Hound no 3 is a complete contrast - totally chilled out, couldn't catch a bus, if you were relying on him to catch your supper you'd be either very hungry or a vegetarian. Lots of hounds are somewhere in the middle - a bit keen, but can be trained. One of the limiting factors is that there are probably quite a few hounds out there who could be homed with cats, but there's a shortage of foster/cat testing homes so rescues quite rightly will play it safe and won't home to a cat owning adopter unless they are pretty sure.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 28-Jul-11 18:58:22

Where in the country are you chicken?

ChickenLidl Thu 28-Jul-11 19:04:45

Scuttle - yes, your description of your two with high prey drive is always how I imagined Greyhounds to be. Then I read various things that said some were capable of living with cats, but I wasn't sure whether I needed 'dog savvy' cats - which mine definitely are not!

Viva - I'm between Bath and Bristol.

emptyshell Thu 28-Jul-11 21:00:10


SouthGoingZax Thu 28-Jul-11 21:10:34

Yes, GRWE are great, they gave us loads of advice when we had some trouble with one of ours who was completely bonkers


chickchickchicken Thu 28-Jul-11 21:31:47 has a few listed as cat trainable or cat potential.
would love to home gary, a 9yr old greyhound who has never had a home sad

Scuttlebutter Thu 28-Jul-11 22:23:59

Don't forget also South West Sighthounds who are in the Brizzle area.

And you're close enough to Wales to consider Greyhound Rescue Wales or even Greyhound Welfare (both Welsh greyhound charities, who often go cross border)

emptyshell Thu 28-Jul-11 22:43:53

To give you some idea of just how cat-apathetic a greyhound it's possible to get... we got her on Saturday.

Sunday - brought cat into the room in cat carrier, dog muzzled and on lead... dog took one sniff and went to sleep.
Monday - cat in carrier, dog muzzled but off-lead... couple of sniffs and zzzzzz
Tuesday - more of the same - dog unmuzzled, moggy still in box. Muzzled dog and let cat have a mooch around - bit of hissing and a half hearted paw swipe - dog went to sleep (spot the ongoing theme here)
More of the same on Wednesday
Thursday - more of the same - just put her on the lead and unmuzzled her for a few minutes - dog... went to sleep and didn't even want to go anywhere near the mog (she walked past her to go out for a piddle without even turning her head)

Now granted I do appear to have inherited the world's laziest hound - but still that's much much much more cat-apathetic than the other dog we have is. We had weeks of hissing, paw swiping, can-I-go-play-with-that-funny-looking-dog, cat up the curtains and general feline sulks before that pair settled down and the cat still hates his guts!

pawsnclaws Mon 01-Aug-11 17:24:39

LOL at "collar porn" - DH has already picked out an "autumn" coat for Bertie, because the winter one we bought him "might be too warm ........"

I challenge you though empty on your girl getting a title for laziness, Bertie actually tries to lie down again while I'm putting his lead on to go for a walk - we've learnt through experience that you can't afford to turn your back for a moment, because he'll be back stretched out on his bed and snoring in the blink of an eye!

Scuttlebutter Mon 01-Aug-11 17:27:54

grin at Bertie (and impressed at DH's coat collection!)

emptyshell Mon 01-Aug-11 17:55:54

Talking of collar porn - I've got a £100 order I'm waiting for from AK creations (not all collars I hasten to add - there's a nice combo coat in there too!) - but met a girl the other day whose hound has two purple collars, a purple rain coat, a purple walking out coat, purple pyjamas, a purple snood, a purple lead...

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