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Would a whippet/greyhound suit us - or if not, what would?

(14 Posts)
RudePepper Mon 27-Oct-14 14:00:24

I am thinking ahead a bit as I don't think we will be ready for a dog for a couple of years, once our youngest is old enough to leave at home while I walk the dog. I have grown up with dogs, my parents had a few litters of puppies/am comfortable around dogs. Our household is noisy - three boys - all kind to animals (and people!) but noisy.

I wondered about a greyhound but am worried whether we would ever be able to let it off the lead and whether they are too nervous. We have nice woods around us and I'd like a dog to be able to enjoy those. I have time to walk and adore walking, but I don't have time to walk more than about 1.5 hours a day. Would need to be someone I could tie up while I nip into a shop (do people still do that? is it safe?). My main concern is safety with the children - not something likely to bite the children, though I understand all dogs are a risk in that sense and will teach them to deal with him/her appropriately. Are dogs better than bitches when it comes to temperament?

Thanks in advance.

LoathsomeDrab Mon 27-Oct-14 15:57:19

Would need to be someone I could tie up while I nip into a shop (do people still do that? is it safe?).

I'm sure plenty of people do it without incident but personally I don't think it's safe and it's not something I'd do with any dog. Too much potential for something to go wrong such as theft or being harassed by passers by.

It does sound like a whippet would be a very good fit for you. All mine go off lead and 1.5 hours of off lead walking would be more than enough to satisfy a whippet. Mine generally get around 40 minutes a day on average but they can cope with less and are also happy to go for longer. They pretty much have two speeds, 100mph and horizontal. Mine have had a 1.5 hour walk today (almost entirely off lead and zooming around like lunatics) and they're now completely done for the day. They'll surface again to be fed in a few hours then sleep until tomorrow morning grin

They're lovely, cuddly and gentle dogs, though admittedly they can be utterly monstrous as puppies. I don't have any kids but mine are great with my 8yo niece.

I don't really think there's much of a difference between dogs and bitches in whippets. I've met loads of both and have never noticed anything that is particular to either other than males tending to be a bit larger. Even that is not a given though, I've got a boy who is tiny. I'd be perfectly happy to have either, I've yet to meet any whippet that isn't totally lovely grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 27-Oct-14 16:15:50

Loathsome you're whippets on another thread look almost feline in their agility (I'm giving no spoilers to Pepper but imagine if you had a table and a windowsill, the desire to see "what's it like up there " is strong) grin

What I've read about greyhounds and the ones we've met out in the park and at various Fayres and Events where the Greyhound Rescues have a stall - they end up in rehome/rescue because of circumstance. They retire basically or aren't good enough to race.
Not because they've bitten or attacked.
Hopefully not as a result of cruelty.

OK, not all of them will adapt, but many (quite young too) are ready to take on their new job.As your house-dog

LoathsomeDrab Mon 27-Oct-14 16:37:37

Unfortunately the feline agility didn't extend to getting off the windowsill once he realised he didn't have room to turn round hmm grin

RudePepper Mon 27-Oct-14 20:29:49

Thank you everyone smile; that's so helpful.

I'm a bit confused about the off-lead business. I have read that once they have a scent they are off and it's difficult to recall them - we have traffic near us, I wouldn't like one to end up causing an accident - or are they more sensible than that?

Would you all recommend a whippet/greyhound or lurcher (and are the long haired ones different temperamentally?).

Greenkit Tue 28-Oct-14 01:46:11

I have two whippets and both have fine recall, unless in a field and they spot a rabbit once it darts into the hedgerow they are back. They are very cat like, clean, dont smell and will curl up all day or go out on walks. I would say Greyhounds are more relaxed than a whippet, who is a little more excitable (but not in a negative way).

They may look like they will break but they are hardy dogs, just avoid italian whippets...

RudePepper Tue 28-Oct-14 01:54:03

Thanks Greenkit. Quite fancy taking on a retired greyhound.

I have frightened myself this evening reading that they like really relaxed environments. Like I said above, we have three boys and a very busy household. We are noisy - we are too lazy to go to rooms to talk to each other and tend to yell out - I'm not sure if it would be too stressful from what I have read (for the dog, not us).

Riverland Tue 28-Oct-14 02:05:45

What about a lurcher? Or two. A couple of bedlington/ whippet crosses.

Robust temperament, less space consuming than a greyhound or whippet.

CMOTDibbler Thu 30-Oct-14 21:06:01

I think nervousness is a dog by dog thing, rather than breed tbh.

I have two rescue lurchers, one was surrendered as he has no prey drive and the travellers he belonged to wanted him to hare course, and puppy was born to a mum who was found stray two days before she had her litter.

Both of them recall beautifully, and we walk off lead in woods and on hills. They are totally soft, and love children (puppy a little too much atm). If raining, they wouldn't be bothered about being walked, will be fine with 20 min walk off lead, or walk/run for hours.

I wouldn't tie mine up outside a shop, as they are a theft target.

Greenkit Fri 31-Oct-14 14:56:07

I have three children, older now, but we arent a very quiet family loud and shouty (in the same way as you discribe) happy family really full of hustle and bustle.

Our whippets fit in just fine, one is quiet and the other more bosterus (Sp) they are actually very good dogs for children.

tigerdog Sat 01-Nov-14 19:39:58

We have a beautiful retired greyhound and would say that they make fantastic pets. Each dog is different. Ours is quite nervous at times (like now with the fireworks) but she was a racer who was quite successful and I wonder if she is quite highly strung as a result. I have fostered others who are not in the least bit nervous though, you'd just need to pick the right dog. We don't have children (yet) and work full time so we wanted a quiet dog. Ours is such a great companion though, gentle, walks like a dream on the lead and very affectionate and well behaved - no bad manners!! She is good with children too. Letting them off really depends on the level of training and their keeness in chasing things. If you can perfect recall and they're not excited by small dogs etc then it's a possibility. We let ours off sometimes but I don't really find it bothers me to have her on the lead.

I would suggest finding your local rgt branch and going to walk one or two dogs (they always appreciate the help) and have a chat so you can get some insight into the greyhound's special nature!

Swingball Sun 02-Nov-14 08:54:17

I have a beautiful, calm, affectionate retired greyhound but we don't often let him off lead. Only usually in controlled circumstances - an enclosed space basically. We go for beach walks sometimes with other greyhounds where we let him off to run. They tend to all stick together in that circumstance so if one comes back they all do.

I also have a young lurcher who mainly has recall (bar one or two adolescent incidents recently when she won't come back, but she doesn't go far from me). I have to say I enjoy being able to let her off to play with other dogs.

So if you are dead set on an off lead dog I would consider a rescue lurcher who has been trained to recall from a pup.

RudePepper Mon 03-Nov-14 23:57:09

Thanks for all your comments. I spoke to some rescue people who said that they wouldn't recommend off-lead as they tend to come back by chance rather than virtue as the hunting instinct is too strong. She mentioned 0-40mph in 6 strides - that's pretty fast!

We are still thinking about it - tigerdog I hadn't thought about walking one of the rescue's dogs though was wondering how we could go about meeting some greyhounds to see how they got on with the children.

Many thanks.

evertonmint Tue 04-Nov-14 07:36:04

I am not particularly a dog lover - I find them a bit scary - so my view is useless in your decision-making but if I were ever to get over this I would only have a whippet (or possibly greyhound). They're bloody gorgeous and the only dog I see that I ever want to go up to and pat! I also love that they tear around like lunatics and then just spend the rest of the day lolling. And that blue brindle coloured coat is just the prettiest dog colour ever.

Hate* dogs, love whippets is my motto grin

* I don't hate them but "find dogs a teensy bit scary, love whippets"isn't as snappy a catchphrase.

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