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greyhound as a pet advice please

(26 Posts)
chickindude Wed 13-Jan-16 10:48:10

Sorry if this is long. So having a dog, pro's & con's has been a subject that has arisen in our family many times. For various reasons ( including cats) we have done nothing about owning a dog yet.
I had dogs while growing up, as did DH, however that was many years ago.
We have 2 female cats, who are high maintenance gorgeous girls.....I love them dearly. They are 9.
My eldest 2 children have flown the nest, my 3rd is in 6th form and my youngest is due to start secondary school in September. My youngest child and I do everything together, but this I know will stop as the teenage years hit.
I would love a dog for me. An excuse to go out for a walk, someone to chat to as I potter about the house, someone to be there when I come in. I work part time. Generally the longest I am out, is about 5-6 hours, and that is just one day of the week, the rest of the week it is more like 3-4 hours, or 2-3 hours. So never a really long stretch.
I am drawn to greyhounds. Graceful, but a bit lazy, friendly, enjoy a good run around & it's vital that it could chase a ball thrown by a 11/12 year old boy.
I have heard they are not too smelly smile and I prefer a short hair dog, as there is less to groom.
My family would prefer a Beagle, collie or even a German shepherd, but as I would do 80% of dog caring, it needs to be my decision I think.
So what about my cats? Will they hate it? They hate rabbits, squirrels, foxes, people with hats....we have never tried them with a dog. The cats have free rein of the house, so could potentially shut a room off for the dog until they get used to her smell. I just don't know what the right thing is......any suggestions or thoughts would me much appreciated.
Thanks very much

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 13:10:23

I just adopted one smile

He is gorgeous. 5 years old and an ex racer. They can't all live with cats especially if they raced but some are cat friendly - shop around in rescues. He has beautiful manners and is very eager to please. They tend not to be big walkers - 20 mins at a time tops - and we were advised not to let ours off the lead for a sprint unless we were on fully enclosed land, because they can get a long way away from you very quickly (out of sight in minutes)and will not necessarily remember how they got to wherever they stopped!

Mine likes to play with a ball a bit but that's quite unusual for the breed - it's unlikely that they would do lots of retrieving with an energetic 11 year old. He does about ten seconds of dribbling and then carefully carries the ball to his bed and falls asleep smile

Even cats that are used to dogs will take time to get used to a new dog so get a cat friendly grey and be prepared for your cats to be very upset with you for several weeks. It's not unheard of for cats to leave home, although none of mine ever did when a new dog came in.

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 13:14:54

PS there are exceptions to all rules, though, I have certainly seen blogs in the US about greyhounds that hike, retrieve, do agility etc.

chickindude Wed 13-Jan-16 14:36:15

Thank you so much, appreciate your input

tabulahrasa Wed 13-Jan-16 14:46:55

If you like lazy...absolutely do not let your family talk you into a collie, a beagle or a GSD!!!!

Your cats probably will hate a dog, but I've found cats can simultaneously detest a dog and co-exist fairly happily with one, lol.

As for a greyhound, you might struggle a bit to find one that will not hunt the cats and will want to play with a ball as as a rule, they chase cats and not balls...that's isn't to say it'd be impossible, but it might not be the quickest dog to find.

Re hours alone, really if you're out longer than 4 hours you should arrange someone to walk or visit a dog that day.

Lauresbadhairday Wed 13-Jan-16 14:52:52

I have 2 teenage boys and we adopted a greyhound last year. She has been a wonderful addition to the family. She is very laid back and sleeps most of the day. I also work part time and we have never had any problems with separation anxiety. I think she just sleeps whilst I'm out. I have a dog walker on the days I am out for longer than 3-4 hours though.

She only needs 2 x 30 min walks per day but is happy to do a longer family walk at the weekend. We have worked on recall and can now let her off the lead. She looks amazing when at full speed. She doesn't respond to ball/stick throwing but likes soft toys. The boys love her and she is very tolerant of them fussing over her.

I think your main issue might be your cats but as pp said there are some greyhounds that are cat-friendly so still worth talking to your local rescue.

Good luck.

GraysAnalogy Wed 13-Jan-16 14:54:20

If you're getting a greyhound please adopt one. They're brilliant dogs!

MaynJune Wed 13-Jan-16 15:01:57

They make fabulous pets, very loving and content.

It's very risky to let them off lead though, and some greyhound rescue centres will insist that you don't. They could take off at the sight of a cat or rabbit and obviously run so fast. I'd be frightened they would get killed on the road or cause an accident, and in rare cases a greyhound has killed a small dog.

I'm not trying to put you off, quite the opposite, and some are indeed cat-friendly, but best to be aware.

LilacTiger Wed 13-Jan-16 15:05:28

Greyhounds ARE wonderful. You would never regret adopting one!

However if you want something slightly more lively, and potentially a younger adopting age, would you consider a lurcher? There are many in rescue, and they tend to be a bit more adaptable than a retired grey that really doesn't want to do much. Also they have that gorgeous grace you like about the greys.

I have a Grey/Saluki/Collie - amazing with kids, other animals (lives with cats and chickens), big fan of his ball and anyone else's, swims and is generally ace. I had him from 10mths from a rescue, which was perfect. We still went to puppy training classes but I missed the toilet training and worst of the chewing phases. He was a dream to train, super intelligent and very keen to please.

I would advise strongly against a beagle, but only on personal experience. They need a LOT of stimulation and exercise - they were bred as working dogs, and many do not have suitable pet dog in them.

Lurcherlink in case you do fancy one

TheCunnyFunt Wed 13-Jan-16 19:10:57

Yes, greyhounds are great. BUT they are incredibly lazy, they tend to look at you as if you've gone mad if you try and throw a ball/toy for them grin mine likes killing cuddly toys. He doesn't set out to shred and destuff them though, he likes shaking and throwing them around.

Agree that a lurcher or a whippet would be a better fit. Whippets are almost exactly like greyhounds in that they are lazy, but still more energetic than greys and more open to playing with toys. They have very low maintenance coats, if they get muddy on a walk, by the time you've walked home, the mud'll have dried and can just be brushed off easily, if it hasn't dropped off already grin

mollie123 Wed 13-Jan-16 19:17:53

just to add to what all the others have said - I am on my second lurcher and they are wonderful dogs but both mine have turned their nose up at any form of retrieving though they liked destroying and playing with furry soft toys smile
the other wonderful thing about them is they sleep a lot between bouts of having a wild dash after some imaginary/real prey, and do not (or very rarely) bark grin

AnUtterIdiot Wed 13-Jan-16 20:42:36

To be fair I've been told that some greys will walk for longer than 20 mins if you want them to. So far mine just starts trying to dive into random houses as we pass them after 20 minutes.

I didn't mean to put you off, by the way, I love mine and I am sure you'd love one too smile

TheCunnyFunt Wed 13-Jan-16 21:08:49

20 mins is the minimum they need. They'll generally go for much longer. Mine will anyway and he's 9 next week. We're out for about an hour in the mornings (and that was even before we got the energetic terrier!).

chickindude Wed 13-Jan-16 21:27:24

Thank you so much, they sound wonderful dogs, I will look at lurchers too.
I'm very excited about getting a new best friend smile

vjg13 Wed 13-Jan-16 22:19:33

My ex racing greyhound does chase a ball but will not retrieve it. She does not chase the cat but he is very dog savvy and lives upstairs as my lurcher is not cat friendly.

Ring round a few greyhound rescues and see if they have a dog that will meet your requirements, some of the dogs are fostered and they build up a really good picture of them.

I think the twenty minute walk thing is a bit of a myth, mine is always up for a long walk and loves stretching her legs.

CMOTDibbler Wed 13-Jan-16 22:27:56

I have lurchers and cats smile. And my lurchers love to retrieve (though this usually involves a victory lap before returning), and long walks. But they don't need a long walk everyday, and like to sleep a huge amount.
Mine are both short coated like greyhounds, don't smell or shed really, and are utterly lovely.
Both of mine came from EGLR - one at 6 months, the other was born with them.

ScattyHattie Thu 14-Jan-16 00:15:31

Many of the greyhound/lurcher rescues do test the dogs suitability to live with cats, while not all dogs can its not that uncommon.

My friend has 2 greyhounds that live with cats (both raced) they'll still chase squirrels when out on walks, she has actually trained them to fetch a ball, i've never bothered trying with my own. We did clicker training at classes which they picked things up reasonably as long as i made it worth their effort lol. I've also a lurcher (staffy x) she's a little more of a cuddly, people pleaser, we adopted her when she was older so she's not that energetic, but still more active than the greyhounds.

Its possible the novelty of ball throwing will soon wear off so would get dog that suits its main carers best in terms of exercise/grooming etc. You can also get the family involved in training the dog, with classes much of the work is done practicing at home.

Bambinho Thu 14-Jan-16 00:52:44

I got a greyhound last year as my first ever dog after reading so many positive things about them on here! He came as 'cat trainable' which translated as terrified of my older, now sadly deceased, cat and slightly curious but wary of my remaining younger tortie. He is an absolute delight and I couldn't ask for a lovelier dog.

The cats were initially stunned but got used to him being around. At first I kept him separated from the cats in his own room adjoining the kitchen using a stair gate so the cats still had the run of the house but could see he was sticking around. It's only been since the older cat died that the dog has been confident to mooch around the house so I think it depends on your cats' temperament and how you think they might react. My little tortoiseshell cat has recently been sniffing his paws when he's snoozing so she's getting more comfortable with him all the time.

He is currently stretched out on the sofa snoring, it's his favourite place and he is happy to spend most of the day there. Now it's winter we just go for a few little tootles around the village and one good walk to the beach every day which can be anything from 30 - 60 mins, as long as he has a few good runs I'm happy he's had enough exercise. He's recently started responding when I throw a ball by chasing it and running around and throwing it in the air and catching it. Great fun to watch though he hasn't got the hang of returning it me yet.

I think I've been very lucky as I can trust him off lead a lot of the time, you should have a look at your local greyhound rescue websites to see if any cat trainable ones are available.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 14-Jan-16 12:06:40

Mine was diagnosed with an infected toe yesterday so perhaps he will walk for longer once that's cleared up. We were told to work on the basis that he wouldn't want to walk more than 20 minutes twice a day but plainly there are plenty that would walk for longer going by this thread!

They are lovely dogs, OP, I love mine to bits. He's currently snoring on his bed next to me. 6 hours into his 20 hour nap.

CMOTDibbler Thu 14-Jan-16 12:13:44

Hope he feels better soon Utter. Currently I'm at my desk, ddog1 is upside down on one sofa, ddog2 is upside down on another sofa, and evilgingercat is upside down in a chair. They might wake up to pop out for a wee at some point, but thats about it in terms of demanding behaviour in this house!

tinkywinkyshandbag Thu 14-Jan-16 13:30:30

I also have an ELGR rescue lurcher, she is the most fantastic dog although turning out a little bigger than we were led to believe (she probably has some deerhound). Fabulous to train, although her recall is a bit hit and miss! Very affectionate, loves a cuddle, sleeps from 10.30pm to 7.00am without a peep. Doesn't play fetch but loves a game of football!

chickindude Thu 14-Jan-16 22:44:24

Your dogs all sound gorgeous! Thank you so much for all the advice.

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Sun 17-Jan-16 17:13:40

My Mum had greyhounds (and I was chatting to another owner recently about them) and this is all I know about them (or at least all the ones Mum and this lady had) ...

- Couch potatoes
- Dreadful teeth (seems to be a breed thing).
- Sensitive to anaesthetic so if they ever need one make sure to chose a vet that realises this.
- Overly sensitive/drama llamas
- Not very exciting (a bonus if you want a dog that just chills out all day...apart from when they're being drama llamas of course).
- High prey drive (although not all of them obviously, but they have been bred to chase and kill small furries!)

JustBeingJuliet Sun 17-Jan-16 22:51:13

My friend has a greyhound/collie/staffie and he's a fab dog. He's all legs and has the speed and grace of the greyhound but is ball obsessed and has perfect recall. He's a cracking dog smile

Wolpertinger Sun 17-Jan-16 23:18:49

If you get a lurcher think about what the non-greyhound bit is. My parents wanted a greyhound on the basis they were lazy - got a greyhound/Saluki cross.

The dog was stunningly beautiful, ran like the wind, no brain whatsoever, no recall, endless fucking stamina. Once it saw a rabbit the day was over as the dog was gone. Was forever being brought back to them by strangers who had picked it up when it got lost. Eventually it learnt to go back to the car park.

She was fine with cats as long as the cat was confident enough to stand it's ground the first time they met her.

Not remotely what they wanted but they loved that dog.

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