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  #11  
Old 01-17-2012, 04:59 PM
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Keep in mind that sighthounds are sighthounds and "cat safe" simply means the dog hasn't shown signs of wanting to kill whatever cat it was introduced to in a controlled environment. That doesn't mean they won't want to chase a cat that acts too much like prey or that they one day won't decide that they do have prey drive. I have known Greys who could live with cats in the house with no trouble but if the cats were outside, they would be chased and possibly killed.

Greys are funny, stoic dogs. The ex-racers are used to handling, crating and generally extremely good on leash. Foster homes try to acclimate them to the home environment. Some have issues with separation anxiety when they move to their new homes because they are not used to ever being alone. Startle aggression is not uncommon in them (reacting aggressively when they are startled such as being bumped while sleeping) and has probably been the cause of most failed adoptions I have known of, especially in homes with children. Some can be resource guardy but I'm not sure that is a real common issue. Overall Greys are really good house dogs, generally very calm around the house, not usually destructive and very clean. They are creatures of comfort though and will expect to be allowed to lounge on your furniture

They are accustomed to being exercised regularly and as a breed, they thrive on being able to run. Unlike many breeds, they won't drive you crazy if you don't give them the exercise they want but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be happier with it. Many rescue groups claim that Greys are perfectly fine with daily leashed walks. By that, I guess they mean they won't go crazy or tear up your house if that's all you can offer. But that doesn't mean they are happy with that being their sole exercise. They were bred and conditioned to do one thing and that one thing is run as very fast as they can run. I wouldn't have a sighthound if I couldn't offer them the opprunity to do that on a near very regular basis. Not because they "need" it but because it defines what they are. IME Most ex-racers end up fat and in poor muscle tone.

As for health, IME Greys do best on a raw diet. The breed as a whole is very prone to dental issues and Greys not fed raw all seem to need regular dental cleanings. Since they can be tricky with anesthesia, it's not ideal to have to put them under repeatedly. They are also rather prone to bloat and IME raw feeding seems to really reduced the risk of that. Other issues with them are cardiomyopathy and bone cancer. In track dogs, they seem prone to developing bone cancer at break sights if they've had broken bones. Pannus, an controllable autoimmune related eye disorder has been found in some ex-racers as well.

If you are interested in getting a puppy, you're unlikely to find them with Grey adoption groups and most won't place them in inexperienced homes when they do occasionally get them (they all seem to have this silly idea that Grey puppies are really difficult to raise). There are non-racing breeders of Greys, although their numbers are a lot smaller.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:06 PM
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not interested in a puppy at the moment. i'd prefer an adult. i started looking into them when they were recommended by another owner here.

i'm home 24/7 at the moment. i won't be leaving the house for any significant amount of time during the day on the regular for a while now, so i'd definitely have time to work with a dog. ideally, i'd love to find a group near me that does something with sighthounds (preferably before getting into them, that'd be nice).


anymore i'm not sure what to think. on one hand i have people telling me to look into sighthounds for my lifestyle, even with a cat, and others that are making me feel like perhaps i shouldn't be. all my dog experience in life hasn't prepared me well for adopting a dog into my current lifestyle (and this has always been one of the reasons i HATE living in the city, this is not my element at all). ah well! research research research!
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romy View Post
If you have a pool be careful the dog knows what it is. Some fosters for the Tucson rescues said it wasn't unusual for a retired grey to try running across the surface of the water, and they typically don't know how to swim very well.
Almost every none-greyhound rescue I have had has done this too. LOL Poor babies.

I have one in one of my classes right now that is just breath taking. He's also insanely soft. I love him.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:14 PM
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i distinctly remember my Pug trying to walk on water. sank right to the bottom and waited for me to go get him.

he wasn't that bright though, ha
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ravennr View Post

anymore i'm not sure what to think. on one hand i have people telling me to look into sighthounds for my lifestyle, even with a cat, and others that are making me feel like perhaps i shouldn't be. all my dog experience in life hasn't prepared me well for adopting a dog into my current lifestyle (and this has always been one of the reasons i HATE living in the city, this is not my element at all). ah well! research research research!
You just have to be realistic about your expectations. It is realistic to try to find a dog who can live in your home with your cat. Lots of people have cats and sighthounds. It is not so realistic to expect a sighthound to hang around loose outside with roaming cats and never have a predatory thought towards them. There are probably individual sighthounds out there who can do that too but it isn't something I'd expect from one.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:52 PM
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This is a great site/blog about Greyhounds:

http://neversaynevergreyhounds.net/

http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com/

Her dogs are pretty awesome sport dogs and they are all ex-racers or racing bred dogs (I believe she got one at 7 months). I think she'd be an excellent person to talk to about Greys, as she is pretty active in an adoption group too but seems to have pretty down to earth ideas about them.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:53 PM
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If Frodo didn't have a personal vendetta against all tall, skinny dogs we would without a doubt choose our next dog to be a greyhound. I may end up telling Frodo to just suck it and get one anyway.

I have dogsat for a couple different greys, as well as having a friend here who has THE COOLEST GREYHOUND EVER! (SpringerLover can vouch for this)

I don't have much to add, other than you should get one, cause they are awesome. There are also sooo many of them and unless you are looking for a very very specific dog, there is just about one for everyone. There can be a lot of variation in energy levels and personality, and I would definitely try to find one that has been in a foster home instead of just off the truck from the track.

You can also adopt a grey as a puppy, follow it through it's racing career, and then bring it home when it retires. While I think this idea is AWESOME, it doesn't really allow you to know what you are getting, just like any puppy, it's a crapshoot.

And a picture of Beckett, the COOLEST GREYHOUND EVER!

DSC_4870 by laurenscoombs, on Flickr
Not the best picture, but you can see that she keeps him in really good shape. Fat greyhounds are just sad.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:55 PM
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if we get one, there would be no loose roaming outside around cats. aside from places where it would be able to run off leash, i had planned on a short leash (due to the fact that i'm not comfortable walking on the sidewalk holding a longer leash). we are in a larger apartment at the moment.
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:57 PM
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thanks for the links! i'll check them out tonight.


one of the rescues i found did seemingly say they look at your application and pair you with a freshly-retired dog that might not be off the track yet. it never said anything about it going to a foster home first, either.
the main rescue i was looking at has a list of their current retired rescues though and though i haven't spoken to them, i think they are put in foster homes (i will make a mental note to e-mail and ask about that).
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:29 PM
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I'll see if I can point Sarah to this thread...rescue Greys are her specialty. And she has cats, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs, too, that the dogs are around.
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