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Hiya! New To The Forum, Questions On Greyhounds:)


Guest SwiftandGrey
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Guest SwiftandGrey

Hi! I'm new to this forum, and I don't yet have a greyhound. I decided to join because after getting both books and looking online, I couldn't get a straight answer on Greyhound care. I can't yet drive, so I might be a little limited in what I can do, keep that in mind. This might not be the right place for questions, I've been on forums similar but not sure of this forum layout :)

 

1. Can I keep my greyhound in a townhouse humanely?

2. I know it is a fragile dog, are stairs a no-no? I have stairs, worried about injury on them

3. I of course can take it on walks 2-3 times a day, but I want it to be able to straight out run sometimes. The answer that came to my mind was a dog park...

Will my dog get parasites from this place?

Is it safe to let him run in a pen without any toys, trees, etc.?

Can he run with one or two other big dogs?

Do I have to muzzle him for other dogs safety?

4. I have another small, fluffy dog. She is rather playful, worried that the other dog would bite/ chase her. I would get a cat safe, small dog safe grey, of course, but would this behavior trigger the dog to hurt or chase her?

5. How healthy as far as injury and disease is the breed? Overall vet bill for greys?

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1. I had a grey in a townhouse for a while and she would have been fine if she was the right fit. Sadly, she was very high energy and needed a yard! I know plenty of people who have greys in townhomes or condos.

2. Tessa did stairs just fine. If your stairs are open-backed or hardwood, you might be more concerned, but regular carpeted stairs are no problem as long as you train your pup how to do them without leaping.

3. Dog parks are usually a no-no. I know people who take their greys to dog parks without issue, and I know others who have had horrendous experiences. See if you can find any grey-only playdates in your area. If not, maybe ask your adoption group if there's another grey parent nearby who has a yard and can let your pup come over for playdates with their pup (muzzled, of course!). You want to muzzle when your grey runs with other greys who are muzzled. Never muzzle a dog who is running with unmuzzled dogs - they need to be able to protect themselves. That being said, it's safest to only let your pup run with muzzled hounds.

4. The right grey will be just fine, but it may take a little time to find that right hound. Many can be cat safe, but even the calmest can get worked up about a yippy little fluffball! It's definitely possible. The muzzle will be your friend in the beginning.

5. Vet bills and health vary greatly from dog to dog, and that means every dog, not just greyhounds. Our first hound was healthy his entire life until osteo took him at 12. Our second was healthy (other than a spider bite, which wasn't her fault) until a series of strokes took her at 9. My third was in and out of the vet every month. My next dog (a terrier) was pretty healthy other than age-related issues (and a nagging anal gland problem we couldn't solve) - she still cost me a ton at the vet because random little things would happen and off to the vet we'd go. And I didn't have Tessa long enough to get a good read on her, but she had a lot of little issues (yeast infections in her ears, repeatedly dislocated toe) that I was able to handle at home after the initial "What is this!?" visit :lol

 

My best advice is to really talk to your group and let them know your exact concerns and needs. Most groups are more than happy to help you and work with you and offer a bunch of advice, but they can't do that unless you've very up front and open with them!

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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Okay, lots of good questions. I have to take my hound for walks because I don't have a fenced in yard. We go for at least 4 walks a day. She is our only grey so we go for walks as long as she wants to walk. Some walks are only 10 minutes. Others are a half hour. They are not fragile dogs, but their skin tears easily. My dog will go up and down 3 to 4 stairs with no problem. She refuses to go down our basement stairs. We even tried to make them closed stairs but she still won't go down them. I personally don't like dog parks. It makes me nervous. I took my hounds once. We were the only ones there. When another big dog showed up, it started barking at mine. We left because based on the dog's body language, it was hostile toward mine. It wasn't worth it! Instead, we take them to the local baseball field. We clean up after them and it's much safer for the dogs. I don't know why you would think your dog should be muzzled for the OTHER dogs safety. Greyhounds are not usually aggressive. They just have thin skin. Only once was my dogs skin torn. It happened because they were running and one dog got excited and accidentally did it. He did have to have stitches but it healed great.

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1. Humane to you, or neighbors? If you're worried about not having a fenced yard to run in, we never had one for Monty. Multiple walks a day for exercise and bathroom breaks, but that is in all weather types, and you'll be out there too, so prepare yourself for it. If you're worried about having a dog that barks or whines when they are alone, you would have to see about getting one that doesn't have separation anxiety. And you may want to be on good terms with neighbors and explain that there will likely be barking and whining for a while even if they aren't particularly anxious. Cookies, brownies, even just a visit to show you're trying will help.

 

2. Fragile? Are you thinking about *Italian* greyhounds (10-20 lbs) and not full-sized greyhounds (55+ lbs)? Greys are not particularly fragile! They are athletes, and fragility doesn't last long in any sport! Some greys have trouble with stairs merely because they may never have seen them and haven't grown up learning to use them when small, and their stride and our stride bear little resemblance on stairs so they're more awkward for them.

 

3. Dog parks are a mixed bag and frequently depend on the people who frequent them. But yes, parasites and diseases can be transmitted anywhere dogs meet, and where dog waste is likely (definitely dog parks!). Some people are great at picking up, while others don't give a poop to pick it up. That makes for a bad park! Also problematic are people who don't watch their dogs, who don't understand dog body language, who don't realize that their dog *must* be well behaved AND controllable in an off leash situation. With that in mind, greyhounds aren't a great listener in themselves, and can be off to the other end of a park in an instant which means that you will not be able to be right there if something happens. Recall can be difficult to train, because they aren't bred and trained to obey like many are, so they're more independently minded. Also, please don't consider going and releasing your dog if you aren't sure that you can catch him/her! I've seen people who haven't been able to catch their dog until the dog was good and ready (=dangerous and frustrating!).

 

As for running with other dogs, it depends on the individual dogs and how they behave. Some think a game of running around together is great fun, while others get too hyped up and get mouthy or start wrestling and that can cause injuries quickly! If one dog is muzzled, all should be. And you should see how the dogs interact before releasing them, because sometimes there is just a personality conflict. Or one acts like a jerk or bully and can cause snarking or snarling...which can cause a true fight. Many people here say it just isn't worth the risk. You *must* know your own dog before even attempting it, because you don't want to be the one bringing the jerk into the park! That can mean months or over a year before you know how your dog truly will react.

 

Running free is not a requirement. Monty did crazy zoomies from one room to another (carpeted area) and that was only maybe 25 feet long. Some get the crazies out by just spinning in place in smaller areas than that.

 

4. Controlled interactions will help ensure a small-dog-friendly grey won't be able to get overexuberant and potentially injure the small one. Don't just throw them together, and nip any overexcitement in the bud. That means from the little one, too. The small one may offer to play and just through running get in the way of greyhound bodies and legs and get tumbled. Some greys can and will play great with others of any size, some only run, some get mouthy when they play, and some will look terribly insulted when someone else shows up to their 'play' session and stop and pout. I'd be cautious if your dog is a 'yelper' because that can trigger things to get way too intense quickly.

 

5. The breed is pretty healthy in general, because they've been bred to be athletes. If you're talking about retired racers, they have had generations of breeding and culling of those that don't perform or are unhealthy genetically. My Monty's litter, for example, had 6 pups, only one made it to racing, and she wasn't up to snuff and only had one season before retirement. I don't know why the other 4 of his litter didn't race, but Monty had seizures (which is why he didn't make it, and probably why they never made that particular cross again). Other than that, he was healthy, hale and hearty until about six months before we said goodbye because his body just suddenly started failing. At 12+ years old. In general, a very healthy breed. Accidents and diseases happen, as they do to all breeds, but not at excessively high rates. The discussions here, in Health & Medical especially, are outliers. It would be like going to the hospital and talking with the people there and assuming that heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, and other ailments were prevalent in the human population at those high levels.

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Welcome to you and your questions! To add to the above:

 

1. Townhouse -- in the U.S., retired racers have been kept since young adulthood mostly in large crates and let out 3-4x a day in relatively small open areas for potty breaks. A townhouse will seem enormous to a dog used to being in a crate most of the day. Most adult greyhounds are relatively low energy and sleep a lot.

 

3. Dog parks -- Most greyhounds don't like to wrestle and rough-house like other dogs. They don't appreciate being mauled, as I'm sure they think of it. Their idea of fun is to chase other dogs, most of whom do not appreciate that. One place I lived, I took my greys very early in the morning to a dog park on weekends, but all they ever did was trot around and pee everywhere. No running, because there was nothing to chase. Except for sometimes the idiot owners of small dogs who insisted on putting their little dogs in the big dog area. That meant I had to leash up mine and leave. I never had a problem with any of my greys and small dogs, but I didn't want to have it happen for the first time in the relatively uncontrolled area of a dog park.

 

5. Although greys are generally pretty healthy, because they are big dogs everything will be more expensive than you are used to with a small dog because they will need larger amounts of medicine, flea preventatives, etc.

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Guest SwiftandGrey

Thanks for all of your responses! I wanted to be more specific and I forgot on VERY important detail.

 

As far as our small dog, she is not a "yelper" and is from what I've seen with an older dog who we had when we got her, can respect and not be too playful. Her jaw strength should be able to ward of, if ABSOLUTELY needed, an overexcited dog. Intro might be rough but nothing I think we can't work around with the right grey :)

The real issue is my 7 year old sister. :gh_child

She can be rough and before she learned proper dog behavior, she often invaded the space of our small dog and touched her paws, etc. She is a very calm dog and has never had an issue with this, but I'm not sure about a grey. I'm not worried about the grey hurting her, actually, I'm worried about her hurting or making the grey fearful. She's overall above the age limit that most grey owners recommend, but is hyper and loves to play, run, and when she's bored, bother dog. I've herd mixed reviews on keeping children with a greyhound, some saying, "NO NEVER DO IT EVER", some "Only if the child is above 6" and some "my greyhound makes the perfect family pet!"

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I've herd mixed reviews on keeping children with a greyhound, some saying, "NO NEVER DO IT EVER", some "Only if the child is above 6" and some "my greyhound makes the perfect family pet!"

 

Yes, mixed reviews because the individual reactions are very mixed. They're mixed with all dogs, but it's an especially important issue with large dogs because the dog's jaws are so close to the child's face, and the large, powerful bite could be so much worse than a small dog's.

 

Many racing greys were not raised with or even exposed to kids. Two of my greys were absolutely crazy about kids and actively sought them out, one would quietly avoid them, and the rest of them have treated kids about the same as they treated adults (loved everybody).

 

1) Can you take your sister when you meet prospective dogs? That will give you a good idea of how tolerant individual dogs might be.

2) Can you manage your sister's expectations? Tell her in advance that most greyhounds don't like rough-housing or chasing balls, and that some don't like being disturbed when they're sleeping. Young kids in my extended family have enjoyed running around the yard with my greys. One popular activity is the lure pole -- holding a long, strong pole with a line and a lure (a plastic bag or stuffed toy) tied to it. Human holds the pole like a fishing pole and twirls around. Dog goes crazy running for the lure. Great exercise for all. Google "dog lure pole" or "dog flirt pole."

3) Supervise, supervise, supervise. Always.

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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I've had greyhounds before I had kids, so the kids have always had a greyhound or 2.

 

From my experience greyhounds mostly do get along with kids. They are all individuals so I don't think there should be a hard rule with regard to children. My kids have lived with 4 greyhounds over the years plus some fosters. The dogs have ranged from outwardly seeking the kids affections to mostly ignoring the kids. I've only had one foster that I didn't work in my home because of the kids. My kids now 8 and 5 can get rowdy and loud but know very well not to bother or goof around near the dogs. The rule in my house is you NEVER pet/touch a dog while on their dog beds. One of my greyhounds does love to cuddle on the couch with the kids but the kids don't fuss much with her even then.

I think it will be important for your sister to understand that you can't bother the dog, especially when brand new. If she can't respect a dogs space, a greyhound most likely isn't the best choice. Also asking the adoption group for a dog that was fostered with children and likes them would be a big advantage to ensure a good match.

Hobbes-Ricard Hatch09/23/99-12/21/09 Always loved, never forgotten. Wally TNJ Boy Howdy, GLS Genuinerisk Corinna

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