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Rescue greyhound coming home next week. Any settling in tips ?

(14 Posts)
ShizerMinelli Thu 30-Mar-17 19:37:44

Was over on another thread when @PetraStrorm suggested a rescue greyhound instead of buying a puppy from a breeder. Tried to pick her brains on rescue greyhounds and @afawndawn suggested popping over here for advice!

Been to visit Sheffield greyhound rescue a few times now. Fell in love with a big black boy who had only just arrived (couldn't believe how hard they find it to home the black ones). We've walked him with our two young children (4&2), who have both grown up with dogs and are very laid back around them (still wouldn't be left alone with him etc), then went back with DM and her two small fluffy dogs, he was let off in the paddock with them both and it couldn't have gone better.

He's been for the chop, so comes home ten days after that. Have had dogs, and sighthounds growing up, but not an adult rescue. Just wanted any tips that might help him settle in.

Thank you!

PlayOnWurtz Thu 30-Mar-17 21:11:27

Good for you!

Main thing is show him to the back door (or the door he will need for toilet breaks) show him his water and his bed then let him sniff at his own pace don't overwhelm him.

lots of information here

PetraStrorm Thu 30-Mar-17 21:19:37

Hello! And congratulations :-)

My greyhound came from the same place - Wortley?

The chap who dropped her off advised me to show her the garden, and her bed/water etc, then completely ignore her as much as possible. I think this was to let her settle at her own pace, and to stop her immediately latching onto me and getting anxious if I wasn't around.

We had a few very minor issues the first week or two with her not liking being alone at night, so I ended up spending some nights on the sofa then gradually moving upstairs away from her.

She settled really well. I'm tough though - she doesn't go on the furniture and has never been upstairs. I have a baby gate across the living room door so DD can play in there without her and the dog getting in each other's way.

Dog has her own safe place in the kitchen (I made her a den in the corner under a table) and that's where she sleeps at night and takes all the stuff she steals :-)

CMOTDibbler Thu 30-Mar-17 21:28:53

Big, warm, soft bed - they like to spread right out!
Remember that if he is a racer, he may well never have been in a house before, so stairs, washing machines etc will be scary.

He'll need outdoor and indoor coats (Milgi coats are fab), and I'm sure the rescue have told you about using sighthound collars (I favour martingale collars, 2" for a grey, and Meggie Moo are my faves) , and that you must never use an extendable lead - a grey can reach 40mph+ in 6 strides! An extendable lead could lead to both of you getting injured.

Remind the kids that greys often sleep with their eyes open, so they must be careful if dog is lying down

The rescue will tell you what food he is used to, but you might need to experiment to reduce the fart factor

PetraStrorm Thu 30-Mar-17 21:33:30

The loveliest part is seeing their personalities come out. It's nearly 2 years (next week) since I got my grey, and she's really come out of her shell. She's still laid-back and as lazy as sin, but a lot more sparky and chatty as well.

Just give it loads of time, and don't worry if you hit a few snags at first. He's probably never been in a house before, so he'll be anxious and wondering what the rules are. Once you've gently shown him he'll be happier. The one and only time I've ever raised my voice to my dog was on that first day, when I'd just dished up dinner and she put her front paws up on the table and tried to eat DD's macaroni cheese smile. One firm (not shouty) "NO" and she's never done it since. DD always asks now if we can save a bit of macaroni cheese for the dog smile

Now my lazy grey is here on the floor next to me, having a nap before she goes to bed. She's just the best company. You've done a wonderful thing and you'll reap the reward in spades smile

PetraStrorm Thu 30-Mar-17 21:39:10

Yes re: the sleep thing. Mine can growl/bark if she's suddenly woken up - she always looks more shocked than we do if it happens. My house rule for the kids and for visitors is that if she's lying down, she's left alone. I'm pretty sure that she'd let me get away with murder as I'm very definitely her person, but even so I always always say her name and make sure she's awake before I go to her to scratch her lovely velvety ears.

Ok, I'll give it a rest now and let the other hound enthusiasts get a word in smile

AFawnDawn Fri 31-Mar-17 21:26:48

Oh blimey, I wrote a huge post and it's vanished!

We got our first greyhound when the DCs were 4 yo and 18 months. She was the perfect dog for us, completely bombproof and settled in well though she did struggle a little with house training. We were devastated when she died last year sad She was only 7 and it broke our hearts.

Now we have our second greyhound. She is a different kettle of fish entirely! The first few weeks with her were tricky. We made her sleep alone downstairs and this was obviously a huge shock to her system. We woke in complete terror with her lamenting on the first night and she carried on her sorrowful, sing-song howling for the first couple of weeks. We even barricaded the stairs so she couldn't come and find us - poor dog, we were very strict. But it worked and now she had her choice of sofas downstairs and sleeps 6pm til 7am every night with a small pee break when we go to bed.

Compared to our first grey she is VERY people-oriented and she suffers a little from separation anxiety. She does occasionally howl when I have the audacity to leave her alone downstairs while I nip to the loo. But she just loves her people and wants us all close by.

I would second the sleeping with the eyes open advice. Our first grey wasn't bothered, but current DDog has a tendency to bark/ growl when woken suddenly. She does sleep like the DEAD though grin

I'd be wary of food stealing at the beginning. I expect this is down to two main reasons: 1. the dogs are fed a meagre diet when racing and 2. the household need to get into the settings of closing doors/ pushing food to the back of kitchen benches/ not wafting food at hound head height. We lost many snacks in the first few weeks, mainly through our own carelessness. There was a particularly memorable incident involving 11 raw eggs shock and DDog will still take the chance to steal should the opportunity arise, and she drinks my teagrin

That said, I'll never have any other dog. They are calm (mainly!), gentle, stoic, and utterly beautiful and after everything they go through they deserve all the ear scratches and sofa they can get!

AFawnDawn Fri 31-Mar-17 21:38:52

settings? hmm habit, damned autocorrect!

PetraStrorm Sat 01-Apr-17 18:58:38

Not a tip for your dog, but for you - if you're interested, you can search your dog's racing name online and get a complete history of their races, placings, the lot (mine had 14 wins which seems pretty respectable to me). You can also see their bloodlines going back a good 30 generations.

I loathe greyhound racing, but looking up my dog made me (stupid I know) really proud of her, and also brought it home to me what an utterly different life she had before she came to us, and how she's really bloody earned the right to be a complete lazy arse.

I also found a video of one of her races (she didn't win that one).

MiaowTheCat Sun 02-Apr-17 11:03:28

Food stealing can be bad to start with (we've just got a new greyhound this week so I'm speaking from experience again here - I'd forgotten just how wild they can tend to feel when you get a new one). It's achieved the previously impossible though - everyone in this house is putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher finally! She's calmed down with it fairly fast though to be honest.

Stairs - you may struggle a bit to get them to learn them.

The TV really bothered our first greyhound - if dogs were on there she'd have her nose around the back trying to sniff their arses.

The black ones take some work to get looking good - my last one never did get fur back on her arse and always looked a bit scraggy... this one is in much better condition already (got some dandruff to work out but that's about it)

We've been doing similar - just ignoring her and leaving her to it and she's rapidly becoming a complete leaning snuggle merchant.

CMOTDibbler Sun 02-Apr-17 16:34:44

One of the things that helps their coat look really nice is cod liver oil in their food plus sardines once a week, then rather than brushing them, use a cactus mitt - its really gentle on their skin and makes them glossy

ShizerMinelli Sun 02-Apr-17 19:50:37

Ahhh thank you everyone! Am away and didn't realise the replies - am also on my phone so will pop back for a proper chin wag when I can tag people and navigate the thread a bit better.

Great tips re leaving him be when he first gets here, and the food stealing. Also the racing - when I was chatting to Roy from RGT he was saying that only greyhounds (before they're deregistered) and beagles are classed as livestock, and don't have the same rights as pets. Made me a bit sad. And that he has no clue what he's called (doesn't have a pet name). He's also super scruffy and full of dandruff and flea dirt, so will get a cactus mit, thank you.

Will look him up when he's home, there was a dog in the kennel that they were telling me about, said she'd cost £20k and soon as she damaged her foot they tied her to his gates. It's unbelievable.

Thanks again, would I be able to keep coming back for advice? Feel like I've collected some greyhound oracles in one place and might just need you all!

MiaowTheCat Mon 03-Apr-17 08:34:01

The other thing we've had a bit of bother with that they might have mentioned to you at homecheck is windows and glass doors. I've got the blind cords clipped up out of the way with hairgrips at the moment as it's taken a few days for her to stop hurling herself at the window everytime something goes past (thank fuck we live on a quiet road) - now she's calmed that down to standing there watching the world go by with one ear raised inquisitively.

We've got french doors at the back and they mentioned they might be a problem as they often don't see them if there's a cat in the back garden or whatever. At the moment we've got stuff piled up in front of ours anyway (builders have been back in) so that's not been a problem but I might have to put some stickers or something at hound eye height on them if the crap is ever cleared.

Latest one is a lovely wee thing though - so so gentle and sweet natured and I've started to get the leany cuddles.

AFawnDawn Mon 03-Apr-17 12:28:38

Yes, our dearly departed DDog1 bonked into the patio door within a few minutes of arriving grin, though new DDog2 seemed to have the measure of them straight away - she is rather more blessed in the brains department though.

The Hoover was a bit scary at first, as was the television, cars and other dogs. But now she snores through the TV and the Hoover, doesn't mind cars a bit and is getting better with small, jumpy dogs. She does occasionally growl at boisterous puppies, but I guess that's to be expected when they're jumping in her face. DDog1 was far more comfortable around other dogs. DDog2 is still utterly terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms whereas DDog1 would happily mooch round the garden on Bonfire night (I suspect that's down to brains too grin).

So I suppose what I am getting at with my ramblings although they are all, in the main, gentle, calm, and ravenous gannets, no two are the same, and you'll learn his little foibles with time.

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