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Adopt a greyhound(23 Posts)
I have been wanting a dog for ages. I never used to be a dog person and now I LOVE them. I live with DH and DS (7). DS is an only child and I would love him to have a pet. DH is not keen but has said he will have a dog if it makes us happy.
I have done loads of research and I think we want to adopt a greyhound. I think this mainly because I love the look of them and their temperament. I like the fact that they sleep a lot and are quite calm and placid. I love cats but I am allergic to them, but I have heard that greyhounds are probably the closest dogs to cats.
So, I have spoken to a greyhound rescue, met some greyhounds, talked to friends with greyhounds. I work from home so can be with him/her for the vast majority of the day. I have priced up food, insurance, dog walker, boarding, vets fees etc. I have worked out where he/she could sleep, where we could go for walks.
I think we are probably ready... but are we? I am really nervous as I am so scared it will go wrong and I will be a terrible owner or not bond with the greyhound or something and ruin the poor dog's life and make my family miserable. Is it the right thing to do? Why am I holding back from just going ahead?
I felt the same before we got our pup
But greyhounds? I love them too and I still want one. I want to rescue one, give it a home and some love!
Kids and dp don’t find them ‘cute’ . Could you join a forum or online group for some more detail?
What's holding you back? Well it's a huge commitment and you're right to be wary, especially if your DH isn't completely on board.
That been said, greyhounds are ace mine is snoring away beside having spent the day mostly sunbathing. He truly is the best dog ever, confident, friendly and stupid everyone loves him.
I'm not in the UK but here a lot of rescues allow you to foster a dog for a few weeks to a month before you commit to adopting.
You are still home checked and fill out all the forms but then when you bring a dog home you have a trial period where you can return them if it doesn't work out.
Would that be possible where you are?
Wow thanks for the quick replies! I did ask about fostering/a trial but the lady I spoke to said they don't do it any more because of the insurance costs. I love the idea of joining some forums - will get on it, thank you!
Hi OP, your post suggests that you've researched the Greyhound breed - "I like the fact that they sleep a lot and are quite calm and placid. ... I have heard that greyhounds are probably the closest dogs to cats." You're right :-). I love that you're looking to adopt a rescue Greyhound.
I understand your fear that it's a leap into the unknown, but the fact that you're giving it this type of consideration suggests that you'll be a great Greyhound mum. All those dogs desperate for a home need people like you.
It's absolutely right that they sleep a lot - I sometimes think ours is dead, but then he emerges for food. They also need very little exercise - they're built for speed, but don't like wasting energy otherwise. We're on our fourth rescue Greyhound/cross and I couldn't imagine having a dog other than a sighthound.
I think you sound very well-prepared and like you've done lots of research, and your set-up sounds ideal for a dog!
However I do think it's important to read the negatives as well as the positives. Lots of people do have problems with rehoming ex-racers although that's not a popular view to express here. Most have very sensitive stomachs, have had little/no socialisation with dogs of other breeds and have never lived in a home before so are not toilet trained.
A lady recently had a post on here about her re-homed greyhound and she was having all sorts of problems because the dog just wasn't used to living in a home and it was terrified any dog that wasn't a greyhound, simply because it had never seen one before. It's worth having a read and seeing if any of those issues could be deal-breakers for you.
I love greyhounds and lurchers - I have two lurchers of my own and foster lurcher puppies for the rescue mine came from. EGLR have all their dogs in foster, so their fosterers get to know them really well and can tell you their issues.
My first dog was a grey, ex racer. She was clean in the house from day 1 and settled very well (mainly on our bed and our sofa!). She did have a sensitive tummy and could not be let off her lead but she was ace and I had no regrets. It’s definitely worth reading the horror stories and thinking about how you would cope, but it sounds like you have done loads of prep and research. There are so many lovely greys waiting for a warm sofa! Good luck.
Hello! Thanks for the advice. I think reading about the negatives is a really good idea - I hadn't seen that thread from the lady who was struggling with her greyhound and it does worry me a bit. While, of course, we wouldn't mind dealing with doggy accidents and training issues, I don't think DH would tolerate a lifetime of sloppy poos in the kitchen every morning.
The prey drive thing also interests me because I was worried about it and specifically raised it with the lady I've been talking to at the greyhound rescue, as my sister has a small furry dog and I was worried about them mixing. The lady said he would have to wear a muzzle but could eventually be trained out of it. Having read your comments, I guess that might not be the case.
I am on a waiting list to go and meet some hounds, which I guess is a good next step as I can ask more questions then. I am really, really keen not to adopt unless I am certain it is the right thing to do. I don't want to traumatise either the dog or DS by making the wrong decision!
Thanks again for your comments.
Op I had a rescue ex racer. She was clean from day 1. No stomach issues. The rescue said she wouldn't be safe around our chickens (which we could have accommodated by keeping them separate) - but we introduced her and told her 'no' and she never touched them. Also fine with other smaller dogs. Gorgeous dog, beautiful temperament - so gentle. Sadly lost her last year at the grand old age (for an ex racer) of 14. I loved her.
They do generally have high prey-drives - it's what they were bred for, after all. I'm a dog walker and none of my greyhounds are allowed off-lead. They would vanish and I wouldn't stand a single chance of getting them back
However if you have a secure field near you, you could always take them there to let them run if you felt it necessary. But most appear to have low exercise needs so an on-lead walk would be fine.
I realise covid situation has made things more difficult for rescues, but I find it concerning that this one hasn't reassured you by suggesting their dogs can be tested around other breeds or have been assessed out in public to know how they behave . Most greyhounds do accept other breeds, however some take more time & experience and few may never.
Muzzling is a good idea with new greyhound anyway to keep all safe & adopter relaxed while get to know each other. If need to stay on lead its not a big issue as they get worn out easily on walks or just being upright for a while . When racing they often don't run daily but have a a trot speed walk to keep fit.
Mine only went off in securely fenced places, but we also managed to avoid any tales of trips to vet after runs like friends hounds, they've paper thin skin & legs run faster than eyes/brains work at times to avoid obstacles.
There's lots of good greyhound rescues about that put lot of effort into assessments in order to match dogs with the best adopters for their needs & provide ongoing support, so if this one isn't then increase your chances of a positive outcome & just adopt from one of those. There's likely to be an influx of greyhounds with track closures & trainers struggling to make ends meet at moment.
None of my greyhounds had particularly sensitive stomachs but like people some food doesn't suit gut ( mine had soft poo/toxic wind on most chicken/turkey kibble) and occasionally cause can be parasites or gaudia.
We adopted a greyhound.
Because it had never lived in a house, it wasn't house trained. The charity we got him from assured us it would be a simple process. It wasn't. When you've taken a dog for a walk for it to walk straight into the house and wee each time is slightly soul destroying.
He was very jumpy. When spooked would jump on the kitchen table. It was frightening trying to get him off every time, as a vet told me their legs break easily.
He went and hid for most of the day (we were told this would happen.) We gave him a "safe space" and found that he was happy there and content not to mingle with us.
We didn't ever have to leave him, but met a couple at a greyhound support day thing (the charity held them once a month.) They were having all kinds of problems with the dog having anxiety when they went to work and they were trying everything.
Interestingly, the people who home checked us said they had only ever failed one home.
It was easily the most stressful experience of my life. We had to give him back to the charity. When we took him back, I got the impression this was a more regular occurrence than they would like you to think.
I feel for these dogs. And I understand why there is positive press about getting a greyhound. But please don't just read the positive stories.
We adopted a greyhound last year when our DS was 10. She'd never been in a house before, so we had some teething problems when she refused to go up the steps from the drive to the door (several times over the first weeks) and got stuck coming downstairs in the house. A couple of wees on the floor, but no big deal. Sensitive stomach has been our biggest issue, and we had to try a range of foods before we found one that suited her. She's also very take it or leave it with food a lot of the time, but we are less stressed about that now that we are confident she is self-regulating.
DS loves her and it's really good for him to learn some responsibility for looking after her. She sleeps a lot and is great with people and other dogs. She is a star at the primary school gate at pick up time.
Our greyhound is really small for a greyhound, so that's handy as we can pick her up if she's refusing to do something like get in the car. She has a very strong prey drive as she was a racer for so long, so we don't walk her off lead.
You might want to consider the size of a greyhound when adopting, and also what their racing record is. My friend has a greyhound who was a failed racer, and she's way more mellow than our dog who raced until 2 months before we had her, and for a few years. You can look up their racing name online to see their track history which is helpful.
We were lucky that our local greyhound track vet is one of the parents at our primary school, so when we got our dog he asked if she was a racer and brought us a copy of all her racing paperwork over the years so we have a complete history of everything about her.
I've read a few greyhound books both before getting ours and since, and have just finished Understanding Greyhounds by Mary Fox. It's a couple of pounds on kindle and one of the most accessible books I've read, so I'd suggest having a read of that (it's available in hard copy too).
I'm glad we got our dog overall, though there are days when I would say the opposite! She's great company in lockdown, and sleeps on my feet when I'm working. They are a lovely gentle breed.
I've had my boy for 8 years and he has been relatively easy and a lovely family pet. But they are not all so easy. Can you not find a rescue that has them in foster first? This is much easier as they will have done some of the work and also will know more about what the dog is like.
Mine was a racer and is so mellow I am.looking at him now curled up with our kitten.
I think it just depends on a lot of different factors - how they have been treated, how they have been trained etc. As well as natural temperament.
Greyhound Trust branches all over UK. Let you Foster. My first greyhound I got straight from them never owned a dog before he is an amazing boy. I decided to Foster never I intending to get another Grey but within a week I knew I could never give him back. Now proud owner of two amazing Greyhounds. Love them to bits. My two boys are lying snoozing after their walk.
Thanks all. I am on a waiting list to go and meet some hounds and see how we get on. I have expressed my worries to the lady and she says we can take it slowly and see how we feel - so we definitely won't commit to anything unless we are certain. I've loved hearing everyone's stories (and seeing the pics) and I really appreciate the honesty of the not-so-happy endings. I'll try to remember to come back and update when we've visited.
There is a fabulous book called "Understanding Greyhounds - our companions through time" written by Mary Fox available on Amazon. Mary ran a greyhound rescue in Ireland for many years and my own first greyhound was "matched" with us by her (in fact, our story is in the book ). We were first time dog owners with a very young family but after a lot of research had reached the same conclusion as you - that greyhounds were the breed for us. My wonderful boy passed away aged 12 after enriching our lives for 10 years. He was quite simply the best decision we ever made. I miss him so much.
Recommend "Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" by Lee Livingood. It is available on amazon. Fantastic advice. GOOD LUCK xx
Sorry, Olive, I disagree with the Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies" - it was too US centric - fine if you live there and have an interest in their racing industry. I don't, and put the book in the recycler. We have our second hound, and she has been - interesting! Terrified of the car, had to be picked up and put in, calmed down once in. Is really frightened of white vans, not too keen on dandelion clocks when they fly up at her, doesn't like cyclists. But, she has improved since we got her. She came from the scummy Bellevue track, which no doubt explains some of her fears, and as we'd had a hound before, she wasn't fostered. But we love her dearly, and wouldn't swap her. Only one accident in the house when we got her. Do it, you won't regret it!
Steamfan >Love your ' not too keen on dandelion clocks when they fly up at her', and empathise with the picking up and putting (a daft dog) in the car; and also trying to get them out again, when they need to jump down onto a pavement where humans (how dare they!) are walking past. Our dog raced in South Yorkshire, and then was bred from: he was eight when we got him. I deliberately chose a retired older dog, knowing he might not have been adopted because of his age and his habits. He's not a pet and he's a challenge, but I'd hate to think of him ending his days without the individual attention he gets from us. Saying that; if you're looking to adopt an ex-racing greyhound you need to research how they're different from other dogs. They don't need much exercise, but they also don't give a shit (about how you feel ).