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Greyhound track for retired greys to stretch their legs?

(7 Posts)
AnUtterIdiot Mon 13-Jun-16 17:16:52

My lovely lovely boy is perfectly obedient and biddable in the house, but get him outside and I can't get his attention at all. He's got no recall and although I have occasionally let him off the lead for a run I am always, always terrified that I'll lose him.

He loves running. He managed to get out of the back garden the other day because someone me didn't close the door properly, and since then he's been a bit escape artisty. I know everyone says greyhounds don't need more than a 20 minute walk, but he loves to run - even though he gets 3 half hour walks a day, I reckon he'd swap at least one of those for a 5 minute sprint.

We're in the East of England and within driving distance of London. Does anyone know somewhere enclosed (properly enclosed, he just ploughs straight through hedges and over ditches if he sees something moving beyond them) where a retired greyhound can safely relive his glory years?

TrionicLettuce Mon 13-Jun-16 17:35:51

Have a look at this FB page (they also have a website here), they have a database of secure fields which can be hired to exercise dogs on.

Another option is to contact local kennels, some will hire out their walking fields. Indoor riding arenas are also worth a look if neither of the above yield results.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jun-16 18:38:58

If you search Sighthound meets on FB there is a group where you can ask about 'playdates' in secure locations. You could also look at simulated coursing - a friend in Yorkshire goes quite often to a track where the dogs race for fun against others of the same sort of speed.

Scuttlebutter may be along later with wisdom as she knows loads of greyhound groups

Scuttlebutter Mon 13-Jun-16 19:10:14

Waves at CMOT. smile

Firstly, DON'T take your dog to a greyhound track - the tight bends on many of them are responsible for many injuries.

Others have already mentioned the Secure Fields page on FB - it's extremely useful and has places you can hire all over the country. We use it ourselves.

Talk to the rescue you adopted from - most either have their own paddock/secure area you can use or host regular sighthound playdates where secure venues are hired (typically indoor riding schools) or they will be able to point you at somewhere they recommend as this is such a frequently asked question by new adopters.

Lastly, and most importantly DO NOT neglect recall training. Lots of sighthound owners put recall training into the "Too difficult" box and simply don't bother. I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because it's less work that way. Recall training is work, no doubt about it, but we have trained all ours through constant practice, treats, workshop, classes etc. I am still cautious about where/when we go off lead (as I would be for any dog) but all ours now go off lead regularly. Our brindle girl when she first arrived was a complete nutter and had zero recall. Very different story now.

If you are starting from scratch, whistle recall is brilliant. There is a superb DVD on training this by Pamela Dennison who also wrote the deservedly popular Dog Training for Idiots (my bible).

TrionicLettuce Mon 13-Jun-16 20:19:32

Just to follow on from Scuttlebutter's excellent advice about recall training, I can highly recommend this book as well.

I've got sighthounds, admittedly I've had them all from pups but two of them have absolutely ferocious prey drives, and they all go off lead on pretty much every walk we go on.

CMOTDibbler Mon 13-Jun-16 20:41:45

Total Recall is an excellent book, and the techniques really work. I'm amazed at the number of people who expect their dog to come back for boring treats as well - mine aren't bothered by being praised, but will leave anything for a bit of chorizo. Using a whistle also has the advantage that you can train your children to recall to it as well. Ds gets chorizo as well.

Scuttlebutter Mon 13-Jun-16 23:42:11

YY to CMOT's points - there are some excellent books out there. And liver is our "will drop anything for it" treat!

Another tool is to sign up for one of Jim Greenwood's workshops - Jim works with loads of sighthound rescues and regularly does sighthound recall workshops all over the country. His training is excellent and his knowledge of pointies is second to none. He's also very good at training human owners (something that a lot of dog trainers neglect!) and is all about making training fun for you and your dog.

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