Greyhounds - Tell me everything!

(48 Posts)
alessandrae83 Thu 03-Jan-19 20:30:39

Happy New year everyone!

So, I'm in the process of moving home so it won't be for a while but in the long term I am thinking about greyhounds. Everything I look them up I think they could be right for us and us them but I want to hear it from owners/previous owners. I want to hear the good, bad and the ugly about them. Everything you can tell me and I also have a few questions.

- in the new house we will only have a small yard but will be living close to some lovely woods and parks and I would take the dog on a long walk to my mum's a few times a week too. Would this be ok or not?

- I have two sons age 9 & 5. Both used to dogs and respectful. I know it's based on individual dogs but generally could they be good with kids?

Give it to me. Thanks x

OP’s posts: |
alessandrae83 Thu 03-Jan-19 20:31:51

Also my husband works full time but I don't so would be at home all the time apart from an hour or two here and there.

OP’s posts: |
Doggydoggydoggy Thu 03-Jan-19 20:45:30

My neighbour has one.
He’s really lovely!

Gorgeous, big, gentle thing.
He is a rescue and used to wear the wire racing muzzle on walks but doesn’t anymore.
He never gets let off lead though and he appears incredibly gentle with other dogs from what I have seen so I wonder if he is maybe a bit troublesome with small furries, cats and the like.

I wouldn’t worry about the garden.
My collie is very rarely in ours.
You don’t need one really.

My neighbour has a baby and I hear that generally they are often quite tolerant figs, though I imagine there will of course but individual greyhounds out there who are in no way child friendly.

Doggydoggydoggy Thu 03-Jan-19 20:45:48

** dogs

Greyhound22 Thu 03-Jan-19 20:46:16

jumps in

They are amazing and your set up sounds fine. My boy is 11 now - we had him as a bit of an older hound at 5. I love him to pieces. Obviously they are all different but I now have dozens of friends with greyhounds and they generally just fit in with your life. I have a 4 year old DS and they are fine together. My hound has never growled or snapped at anyone even when accidentally trod on/landed on.

We live in an apartment with limited outside access and my boy is happy with a half hour of so walk a day.

They can pull to start with - mine was very strong but he soon settled down. He also always had a very high prey drive - he did race for an awful long time though. He will still go on his toes a bit if he sees a cat/squirrel/pheasant. He has always been fine with small dogs but his recall has never been trustworthy enough to have him off lead. I do know plenty of people who have trained this but you can't expect to have one and loose it off.

Mine never barks. Some do but generally they are quiet.

If you are precious about your sofa forget it. Mine doesn't actually go on ours as he's scared of it after it 'reclined' on him but I don't know many people who have kept theirs off.

They are rubbish dogs. It is much more like having a giant cat. They won't catch a ball and even 'purr'.

They don't smell. Mine doesn't leave hair everywhere. They can get rather toxic wind but I find it depends what they're fed.

There are lovely greyhound communities all over the country that meet up for walks etc and a lot of us on Facebook.

They generally have crap teeth. They need looking after - even then you may find they need an expensive dental later on. Other than this they are a fairly healthy breed. Bone cancer tends to get them in the end.

They are very cuddly and loving and loyal although you are cuddling a bag of elbows.

They can be rather dramatic. The GSOD (greyhound scream of death) will terrify you at first and you will think they are going to lose a limb. They've probably had their toe trod on or ht their funny bone or something.

They can have sensitive tummies so they can take a bit of time to settle on the right food. It may well not be the cheapest either.

I find the boys more laid back than the bitches tbh.

They are totally amazing and the best dogs ever biased

ResistanceIsNecessary Thu 03-Jan-19 20:47:46

Amazing. Addictive. You'll end up with more than one!

I've had many breeds of dogs and greys are my favourite. Very affectionate and loyal. They don't bark very much, are short haired so shedding isn't too much of an issue. They are also spectacularly LAZY! They don't need much exercise - a couple of 20 minute walks a day is usually enough for the average grey.

They can be very dopey and aren't always the best at recall because they are programmed to chase - so anything interesting, be it a rabbit, a cyclist or a plastic bag, may result in them bolting. Most need to be kept on a lead unless they are in a secure area for a runabout - because they are so fast you stand no chance of catching them if they take off. Also be aware that they can jump at least 5 feet without too much effort, so if you're letting them out in the garden then a minimum of 6 foot fencing is a must! Not all of them do though (my snoring idiot is massive but doesn't jump because he's stupidly clumsy and falls over every time he tries).

Their body fat is low so they don't cope with the cold at all - which is fine as long as you have central heating basically! Some of them like to wear an indoor coat or jumper (or you can get very fetching greyhound PJs!) - depends on the dog.

They tend to be greedy and nosy. If you end up with a full size boy then watch out for counter surfing - i.e. wandering into the kitchen and using their size and length to casually steal everything left out on the worktop. They also like to be where you are and have a wonderful talent of positioning themselves exactly where you are trying to be. If you're on Facebook then google the Sighthounds Social Club - they have a series of cartoons about greyhounds which are pretty true to life! Forget any plans of keeping them off the sofa - it's the first thing they'll find and you will end up trying to negotiate with them for space. They love their comfort and nothing better than "roaching" (going to sleep on their backs with the legs in the air!) on some soft furnishings.

Overall they are fabulous dogs and I wouldn't have another breed; I've had them for over 15 years now. My girl is asleep at my feet at the end of the sofa and the stupid idiot boy is snoring with his head on my lap.

They are sadly all too common and available, due to the racing industry - which is a rant I won't start on but the needless and awful cruelty would break your heart. It goes without saying that if you are interested in getting one, then please find a rescue as there are so many of them who desperately need homes: those bred for racing that didn't make the grade, those who raced and were crap, those who raced and are too old... My girl is an ex-racer and my boy was bred for it but wasn't suitable. Even the retirees tend to finish by around age 4 and their lifespan is 12-15 on average, so they are still very young dogs.

There are greyhound-specific rescues out there - if you're in the north then let me know and I'll PM you the details of one.

viques Thu 03-Jan-19 20:49:10

Haven't got a greyhound, but a very close friend has, they are not like other dogs imo. For a start, if you wanted a dog to interact with your boys, running for balls, fetching, learning tricks, going for a run etc etc then don't expect a greyhound to join in, they don't seem to "play" or to relish much human contact for stroking, grooming etc. Secondly my friends greyhounds are picky when it comes to walks, they won't walk if they don't fancy it, and getting a stubborn greyhound to move is an impossibility, getting them to a better walking area might be an issue, thirdly, her greyhounds are total divas, both have had health issues with feet, legs and skin, don't know if this is bad luck or breed weakness. I know some people love their greys (my friend for one) but in my opinion they are not really a family dog.


alessandrae83 Thu 03-Jan-19 20:54:08

I'm in the Midlands. I've been looking at the greyhound trust. As well as the research I've done, it's their eyes that do it for me as well. It's like they look right into your soul. They have such kind faces.

Thank you x

OP’s posts: |
ResistanceIsNecessary Thu 03-Jan-19 20:54:21

Greyhound22 has covered what I forgot! The GSOD is well known - they are noted for being quite weedy! Their toxic bottom farts can be eye watering but food helps. I tend to stick to Chappie dry for mine as it's a good allrounder food which works for sensitive tummies as well. Some mashed up sardines always go down well.

Every grey I have had has been brilliant with children. They are very loving and affectionate dogs so they like attention and being fussed over. They tend to be pretty patient.

I'd agree that the dogs are a bit more laid back. The bitches are lovely dogs as well but they tend to be the boss and a bit more independent - so they go well as a pair as you can guarantee she'll boss the dopey boy around and keep him in line.

Teeth can be a problem but keep on top of it with regular brushing - which is pretty straightforward. Sometimes it's luck of the draw. My first boy had terrible teeth and didn't have that many of them left by the time we said goodbye to him. My old boy, who we lost last week, had wonderful teeth even at the age of 15. Dry food rather than wet will help, as it keeps the plaque down.

All of mine have had high prey drives so have never been off-lead outside of our garden or a dog paddock.

JumpersForGoalposts Thu 03-Jan-19 20:56:21

We have 4 greyhounds at the moment and they make absolutely wonderful pets.
They are very content to do a little exercise then spend much of the day snoozing. We were advised 2 or 3 20 min walks a day would be fine but we take ours out for more than that and they love it but not all do. Generally the boys are bigger (35-45kg) and lazier whilst the girls are smaller (25-35kg) and livelier.Ours can be left at home for 4 or 5 hours without a problem.
Ours are great with kids but I'd recommend talking to your local retired greyhound trust as they'll be able to advise you on suitable dogs - you can also visit to meet some of the hounds.
Negatives, some have high prey drives so are not good around small animals (though many can be cat friendly - our first 4 lived with a cat), they are not always great at recall and they can have awful flatulence!
Not really a negative, but not all greyhounds can get the hang of stairs or wooden floors but, again, your local rgt can advise.
Just a quick snapshot but hope it helps.

ResistanceIsNecessary Thu 03-Jan-19 20:56:43

Viques I wonder if it's her individual dogs then, because it doesn't sound usual for the breed? They are known for being very affectionate 'people' dogs who thrive on human contact. Some of them can differ though, depending on where they have come from. I know my rescue has a few that will never be rehomed because they are so traumatised and will not be suitable for adoption because of the resulting behavioural issues.

OP I have PM'ed you.

ResistanceIsNecessary Thu 03-Jan-19 21:01:57

Not really a negative, but not all greyhounds can get the hang of stairs or wooden floors but, again, your local rgt can advise.

Memories of having to carry our 40kg boy up the stairs for a week because he flatly refused to walk up them! He got the hang of them in the end. Our girl does not like laminate or vinyl flooring. It doesn't stop her, but she picks her way across it very delicately making it abundantly clear that she's doing it under sufferance grin

JumpersForGoalposts Thu 03-Jan-19 21:02:16

OP, we're in the Midlands too so can personally recommend the Solihull branch of the RGT.

Greyhound22 Thu 03-Jan-19 21:11:58

I'm also Midlands if you need any further advise - I second Solihull as a very knowledgeable group - the new Dudley one is very nice too.

Greyhound22 Thu 03-Jan-19 21:23:52

advice even

plominoagain Thu 03-Jan-19 21:59:31

We’re now on our 5th and 6th greyhounds and have had them since DS5 was tiny. They’ve all been amazing dogs , incredibly affectionate , loyal , greedy , thieving , unbelievable farty hounds , and I wouldn’t have anything else . All of ours have raced , but manage to live with our cat with ease . The only complaint is that I have to keep buying sofas , because every time I go to sit down , this happens ......

ResistanceIsNecessary Thu 03-Jan-19 22:17:54

Beautiful roaching hound!!

Blackgreyhound Thu 03-Jan-19 22:33:16

I got one in April last year when my youngest was 5 months! She's absolutely 100% fantastic with the children. They do like routine, you'll probably be better matched to a young one like mine who wasn't a good racer so retired early. They do have their little foibles and issues- if straight out of racing they're not toilet trained and EVERYTHING in the outside world is new for them- we watched ours go from never having seen a road, motorbike, any other breed of dog, etc etc to being a proper Londoner, she'll walk past a building site or through busy streets giving no fucks. Ours was through a rescue where we got her straight from her racing kennel though, others will have been in foster care/ rescue kennels etc.
Teeth, guts, separation anxiety, minor injuries, corns, bald thighs, scared as hell of fireworks all hit and miss, some Greys are, some Greys aren't. Join the FB group 'Retired Greyhound Chat', sooooo much invaluable advice on there.
It needs to be insured, my rescue SBT never was and I just had a credit card with a big (for me) limit that was 'hers' in case she needed anything but she never did. Greys are more likely to develop certain cancers and break a leg etc which will require insurance as they can be treated and give the dog a good quality of life and will require ongoing treatment.

jinglewithbellson Thu 03-Jan-19 23:03:08

My beautiful grey grin

MrsDOnofrio Thu 03-Jan-19 23:20:12

Echo much of what others have said; incredibly affectionate and loving, need cuddles almost as much as they need sleep, fart like you wouldn’t believe, will only walk in the rain under duress, very small brain, goofy and make you laugh, absolutely wonderful dogs. Had ours nearly four years, she’s eleven and is a spoilt little madam that has bought so much joy to our lives. Disappointingly, she has never roached. Rather less disappointmently, she’s never been on the sofa.

Soontobe60 Thu 03-Jan-19 23:31:45

We had a lurched for 12 years. He was beautiful! As with greys, he loved spreading out on the settee but also had his favourite chair. Eventually we trained him to sleep in his basket instead of under our duvet! He needed very little exercise, a quick run morning and evening through the week and a longer run at weekends would suit him. He had really bad teeth, and absolutely hated vets! Became quite grumpy in later life and didn't like us having visitors.
Lived him to bits and miss him like crazy.

jinglewithbellson Fri 04-Jan-19 00:56:07

Mine is a drama queen and a minx most of the time.
The scream of death is regular if she taps a toe nail on the kick boards or a door frame hmm

She roaches all the time and bibrates and chatters from the mouth with excitement every time you look at her grin

We got her two years ago when she was 4.5 as a rescue that had come straight from the tracks and never house trained but she followed my collie around and only had one accident in the house bless her.

She farts like a human and it's toxic hmm
She is white and malts the most hair I've ever seen at times hmm

She is what we call a dumbass though. She trips down the back step EVERY SINGLE DAY and up the decking and walks into units and furniture all the time. She's very clumsy.
She has a giraffe jumper and a pair of pjs and is currently sporting a children's snood as her neck and ears get cold.
She goes to bed with a fleece blanket tucked around her every night and sleeps on her orthopaedic bed right next to dh side of the bed hmm
She just refuses to sleep anywhere else although she may come down in the night and help herself to the sofa at times.
She is amazing with my dc and loves nothing more than being made a fuss of by anyone who will.

We totally adore her and she is an absolute princess grin

RatherBeRiding Fri 04-Jan-19 16:54:28

On my second greyhound and as everyone else has said they can make the most wonder family pets - gentle, docile, easy to care for.

You will most likely lose your sofa, and some greys do have "delicate" digestions - our first greyhound had toxic wind that would fell a stampeding elephant and explosive poos to match. With our second I have either been very lucky or have now got a diet that suits, but she rarely smells and her poos are on the whole very solid.

The only downside is that they are BIG dogs. I used to have a massive 4x4 so it wasn't a problem, but have now downsized to a teeny hatchback and have to put all the seats down if she needs to go anywhere.

However, they are generally healthy dogs, very placid, good with children and other dogs. But be aware that some of them have a hard-wired chase instinct - we cannot let ours off the lead unless we are in an enclosed area. If she spotted a rabbit 2 fields away we'd never get her back!

But fabulous dogs. And very, very addictive.

Blackgreyhound Fri 04-Jan-19 21:34:36

Oh, we're doing pictures. I didn't know we were doing pictures!!

Greyhound22 Sat 05-Jan-19 10:03:15

Ooh photos!

Also plus point is the dressing up/fashion opportunities as demonstrated by Barry here...

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