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Advice For A Greyhound Puppy Please!


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Guest Funkypaws

Hello! I've been lurking around here for a while since I thought about adopting a greyhound. Our family now has the opportunity to adopt a little greyhound puppy, around 12 weeks old. I have found it quite difficult to get any info about adopting puppies and I wondered if anyone here has any advice or experience - for example, where I live, puppy would have to wear a muzzle in public at all times. Now, I know that ex-racers are experienced muzzle wearers & this poses no problems, but do puppies have to be trained to wear a muzzle? Are they uncomfortable, is there a risk of hurting her if she isn't used to it & I do it wrong? ( this will be our family's first dog & "doing things wrong" is a big fear of mine I must admit!)

 

If anyone has any advice for the raising of a greyhound puppy I would be so grateful. I have bought Pat Miller's "Power of Positive Dog Training" and I really like the ideas she has, so that's the direction I intend to go in. Anything positive/gentle/fun based training is what I have in mind.

 

Do you think the temperament of a greyhound will be different in one who has never raced, could she be more difficult & unruly without the atmosphere of the race track?

 

Thanks & sorry for the long first post!

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If this is your first dog, I wouldn't recommend a puppy. Others will chime in...my "puppy" was 14 1/2 months when I got him and he is a stinker...breaks out of his crate and knocks over gates. He needs a stool cup on his muzzle as he destroys things even with a muzzle on. He just turned 18 months! I'm hoping he stops being a stinker within the next 6 months.

 

I know there are some on here who have raised puppies...but I don't think it was their "first" dog. I would say to leave a puppy for an experienced owner and go with an adult dog.

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Kili is my second dog. We got her at 8 weeks old from a show breeder. It was hell and amazing at the same time. If I didn't have specific needs that are difficult to meet in Canada, where selection is much more restricted, I would probably just have retired racers. But since I need agility prospects I like the puppy route. I'm actually on my breeder's list for another puppy in 2-3 years.

 

They're puppies so they're going to turn into whatever you mold them into. They will accept the things that you teach them to accept. They are completely different from the average retired racer. Kili is almost completely opposite to Summit. She has started to slow down and use her off switch now, but it has taken almost 2 years.

 

And as much as I love greyhounds, if I lived somewhere where they had to be muzzled at all times... I'd probably choose a different breed. I'm not sure I could deal with that. One reason I can't have a pit bull (actually, I'm in the middle of moving to Alberta... they might not have BSL so maybe I could if I wanted!) is because I don't think I could stay cool dealing with all the stigma and unfair regulations.

 

ETA: I would have died if I hadn't had Summit first. But lots of people get puppies as their first dog. Just realize that it is about 50 times more work than a retired racer will be and that you probably won't be getting that retired racer personality.

Edited by krissy

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest june

I've adopted 2, 18 month old "puppies" and I've owned greyhounds for 10 years now. I would NOT adopt a greyhound younger than 18 months unless I was either retired and at home all the time or crazy. :flip A puppy is a really bad idea for your first dog.

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You must live in Australia???

 

A puppy is a puppy is a puppy. Greyhound puppies aren't really that different from other puppies, except for the differences between breeds. Sighthounds tend to be, well, sight oriented. They have a lot of energy. Let me say this again: They have a lot of energy. They basically have two speeds - stop and go. They need a ton of exercise to tire them out. Because they are bred to hunt independently, they can be a bit stubborn about training as they aren't natural people-pleasers. They have a mouth full of very sharp teeth and they aren't shy about using them on anything. This is the reason they are (mostly affectionately) called "landsharks." They are all teeth and they never stop moving!

 

That being said, our puppy Lilly is the. sweetest. dog. ever. When she's not being a little butthead. We adopted her at 11 weeks old, and though her mom and dad are registered in Ireland, she has never been near a track. She turns 3 years old this September, and she is just now beginning to have long stretches of calmness. She may be picking this up from our other three retired racers. She is *very* smart and learned everything I wanted to teach her within a few repetitions, when I could get her to focus.

 

Honestly? If we hadn't had another one of our greyhounds step up and become her nanny, I don't know how I would have coped with her exercise and energy. Whiskey played with her for HOURS. Inside. Outside. In bed. In the car. In the chair. On the deck. Anywhere and everywhere was, and still is at many times, a place to play.

 

Both my husband and I are home all day, every day, and it was still hard on us for a few months. Would we do it again? Yes. Absolutely. So, I'm not sure this really helped. If you have a lot of courage and a lot of time and energy, then a puppy may work for you. There are a lot of plusses. But there are also a lot of challenges - though most are just the challenges of any new puppy owner.

 

Good luck!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I have heard that one Greyhound puppy is like ten Jack Russell Terriers. So eat your vitamins and get plenty of rest now... Because you and your family are going to be in for a wild ride for the next two years of puppyhood!

 

My puppy-raising experience involves non-Greys, whereas my Greyhounds have come to me as adults. I loved the puppyhood period of my previous dogs, but I think adopting adult dogs is a lot easier than adopting puppies. First off, adult dogs have the capacity to hold their bladders making them a lot easier to house-train. Secondly, adult ex-racing Greyhounds have had a lot of training -- they have "learned how to learn" -- making it easy to teach them the ways of their new lives.

 

Regarding the muzzle (where do you live that requires muzzles? Australia?), just like anything else, work on making it a positive experience for your new puppy. I cannot imagine that the temperament is any different between racers and non-racers. IMO, a dog's personality is a dog's personality, regardless of whether it has raced or not. As long as you have your pup's interest a heart, don't worry so much about "doing it wrong" - for some things, you learn as you go through trial and error.

 

Best wishes to you and your family. Be patient, be positive, maintain a good sense of humor, and have fun!

Edited by Greydawg

Cheryl - "Mom" to RUNNER (Gunnah, born 6/15/2012) and FARGO (Ridin Shotgun, born 8/21/2015). Missing my Grey-Angels HEISMAN (RX Heisman) (3/29/2005-2/1/2016) and ALEX (Bevenly) (4/15/2005-6/7/2018).

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Guest Funkypaws

I live in Australia, yes. Well, none of this sounds very encouraging. :-( That's so disappointing, I guess I have a lot to think about ......

 

Thanks everyone for the input & advice!

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I think I have a video on my blog on muzzle training with Kili. It'll be a fair ways back because it was over a year ago, but it's there under the tag "Kili puppy". I'd find it and post the link but I'm stuck at a hotel with only my iPhone.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Greyhound puppies are no worse than normal puppies. Greyhound people just think they are worse because they are used to older Greyhounds. ;) That being said, puppies are a HUGE commitment to raise them right. Mine is 4, almost 5, and still insanely energetic. We lure course and straight race, which gives her an outlet to focus her drive and energy into. You need to be sure that you can meet all of the puppy's needs because, if not, I would let the puppy go to somebody who can meet those needs and adopt an older dog instead. Sometimes first time owners do great with puppies and sometimes it is a huge nightmare because they really needed that first adult dog to learn with.

 

Puppies need a ton of constant socialization (new experiences, new people, new dogs, new noises, etc.) which should continue throughout their lives, same as any dog. I expect any dogs that I raise to be able to cope with a lot of crazy stuff and I build a foundation for them very early on. By time my puppies were 6 months old they had already met hundreds of dogs and thousands of people (no joke) and been exposed to tons of different environments and noises and I continued that socialization all throughout puppy hood and into adult hood. We took classes. We did events. I left them with "strangers" (friends, but new people to them) and walked away in various venues. I did everything I could to raise confident, happy, unflappable adult dogs and it worked. I had the added bonus of not dealing with genetic skittishness and other issues so I did not have hurdles to jump through. They are bombproof but it took a ton of commitment.

 

Puppies need a lot of physical exercise, but nothing too structured and hard on their growing bodies, and a ton of mental stimulation. They run for hours and hours. They nap for moments and then run for more hours. My Greyhound pup was actually more wild and independent than my Ibizan pup but both flourished with the socialization, training, exercise, and stimulation that I gave them. Neither ever chewed anything inappropriately or destroyed anything that was not theirs to destroy. However, that was mostly because I stayed on top of them and kept them exhausted. A tired puppy is a good puppy but a puppy that does not get what it needs is horrible to live with.

 

I actually am in the minority and I tend to prefer home-raised Greyhounds, but I like high energy, crazy dogs. :lol I have 3 retired racers, and have had more than 50 come through my home, but the home-raised dogs have been more "doggy" and rough and tumble, if that makes sense. I would happily raise more in the future. However, most of my friends who also own Greyhounds and have experienced my puppies would never raise their own because they are exhausting, stressful and crazy. They can also be wonderful, super fun, and amazing....if you do it right.

P.S. Both of the puppies I raised are muzzle trained. I just gave them yummy snacks through the muzzles. They need them to straight race here so I went ahead and taught them early.

Edited by GreytHoundPoet
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Guest Funkypaws

I'm prepared for the commitment of raising a puppy, I've got the time as I only work part time during the week & never at weekends . I'm interested in taking the dog to classes, socialisation etc - that's why I want a dog - I want to do things with it & spend time with it. I have teenage children (14 & 12) and my 12 year old daughter in particular has her heart set on this. I should have seen this coming I guess - you don't show a 12 year old girl a picture of a puppy that she has been actually offered without being pretty sure you'll take it. I just wasn't expecting these responses to be so negative! I had read only good things about these dogs, now it's like I'm reading about a different dog altogether!

 

All puppies have a ton of energy. My family had raised a puppy when I was a teenager (a terrier) I didn't really train her myself, but I lived with her for a few years & played with her & I remember how energetic she was, I do feel prepared for an energetic puppy... But I'm kind of hearing that greyhounds aren't really suitable pets unless they are retired?

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But I'm kind of hearing that greyhounds aren't really suitable pets unless they are retired?

 

I certainly did not say that. ;) I just offered information. If you can dedicate yourself to fulfilling all of a puppy's needs and have a ton of patience then go for it. :) Just don't expect the puppy to act like a retired racer (which is where a lot of adopters get turned off of puppies). I'd raise more in a heartbeat.

Edited by GreytHoundPoet
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I don't think anyone was negative... just realistic. Realistically if you were researching retired racers you can toss most of that information out the window because a puppy turns out entirely different than a retired racer. People who meet our dogs remark on it immediately. Yes, to be fair we have a 7 year difference in age but that really only accounts for energy and impulse control. But their personalities are also really different. So if the retired racer was what you had your heart set on it would be unrealistic to get a greyhound puppy.

 

Greyhound puppies are not any worse than other puppies. But all puppies are difficult. The amount of time that goes into socialization and training is massive if you want to do it right. I took Kili somewhere every single day, often more than once a day (lunch break and after work) to all sorts of places. I drove her every couple weeks into larger cities to walk downtown and go to new stores. We did classes every week from 8 weeks all the way to the present (she's 21 months).

 

Raising a greyhound puppy is very rewarding, but as with all puppies it is challenging which is why everyone is giving cautionary tales. If it's the right move for your family then that's fantastic and you're in for a wonderful, crazy, trying ride.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Funkypaws

Seriously, thanks so much to everyone for sharing your thoughts! I will give it some serious thought. After all, the most important thing is to give a dog the best home you can, so I don't want to start something if it turns out I can't finish it, no dog deserves that. I think I have the time & energy for a puppy, but I will think carefully.

 

Thanks again, this is a great community you have here!

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There are quite a few people here on GT that have raised puppies. We can help and offer advice, and commiserate when she eats another TV remote or cell phone!

 

Really, nothing any of us has described is any different than should be done for any puppy. So if you think you have the time and energy, it can be very rewarding.

 

Here's a preview for you! Lilly is about 4 months old here I think.

Lilly27.jpg

 

Doesn't she look sweet?

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Oh btw Krissy, you're right, negative was perhaps too strong a word! I have two teenagers, if a childless person asked me should they go ahead and have a baby I'd urge them to think strongly about how much hard work babies are - believe me if I could suggest that they adopt a retired person instead I probably would!

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Guest Funkypaws

Lilly is so adorable!! Those ears alone are so cute and full of character they should have their own tv chat show!

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I live in Australia, yes. Well, none of this sounds very encouraging. :-( That's so disappointing, I guess I have a lot to think about ......

 

Thanks everyone for the input & advice!

Don't be disheartened, but if this is truly the first dog you and your family have ever owned then a puppy of any variety might not be the best idea. Having said that, plenty of people do and they end up with perfectly well adjusted dogs and haven't had a nervous breakdown. As others have said greyhound puppies are hard work, I personally don't think they are any harder work than any other breed but there are certain traits that also have been previously mentioned. With puppies you get out what you put in and the early experiences in a dogs life do shape the rest of their lives.

 

If you are prepared to work hard, learn hard and never be afraid to ask for help when you're stuck then it could be a wonderful adventure for you. I live in the UK and greyhound puppies are just not that easy to come by, I believe it is similar in the US, so it may be that another opportunity like this may not come along too soon if Australia is the same.

 

Btw. I speak from experience of owning two greyhound puppies from 6 weeks old (at the same time) I had owned one dog previously.

Edited by scullysmum

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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It's absurd that in your country any Greyhound has to wear a muzzle in public. A Greyhound puppy isn't significantly different than any other puppy. Sighthounds are not inherently vicious dogs. I can SORT OF understand them having that rule for a retired racer, but a Greyhound that has never been involved in kennel life or racing? Ridiculous!


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It's absurd that in your country any Greyhound has to wear a muzzle in public. A Greyhound puppy isn't significantly different than any other puppy. Sighthounds are not inherently vicious dogs. I can SORT OF understand them having that rule for a retired racer, but a Greyhound that has never been involved in kennel life or racing? Ridiculous!

With mine, the two who never raced both need to be muzzled. Ex-racer Hermon doesn't. It's not about racing vs not racing. It's about instinct.

 

Where in Australia are you? Where are you getting the puppy from?

 

Puppies are puppies are puppies. I wouldn't go for one personally, but did end up with two adolescents who were plenty of work.

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I'm one of the few here who raised a puppy. Just my two cents, but I wouldn't do it again. Too much work. Also, despite constant training and obedience, our puppy grew up into an adult with a lot of anxieties and hang-ups. I'd rather get a dog as an adult and KNOW exactly what I'm getting (and leave puppies for folks who are real experienced and have a lot of free time on their hands).

Edited by a_daerr
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It's absurd that in your country any Greyhound has to wear a muzzle in public. A Greyhound puppy isn't significantly different than any other puppy. Sighthounds are not inherently vicious dogs. I can SORT OF understand them having that rule for a retired racer, but a Greyhound that has never been involved in kennel life or racing? Ridiculous!

I may be wrong but I think it has something to do with protecting wildlife, not just other dogs and/or people.

Edited by scullysmum

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Greyhound puppies are called landsharks for a reason! I don't think a greyhound puppy would be a good choice for a first time dog owner. Our family had the chance to adopt a greyhound puppy that was around 9 months a few years back.And we opted not to. Because even as expirenced as we are with greyhounds we knew we did want such a young dog. Angel was enough of a puppy when we adopted her back in 2006. And she almost 2 and half by the time I brought her home!

Sarah, mom to Stella and Winston . And to Prince, Katie Z, Malone, Brooke, Freddie, Angel and Fast who are all waiting at the Bridge!

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I may be wrong but I think it has something to do with protecting wildlife, not just other dogs and/or people.

No. It's based on a law from about 1927 to prevent injuries in the track, resulting in the law that they must be muzzled while in a public place. To be unmuzzled, greys are assessed, here at least, to be fine specifically with other dogs. They are not assessed with cats, or wildlife. And cats are the biggest killers of native wildlife here. Greys are just the victims of BSL as they need to be muzzled by default.

 

For the OP, the ONLY loophole there might be is if you have a puppy which has not been registered as you might then be able to claim it as a greyhound cross which do not need to be muzzled. I would also suggest contacting you state branch of Greenhounds to find out at what age a grey needs to be muzzled from and what age they can be assessed for a Green collar. It might be that they are exempt until puberty or whatever, until their level of prey drive can be more accurately assessed.

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I have raised two greyhound puppies, each came to me at around 12 weeks old. Have also raised a greyhound whippet mix from 14 weeks old. Greyhound puppies are just like every other puppy. Lot's of time, energy and patience. I would do it again in a minute! Good luck in your decision.

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I had read only good things about these dogs, now it's like I'm reading about a different dog altogether!

 

... But I'm kind of hearing that greyhounds aren't really suitable pets unless they are retired?

 

I read back through all the previous responses, and I don't see anyone saying this? Keep in mind that most people who participate in this forum are familiar with retired racing greyhounds, so the opinions you're getting about puppies is in direct comparison to how 'easy' it is to adopt an adult ex-racer. If you've been researching retired racers, raising a greyhound puppy *is* like having a different dog altogether. Many of the traits that are almost taken for granted that make ex-racing greyhounds good pets are a result of how they are raised and trained, and the structure and routine they experience at the track.

 

So while a greyhound raised from puppyhood may still have the basic temperament and instincts of the breed, they are much more subject to being molded by the training and experience you will be providing. Many people get puppies as their first dog, and as others have said, greyhound puppies aren't any worse than high energy puppies of other breeds. As long as you're prepared and willing to put in the time and effort, you should be fine.

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