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Greyhound Rescue Advice

(48 Posts)
TooOldForGlitter Tue 17-Sep-13 14:49:45

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

TooOldForGlitter Mon 23-Sep-13 17:07:51

Slightly positive reaction from estate agent today. She was fine with it and said she couldn't imagine the LL saying no to such a "well written letter" <preens>

She has promised to get back to me as soon as she hears from LL so I am of course refreshing my email every five seconds grin

TooOldForGlitter Thu 26-Sep-13 10:58:02

Back and updating again!

Heard back from the landlords yesterday and they have agreed to let us have a dog providing we take out tenant insurance for pet owners so it is all going ahead!

Called the greyhound rescue last night and have arranged to have a conversation with them tonight after work re: home visits/suitability etc! Very excited and must admit to being a bit apprehensive now I have got the official “go ahead”.

I do, of course, want to pick the brains of greyhound owners again please :-D Dog or bitch? I have never had a bitch before and for some reason I feel myself leaning towards a dog again and I can’t quite put my finger on why….

Is there much difference between the sexes? As always, any advice is gratefully received. Am at work so can’t return to thread often but really do appreciate any help 

mistlethrush Thu 26-Sep-13 11:02:18

Yes, there are differences between dogs and bitches. I went to a really interesting training session with a lurcher - savy trainer - he pointed out that bitches would tend to be 'the boss' in the home environment, and dogs were more likely to take the fore outside the home - because, on a survival basis, the dogs are less important to the continuation of the species than the bitches.

We've always had bitches - for one thing, all the wee is on the lawn, not all over the tubs / climbing frame / shrubs.

YourHandInMyHand Thu 26-Sep-13 11:08:55

Ooh how exciting! smile

I have a greyhound after having spaniels and labs and a crazy collie cross. I often forget I have my greyhound girl. She is so chilled and quiet and such a snoozer! I think greyhounds are the perfect companion. They are just quietly there by your side and are soo happy to be in a nice house being loved.

As for dog vs bitch I would keep an open mind rather than rule out one sex completely. I prefer bitches personally but all dogs are different so I looked at both.

My girl has no interest in catching birds, she's daft but even she seems to realise she can't fly! grin However she would eat the food you are putting out before the birds got a look in.

Scuttlebutter Thu 26-Sep-13 14:01:34

Our greyhound family is currently two dogs and two bitches but we have previously fostered and owned others as well. Obviously the biggest difference is the physical size - bitches are usually smaller. For instance our two bitches weigh around 24kg and 28kg - the two boys are 31kg and 37/38kg .

Beyond that though, I'd say there is far more difference between individual dogs than there is between the sexes. Looking at our two current bitches for instance - one is a "been there, done that" character, full of quiet confidence, chilled out, friendly, and happy to demand tickles from anyone. She is flying through her clicker training. The other bitch is also friendly, but happy to wait for you to come to her, won't approach strangers, and is a bit more nervous. Has the brain of a very small pea. Completely adorable though and has bonded to me like Velcro. Enjoys meeting other dogs and is an accomplished food thief, and cushion nester.

From an adoption point of view, especially as you'll be having one, it really won't make any appreciable difference - just focus on the personality of the hound. The other lovely thing is that their personality does develop and change over time. My MIL looked after the dogs on the weekend and was commenting on the difference in one of ours since he first arrived - considerably more mellow than the gangly chap who arrived in 2006! Now he is a squishy love bucket who looks at DH with almost embarrassingly soppy adoration. He's still a goofball though. smile

And one of our bitches does a sort of modified squat so she will often wee over vertical surfaces such as tree trunks, garden pots etc.

From a rescue point of view, it's great that you are heading towards a dog - the larger males often find it much harder to be rehomed - usually because people are put off by their size. On a day to day level the bigger hounds are no more bother than the smaller ones and I think they look absolutely stunning.

TooOldForGlitter Thu 26-Sep-13 16:53:39

A quick message to say thanks for all the replies. Very useful information and I am definitely going to try to focus on the personality of the animal rather than the sex. Speaking to the woman from the rescue after 5 tonight so hopefully will be going up to the kennels to have a look at weekend. <excited>

mistlethrush Thu 26-Sep-13 19:01:55

Don't overlook black dogs either... I don't know why they get overlooked so often, but they do - and a black dog in good condition can look absolutely stunning.

Scuttlebutter Thu 26-Sep-13 21:53:30

Agreed Mistle - once a black dog loses their kennel coat, and has a few months of sardines, the coat shines like satin - (proud owner of three sable hounds here). Our lovely tiger brindle is soft and has a slight gleam but just can't match the black pack for sheer gloss.

mistlethrush Thu 26-Sep-13 22:05:56

I've got a scruffy tan (actually she's red with blonde highlights wink) so don't have any hope of a shine!

GillyMac93 Thu 26-Sep-13 22:15:29

I have a ex racer greyhound , love love her to bits ! Thought she would be quite boring compared to crazy collies and springer see have had but thing with greyhounds is they're so easy going , she will lie and sleep at my feet all day and then leap into action on walks and playing . Sounds like the perfect dog for you ! Bear in mind though if it's an ex racer many aren't used to being indoors and it can be hard going toileting! Iv had my girl over a year and we still have odd accidents . Go for it !

mistlethrush Fri 27-Sep-13 07:23:19

My 2 yo Lurcher had to be housetrained - she had never been in a house before coming to us. We had a lunge rein (for a horse) that we took her in the garden on so that we could get her to focus on what she should be doing there rather than looking for interesting smells and pootling about.... We've not had an accident for months - although it was particularly difficult early days as she thought 'inside' was where you did things.

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 15:33:07

I'm back again and fishing for more advice i'm afraid blush.

I don't intend to let the dog sleep upstairs, I know lots of people do but I never have in the past and don't want to this time so plan would be for dog to sleep in kitchen with door closed. I'm starting to worry that this might present problems. Am I being hideously cruel to do that? I do anticipate that settling in could take time and pooch could potentially be whining/barking at night but am I asking for this to happen by keeping him/her confined to kitchen at bed time?

As always any advice is very much appreciated. It seems that now I have got the go ahead from the landlords that I'm starting to doubt myself confused

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 19:30:14

<slightly embarassed but brazen bump>

mistlethrush Sat 28-Sep-13 19:36:44

Some people do have their dogs sleeping downstairs - our last dog did - although she had the run of downstairs and could sleep on the landing if she wanted to - just not our rooms.

In terms of your kitchen, I wonder whether you have room for a crate as that would give you the containment in a way that is established as a relatively easy way of keeping dogs happy in a specific area (without causing any damage to the fittings)

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 19:50:08

No, no room for a crate sadly. Its only a small house really, reasonable sized lounge but just a small dining kitchen. Thing is once ive got dog housetrained im probably happy to let him have run of downstairs or a bed on the landing but as its a rental im pretty worried about accidents on cream (how practical!) carpets. Whereas kitchen is tiled floor.

Im probably overthinking but id rather overthink than underthink! Seems like ive been without a dog a long time sad

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 19:53:33

If dog slept in a crate at night could it 'go away' in day or would that be confusing? I know i must sound pig ignorant but havent used a crate before.

mistlethrush Sat 28-Sep-13 19:58:48

Usually, dogs are aclimatised to see their crates as their 'safe' place to go - so they're left up all the time - I've never come across anyone managing to take one down during the day.

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 20:03:40

Lots to think about it seems. DP isnt a dog lover like me and i can imagine he will complain about a crate in a small house. Thanks for all your advice, really appreciated.

mistlethrush Sat 28-Sep-13 20:05:19

Actually- it was the housetraining thing that got me having the dog in our bedroom - I've never done it before - but she'd gone from a barn with lots of dogs - probably from a shed with lots of dogs - to here being on her own and she really didn't settle at all well in the kitchen on her own... So, thinking it was the only way I'd get some sleep, I took her upstairs and put her mat by myside of the bed - I kept my hand on her until she settled down - and she would be able to hear both of us anyway. The advantage of that was that, if she got up and left the room (and potentially needed to go down the garden) I woke up so was able to nip downstairs after her and take her out in the garden (she thought that you did things inside, not outside when we got her). If she had been downstairs I wouldn't have managed to do this. I'm sure it helped with housetraining.

I'm not sure that all greyhounds manage stairs out of interest...

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 20:40:26

I remember that all too well from last pooch. I slept downstairs with him for what felt like a million years while housetraining a terrified dog in a house filled with shift working stepsons and an early rising OH! unhappy memories!

Large or extra large crate for a greyhound?

mistlethrush Sat 28-Sep-13 20:54:54

what size of greyhound? I would be erring towards the extra large. You could see if the rescue has any you could borrow to see how it gets on with it?

TooOldForGlitter Sat 28-Sep-13 21:10:02

Not sure of size yet. Ive said i dont mind dog or bitch and size isnt an issue to me so god knows what we will be matched with!

Scuttlebutter Sat 28-Sep-13 23:23:02

Just wanted to add that your new grey will probably be a Velcro dog at first. They are all at sea, and often find the first few days a bit bewildering, especially if it's the first time in their lives that they have been without any canine company. Remember that these dogs will have lived with their kennel mates 24/7 - basically, they are never alone.

Being able to sleep near you - even if it's on the landing - is often very soothing for them in the first few days. You will also find that they follow you everywhere - get used to a pointy nose peeking round the bathroom door! Gradually as they build confidence, and get used to their new routine, they are more confident sleeping away from you. You will also find that they tell you where their preferred sleeping spot is. What I'm trying to say in a long winded way, is that by keeping the grey downstairs they may get stressed, whereas if they can sleep near you, they will probably be happier and less likely to have an accident.

With winter coming on, and cream carpets shock I'd invest in a steam cleaner grin, and it's sensible to stock up before dog arrives on some cleaning materials for wee. Even without stress, the best dog is bound to have a few accidents in teh first few days, and will almost certainly mark at least once or twice.

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