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Good thing for new Greyhound owners to remember: Retired racers have spent their racing life eagerly awaiting racing box doors to open. When a trap door opens at a track, Greyhounds are programmed to bolt out quickly to begin racing. Racing Greyhounds are also used to being allowed to exit quickly when their other doors open: crate doors, door to outside fenced kennel yard, hauler doors, etc. Later, when transitioning into a family home, teaching "wait" while hound is safely leashed or held before exiting doors is very helpful, but I would never "trust" a Greyhound to wait near an unlatched door leading to a non-fenced enclosure. Seems the most common escape routes (for all dog breeds) are: 1. Open fence gates 2. Slip through a partially open house door, or car door. 3. Slip out of collar 4. Dropped leash Options for Easy Safety Fixes: Fence Gates - Lock gates, or at least secure gate with a carabiner. Consider adding a spring closure to gate. - Check fence gates often. Build a habit of glancing at gate before letting Greyhounds out in fenced yard. - During and after a storm/winds, check gates and fence line for damage first, before letting hounds outside. - Pull items away from fence line that could be used as jumping/launching platforms (garbage bin, table, wood piles, snow drifts, etc.). - Create an air lock/secondary catch pen space with 4' tall exercise pen (ex-pen) in U-shape surrounding fence gate. House Doors - Use baby-gate to keep hounds away from door (or room) that opens to non-fenced area, and/or surround door (inside or outside) with tall ex-pen (especially with house sitter or visitors). - Ensure garage door and house door are not open at the same time. - Consider placing a gate or ex-pen barrier across potential escape space in garage. - Don't expect a screen door or low window screen to deter a dog, especially a sighthound from escaping through a screen. Look for door screen design with strong metal barrier. - Families with small children (or visiting grandchildren): Consider adding a latch or short chain lock at the top edge of door/s leading outside to non-fenced enclosure, so door isn't opened by small child by mistake. Car Doors and Windows - Leash Greyhound just before opening your car door to exit, then grab leash before fully opening dog's door. Keep human body close to opening door, many new hounds try to push doors open before human is ready. - Don't let car windows down enough for dogs to stick their head out of a moving vehicle. Not only can they be blinded by flying debris (from wind or passing car tires) or injured by sudden stop, but dogs can and will jump out. Also, dogs can bump/step on unlocked rear window power levers. - Please don't ever tether Greyhounds by a collar in a moving vehicle. A sudden stop or accident can strangle or break dog's neck. (Greyhounds should never be tethered to any object, tree, etc. when outside either.) Martingale (Walking) Collars - When checking martingale collar fit (and ID collar) before leashed walks, test collars at most narrow point on neck, just behind ears. Collar should need to be "worked" over the ears. If collar slides too easily over the ears, it's too loose. When Greyhounds run 20-45 mph, loose collars can bounce off over their narrow head. - Be careful to clip LEASH onto the big D-ring of martingale collar, not onto small ID tag ring by mistake. - Place ID "tags" on side hardware of martingale collar, not the big D-ring. (ID tags hanging from the big D-ring increases choking risk.) - Martingales should not be left on unsupervised dog due to choking risk from D-ring catching on something in house or yard. Remove martingale after leashed walks. ID Collars - Please keep an ID collar on your Greyhound 24/7 (except when locked in crate). Flat, reflective, embroidered ID collars are safest. (Phone number can be read from afar.) - If no ID collar is on your escaped dog, there is far less chance of anyone being able to help catch and lead your dog to a safe place, not to mention your dog being considered a homeless stray. If picked up by animal control, an unidentifiable dog could be euthanized without the owner being notified of dog's arrival to a shelter. - Microchipping has helped reunite many dogs with their owners. (Keep contact information updated.) Leash - Physically healthy humans can place hand through leash handle loop on to wrist, then wrap leash around wrist and hand a few times. Important: Hold excess leash with the opposite hand as primary control of hound. The wrapped wrist is secondary control. Always stay alert while walking any dog, especially Greyhounds. Your sighthound might see something to chase before you see it. Humans have far less control of any dog if leash is fully extended. Safest walking position for dogs is next to human's thigh (not far in front, crisscrossing). Heeling with dog's shoulder at human's left thigh is standard. - Slip knot can be tied in a leash handle loop so the loop won't fall off the wrist, helpful when picking up dog business too. (Again, for physically healthy humans who stay alert.) - Please NEVER use retractable leads. Very dangerous with Greyhounds (and other dogs). If hound gets spooked by an unexpected noise and handle gets dropped, hard plastic handle noise chases after dog - panicked dogs often run into traffic, dangerously trip themselves at high speed, and/or get caught on objects possibly breaking dog's neck, legs, etc. Cyclists have been seriously injured by not seeing a dog near it's person, then riding directly into a retractable lead. - Carabiner can be added as an extra safety clip (leash to collar) if needed for a questionable leash latch. IMO, fully closeable circular claw-like "Trigger Snaps" are much safer than standard leash snaps. - A knot can be tied at halfway point on leash (or where an extra gripping point is needed). Teach "Fido Come" - Happily teach your Greyhound to come to his/her name: "Fido come" and always reward with treats, toys and/or praise. Practice often during dog's entire lifetime. Practice inside house, and fenced yard (if available). After hound learns to respond well to verbal "Fido come" calls, we also teach hounds to come to a whistle (coach/P.E. teacher's whistle). Whistle is practiced less often (only weekly or monthly) and only for rare high value treats or ultimate favorite activity. (A whistle can be heard from a greater distance in an emergency. Good to keep a whistle in cars for emergency.) Do not call a dog to come to you for anything unpleasant (bath, giving pills, etc.), instead you go to the dog and gently lead dog to bathing area. Ensure every " Fido come" is a happy, rewarding experience for your dog. Remember recall is never a guarantee, but is most important for every dog to learn and might save his/her life. Neighborhood Leashed Walks - Take healthy Greyhounds for leashed neighborhood walks to help them recognize their own neighborhood. Try to begin dog walks headed away from busiest street. Even though Greyhounds don't have much of a homing instinct, if they get loose by mistake, they might be more likely start running in the direction of their normal walking route. Tips to Capture a Loose Greyhound - If time, grab (noisy) treat bag or smelly food (i.e., canned cat food with peel off lid, or tuna + can opener), squeaky toy (only if your hound LOVES toys), leash and collar. (If no collar, drop end of leash through handle to make emergency slip collar.) - If in car, park on same side as Greyhound (away from oncoming cars). Open hound's usual car entry door, stoop down low to ground and happily call hound (high-pitched voice) to go for a ride (want a treat, or whatever words excite your hound). - If walking, try to capture Greyhound's attention by dropping down low to ground while happily calling hound. If hound doesn't come, human excitedly runs in the opposite direction to spur dog's natural chase instinct to follow human. If hound appears confident enough to come towards you, playfully and happily call hound to you. If dog is still hesitant to approach, human drops down to ground level again, and try one of the following: 1. Sit (or lie) down ignoring hound with your back towards hound while your face is close to the ground. Pretend you've found yummy treats that you're eating off the ground or from treat bag at ground level (to encourage hound to come investigate what you've found to eat). Also, toss treats away from you on the ground to help gain dog's trust. 2. Roll over on your back (submissive behavior in dog language) and quietly whimper in high-pitched tone. Many dogs will approach a human in this position. - When trying to capture a hound up close by the collar, move carefully and slowly. Any sudden, fast movement could send hound running away, and harm future capture efforts. (A leashed calm/friendly hound often helps entice a loose hound closer, especially if being offered treats. Dogs dislike being left out of treat time.) GreyTalk's Greyhound Amber Alert offers more complete information to help capture a loose Greyhound. Important to read before a Greyhound gets loose. http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/forum/24-greyhound-amber-alert/ Please NEVER EVER use invisible fences for Greyhounds! Greyhounds need actual physical barrier fences. Revised TS 5/10/13
After tracking her from 8am til a little after 5pm she is finally home. VERY long, frustrating day but it ended well. I finally got her using my schnauzer as a lure, she was about 3 miles from home, I took him and some hot dogs and literally laid in the muddy field so all she seen was him, as she got closer I started feeding the schnauzer bits of hot dogs (he was loving that), I stayed laid down with my back to her and inched my way closer, when I was close enough to outstretch my hand I started giving her little bits of hot dog, she started to relax, very exhausted, she still had a short bit of leash off to her side so distracted her with hotdogs in left hand and was able to grab leash with right. She didn't try to fight or pull away, thankfully, wasn't much left of that leash. She has some pretty good hair loss on her front chest and legs, I'm thinking this is where she must have gotten tangled and finally managed to break the leash, she has a small cut on front, foot where leash was tangled seems ok, shes resting now, can tell she is pretty sore doesn't want to get off the couch! Really glad no one was videoing me army crawling thru a muddy field!! Special thanks to Prairie Prof who drove 1 1/2 hours to come help a stranger!!!!!!