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Greyhounds On A Farm? Looking For Some Feedback


Guest lholley
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Guest lholley

Our dog recently died and I am considering adopting a greyhound. I have lived on a farm all my life and have always had a dog but never a greyhound. My farm is fenced completely and ten acres. I have six horses which I ride in my arena and around the property. My question is...how would a greyhound do living a farm dog life? I have had border collie/aussies, a chow, a lab, a dalmation and pugs over the last 30 years and all have been great dogs that followed me around while I did my chores and i didn't need to keep them on a leash. My dogs have always been well behaved because they are always with me and I spend time training them. Can a greyhounds live this way? Anyone out there with horses that has a greyhound? I like what I read about them in terms of their needs and their behavior when inside the house. I want a dog that is happy to be with me outside and is quiet and happy to rest and sleep and be near me when I am inside as well. I already know that they cannot live outside. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Guest GreyOrchard

Over the years I have adopted out many greyhounds to people with farms and stables, and they all have done very well with it. Riding out with horses is what they have been doing for at least two thousand years, and as long as you properly introduce your new greyhound to this new life, then if you do it right, it should be like ducks to water.

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Our bridge girl Charlotte's brother Max lived on a horse farm in Virginia hunt country and had a great time there. As long as the land is fenced well enough to keep a grey in, you should be fine. I'd suggest keeping an ID tag on the dog, and checking the fence regularly (but I'd guess you do that already). Good luck!

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My greyhound is fine with horses, I don't know if they are ever exposed to horses at the track, but mine acted like it was no big deal the first time he saw one.

 

I think your place sounds like heaven for almost any dog. The only thing with a grey though is to expect an adjustment period. They might not instantly bond with you and follow you around faithfully like some other "farm" breeds you may be used to. The novelty of everything might be really exciting in the beginning, you may have a dog that just wants to run, chase, etc. at first. Once the novelty wears off though, most greys are very adaptable to any situation.

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I have a horse that I board and have had several greyhounds and a galgo. My dogs do just fine around horses. Unfortunately, the barn where I board does not have adequate fencing to allow them off lead. The barn has a mixture of typical 3 board fencing and electric wire. The hounds could easily go underneath the fencing (I've seen my barn owner's boxers do it). So, it is completely dependent on the type of fencing you have.

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Guest lholley

Thanks so much for the feedback! The farm in enclosed in field fencing...a dog couldn't get through it unless they dug under it or jumped over it. Can they jump?

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Guest GreyOrchard

Some can jump, some tend not to....but more important is to "ground" them to your home place to make them feel it is their home base, so to speak. It would also be best if you adopt a greyhound who is ready to be retired rather than an overactive 2 yr old, for example, and thus a dog who is ready and willing to feel settled.

 

There is in Ireland a rescue which will not adopt a greyhound out to anyone who does not have 6 ft high gates and fences. However, I cannot recall having a greyhound here who was mad to get out. Over the years I might have had the odd escape, but those few always came back, and they came back because they were grounded.

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You never know as far as fence height.

 

Of many greys and one galgo here none ever attempted to challenge a 4 ft. fence. I did adopt out a stocky brood bitch named Abita Stacey that could climb a 6 ft. privacy fence in the blink of an eye by going to the corner. Evidently this is a method favored by thieves and escape prone dogs.

Edited by Hubcitypam
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Neither of mine ever jumped. Even over a two foot fence. You'll want to make sure a dog can't get out by going under the fence, depending on the type of fencing you have.

 

Fenway and Grace never enjoyed coming to the barn with me. Grace merely tolerated it, Fenway didn't like it at all. He was afraid of the horses and would cry and wine to get out if I left him in an empty stall.

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The groups from whom we've adopted require fencing at least 5' (for greyhounds) and 6' (for galgos). None of our greys have been big jumpers, although others in our group have reported it. Better safe than find out your dog has sailed over the 3-4-foot fence and departed for parts unknown.

Edited by greypop
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I have a four foot fence and have had many greyhounds and foster greyhounds...none of them ever attempted to go over a fence.

 

Sounds like a great set up...I am sure the adoption group could find you the right dog for your lifestyle....

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Guest Scouts_mom

I think greys and horses just go together as they have for thousands of years. The key will be introducing your hound to horses so he/she does not have a bad first impression. The first horses my first grey, Scout, met were yearling welsh ponies. I think she thought they were just large, strange dogs--she play-bowed to them! The ponies were very confused, but fascinated by her behavior.

 

My current grey, Bree, met horses when a couple were ridden across an off-leash dog park. She ran up, tried to sniff the horse's butt and almost got kicked in response.

 

You will find greys very different from labs or aussies in that they don't go full speed ahead all day (naps are very important) and they aren't so easy to train. Their brains are just not hardwired the same way. It's not that they are not smart but they need to see something in it for themselves. A hound that looked back to its owner for instructions, would lose its prey. Retrieving to most greyhounds is 1) watch your person throw the ball, 2) if you feel like it, go investigate where it landed, 3) watch your owner retrieve the ball, repeat until your person is bored .

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Retrieving to most greyhounds is 1) watch your person throw the ball, 2) if you feel like it, go investigate where it landed, 3) watch your owner retrieve the ball, repeat until your person is bored .

:rotfl Rex would chase the thrown ball then pick it up where it landed and sit there with it.

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Guest lholley

I think greys and horses just go together as they have for thousands of years. The key will be introducing your hound to horses so he/she does not have a bad first impression. The first horses my first grey, Scout, met were yearling welsh ponies. I think she thought they were just large, strange dogs--she play-bowed to them! The ponies were very confused, but fascinated by her behavior.

 

My current grey, Bree, met horses when a couple were ridden across an off-leash dog park. She ran up, tried to sniff the horse's butt and almost got kicked in response.

 

You will find greys very different from labs or aussies in that they don't go full speed ahead all day (naps are very important) and they aren't so easy to train. Their brains are just not hardwired the same way. It's not that they are not smart but they need to see something in it for themselves. A hound that looked back to its owner for instructions, would lose its prey. Retrieving to most greyhounds is 1) watch your person throw the ball, 2) if you feel like it, go investigate where it landed, 3) watch your owner retrieve the ball, repeat until your person is bored .

hahahahahahaha!! that is hilarious, love it from the greys persepective!

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All the greyhounds I've owned have been good with horses, though i suspect some more lively young greyhounds would like to play chase if they see a horse galloping and cavorting in a field. My current girl is great, ignores horses even up close - but when i took her along to some horse trials and we were right next to the x country course, she did get excited at a horse galloping past. I think it reminded her of running at the track and she wanted to join in!

 

Letting the dog loose in 10 acres might be too much freedom at first, maybe need to build up gradually. So that may be not letting the dog off lead on the farm to start with, but doing as much training and habituating on lead as possible, at first.

 

My greys could definitely clear 4 foot stock fence but only with motivation ie a rabbit or hare on the other side. My male cleared 4 ft a couple of times for bunnies but usually didn't bother.

 

Would be a great life for the right dog, but they definitely need a warm and comfy bed in a tack room or inside somewhere cosy, as they don't like to lay around hard ground and need naps !

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I am assuming that the 10 acres is not just one big open space with a perimeter fence around it.

Surely your horses are not wandering all over your lawn and right up to your house? Do they have their own paddock? How is it fenced?

As well... how do vehicles get in and out of your land? Do you have a dog-secure gate?

How will you make sure visitors/meter readers/delivery people do not leave it open?

 

By 'field fencing' do you mean what we call 'page wire' fencing? 8" x 10" squares of wire? Or smaller?

A fence that is meant to keep horses in does not always mean it will contain a dog.

A hound can fit through the larger-holed fencing. Or go over it. They can also fit through/under 3-board wooden fencing.

 

I have seen more than one dog injured by horses at friends farms.

Stepped on. Kicked. A couple lost their teeth from kicks. Lucky they weren't killed.

One of my ponies was bitten on the nostril - punctured actually - by a Boxer at a boarding facility. All the pony was doing was sniffing the dogs ball which had rolled under his nose. That dog lunged and bit. No warning.

Over the past 22 years we have had a Springer, GSDx, PointerX, and 3 Dobes here on this farm and none were ever allowed to run loose. The Springer and GSD were occasionally allowed to come to the barn with me while I mucked Both were super bonded with me ...and were quite nervous of the horses. They both had amazing recalls. They also didn't mind being cold or wet.... which it is here much of the year.

 

I don't want to be the only negative person here, but not all dogs and horses should be left to 'run free' with each other.

Even mucking stalls and other jobs take ones' attention away from the critters.

It only takes a split second for an accident to happen....or your hound to bolt off after a rabbit or cat or squirrel or deer or .....

 

My horses and hounds only get together if the dogs are leashed.

It is not worth the price - and not just the financial cost - to let them be unsupervised. Ever.

Edited by BatterseaBrindl

 

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Guest GreyOrchard

Of course, with any greyhound and in fact with any dog, you have to go slowly and carefully at first in terms of introducing the dog to livestock and in terms of recall. You might, for example, have a lovely old horse who likes dogs, and will gently tickle your greyhound's head with its lips. This would be a good intro. You might also do a bit of lunge work with a reliable horse and have your greyhound on a leash at your side, depending on how skilled you are. This lunge exposure is excellent for the greyhound, because he or she sees the horse moving at different paces and more importantly, observes that YOU are running the show here, and that the horse or horses in general are part of you, part of the pack. Walking your greyhound and your horse to and from the stable and the arena is very bonding and sets the tone for the future.

 

In fact, the reason why the left side is traditionally the "correct" side for the dog to walk with you actually pre-dates the often quoted reasoning related to military training. It in fact is from many hundreds of years ago, when your horse was walked on your right because most people are right handed and that is the strongest arm, and the dog was walked on the left because the right side was already taken by the stronger animal. So hounds and horses have worked together for many centuries and you need to acclimate your greyhound to this new but old other creature.

 

See this:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunt_in_the_Forest

 

and enlarge it, and notice the man just right of center with the younger leashed greyhound who is learning recall and general behaviour around horses.

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Guest WhiteWave

My foster Greyhound puppy earlier this year went to a home where the owner works on a horse farm. He goes to work with her daily and follows as she exercises horses or just hangs out in the barn. He loves it and does very well. He was 6 months old when she adopted him, he is almost 11 months old now and is really good with the horses, other dogs and barn cats.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here in UK i dont own my own horse, so have ridden in several riding schools, most have several dogs running loose in the yard - no secure dog proof fence, no supervision. Even small puppies, i remember having to be very careful not to run a lab pup over when iwas trying to reverse! In that yard, the manager had a lurcher, kept loose but muzzled all the time. She had issues with some dogs.

 

To me, that was a bit too lax but OTOH caring for horses is very intensive and would be difficult to do chores with a dog on a lead.

 

By contrast, the place i ride at now, some of the stable hands have dogs and they are always contained. Either on leads or in the office. One of the girls got a lab pup, always on a lead around the yard ( but they lived on site, so dog could be put in the house when busy with chores ). Now the pup is older and well trained; she is off leash in the yard but called away from getting under horse feet. She plays fetch and accompanies on chores. She is a delightful, well mannered 1 year old dog but that couple really put time and effort in and didn't allow her loose to run riot.

 

At first i thought it odd the way they kept her on lead, since most horse places are very laid back about loose dogs but now i see they set her up for success and made her safe, but it took consistent training and on lead control.

 

Unfortunately one of the yard cats did get kicked by a horse and had surgery and a big vet bill, but survived.

 

I think it would be lovely to have horses and my greyhound too but in the shoes of a horse owner new adopter, i would be looking to adopt one that has been around horses before, probably.

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