Jump to content

Advice On Adopting - Grey Or Whippet


Recommended Posts

Hello All! I've been haunting this board as a guest over the months, but am in need of some experience and advice.

 

I am looking to get a dog soon, and after much research on dog breeds I thought a greyhound or whippet would suit me well. I have the opportunity to get either, a two year old whippet that needs a new home or a retired grey. I have not met the whippet but am told he is mellow and his previous owner was 80, so he probably isn't too crazy. I have no idea what grey I would get from the agency, they match up based on profile. I have passed the interviews and home checks.

 

I have a couple of issues that impact my situation:

I have some back and joint issues that would make it difficult to lift a heavy dog, or hold onto it if it bolted at full force. The grey people have said this shouldn't be an issue, they'll look for a petite grey with a low prey drive to minimize these issues.

 

I also have a tiny (and I mean super tiny) studio apartment with no yard. The main living space is probably the size of a master bedroom (about 14x16) with a separate kitchen and bath attached. I'm in SoCal where it never rains or gets too cold, so getting stuck inside during the winter is not an issue, and I have a well thought out plan for their exercise including am/pm potty breaks and walks, and weekly adventures at the beach, around town, or short hikes in the mountains.

 

I had originally thought I would be able to take my dog to work with me, but due to recent changes in workplace rules, I may not be able to. This means my dog would need to stay in my apartment for 9-10hrs M-F. If I get a power snoozer with a big bladder that could care less about a mid day potty break, great, but if not, I'll have to work out coming home for lunch (20min drive both ways), or ask a local family member to potty walk them for me.

 

Also important, I can have one dog only, so getting a companion is not an option, nor is moving to a new apartment (courtesy of the ridiculous SoCal rents).

 

For those of you who managed to read through my novel, this is where I kindly ask for your advice. I have no experience of whippets, but greys have long been one of my favorite breeds. My heart leans toward a grey, but I'm getting pressure from my family and others to get the whippet given their smaller size. For those of you that have had both, which would you recommend, especially given my situation? Even though the greyhound folks approved my apartment, am I totally crazy trying to bring a medium to large sized dog into that small of a space? Does anyone have advice on handling a 50-60lb dog that I can't pick up in one go? I'm particularly concerned about how to handle my dog as it ages (and I do too!).

 

Thanks so much to anyone who replies! This is really tearing at my heart.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome to the sighthound world! Sounds like you have some great options available to you.

 

Where is this whippet coming to you from? Directly from the owner or was is given to a rescue group who is now adopting it to you? My recommendation potentially hinges on this information. If the whippet is coming from an adoption group (ideally has been in a foster home) then you may be getting a great dog that is already used to a home environment (doesn't need to be taught the stairs, how to jump into a vehicle, etc) which could be a huge benefit to you. However, the fact that you say the previous owner was 80 concerns me a little because it may mean the dog hasn't been left at home alone much and might struggle with separation anxiety (flip side is if it's been in a foster home they may have already tested this out and found that the dog is totally fine).

 

Even a small, female greyhound is difficult to carry around if not mobile. My girls are both just under 60 lbs but I have a hard time picking them up and carrying them because greyhounds are very long and tall and it's just awkward. If mobility is a significant concern for your I'd probably favour the smaller breed.

 

Either breed should be able to do an 8-9 hr work day with no issues.

 

Honestly, if the whippet can be vetted well and doesn't have separation anxiety issues then I'd probably go with that. The greyhound adoption group will pair you up the best they can, and hopefully they work with foster homes, but you likely still have a large breed do that needs to be taught the stairs and how to get into a vehicle. But of course, I have 3 greyhounds so I mean, all other factors and requirements aside I'd say get a greyhound. ha ha.

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

Like us on Facebook!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Greyaholic! Thank you for your response!

 

The whippet was returned to the breeder when the owner passed away. She's a good breeder, and he's used to being an only dog, so yes, probably don't have to teach him too much. However, as you pointed out, his owner was most probably with him at all times, which makes me a little anxious. I don't want him to have to deal with depression from losing his person, AND separation anxiety from not having anyone with him for a good part of the day. I also feel like with a grey at least my tiny studio would seem like an improvement from kennel life, whereas the whippet is probably used to a much larger home.

 

As for mobility, that's not so much a problem, I can walk fine, just not for more than one or two miles without a break. It's lifting heavy weights that is more the problem. I can lift my goddaughter that weighs 50lbs from standing, but would probably have a harder time from squating. I haven't tried it to know. I can flip up my ~100lb matress, so who knows, it's just not something I've tried to test too much. The joint issue is that I have lax ligaments, so if the dog were to bolt very hard, it could potentially dislocate my shoulder. It's unlikely, but not impossible. That's why they were going to look for a low prey drive dog for me.

 

Thanks again for the input.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno, 9-10 hours seems to be getting a bit long to me, though I know some hounds do just fine with that. If you can get a sitter or make a quick trip home that might be good.

 

It is difficult to ensure that a younger greyhound (say, 4 yo or younger) will never bolt. Thing is, they are just off the track, everything is so new and different for them, they can get startled and bolt in response to many things, car horns, a bag blowing in the wind, whatever. One thought, would you be willing to consider an older greyhound? Two options come to mind: a return, which can occur through no fault of the dog (owner moves into an apartment that bars dogs, or simply passes away), or a brood mother that may become available at 6 yo or even older. Benefit of an older hound is that they are less energetic (not so much residual puppy in them), and also the adoption group might have a better handle on the dog's personality. Of course, some people don't want an older dog, the time with it will usually be shorter than with a dog just off the track, but just a thought.

 

I don't know much about whippets so can't provide input there.

Rob
Logan - LoganMaxicon15K.jpg - Max (Aug. 4, 2004 - Jan. 11, 2018)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Jr. Grey Lover. I appreciate the input! I'm not against an older dog, but I don't think they had any over 6. They had recently gotten 3 Broodies (what they seem to be called) in, one of which I liked very much though she was pretty shy and nervous. She actually came up to me for a pet, which was pretty special. A spook might not be the best choice though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the broodie came up to you for a pet, she is not a spook--she is probably just a little shy.

 

Frankly I love brood mamas, I was blessed to have one for several years. She was a lovely, intelligent, confident lady. Only the best of the best are chosen to have puppies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had both. My whippet required more exercise than most of my greys ever have. Since the whippet is available now, maybe you could foster him/her to see if it works?

gallery_16605_3214_8259.jpg

Cindy with Miss Fancypants
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think a 2-yr-old whippet will show more energy than a greyhound the same age, and certainly more than a 3-4 yr-old grey. I have always been told that most medium-large breeds have a lot of puppy qualities until they're about 3. Even a smaller whippet is strong and can exert a lot of force if bolting on a leash. So I think the main difference would be in your ability to pick them up. Assuming you do not have stairs to your apartment, you would probably need to pick one up only in an emergency.

 

IMHO, it comes down to the individual dogs. At least meet the whippet, take it on a walk, ask if its previous owner was able to let it out in a yard to get its ya-ya's out. Get a sense of how quiet it is inside. Most greyhounds would be able to handle your situation just fine. I have never had a greyhound bolt on leash in 20 years. But I have had to ask a neighbor to help me carry a suddenly ill greyhound to my car.

siggy_z1ybzn.jpg

Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

my 3.5 year old whippet who i was lucky enough to adopt is STRONG!!!! he has his championship and is perfect on lead, but does try to test me out when it comes to squirrels! a round of obedience classes has put him on the right track. whippets are more mischievous than greyhounds(i have had 3) but delightful. my boy might be out of the normal but he buries bones, has a super high prey drive and is a wisenheimer!

 

yes, it's difficult for most of us to lift a gh. i know exactly what you are saying.

 

have you considered an italian greyhound? they use piddle pads due to their toy sized bladders but are very transportable, full of vim and vigor and do not know that they are that small. we steered away since i like a larger dog. but my good friend who has afghans also has hysterical IGs who are entertainment on legs!

 

dogs do not need a lot of indoor space, but their beds do! something to consider. any dog can and will bolt and if you are concerned about your back i would say down size, nothing heavier than 15-20 pounds. but the suggestion for a brood mom might be the perfect dog! big but gentle.

 

but do meet the whippet and possibly ask for a trial period. i signed a contract for a one month trial with the wisenheimer. i wish all adoption groups were this careful. at the end of a month they do start to adjust to your lifestyle and you will know if this is the right dog for you.

best of luck

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All,

 

Thank you so much for your input and feedback! And also, my apologies for not getting the handles correct - total newb mistake!

 

I don't think I have the option for a trial period with the whippet, a friend of the breeder will be bringing him to a local dog show and the breeder is asking for payment at the time of pick up, and he's not inexpensive. That's part of what makes me nervous, it will be hard to get a feel for him in that situation.

 

I've only ever had large dogs, so it's been hard trying to find something smaller that I'm interested in. I've always shied away from IG's but maybe I'll take a look again. I'm very clumsy though, and would be quite nervous that I'd injure them just walking around if they got underfoot.

 

I am glad to know that the space doesn't seem to concern anyone too much, that others have needed help lifting their greys, and that EllenEveBaz hasn't had one bolt on her. I certainly know any dog can bolt - my newfie/shepherd mix dragged me across our lawn bolting after something when I was young and she was the sweetest most placid dog I've met. A low prey drive dog should help mitigate the chance of it happening. I'm going to ask my physical therapist to help me do a weight lifting test tomorrow, we'll see how that turns out.

 

Thank you all again for your help! Happy to hear more input from anyone else!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I want to remark on the 9-10 hrs. Even if they can hold it, it's not healthy in the long run because they learn to drink less.

 

When you go to work, do not use the facilities. Try it for only one day. You will have an idea of what you're asking a dog to do daily.

 

I wish you would have read my post thoroughly. I did not say I would leave a dog for 9-10 hours with no break. I have seen several other posters on this board mention that their dogs wouldn't get up for a mid day potty break, so they stopped their noon time dog walkers. What I said was that if I was lucky enough to get a dog that didn't want a break, great, but otherwise I'd have to work out a mid day break by coming home or hiring a walker.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years, we've had all breeds - Colley/Sheppard mix; Golden retriever; Maltisse; Sheltie; 4 Whippets; and recently 2 Greys (adopted from Fl track) Female 9 yrs (adopted at 18 months - pulled up lame) - Male 5 yrs ( broken back hock - Vets fumbled the ball with rehab) - arthritis setting in - The Female has a high prey-drive - she has knocked me and my wife over going after a squirrel/cat/small dog. The male is laid back, and wants to meet everything that will pay attention to him. Both dogs are 31 kg ( 70 lbs). Both wonderful with baby's , youngsters. Previously we had 4 Whippets - 1st had separation anxiety because we were working at the time , the kids were at school, and we tried to cage her. - not a good idea, we dropped the cage idea and things went well.Grey's are more laid back , but if they "lock on to a cat/squirrel etc, you have to be strong enough to stop "intial charge'. The Whippets are more controllable, because of size. We love the Grey's but would probably go back to Whippet's if only beacuse of size. Grumpy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years, we've had all breeds - Colley/Sheppard mix; Golden retriever; Maltisse; Sheltie; 4 Whippets; and recently 2 Greys (adopted from Fl track) Female 9 yrs (adopted at 18 months - pulled up lame) - Male 5 yrs ( broken back hock - Vets fumbled the ball with rehab) - arthritis setting in - The Female has a high prey-drive - she has knocked me and my wife over going after a squirrel/cat/small dog. The male is laid back, and wants to meet everything that will pay attention to him. Both dogs are 31 kg ( 70 lbs). Both wonderful with baby's , youngsters. Previously we had 4 Whippets - 1st had separation anxiety because we were working at the time , the kids were at school, and we tried to cage her. - not a good idea, we dropped the cage idea and things went well.Grey's are more laid back , but if they "lock on to a cat/squirrel etc, you have to be strong enough to stop "intial charge'. The Whippets are more controllable, because of size. We love the Grey's but would probably go back to Whippet's if only beacuse of size. Grumpy

 

Hi Grumpy, Thank you so much for your input! It's nice to hear from someone who's had both. I've has someone else locally say the same, he's had and likes both, but finds the whippets so easy. However, this may be my one chance to have a larger dog, so I've decided to try for the grey. The agency I've been working with is trying to find me a low prey drive hound under 60lbs. I've also been looking into Saluki's or Galgos as alternates, since they're in between the whippet and grey in size. If none of those works, I'll move on to the whippets. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello from a fellow SoCal resident!

My buddy Aston (featured in my avatar) passed away in 2014, but I still lurk and occasionally contribute because GT is great :)

Aston's weight held steady at about 72lbs, and he was a tallish guy. He had a high prey drive, resulting in the occasional false-start lunge after a squirrel or darting feral cat, but he never pulled hard enough to hurt my shoulder or pull me over. I did slipknot the leash around my wrist to avoid dropping it, so the risk of dislocation was there, but I favored that risk over the risk of Aston taking off.

Aside from the mini-lunges, back when I first brought him home and he was still getting used to the new sights, sounds, and smells in my neighborhood, he would "statue" during walks. There are lots of GT threads about this, mostly from new adopters :)
This was problematic because I couldn't very well just sling Aston over my shoulder and carry him home if he didn't want to walk anymore :lol
This behavior diminished somewhat with time as he got used to the new sensory input, but in the meantime, I did find myself in jams, especially if we were far from home and/or I couldn't afford to sit and stare at a squirrel with Aston all day. My solution in the beginning was to shorten the leash, pin his shoulder to my hip, and get him moving in a few tight circles with a high-pitched, happy "Let's go!" -- that would often shake him free of whatever was causing him to mentally freeze, though I would often have to repeat the maneuver on the same walk.

He was also very reactive to seeing and hearing smaller dogs, so I ended up clicker-training him to look to me when triggered instead of fixating on other things, which had the indirect benefit of giving me a way to get him out of the statue mindset, but that took lots of practice. In the meantime, small circles :)

I could never lift Aston outright, though I had always wanted to train up with a duffel bag full of sand, just in case; I never got around to it. He ended up with progressive lumbosacral stenosis that depleted his hind-end strength to the point that he was sometimes unable to hop into the back of my car on his own. I couldn't lift his whole body, so I would instead bring him perpendicular to the edge of the car, manually lift each foot and place it inside the back of the car, then get behind him and happily yell UP UP! with an upward boost to his hind end as ergonomically as I could manage. The maneuver was surely awkward-looking, but Aston kindly obliged with the help of lots of associated treats.

My big fear was that Aston would suffer a major illness or injury one day and would need to be carried to a car, and I wouldn't be able to do it alone. I was married at the time, so often had a partner at home; but otherwise, I got to know my neighbors and identified who the 'dog people' were who I could call on if I needed help lifting my buddy.

Aston was a veteran home-hound when I got him at age six. Upon adopting him, I proceeded immediately with alone-training per my adoption group's instructions, but found that he already had that framed certificate. :) When I first got him, I arranged to take long lunches to drive 25min to/from work and home to walk him at lunch, but found more often than not that Aston couldn't be bothered to interrupt his couch time to go outside during my stop-in (?!). I then learned after a while that he had his own way of doing things -- he would time his major drinking to when he knew he wouldn't be alone for long stretches, still consuming lots of water overall, but only sipping during the day if we were away -- and the routine for him was the same if we were home all day on weekends. He was used to going out for walks pre-work and post-work, but would only stand outside in the backyard and stare if I let him into the backyard during a lunch break from work. So, eventually, I gave up regular daily checks, and he would often go 9-10 hours between potty breaks. I know that this is not a safe assumption for any dog, but it worked in Aston's case.

In your case, being able to go home during the workday is great :) you would get to know your dog, and go from there.

As for the tiny apartment, I had a two-story condo at the time, but each floor was tiny and crowded with furniture. Aston was allowed on our one sofa, so he parked himself there most of the time, and then joined us in the bedroom at night on his own bed. He would do 30-second indoor zoomies at night, but always managed to avoid smacking into furniture, which was amazing given that he was a 72-lb bouquet of elbows :lol

As for the weather in SoCal, I did have to exercise care with Aston despite the mild-ish weather compared to other parts of the U.S.
He actually got chilly enough indoors in the winter that I found him pacing around at night; I bought him some lightweight jersey-knit four-legged jammies (with a Camaro print!), and he stopped pacing and was able to sleep through the chilly nights thereafter.
Because he was so thin-coated (and dark-furred) and had no insulation via fatty tissue, he would also FRY in the sun during warm stretches. I was careful to avoid walking him in the middle of hot days, and would seek shady routes. His back would heat up to the touch so quickly!! I wanted to get/make him a light-colored sun shirt to reflect some of the direct sun; I probably could have just put his head and front legs through a cheap white undershirt, in retrospect. After walks in warm weather, I was always careful to wipe his chest, armpits and paw pads down with a cool rag to help him normalize.

I can't comment on the whippet things, since I don't have any experience. Fostering the whippet for a bit sounds like a good idea, though?

The only downside I can think of in looking for a petite, low-prey greyhound is that you might end up waiting a bit, as petite (especially female) greys and low-prey greys seem to be in highest demand. However, dark-colored, giant, bouquet-of-elbows goofy dudes are generally bouncing around in abundance <3

Best of luck with your search!! It has been a while since I posted here about Aston. I sure miss that guy. Greyhounds are the best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing Aston back to us for a little bit. :grouphug Your description of getting Aston into the car reminds me to recommend to the original poster that she may like to get an assistance harness in case of emergency. They're made to support the dog. You wouldn't want to try to pick up a totally incapacitated dog with one, but they are wonderful for a dog with weakness, a back injury, or 1-2 legs not working well. My Nutmeg wore one made by GodsGreyts (Etsy site) 24/7 during her last months with lumbar stenosis, and it made life much more pleasant for both of us. There are many other makers, too.

siggy_z1ybzn.jpg

Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming in late on this .

 

I have had four whippets and now have Nutmeg, a whippet lurcher who is slightly larger than my pedigree dogs and Chancey, a 28kg greyhound bitch. I would love to take on another greyhound after Chancey goes on but know that I could not cope with it physically if anything happened to it and I needed to lift or carry it by myself. This was brought home to me when my last whippet suffered a ruptured disk in his back and for a couple of days I tried to look after him at home after the vet said there was a chance he might recover movement. By the third day I realised I didn’t have the strength to help him in and out of the house all the time and there was no way he was going to rest enough to make any sort of recovery possible so I made the decision to ask the vet to come to the house to euthanase him.

I already had Chancey and this is now something I worry about, that if she has major mobiiity issues as she gats older then we are both going to struggle. I had to get her in and out of the car a couple of weeks ago after she had stitches in her side and two vet nurses put her in for me but it was a worry getting her out whilst she was still woozy from the sedation. I managed but it was difficult. When she is being difficult and won’t jump in the back of the car by herself I have to lift her front paws up onto the bumper then heave her rear end up and in and if she locks her elbows it can be quite hard and doesn’t do my back any good! That’s when we are coming home from an outing, on the way out she leaps in like a gazelle!

I have been able to lift and carry a whippet for a short distance by myself but couldn’t carry it very far.

 

Even a whippet can pull you off your feet if you are not prepared for it and both breeds can be eager to chase something like a cat, squirrel or rabbit when they see it move, however I have held on to four whippets and kept my feet and both of my current dogs would be after the local cats given a chance! The secret is not to let them have too much lead. Whenever I spot something that might excite my dogs I bring them in beside me on a short lead so that they cannot get the chance to take off, because once they start to run It is much harder to control them.

 

As for leaving them alone, I don’t have to go out to work but try not to leave mine for more than four hours at a time.

Miss "England" Carol with Chancey - (Goosetree Chance) and whippet lurcher Nutmeg

R.I.P. Bluegrass Banjoman. 25.1.2004 - 25.5.2015 and Ch. Sleepyhollow Aida. 30.9.2000 - 10.1.2014.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...