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Greyhound/whippet x/lurcher - off lead walking?

(17 Posts)
Phillpot12 Wed 01-Feb-17 09:46:40

We are looking in to getting a dog/pup (not sure which yet!). I like the idea of a rescue (have children 4-6 and cat though) and thinking of lurcher/pointy nosed hound of some sort but whenever I mention this to people they warn me off....dogs not staying nearby, telling me stories of friends losing dogs and running across roads etc. Do they need to be in enclosed spaces or on the lead most of the time? We are suburban, small fenced garden with access to fields nearby but go to my parents lots who are in open countryside. Any advice, suggestions for a better choice etc.

CMOTDibbler Wed 01-Feb-17 12:42:38

My lurchers recall, and spend lots of time off lead. They have never caught a rabbit (ddog2 did once catch a squirrel, but it screamed at him and he dropped it and has avoided them ever since). I know lots of lurchers who go off lead well - ex racing greyhounds can be more of an issue due to the way they are trained, but some will learn.

For balance, I know 3 cocker spaniels who can't be let off lead as they will beggar off, collies whose recall is very dependant on their mood, and plenty of small dogs who don't do as they are told!

yetwig Wed 01-Feb-17 13:38:57

Good choice of dog, my pointy nose is 11 now but has always had a good recall, she loves her food so it was easy to train her. I got her at 8 weeks from rescue, mum full greyhound ex racer dad unknown, I love this dog to bits, over the years she's been an agility dog and a flyball dog now retired but still loves chasing a ball. She has 0 chase in her, lives with a cat and in the past with bunnies. Have a look on Greyhound Gap, Lurcher link some lovely pointys looking for homes.

Phillpot12 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:58:54

Thank you, positive experiences for you both. I'm following the new questions thread to find out more about these special hounds. was just a bit disappointed that people were a bit negative! Thank you!

Ilovecaindingle Wed 01-Feb-17 14:03:56

Can't not get a mention on a lurcher post I feel. But alas Our Oscar is a bit too keen on getting to know our cats - though Henry has got his death stare to near perfection - I feel OO is just about getting the message now!!! Lurchers are lovely dogs. Not my first choice but great with my dc.

tkband3 Wed 01-Feb-17 14:09:51

We have a 5 month old whippet. We were a bit nervous at first about letting him off the lead, but we worked really hard on training him as soon as he was able to go out and it seems to be working so far. We took him to puppy training and he responded really well. He's a gorgeous dog - loving and loyal, really sociable with other dogs and humans too (in fact he takes offence if other humans don't make a fuss over him grin). I do make sure he's on his lead until we're well into the park though, just in case, and have a pot of treats ready to rattle to catch his attention if he's too distracted by another dog or chasing a squirrel grin!

Flippetydip Wed 01-Feb-17 14:17:52

Following on here too - Phillpot I feel we're going to be stalking each other a lot over the next few months!

Phillpot12 Wed 01-Feb-17 14:24:33

Hey Flip, I did this this morning and then saw yours which is full of all the other questions I have too! grinSome very experienced owners on here so good advice. Big commitment so don't want to mess it up!

Flippetydip Wed 01-Feb-17 14:26:52

That's exactly where I am too. Slightly over-excited at the moment but will calm down soon. Can't do anything just yet anyway!

intravenouscoffee Wed 01-Feb-17 14:36:26

We got our greyhound x as a rescue pup and his recall is good. He's very bribable with food so it wasn't too tricky to train him.

Having said that he has a strong prey drive and if he's hunting something will mostly ignore all commands so I have to be wary of we're anywhere near a road he could run into. But generally it's fine and quite manageable.

They are lovely dogs, lazy and affectionate.

TrionicLettuce Wed 01-Feb-17 14:43:29

Whippets tend to be very much at the trainable end of the sighthound spectrum. Mine all go off lead on every walk and the vast majority of others I know do as well.

Prey drive is something to be aware of with pointy dogs. It can vary hugely between individuals and doesn't always fully kick in until they hit maturity or something triggers it. High prey drive doesn't mean no off lead walks though, it's just a case of being sensible about where you let them off.

AllDayIThinkAboutFood Wed 01-Feb-17 14:51:18

I have a rescue lurcher who was worked for many years. He lives happily with my two cats but he will still chase and kill rabbits so is muzzled on walks just to be safe. His recall is very good on the beach, at the park and in the woods so gets plenty of off lead run time but in an open field he is on high alert and will ignore most commands and so is always kept on lead.

Sighthound specific rescues will test their dogs thoroughly and let you know if a dog can live with cats, run off lead etc. so it is definitely worth getting in touch with several places. Some dogs of any breed can never be let off, it's not necessarily a negative thing, there are lots of ways to stimulate and tire out a dog that don't require tons of running. There also lots of secure dog walking fields popping up all over the country specifically for those kinds of dogs.

Floralnomad Wed 01-Feb-17 15:01:37

I know a lady with an ex racer and when she lets him off he generally runs two large laps and then comes back to her , almost like he is still racing it's very funny . I have a patterdale X with an incredibly high prey drive and he goes off lead daily but I just have to be selective as to where , so he's ok on our local Heath and beaches but I don't let him off in woods ( too many holes to go down) , near rivers/ ponds that contain bird life ( he's tried to catch a goose before) or in open countryside near any livestock .

BlueKarou Wed 01-Feb-17 15:27:26

My lurcher (whippet, saluki, bedlington possibly - could be completely different!) can only be let off lead in certain places - enclosed fields etc. I got him at 11 weeks from a rescue, so it's clearly my fault/lack of training. So my advice is not to get a puppy unless you have time/patience to train them properly.

My boy doesn't chase the cats if they're inside, but in the garden it's apparently a free for all. It does seem to be only play, but I do make a habit of checking the garden is clear before I let him out.

Phillpot12 Wed 01-Feb-17 19:33:33

Sounds a bit pot luck in terms of character/prey drive but also worth lots of effort with training early, which I'm happy to do. I definitely like the idea of fostered rescues rather than from kennels as we have 3 children and a cat....CMOTDIBBLER sounds a great source of lovely pups when we are ready to go for it! Thank you so much for all the posts, really interesting to hear different experiences.

Scuttlebutter Wed 01-Feb-17 20:17:13

I just wanted to add that yes, there's enormous variation between individual dogs, and even allowing for that, there's no substitute for relentless training.
Our current lurcher has excellent recall (she is a greyhound/whippet/patterdale, and an ex worker) but this is built on a foundation of whistle training in her foster home which we've continued, plus regular training of other sorts - we do Rally, GC and are dipping our toe into obedience. So we spend a lot of time training together - and all of that really is money in the bank when it comes to recall.

Secondly, sighthound owners are generally incredibly responsible about this issue because it's so often flagged up, and I find that we tend to either train an excellent recall (as per my example) or are very cautious about it and only allow it in certain areas/fenced paddocks etc. Yet, and this is the irony, if you go to any park, you will see masses of other dogs (labs, spaniels, doodles etc) with virtually zero recall and assorted owners gaily bellowing "Fenton!" or the equivalent, while their dog blissfully ignores them. grin I'd say in practice that around 80% of owners don't actually have good solid recall - whereas with sighthound owners who do let their dogs off, it's teh other way around, because we are so conscious of it as an issue.

Phillpot12 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:21:28

That's a really good point Scuttle I think if we did go with some variety of sighthound we would be aware of potential risks so would make the effort and enjoy the training. Thanks for the advice.

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