Rescue greyhound questions!

(141 Posts)
LonelyandTiredandLow Sun 11-Nov-18 22:03:34

I nearly overtook the other thread, so here's my own! blush

For anyone who didn't see the OT dd and I went to visit a local greyhound rescue kennel today, as they said they had a new boy in there who seemed cat trainable. He was gorgeous although a teeny bit nervous - hadn't had 5 ppl in a room before as used to kennels. Took him for the briefest walk as it started to drizzle after about 15meters - he slowed then stopped and gave me a look of "you can't seriously expect me to be out in THIS!" before turning gently back grin.
We also experienced one of the wallpaper stripping, room clearing greyfarts. That was quite the warning! We also saw him with a cat - in the same room roaming about. He was muzzled and had one ear pricked up but floppy at the top and the other down, watched the cat for a few seconds and tentatively sniffed it then wagged his tail and went for more sniffs very sweetly. Then seemed to lose interest and went off sniffing around the room again. So it seems that his lack of chase drive was possibly why he wasn't a racer. He is 2yo.

I'm already quite head over heels but trying to take my time and ask all of the niggly questions before we fully commit (have reserved him for 4 weeks).

So, my questions so far:

1. I asked about boots as was reading last year about dogs in the snow and the salt eroding/hurting their paws. Rescue guy said no need and he's checked him for corns, of which he has no signs.

2. As it's unlikely he will get much time off-lead outdoors, how do you play/let them play when on walks?

3. Do they like baths? I'm assuming not as they may feel the cold being so skinny - but obviously may need one now and then. I'm guessing they don't like swimming - or can't really if not off lead? I seem to remember seeing one zooming along a huge and largely empty beach we went to in Devon (Westward Ho) and would love to feel confident enough for that but not sure if that is good etiquette considering they have no recall?

4. Although I don't hate the kennel name by any means, it would be nice to be able to change it. Is that possible or just confusing for the dog?

5. The only afterschool club dd does out of school is swimming. Obviously, the dog can't come in but I have to be there for support. Any suggestions for this? Would be appx 2hrs out of the house including travel time to and from the pool.

6. When you travel in UK do you have special doggy friendly places you visit? Is there a site or forum for these?

7. For a glossy coat do you use Evening Primrose oil? I was reading it can help with dandruff...

Just realised I've got to 7 already and beginning to sound like a new mum! blush grin I'll stop there for now or the OP will be HUGE!!! x

OP’s posts: |
Melonm Mon 12-Nov-18 02:14:24

He sounds lovely so hope it all works out.

1. Don’t really need boots in UK but should rinse paws off when there’s salt down.

2. Not all are playful but mine have liked a soft toy to shake to death, a dance round then go back to sleeping minutes later. On walks they tend to be busy sniffing or scanning the horizon and this wears them out.
There are safe enclosed spaces can hire to give a run & recall isn’t impossible with the breed as all individuals, but do need to consider how safe area is given how quick they can cover the ground.

3. Mine have all been very well handled in kennels & tolerated bathing fine and presumably had some before. They can have kennel odour initially but usually they don’t smell and washing strips the oils in coat. If they’ve rolled in something then yeah may need a bath.
All have dodged puddles so no desire to paddle but 2 have been to Hydrotherapy and we’re fine but they don’t have the body fat to assist floating.

5. Depends on the dog but most would be fine being left 2hrs, to try and avoid separation anxiety it’s good idea to do some alone training early on so have built it up slowly so dog is comfortable.

6. With one dog it’s fairly easy to find dog friendly accommodation be it hotels, b&b, self catering (beware some dog friendly stipulate small dogs only ) & more pubs, cafes, places to visit are becoming dog friendly too.I never go on holiday so not sure best places to go, the Lake District was very dog friendly but styles aren’t very greyhound friendly.

7. I used salmon oil for skin/coat but any oils do help. Avoid cod liver oil as can cause issues to dogs.

diodon Mon 12-Nov-18 06:15:01

He sounds lovely smile We need a photo when you get him in return for answering questions grin

Great he's ok with cats. Make sure you put a stair gate at the bottom of your stairs so the cat can get away whenever it needs to. Also a tall spot in every room so the cat can retreat if it needs too.

2. You can buy those retractable leads (but don't use these till he walks nicely/reliably on short lead as they encourage pulling).

3. On a day to day basis I'd rinse/wipe the paws when they come in from a walk to remove mud. Muds more the problem round my area than salt. We use old cut up towels/flannels and just dampen with water and once a week wipe his nether bits.

We also put him in the shower every month or so but you need to build up some trust to do that so I'd stick with wiping for the first while.

5. Yes but build up to this by "leaving" the house (with your coat and keys) for 1 minute, then 2 minutes etc. over a period of time. Plenty of info on google about that. Get him used to having a frozen kong as you go out to keep him occupied.

GertrudeCB Mon 12-Nov-18 06:36:50

I'm not experienced with pointy hounds but can I just say that you sound like a lovely potential owner - I've had a few frough conversations with people this week who have the idea that dogs are a) giant soft toys and b) fully disposable.
Your well though out questions have cheered me up no end smile

Melonm Mon 12-Nov-18 07:46:46

Retractable leads are a bad idea for a dog that can go from 0-40 in 6 strides, the handle dragging along behind can also scare them into running further. A friends husband fractured his fingers when the handle hit him, it was pulled out of wife's hand when their lurcher suddenly lunged after a squirrel. If you do decide to use a flexi or long line it should always be attached to a harness not the dogs delicate neck. the sticky's have lots of advice for early on. Though when reading any of these its more a be prepared to avoid any potential issues rather than the dog will have problems.

hippipotamiwantstoloseapound Mon 12-Nov-18 07:50:43

I have nothing to add that has not already been answered, but as a greyhound lover, a volunteer at our local greyhound rescue and the owner of two pointy hounds, your questions are great! It has warmed my heart that a pointy dog will go to such a loving home.
It has genuinely cheered me up at a time when I was despairing in human kind for various reasons.


LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 08:00:07

Oh lovely, replies! Thank you! I'm a realist planner, not an overthinker (honest!) grin

I was looking at Kongs last night actually; had no idea they came in different sizes and toughness. I'm suspecting until I know if he's a chewer I should go with a large red or XL red? See, the questions just keep coming!

I'm relieved about the 2 hours not being a long time. I was reading about anxiety and over-reliance so getting the balance right is important. I dreaded the idea of having him in the car every time as it seems unfair.

The rescue centre has kennels if we go abroad. A friend surprised us by asking us on a short trip to Dubai in about a year (yes I know, not every day so said yes!) which I have already covered with a friend who wants a grey herself and already has cats saying she will house sit. Other than that we have no holiday plans. Tbh with Brexit I'm happier to wait it out and am unsure how pet passports will work considering the confusion about visas and driving licences etc.

Another recommendation I was hoping for was crates - i've read 48'' is a good size but varying things on wire or plastic and which brand? Does a crate actually fit into the back of a car? Mine is a small SUV type.

Most sites seem to say just to use a folded old duvet for the settling in period but the largest bed you can find after this unless you want them taking over the sofa grin. I'm happy for them to take over the sofa - we have a large corner one which is never full! Want to also allow them to choose elsewhere so will have the crate up for a while and maybe 1 other bed spot downstairs. Any recommendations on whether they should have the raised "wall" around the edge to hide their heads?

Completely agree with the child gate. We were thinking of that just in case he decided to pilfer dd's soft toys. I'm more worried he would hurt himself on spikey bits (eyes or whatever) or choke on one of her small plastic tat items that take over her playroom. I think with the crate up he should feel secure enough alone downstairs overnight?

I'm so excited on one level but trying to consider everything that could be an issue ahead so i'm happy there is a group here willing to answer my weird worries! The weirdest one was possibly when I considered getting a child monitor for when I am in bed in case he needs a wee but doesn't bark loudly to wake me...blush then I realised I don't' mind a few accidents and we will soon get into a routine. I'll make sure I take him out before bed.

With the enclosed open spaces mentioned, are there areas specifically for dogs like this? The centre goes on walks and holds events which will be nice to socialise etc, but I'd love to let him do zoomies and be more playful than a lead seems to allow!

Right, school run - thanks again for your help!

OP’s posts: |


dreaminofholidays Mon 12-Nov-18 09:07:54

How very exciting. I have two rescue greyhounds, they make the most wonderful pets.

No need for boots.

Look out locally for an enclosed field you can hire to let your greyhound have a good run off lead. Also see if you have a greyhound playgroup nearby. We have one near us where we meet weekly for a group walk and then the hounds can go off lead together in the enclosed paddock. It's great for the dogs and owners as you meet like-minded people and a good source of advice.

We kept our boys name but changed our girls, it didn't suit her at all. She learnt her name very quickly.

I'm sure the rescue said but cat friendly/workable will not mean your grey is happy with all cats. Typically the cat/s they live with are great but on a walk don't be surprised if they are keen to chase a cat.

Will pop back later to answer other questions as bus is just pulling in x

LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 09:39:57

I've just looked up and found an enclosed paddock only 5 miles away! Thank you!

He is from the Greyhound Trust so they have a few events which look lovely. I'm hoping I'll meet up with other owners at these events.

OP’s posts: |
Sexnotgender Mon 12-Nov-18 09:47:19

Please don’t buy a retractable lead!! These dogs are mind blowingly fast and will rip the lead out your hand.

We have a wire crate for Sam, he sleeps in it at night and if we’re going out.

We got him from greyhound trust in the borders, they were fantastic.

Gratuitous pic of Sam, just because 😊

LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 11:31:25

He is so gorgeous! I wish I had taken some photo's yesterday!

I had a rabbit when I was at school and had a retractable lead and a harness for him. It was always a mad panic when he ran as you knew you didn't have long until you needed to follow suit or he'd be bought to a sudden halt. I am certainly not going to attempt that with a dog who can run at 45mph! grin

So what is the general view on dogs and clutter...anything greyhounds seem to like chewing more than other dogs? I have a wicker basket of paper next to the wood burner and logs around it, a few cables under/around the tv and dd invariably will leave something somewhere...I'm guessing the dog training is all part of the owner showing the dog not to take things that aren't theirs/given to them. I guess I'm just worried I may have to up my game on being super tidy...?

OP’s posts: |
LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 11:46:15

Oh and training classes. Are the ones at The Dogs Trust any good/recommended? A quick google search suggests this would be the closest for me.

OP’s posts: |
dreaminofholidays Mon 12-Nov-18 19:36:40

They do tend to pick up things on the floor. They've spent their whole lives in kennels where anything that was in there was theirs. I wouldn't worry too much, we just had our boy stealing my nieces toys when they were left out. A no will suffice. Mine haven't bothered with anything that was already here. They are interested in new stuff but that's fine.

Sexnotgender Mon 12-Nov-18 20:46:34

Mine will occasionally take stuff but he's not a big chewer. Does love to tear paper up but that's about it.

LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 20:52:16

Thanks guys. I've been watching greyhound videos on YourTube which has been fun. I guess training can wait for a bit until he is more settled?

I was considering taking him to Pets at Home to pick out his own toys? I hadn't realised you can just walk your dog on in there! How fun!

Any suggestions on crates?

OP’s posts: |
dreaminofholidays Mon 12-Nov-18 22:02:52

Sorry just to add, neither of mine have chewed but my girl loves to shred tissues/paper/kitchen roll.
I just try and remember to keep them out of reach.

Probably the first training is house training. When you bring your grey home go straight to the garden and wait there until they do their business. Then lots of praise and treats and in the house you go.

The key to remember with training greys is it's all about positivity, definitely no telling them off. If you catch them in the act doing something you don't want a firm no should be all that's needed.

I'm not sure of the best time to start attending training but it's a lovely way to bond.

Haven't used a crate so can't advise I'm afraid.

What is your potential grey like? xxx

dreaminofholidays Mon 12-Nov-18 22:13:48

Also agree 2 hours alone is no time at all. DH and I both work full time and have a dog walker who comes in to break the day and take them out. They just sleep the day away.

The rescue we adopted from said to gradually build the time they are left so 15 mins and then increase from there. They also told us to say the same phrase every time we leave so he knew that meant we were coming back. I still same the same thing now 18 months later.

Sorry for all the bitty replies just love hearing about greys getting their forever homes. Do be warned though, they are addictive so you may find yourself searching for a 2nd in a couple of months! 😊 xxx

LonelyandTiredandLow Mon 12-Nov-18 22:31:47

Oh I'm already wondering if I should take 2 home! Trouble is with the cat friendlies/workables they seem to go quite quickly. The other thing is there is only 1 local greyhound rehoming centre that will let me rehome one as dd is 7 and the other centre wants 8+. Had enquired about taking 2 from the other place but luckily mentioned dd's age in the email as they replied saying no. Dd is one of the calmest kids i've ever met to be fair and I know we won't have any issues as she is taking the whole "learning about greyhounds" very seriously grin

The dog we are looking at looks very similar to the picture of Sam posted up-thread! He's 2yo and black with a small white chest patch and tips of his paws. A little timid but was amazing with the cat and his ears certainly tell a story, let alone his reluctance to keep walking when it began to drizzle! I'm quite keen to go back and do a walk again in a few days so will have to get some pictures this time! Love the fact it's like a black market deal - info for pics of the hounds! You are all being so patient and helpful flowers

OP’s posts: |
dreaminofholidays Tue 13-Nov-18 02:24:29

Have you looked at independents outside of the greyhound trust? Mine are from a small rescue in Birmingham, the lady knows the dogs so so well and will rehome to families with children.

I would probably start with one initially. It can be hard going at first. My boy is so nervous he didn't go near by Husband for 2 weeks which was hard. However the rescue and their Facebook group were amazing for advice. Even just someone saying I've been there, you're on the right track. My advice would be to ask anything you're not sure about, even if you think it's silly it will put your mind at rest (it did for me anyway).

Our girl who we adopted 7 months later just slotted straight in. She picked up the routine from Jaxon and was like she had been here forever. He takes confidence from her when we are out and about which is lovely. Her quirk is she can grumble at other greys and sighthounds which is quite unusual but I'm learning the triggers and how to manage it.

There's also a group on Facebook called retired greyhound chat where everyone is very friendly and happy to give advice.

Pregnancy insomnia here, hence replying at like 2am! x

User12879923378 Tue 13-Nov-18 08:20:28

1. We didn't get boots and he's been fine. Warning: our grey is very lazy with his wees and often sprays his front legs so we wash his legs down before he comes in. I don't know if that's all of them or just him!

2. We let him off the lead in an enclosed group of fields near us where we know we can get to the only exit to catch him if he decides not to come back. That's once or twice a week. The rest of the time we just do long noodly walks where he can stop and sniff as much as he likes. I don't use a retractable lead on his neck collar (not safe, he's too fast) and he won't walk with a harness so he is limited in that sense.

3. He's never shown the slightest inclination to swim. I wouldn't let any dog swim in the sea but then I didn't grow up with it and would just be worried about them getting swept out. He doesn't like baths but they really don't need baths very often - he has one once a year at the local pet groomer's as she's very gentle and has a lovely toasty dog shower thing.

4. We have for a couple of our dogs and they got used to it very quickly. Ideally you find something that sounds quite similar and use that, but the current dog's name is very different from what he was called by his previous family and it's fine.

5. Our dog would happily spend double this amount of time snoozing on his bed at home.

6. I don't know anything about special doggy places, I'm afraid. We tend to go self catered and choose dog friendly or arrange for him to stay with dog borrowers.

7. I'm very proud of his coat, actually. He was miserable in the rescue, desperate to go home with a family - he was barely eating, very thin and his coat was really scrubby - the bottom half of his flanks was bald, not just his belly. I give him a tablespoon of olive oil, just the stuff we cook with, morning and evening, and brush him with a soft rubber brush after every walk, and his coat is splendid and lush now although he is a bit dandruffy come to think of it.

8. Unsolicited question 8: I don't know if anyone has mentioned this but our dog also did paintstripper farts. They stopped as soon as I put him on gluten free food. I don't know why the greyhound specific stuff isn't gluten free. He's on Burgess Supadog Sensitive, it comes in lamb and salmon flavours. Highly recommend.

9. Unsolicited question 9: They have terrible teeth as a breed (I've posted about this elsewhere) so worth getting dental insurance (not always included), and investing in Plaque-Off and getting him used to having his teeth brushed if he isn't already.

Good luck! I love my pointy familiar

LonelyandTiredandLow Tue 13-Nov-18 10:41:45

That's v. interesting re the farts - he did a tiny one when we were there and I could still smell it hours later. Dd and I had a chuckle though because we usually blame the cats grin. I was reading about the food as I watched a YouTube about settling your greyhound (think was 90's) and they served a broken up weetabix in milk with water for breakfast! They also suggested there was some debate about letting the food soak so it was softer, whereas I thought it was the crunching that helps with the plaque? I'm happy to do the oils and sardines/pilchards in oil as I can see the nutritional benefits, but another suggestion was cheese as a treat? I use cheese as a treat for myself grin so that would make it easier, just a bit worried as it doesn't seem like a natural thing for a dog to eat? Plus I imagine the farts are particularly poignant after these 'extras' grin

I'm going to the tip in a bit and may have a wander around pets at home. I'm trying to get some fencing done again at the back of the house and am worrying that this work will delay everything and our lovely dog might not be there by the time the workmen have finished sad

I probably shouldn't have all of my doggy eggs in one basket. Would you say the RSPCA and Dogs Trust are just as good for rehoming greys? I can't see any other independents locally but I may be googling the wrong things? Am in East Kent, if anyone can recommend somewhere happy to do a home visit out this way - i'm not too fussed about driving for an hour or two to visit, but am aware its a PITA for the kennel to come out to check the house.

OP’s posts: |
Sexnotgender Tue 13-Nov-18 11:02:42

I second joining the retired greyhound group on Facebook. They are a super friendly bunch and will answer any questions we can’t.

Wolfiefan Tue 13-Nov-18 11:08:42

Beware the cat thing. A cat pottering around isn’t very interesting. A running cat can become prey. We used a long line to settle giant hound around cats.
Avoid bathing. As infrequently as possible. It plays havoc with their skin.
I don’t use boots but do rinse off mud, avoid walking on salted surfaces and have been known to rub coconut oil into her pads if they seem dry. blush
Never use an extending lead. Do look into safe spaces near you for off lead fun. Make sure you have a proper sighthound collar.

LonelyandTiredandLow Tue 13-Nov-18 19:26:44

Thanks wolf. I've found a fenced field only 5 miles away I can rent out for zoomies smile . My 2 cats are 20yo and not liable to run much - plus they live in my closed boot room with the cat flap to outside so will be muzzling him for wees. I have many friends with cat allergies and they seem to be thriving (healthier weight, silkier coats, etc) from being in there for the last 2 years! They were doing a rubbish job of keeping their feline visitors in check and I had enough of coming home to rooms weed in by all of the local mogs hmm.

I inadvertently spent about £15 on bits for my non-existent hound today confused. It all started when I saw a huge bone about the size of dd's head for £1.99...rapidly downhill after that. I've found a decent metal crate for £39.99 at Mole (just for future reference grin ) and some really nice giant beds in there too. I also found some pet Zoflora which reminded me of MN and you helpful lot, so that was in there too grin

OP’s posts: |
Wolfiefan Tue 13-Nov-18 19:42:14

If you can separate them that’s fab. We have two flighty torties who stalk giant hound on walks and run at her meowing. shock
Well you have stuff so now you need a hound. Then a friend. grin
Vet fleece is a good washable bedding (over the soft bed!) Maggie Moo is often mentioned on here for collars. Martingale type? I also have an equafleece coat for when it’s tipping it down.
Pictures though. We need pics of your doggy overlord(S) grin Hope to see some soon.

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