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Mika428

Considering Adopting a Grey--Help Me Take the Right Steps!

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Hi Community! I am a new member thinking of adopting a Greyhound.  My research has indicated a Grey (likely ex-racer) would be the right choice, but I'm looking for guidance from this community to help me think through whether this is right for me/the dog and what considerations I should be aware of. I am a newish dog owner (had a dog when I was very young) as well as never having owned a Grey, so I want to make sure I tread carefully in making this commitment.

I live in a high rise apartment with no yard (a little green space for bathroom breaks, would have to go to public spaces for any vigorous exercise) and would mostly be worried about the dog being able to get into elevators, interaction with other people and dogs in the building, and not having too much room in an apartment.

I work long hours, sometimes unpredictable, and do not have a significant other, so the dog may need to be home alone for anywhere between 9-12 hours at a time. I would plan to get a dog walker for days where it stretches on the 11-12 hour end. I am hoping to get the dog potty trained to use a pee pad (or in the bathtub?) in an emergency, though I know that's idealistic.

In light of my lack of experience, working hours, etc., I  think I should be looking for a somewhat low energy dog, maybe around 4-5 y.o. (ie not a pup), that is, importantly, able to be alone (though I'd love it to be otherwise affectionate and cuddly). I know I should look for a Grey that has been fostered so that hopefully I won't be working from the ground up training and assimilation-wise and so that any issues hopefully won't be a surprise. 

Does anyone have experience adopting under similar circumstances or have insight on what else I need to consider? If it helps, I am in New England.

Edited by Mika428
Clarifying character traits I'm looking for in a dog

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Very long days at work, very long. What about your social life? Doesn't  that mean more time out of the house? Animals need stimulation and companionship.

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13 minutes ago, cleptogrey said:

Very long days at work, very long. What about your social life? Doesn't  that mean more time out of the house? Animals need stimulation and companionship.

Yes, but plenty of people aren't home for this duration of time. Pretty normal if you work a standard 8-9 hour work day to be gone almost 10 hours after you factor in even a relatively short commute. A greyhound is perhaps one of the better suited dogs for this kind of lifestyle because their exercise needs are not extreme.

I am typically gone 8-9 hours per day, but arguably I spend more hands on time with my dogs than some people who work shorter days. Most of my free time is spent with the dogs, but not all as I also have sports that don't involve the dogs. I don't think anyone would argue that my dogs are under exercised or under stimulated, particularly by greyhound standards. ;) 

For the OP: if you stretch past the 9-10 hour mark you will definitely need some sort of arrangement for a mid-day potty break and leg stretch. If you plan to come home to your dog and spend your evening with him/her and a good chunk of your time on weekends with the dog/around the house, then I don't see any problem with this. Just make sure you are up front with your adoption group so they can choose an appropriate individual for you... probably something 3-4+ years old and on the lower side of the energy scale... also a dog that doesn't have any separation anxiety. Personally I would probably adopt from a group that fosters their dogs so they can get an idea of these things, as well as a dog that has been exposed to elevators (or who is very confident and will likely accept an elevator with little hesitation).


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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3 hours ago, krissy said:

For the OP: if you stretch past the 9-10 hour mark you will definitely need some sort of arrangement for a mid-day potty break and leg stretch. If you plan to come home to your dog and spend your evening with him/her and a good chunk of your time on weekends with the dog/around the house, then I don't see any problem with this. Just make sure you are up front with your adoption group so they can choose an appropriate individual for you... probably something 3-4+ years old and on the lower side of the energy scale... also a dog that doesn't have any separation anxiety. Personally I would probably adopt from a group that fosters their dogs so they can get an idea of these things, as well as a dog that has been exposed to elevators (or who is very confident and will likely accept an elevator with little hesitation).

I agree a 4+ year old low energy dog would be good and dogs do exist who don't have separation anxiety despite the impression sometimes given. I know because I've got one. She looks forward to me going out because she gets her Kong full of kibble. As for elevators mine doesn't hesitate when I visit my mother in her flat (apartment) on the 3rd floor but get it used to stairs too for when the elevator breaks down.

Remember a lot of patience, humour and time is needed when you first get your hound but the more you put in the greater the reward with these lovely animals. 


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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6 hours ago, cleptogrey said:

Very long days at work, very long. What about your social life? Doesn't  that mean more time out of the house? Animals need stimulation and companionship.

This is a valid point but as Krissy mentioned, I think my lifestyle would be to spend most of my free time on weekdays and almost all of the weekend with the dog and bring the dog out when I go out on appropriate occasions. I'm a lawyer so I honestly don't have a social life, and part of the motivation to get a dog is to have more interaction with a living being after work.

I'm still trying to figure out the schedule but it would probably look something like me waking up around 5:30 or 6 to take out the dog for potty and a half hour walk, food, get ready, take it out one more time for potty before I leave for work around 7 or 7:30, then I would get back home around 5 or 6 and repeat. What worries me most is the time the dog would be alone, not whether I'd be able to hang out with it in my free time.

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A dog walker definitely,  but also look into doggy daycare a few days a week so the dog has some exercise and interaction.

Honestly, as long as you are strictly committed to getting your dog a few good walks every single day, there's no real difference living in an apartment vs living in a detached home.

The only other consideration, imo, is having a plan for emergency situations.  How do you get your dog to the vet if s/he is sick or injured and isn't mobile.


Chris - Mom to: Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Lilly, and Felicity ( DeLand )

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

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would mostly be worried about the dog being able to get into elevators, interaction with other people and dogs in the building, and not having too much room in an apartment.

I've never had trouble teaching a dog about elevators.  Keep a short but not tight grip on the leash, give a cheerful and confident command word of your choice when the doors open, and in you go.  If you can manage it, a first time trip is best taken when there's not too many distracting people around.  Or maybe there's a freight elevator that isn't used much?  A treat once you're in doesn't hurt.  Getting out of an elevator seems to come naturally to most dogs.  Your biggest problem might be with people who are scared of big dogs when the doors open and there is one right in front of them.  I've had people turn pale and say they'll take the next elevator.  

Do you know someone now or can you introduce yourself to someone in the building who has a dog already?  Get an alliance built early and learn some inside info about the history of the dog/people culture in your building.   Prepare yourself -- you are going to get a lot of attention with a greyhound next to you.  Introducing the dog to people -- keep cheerful and confident; many greyhounds are social creatures but yours may be overwhelmed with its new life at first.  You want to reinforce with your voice and body language that meeting new people is a good thing.  Introducing the dog to other dogs -- be cautious and don't push it.

A retired racing greyhound has spent most of its adult life in a crate, with 3-4 turnouts a day.  Racing twice a week, on average, I think?  The dog will think your apartment is the Taj Mahal.  

 

Edited by EllenEveBaz

Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

 

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 4:10 AM, Mika428 said:

This is a valid point but as Krissy mentioned, I think my lifestyle would be to spend most of my free time on weekdays and almost all of the weekend with the dog and bring the dog out when I go out on appropriate occasions. I'm a lawyer so I honestly don't have a social life, and part of the motivation to get a dog is to have more interaction with a living being after work.

I'm still trying to figure out the schedule but it would probably look something like me waking up around 5:30 or 6 to take out the dog for potty and a half hour walk, food, get ready, take it out one more time for potty before I leave for work around 7 or 7:30, then I would get back home around 5 or 6 and repeat. What worries me most is the time the dog would be alone, not whether I'd be able to hang out with it in my free time.

I think your schedule is very generous. My husband and I work at the same company, only 10 minutes away from home. We carpool, but we work 9 hour days. We only come home to take our girl out during lunch if we will be stuck any longer than the 9. She has separation anxiety so is crated- she loves her crate and feels safest there. If she is left out she has a meltdown and howls/jumps around. For her safety we keep her in the crate. We do not come home at lunch only because it upsets her more to be let out for such a brief period and be put back in. Each dog is different, but we found what works for ours. She only gets one long walk nearly every night, she's too lazy in the mornings to do much before work. So in my opinion your schedule is very fair. I think if you had a dog walker for long days it would ease your mind and your dog's bladder! But, the age range you are looking for should be perfect. Not too young, and not too old to be incontinent.

Every one else's advice in great. One thing that happened with our girl her first time in an elevator is the second it started moving she tried to shoot backwards- one of us positioned ourselves behind her to stop her. She hasn't done it since, but be prepared so your dog couldn't back out the doors before they close somehow. I also concur with speaking to other tenants with dogs. It's great to be a part of a community that looks out for one another. Plus they may be intimidated at first by a big hound.

We take our girl with us everywhere we physically can. We plan our work days, weekends, vacations, etc around her so she can go with. It can be tiring, and we are pretty much hermits to begin with. We feel a lot of guilt if we have to run out and leave her behind especially after we've had a full day of work. She is extremely social. A lot of the time we will drop her off at my parent's house so she has company and isn't so alone. It might not bother some dogs, but it bothers ours. Keep that in mind that you may want a friend or family member to be able to dog-sit if there is a time you need to be running around a lot and need the peace of mind that your dog is content. Especially in an emergency. That's a big thing for us. We are in the process of adopting a second hound so hopefully in the future we won't feel so tied down. Believe me I wanted a dog my entire life and this is my first, but I didn't expect to feel so much guilt to have to leave her at home. I just want her to be happy, and I know she does not like being alone.

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well, everyone seems to think that schedule works. keep in mind a retired brood mama or a racer who has finished their career around age 5 or so. their energy level will work w/ less exercise. as to stairs, elevators, car, camping etc i just have always done it with out any hesitation. your pup feels the hesitation so, just do it! large apt. is not essential, we have spent our winters in a studio apt. over a garage w/ 2 dogs. i have used dog walkers who were middle and JHS students with great success when i had a longer away schedule. they were fantastic and most reasonable. but then again i have used JHS students as baby sitters for my kid. as to using a kid, just show them the ropes of how to hold a leash properly and how a martingale works. 

 

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