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Greyhound, Whippet Or Ig? Need Advice.


Guest maybeagrey
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Guest maybeagrey

We will probably soon be parents of a new hound, but need help in making the final decision.

My girlfriend and I have had lots of dogs growing up in our homes, but now that were adults, we decided to get our own. (In our 30's). Weve never owned a hound like this, but fell in love with them when we were introduced.

 

We reseached the breeds to make sure we got a dog with a temperament that matched our style of living. No dog fits perfectly, but the greyhound line comes real close.

Im looking for the detailed differences between these 3 dogs temperaments and requirements, before we make our final choice. Ive read as much as I could, but there is a bunch of overlap.

In general what caught my eye was:

1. IG's have the most health problems. They are a bit fragile too. More maintenance with teeth etc. The most timid of the 3? Can be difficult to house break, this was a big minus. Good size!

2. Whippets - more energy, can get destructive in a home(IG's too?). Average in house breaking. Possibly the strongest prey drive via the terrier mix in? Still small enough to not run into rental issues in the future. In general very healthy, few health issues. One site said they were poop eaters. Concerned about them getting into the cat litter. Do whippers and greyhounds have the same issue?

3. BIG dog - possible rental issues in the future. The most mellow of the 3. A lazy couch potatoe would be perfect. Affectionate, but not as clingy as the IG and Whippet.

 

Feel free to correct the above, its the "general impression" I got from merging info I read on many sites into my head.

 

 

 

Here is some info and concerns, that would help you guys choose which dog fits the best for us.

 

1. I work from home

2. We rent a small house with a small yard with high walls/fences

3. Would like to run with my dog 2X week, and walk with them on non-running days

4. WE HAVE A CAT! So were leaning toward a puppy so he grows up with the cat. The cat is a ghost, scared of her own shadow. The cat NEVER goes outside. Im well aware of the strong prey instinct in greyhounds. Im concerned the ghost cat will run enough inside that it will trigger a chase or attack. We would consider a rescue greyhound as well, but I know the probability of getting a cat friendly race greyhound is low. Im also aware of race greyhound rescues that check for cat friendliness though.

5. We live in san diego. Our plan is to rent this place for a few years until we purchase a home with a bigger yard. However, if something happens and forces us to move, finding a place that would rent to a couple with a cat and a LARGE dog would be nearly impossible. A cat and a small dog is an order of magnitude easier to deal with. My concern is we could find ourselves in a position where we would have to give up a large dog just to find a place to live. So this is a strike against a full sized greyhound. The probability of this situation happening is low, since we would do anything to find a place that would rent to us, but its still a concern. I couldnt imagine giving up a family member to find a place to live, but this scenario scares the crap out of me.

6. The couch potatoe mellowness of a full sized grey is more attractive than the high, nervous, energy of a whippet or IG, but they sure do "physically fit" better into out space.

7. We have a doggy door. But would need one of those electronic ones so that the cat doesnt try to go outside, start running, and trigger the dog to kill it.

 

 

I think thats it for now :)

 

Oh, how high can these guys jump? Whats the min fence height for the 3 dogs?

 

 

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Guest Gr8hounds

HI! I would definitely get a greyhound! :) I have been around iggies and whippets quite a bit. Iggies and whippits are very hyper compared to the greyhound's lazy nature. I understand your concern about the space issue... A greyhound actually is going to take up less space because they are going to be on the couch the whole time, where as a whippet and iggie are always going to be underfoot. Keep in mind that these are generalizations, and depending on the dog's particular personality, you will very seldom find whippits or iggies that aren't very active. Greyhounds already come housebroken for the most part. If you are concerned about renting, have you thought about being a foster family? Some groups always need foster families! As far as the fencing goes, we have a 4' fence. Some greys are fence jumpers, but many are not. As far as cats go, our three retired greyhounds ARE SCARED to death of our CATS! It is the craziest thing I have ever seen! I would definitely say that there are about 50/50 that greyhounds are catsafe/not catsafe.. This is another generalization, but there are tons of greys to chose from that are totally cat safe (or scared of the said cat like mine are)! Our cats even go outside, and our greys don't chase.. This again, is going to be different depending on the grey! I personally would have nothing but a greyhound, and my dad is a vet, and they are also in his top ten breed list as well before we even got them! Hope you can find one that fits perfectly in with your family! I guarantee you wont' regret it! :)

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To be honest, given what information you've provided, go with a retired racer. You can get cat safe dogs (most groups test before you adopt so you'll know)... just because they race, doesn't mean that they'll all eat or chase cats. ;) Keep in mind that cat safe indoors does not mean cat safe outdoors... the behaviour often changes when they get out into the "wild".

 

They adjust very well to a small house, apartment, etc. They don't mind being leash walked for potties, but yet, love a good run once in a while. They're content to sleep the day while you're out or at work. Yet, you'll be greeted with a boisterous happy dance when you come home.

 

Even if you get a puppy and raise it with a cat in the house, you never know if that puppy will grow up to be a dog with a prey drive. I recall a GTer posted about that issue, her puppy had grown up and was getting into mischief and started to attack the cats... even though the cats had been in the house since the puppy came home.

 

As for fence heights, most folks us 4' fences, but I've seen 3' fence do fine for them. I prefer a good 5' fence because our little Echo is a jumper and could clear a 4' easily. But again, I've seen adoption pages that recommended leash walks or 6'(or taller) fence for some pups that just had an affinity for the high jump.

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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Guest maybeagrey

When it comes to being clingy/affectionate/needs-attention, would greyhounds be last in the list of 3? Not a good or bad thing, I just want to understand the extent of each breeds clingy-factor

 

The foster idea is interesting, but not sure I could handle the heart break of giving up dogs when they are placed.

 

If you sorted the 3 types of dogs by timidity, who is most timid? Least?

If you sorted the dogs by aloofness, what would the order be?

 

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Guest Kipsmom

Go with a greyhound!

 

4. WE HAVE A CAT! So were leaning toward a puppy so he grows up with the cat. The cat is a ghost, scared of her own shadow. The cat NEVER goes outside. Im well aware of the strong prey instinct in greyhounds. Im concerned the ghost cat will run enough inside that it will trigger a chase or attack. We would consider a rescue greyhound as well, but I know the probability of getting a cat friendly race greyhound is low. Im also aware of race greyhound rescues that check for cat friendliness though.

 

The two sentences that I bolded are not fast rules. There are a couple of people here that had greyhound puppies that did NOT end up being cat safe. I have had 2 greyhounds and both have been totally indifferent to cats. I've sat for many different hounds that were totally indifferent to cats. Keep an open mind about that. :D

 

When it comes to being clingy/affectionate/needs-attention, would greyhounds be last in the list of 3? Not a good or bad thing, I just want to understand the extent of each breeds clingy-factor

 

The foster idea is interesting, but not sure I could handle the heart break of giving up dogs when they are placed.

 

If you sorted the 3 types of dogs by timidity, who is most timid? Least?

If you sorted the dogs by aloofness, what would the order be?

 

ALL of that depends on the dog... not breed specific.

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I have a 11 month old Whippet.as I love her very much, she is way more energy than the greyhounds. She is hyper, full of energy and does tear up toys. She has been easy to housetrain, crate train and overall is a good girl. I have two greyhounds now 7 and 8 and they are much less maintenance, more calm, laid back and abit easier to deal with. But on the other hand I have had a hyper foster greyhound from time to time. If I would get another hound someday, it will be a greyhound. My Whippet is lovely, but I find she is more of a challenge to maintain.

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Guest maybeagrey

Thanks for blowing away my BAD assumption about puppies growing up with cats.

I see now that a puppy is a gamble, and growing up withs cats is no guarantee of being cat friendly.

But an adult can be tested for cats and we will know up front.

 

 

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Guest Gr8hounds

That is what I first thought about fostering, but maybe you can try it, and if you fail, you fail! You just got yourself a greyhound! :) I just had to start looking at it like I was providing a place for one greyhound, and anticpiating the next! :)

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Guest Zoomom

Hi and welcome to the group! Of course, coming to a greyhound website, you are going to get a lot of recomendations to get a retired racer, whereas if you went to a whippet or iggy forum, you're answers would also be pretty obvious, but, I've researched all three breeds as well, and have a pretty good knowledge of dogs in general, and it sounds to me like you really want a laid back couch potato companion dog who is not going to be super high maintenence and need lots of training and exercise, and if that's the case, then you really will probably be better off with a retired racer. As others pointed out, every dog is different, my seven year old female, Melody, can get pretty hyper and she can be clingy, and even with that, she is still happy to sleep on the couch a good 18 hours a day. The thing I was told about greyhounds before I got one, and that I have found to be true, is that: if you're inside and you want to lay on the couch and watch a movie, they are happy to do that, but if you take out their leash and tell them you're going to go for a good hike, they're equally happy to do that.

As for the cat safe, we have two cats and they are totally the boss of Melody, I thought you might like to see a short video of Melody and my cat Monty-

th_Lovin.jpg

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Guest greycious_gal

Well, the one factor that has to be added in is the individuality of the dog. I've seen shy/spooky greys and big/goofy/loafers. My grey girl has become small animal tolerant over time, but I wouldn't put her next to a cat to tempt fate. There are those who could care less about cats. Lots of people have them here.

 

I prefer the retired racer that's been temperament tested, personally. If thoroughly tested, you can be reasonably sure of the personality of the dog. That's not to say they can't blossom into something different, but if you are looking for "an easy first hound" and mention that specifically on your app, the group reps will certainly keep that in mind. Now, if you add other specifications on that (color, gender, etc.) you may find the wait a little longer.

 

You won't be completely exempt from training, etc., with your new grey, but the group can sure make it easier on you if you ask them to do that. ;)

 

As to the whippet/iggy information, I don't know much. I've found from interaction with an iggy owner down the street that their biggest nemesis with their several IGs has been the house breaking. :rolleyes: But, that can happen with any dog if not worked with. :dunno

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Guest Kipsmom

If you haven't already, if you want a good well-rounded opinion, go to whippettalk.com and ask these questions and get their opinions as well. Even though there are whippet owners here, there are more there.

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Guest Stretchy

Iggies are real cute and we had wanted one for a while. We finally got a chance to get a 4 month old puppy and when we went to meet him, we changed our minds in about 5 minutes. He was literally bouncing off the walls! We quickly decided that we did not have the energy/patience for that type of dog.

 

Instead we ended up with a 14 month old greyhound (he never raced) who was pretty energetic for a greyhound, but no where near what that iggy was like. And we couldn't be happier with our choice!

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Guest WhenIGiveIn

OK I didnt read throught the responses of other so if I repeat them sorry. But what would recommend is a greyhound on the smaller side. Since you seem to like the personality of a grey the best and I do think they would fit your lifestyle the best.

A small grey can be similar in size to a large whippet They are still bigger but you get the idea. They are great in small areas and tons are great with cats and other small dogs. Talk to a group in your area chances are someone on here is from your area. They will match you to the perfect dog for your situation!

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Guest dorianaldyn

My grandmother is on her second Whippet and had a IG as well for a while. We just adopted our first greyhound last month. Here's what I've learned in my experience -

 

My grandma's first whippet was a total sweetheart, not hyper at all. He did lounge around the house most of the day, he was a gem of a dog. He is actually what made me think about getting a greyhound (not totally logical w/him being a whippet I know...). My grandma's IG was a sweet little thing, but she did have health problems. Unfortunately they had to put her on steroids for health purposes which altered her personality such that she ended up being really aggressive and bit someone. My grandma had to put her to sleep and was really upset about the situation. I don't want that to discourage you from an IG because, though. I'm sure her experience was in the minority, but that is what happened.

 

As for our greyhound, we got him last month, he's 2 1/2. He's fantastic. I had high hopes and he has exceeded them. We have a cockatoo - if you're not familiar with what they're like, they're a white parrot, about 14 inches head to tail. We thought it would be really hard to find a dog that would be bird safe. Our bird has several perches around the house, is white, occassionally fluffy and makes interesting squeaky sounds (as well as some terrible screaming sounds)... just seemed like it would be super tempting to any dog. Turns out our greyhound is pretty indifferent when it comes to the bird; the bird was more freaked out by the dog than the dog was interested in her. She's mellowed out now and they co-exist quite happily.

 

Regarding running - you will likely have to work on conditioning a greyhound to handle running. My grey poops out after about 15 minutes. I know he'll be able to go longer after a bit of conditioning - just don't expect your dog to run for ages straight away (they're sprinters, not marathon runners). I took him on a hike during the morning when it was still cool out (they can't handle heat as well as some other breeds) and at one point he found a shady spot and refused to budge! He wouldn't go any further... so we turned around and he was knocked out asleep the rest of the day, which actually worked out well because we were at a Sharks game all afternoon.

 

Regarding size - a small girl greyhound can easily be mistaken for a whippet; you'd be surprised how much greyhounds can vary in size. I know my adoption agency will accomodate people's requests to have smaller greys.

 

You're on a greyhound board, so everyone will be a bit biased. :-)

 

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Guest TheBlackGrey

Keep in mind there are also some fairly small greys out there as well. (I've just seen several people post that while I was writing) I've seen some tiny females (by greyhound standards) come through that were in the mid to high 40's. Of course, you might be waiting for some time for all the stars to align for something that perfect, but you CAN get a smaller grey. You don't have to take the 80lb cat tolerant guy versus the 55lb cat tolerant girl. I can't directly speak for IG's or whippets, but I agree that posting on other boards specific to those breeds will give you more perspective.

 

Temperament wise, I have seen greys run the gamut. My girl is very relaxed (although it took about a year for her personality to fully blossom). She has her moments of sillyness, but more more often then not, she's in one place. On the other hand, I've seen greys that are into everything, constantly moving, not space aware, friendly as all get out, but are just big klutzes. That can sometimes be overwhelming at 85lbs.

 

Speaking of coming out of their shells... That's something you'll get to experience with a retied racer that I'm not sure you'll have with an IG or a whippet (although I could be wrong). Retired racers don't know a home life (stairs, windows, swimming pools,etc. ) Some aren't sure how to play. Jasmine had no idea how to play with a stuffy and was afraid to lay on her big soft bed when we first got her. It was just beautiful to see her go through the transformation into the confident pet she is now. She was very well taken care of in her kennel, she just had never experienced these things, and is not a dog that has a natural drive to test things. We worked a lot on her confidence. All that has changed, and in fact she has her CGC and has excellent obedience skills. It's an extremely rewarding experience. All greys are different, however, and move forward at different speeds. My foster klutz I mentioned earlier was a toy chomping fool out of the box, but then he tested everything! :)

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Guest KennelMom

Of course, every dog within the breed is going to be an individual, so if you want a hyper, clingy greyhound, you can find one (or come to our house and you'll find a few :lol ). And I'm sure you can also find a couch potato, reserved whippet.

 

If I were you, I'd probably opt for a whippet for a couple reasons - First, the size issue. Since you are still a renter, finding a new place to rent will be easier with a whippet than a 60 pound or so greyhound. Second, since you want to run a couple times a week, a whippets activity level may be better suited for that. But, whippets and greyhounds are very similar in temperament, so you can probably find what you are looking for in each breed without too much trouble.

 

JMHO....I hope I dont' have to turn in "greyhound card" for not recommending a greyhound first and formost! :blush:lol

 

 

eta: I would also opt for an adult dog if you are concerned about prey drive/cat safeness. A puppy is like the proverbial box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get ;)

Edited by KennelMom
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I haven't read all the posts, so forgive me if I am repeating. First of all, this is a greyhound board, so the majority is going to tell you to get a greyhound ;)

 

I have a greyhound and 2 IGs. I have had greyhounds all my life and when I was old enough to get my first dog as an adult I went for a greyhound. I love greyhounds because they are so sweet and gentle and calm. They are generally very easy dogs. Then I got an IG, and I totally fell head-over-heals for them also. We got our second IG just a few months ago.

 

We got both of our IGs as adults, and looked for ones that were older and calmer. I have no interest in getting a puppy at this time. ANY puppy you get is going to be crazy and hyper. Our IGs are NOT high energy. They sleep just as much as our greyhound. They are, however, needier. They want to be in your lap, next to you on the couch, under the covers with you. Our greyhound is very loving and likes cuddles also, but it's not the same. He is much more independent. When outside, our IGs have more stamina for sure. They will run around the park a lot longer than my greyhound, and can seemingly walk forever and not be as tired.

 

IGs are unfortunately bred in puppymills and sold in petstores all over the country. So there are plenty of IGs out there who do not have the best temperaments and are fragile. But not all are like that. My IGs are very sturdy, though a leg break can happen of course. IGs can also be difficult to housebreak, but I really feel that if you are diligent and expect a housebroken dog, you will get one. All of my dogs are perfectly housebroken.

 

I think you have to decide if you want a large dog or not. The reason I went for an IG the first time is b/c I really wanted another dog but we also rent so I didn't want to get another large dog. Greyhounds don't take up much room at home b/c of their laid-back nature, but they are large dogs whatever way you slice it. They take up a lot of room in the car, they eat a lot of food, etc. And it is HARD to find rentals that will accept them. I had never had a small dog before and it's so much fun! I love being able to carry my IGs around. That is why I personally haven't considered a whippet. If you're going to go small, might as well be small enough to carry around and travel with. But who knows, someday when we own a house, I might have a whippet too.

 

Both greyhounds and IGs are fairly easy to come by. Both have rescue groups in most cities and many need homes. If you go thru a rescue group they can help match the perfect dog to your family and situation, so that is a big plus. Whippets, thankfully, are harder to find in rescue, so that might influence your decision as well.

 

Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices. I think you have a fairly good idea of each dog's characteristics and need, so just keep asking questions, meet some dogs if you can, and do what feels right. :)

Edited by RileysMomma
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Guest maybeagrey

Its really a shame that its so hard to find rentals that will take a greyhound. This is pure ignorance on the landlords part.

 

IN GENERAL, ON AVERAGE, there are lots of small dog breeds that will tear up a house far more than a greyhound, but they have tunnel vision when it comes to SIZE.

 

Landlords are really worried about the wear and tear, or damage an animal can do to their property. If they really knew about dog breeds, they would take greyhounds over small hyper and destructive dogs any day of the week, but they dont :(

 

 

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Guest mekarual

Yeah, like most people have said......

 

I have a foster dog right now, who could care less about my cat. He sniffs her every once in a while, but then goes straight back to napping. :)

 

Good luck with your decision. I suggest a greyhound, but I'm totally biased!

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Guest maybeagrey

Ok, so my significant other has pretty much decided she wants a full sized greyhound.

Ive been searching and there are a ton of adoption agencies in southern california.

Anyone have any experience with so-cal agencies?

 

Right now im thinking were gonna fill out the adoption forms at 3-4 agencies, do the interviews, etc, and wait and see who comes up with the best match for us.

 

Any better ideas on how we should approach this?

 

 

 

 

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Guest cleo570

As far as the timid issue goes, if there's any correlation between sex and boldness, I'd say that females tend to be more independent than males. That's a pretty weak correlation, though... every dog is different.

 

In terms of dealing with adoption groups... applying to several is probably okay... but adoption groups do put a lot of time and effort into matching people and dogs, so if you choose to do this, I would consider mentioning that fact politely, especially if you're planning on applying to groups where most or all of the dogs are fostered.

 

The more important issue to look into is whether you would be better off with a dog that has been fostered in a home for a while, or if you would prefer taking a dog from the track. There are pros and cons to each - we adopted our 2+ year old female pretty fresh off the track (she was spayed and personality checked over the course of a week in the adoption kennel); we then moved out-of-state and have fostered. Our own grey was housebroken quickly (very easy, since they're crate trained); we had to do some stair training, "alone training", and general introduction to life in a house. We actually had a lot of fun - its amazing to see how her personality has changed since we first got her in January of '06. She is very bonded to us, I think because of the time we put into acclimating her, especially at the beginning. And - any bad habits she has, are totally our fault!

 

Our foster went to her forever home already housebroken, pretty well acclimated to home life, able to do stairs, and pretty comfortable being home alone (in a crate.) By the time she left us, she had settled into our routine - fortunately, her new papa's routine is pretty similar to ours, so she has adjusted very quickly. We hope she doesn't have any bad habits!

 

If you're home a lot, adopting a non-fostered dog (or fostering yourself) may be an excellent option. We definitely enjoy the new-home-introduction process.

 

And finally, they're all beautiful... its very tempting to adopt a very flashy-looking or unusually-colored dog, but most adoption groups are pretty good at identifying and matching temperaments to homes... so the best looking dog is not always the best fit, especially if you are looking for a dog with specific characteristics (cat safe, non-spooky, etc.). We adopted our dog sight-unseen, and never regretted it.

 

Best of luck to you!

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Guest maybeagrey

Thanks for all the feedback. A fostered dog sounds attractive to me, since we get some insight into the dog before we get him/her. No major surprises this way.

 

Yeah, im definitely attracted to certain "coats/looks", but personality take precedence above all else.

 

Will definitely communicate well with any agencies we contact.

 

 

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Guest jsk4x

I don't know particulars about any agency in California, but I think our agency strongly discouraged potential adopters from applying with multiple agencies. Their thought was that they take a lot of time approving potential adopters and only wanted to take the time if you were committed. We have two cats and were most concerned about their safety, which is why we applied to an agency that fostered the dogs. I only wanted a greyhound that had been fostered in a house with a cat. As for color, I like the brindles and my DBF liked the solid colors. It didn't make a bit of difference in choosing a grey. We thought that we would want a smaller greyhound because we live in a townhouse. We ended up with a large red fawn colored boy. He's cat friendly, can stay home alone during the day, and can be an only dog. Just what we wanted, and I think he's beautiful.

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Guest lizmego

You sound like a great pet owner, but I don't want you to get your hopes up on the having a jogging partner with a greyhound. Retired racers can learn to jog they just need to build up their endurance; HOWEVER, most retired racers I have seen that are jogging partners, were typically very good race dogs and thus have a higher prey drive than your typical greyhound, so with you all having a cat as well, the jogging partner, in my mind, will be very difficult to get in a greyhound. But it could happen, but I just wanted you to have the full picture and understand if the first adoption agency doesn't have the perfect greyhound for you, it's because that's going to be a tough order to fill.

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