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We’ve been letting our boy off the lead in a field next to our house for a few months. We try to do it every other day at least so he can burn off any pent up energy - which he always seems to have despite how tired he appears at the end of our walk. We let him off in the field and once he works out he’s no longer on the lead he goes ballistic! It’s an absolute joy to watch as he clearly enjoys it so much. Some days we’ll just have one run, other days he’ll have two or three. 

However much fun it is to watch the running, he has days where he goes so fast that he loses his legs beneath him and ends up tumbling over. Sometimes he literally goes head-over-heels (which is quite scary to watch as I’m convinced every time that he’s going to snap his neck) or he’ll tumble while he’s cornering and rolls on his side. It’s a bit like watching the back end go from a motorbike. If he falls he might get up and have another run around but at a slightly slower pace, but he forgets next time and just goes hell for leather. The grass he runs on is soft but his body contorts in such a twisted mess that I worry that he might snap his twiggy legs. He never seems to hurt himself - there is occasional accompanying scream of death, but mostly he just grunts as he tumbles and picks himself up with a sheepish expression.

Do other people’s hounds do this too? Would other people not allow theirs off lead if they thought he might pose a danger to themselves? I would hate to stop him from having so much fun (incidentally, he slips and trips in our garden too when he gets going and it would be almost impossible to restrict him without keeping him on a lead) but I don’t want him to break anything either. He’s a nine year old ex racer (nearly nine, just under two weeks to go!), and a little overweight although we are making good progress with his diet and his snake hips have returned 😁

This post was prompted by my husband asking when did I think we should stop letting him run free but I always thought that would be determined by Buddy himself

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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Both hounds we've had/have were/are too lazy for this to be much of an issue for us, but there definitely is a risk of your guy hurting himself running full bore like that - especially because there could be hazards (mole holes, trash, who knows) in that field, unless you own and maintain it.

You should also look out for this: https://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/pet-talk-put-the-brakes-on-ex-racers/article_403b9c99-1174-5e97-ae10-4624b758eaab.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

If your boy is 9 and still has that much energy I'd wonder whether he's getting too many calories. That's just a lot of big time running for a middle-aged guy.

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34 minutes ago, Bizeebee said:

Both hounds we've had/have were/are too lazy for this to be much of an issue for us, but there definitely is a risk of your guy hurting himself running full bore like that - especially because there could be hazards (mole holes, trash, who knows) in that field, unless you own and maintain it.

You should also look out for this: https://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/pet-talk-put-the-brakes-on-ex-racers/article_403b9c99-1174-5e97-ae10-4624b758eaab.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

If your boy is 9 and still has that much energy I'd wonder whether he's getting too many calories. That's just a lot of big time running for a middle-aged guy.

The field is usually used to keep horses although they haven’t been in there for a while. I do wonder if he’s catching his feet on the longer grass, although rabbit holes could be an issue. Thanks for the link - it’s not something that I would have ever thought about, but he never runs for more than about thirty seconds. It’s all very brief with pit stops if he runs more than once.Calorie wise - we are working our way through some Royal Canin 8+ food which seems to suit his tummy and since we’ve had him on a diet we’ve trimmed his meal sizes down a little. We’ve reduced his treats too. But thanks for the advice as it’s something else I hadn’t considered.

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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it all depends upon the surface the dogs are running on. if wet they will skid out. but generally they bounce right back. sometimes they might be a tad sore the next day if they really wipe out. also, the younger boys are real klutzes. the girls seem to have it together- boys will be boys!

here in the states most adoption groups do not want their dogs running loose. but if your environment is generally safe- why not? i've tended to scuffed up pasterns with my dog running in a manicured yard! my own tall grasses managed to pucture a toe. but all of this is dog ownership. i say let him run it off!

just watch out and don't get wiped out as they cut corners near you! that really hurts- pictures please!

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6 hours ago, cleptogrey said:

it all depends upon the surface the dogs are running on. if wet they will skid out. but generally they bounce right back. sometimes they might be a tad sore the next day if they really wipe out. also, the younger boys are real klutzes. the girls seem to have it together- boys will be boys!

here in the states most adoption groups do not want their dogs running loose. but if your environment is generally safe- why not? i've tended to scuffed up pasterns with my dog running in a manicured yard! my own tall grasses managed to pucture a toe. but all of this is dog ownership. i say let him run it off!

just watch out and don't get wiped out as they cut corners near you! that really hurts- pictures please!

Buddy did a great job of scarifying our lawn but it was the restriction of space and unleashing of the same energy during zoomies that lead us to find somewhere a bit bigger for him to have a run. We tend not to let him off it’s too wet (we do have occasional nice days here, contrary to popular belief!) as it increases his risk of slipping, but he is a clumsy boy and trips over his own feet when he’s busy looking at what else is going on around him.

I would love to post some pictures but...confession time...I’m not on any kind of social media apart from GreyTalk so the photos I have put on are attachments and generally small and not great quality. I am thinking about setting up an Instagram account in Buddy’s name so I might post a load of photos whe;I eventually get round to that. In the meantime -

+68159F5A-9C9D-4749-AF2D-D4DE10E882C0.jpeg.d3298b487a66a2fb5a3b6f0c1ee13d47.jpeg

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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10 hours ago, Bizeebee said:

If your boy is 9 and still has that much energy I'd wonder whether he's getting too many calories.

 

9 hours ago, MerseyGrey said:

Calorie wise - we are working our way through some Royal Canin 8+

Royal Canin 8+ has 27% protein which is high for a retired greyhound. The recommended amount is 20%. Feeding a high protein diet can cause kidney problems

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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some pups are just wild and have lots of craziness in them until the day they die! i had a friend whose 11 year old had a stroke- but was still able to run like a mad dog! as long as your dog is not over weight then it doesn't matter how much protein they have in their meals. enjoy those wild and crazy dogs! 

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11 hours ago, HeyRunDog said:

 

Royal Canin 8+ has 27% protein which is high for a retired greyhound. The recommended amount is 20%. Feeding a high protein diet can cause kidney problems

You recommended food from the greyhound trust and we are going to buy a couple of bags of that next, but we already had the Royal Canin (we buy in bulk and get it delivered to the in laws who are as retired as Buddy but not quite as speedy, then pick it up when we visit). It will boil down to what works for his tummy and prevents the release of toxic gases as well as whether or not he will actually eat it. The vet recommended RC although I noticed on subsequent trips there that they also sell it themselves...suspicious 

 

3 hours ago, cleptogrey said:

some pups are just wild and have lots of craziness in them until the day they die! i had a friend whose 11 year old had a stroke- but was still able to run like a mad dog! as long as your dog is not over weight then it doesn't matter how much protein they have in their meals. enjoy those wild and crazy dogs! 

I kind of hope Buddy is like this too. It’s such a joy to watch him as really does look like he’s enjoying himself

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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21 hours ago, cleptogrey said:

 

just watch out and don't get wiped out as they cut corners near you! that really hurts- pictures please!

 

As promised, although I’ve not worked out if I can put videos on there yet so these are all stills

 

 

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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Great pictures of a happy Buddy there. If he's falling as a result of too much exertion affecting coordination then I'd call a halt to it after a couple of runs. They are trained to put their all into running and need to learn that it is no longer mandatory in retirement.  That will still be plenty to keep his muscles in shape.  Rhabdo however is a real  threat if he collapses exhausted.

Consider feeding James Wellbeloved Turkey and Rice Kibble - that's a mid range one with the protein around 20%. They do a senior version of it too.

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Great looking greyhound. I love the one of him eyeing the last piece of pudding and Grace is jealous of his hairy posterior as she's a fully paid up member of the bald bum club :D

Another food you could try him on is Gain Maintenance which is slightly cheaper and is made specially for resting/retired greyhounds. I get it from Millbry Hill
 https://www.millbryhill.co.uk/pets-c6/gain-greyhound-maintenance-p5304

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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10 hours ago, HeyRunDog said:

Great looking greyhound. I love the one of him eyeing the last piece of pudding and Grace is jealous of his hairy posterior as she's a fully paid up member of the bald bum club :D

Another food you could try him on is Gain Maintenance which is slightly cheaper and is made specially for resting/retired greyhounds. I get it from Millbry Hill
 https://www.millbryhill.co.uk/pets-c6/gain-greyhound-maintenance-p5304

Thanks for the tip. The pudding picture was taken after Sunday lunch at a pub in Beddgelert called ‘The Saracen's Head’ during our heatwave in February. This place was very dog friendly and even served up doggie Sunday dinner (chicken, peas, carrots and gravy) and pudding for him (mashed banana with peanut butter), which he’d wolfed down when I took the photo. We then walked it off with a short trip to Gelert’s grave where he paid his usual tribute and peed on the grave.

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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I'm late to this party...

But my 2 cents is my 2 would bump while running around and go head over heels. Both would come out of it fine. So thats not a big deal. 

Just be mindful like others said about holes, etc in the field. 

 

Greyhounds: Amelia (Cataloosahatchee 9.10.17) & Carmen (Rebellious Bird 8.23.17)
Kitties: Raider my old man, Sophie the Fearless and Nalla the Purr Box
Rainbow Bridge babies never to be forgotten: Sidney (Kane's Seminole 11.14.08 - 9.26.19 ) June (Potrs June 6.1.09 - 3.1.19) 
Bella the Rottweiler, Spike, DC, Gilda & Killer kitties.

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Beautiful boy! And he looks like he's very much enjoying himself.  For me, it's a risk/reward analysis.  I have two 3-year-old Staghound littermates (failed coyote hunters).  One of them looks and acts just like a fuzzy greyhound--she LOVES to sprint at the dog park, including bounding into the woods and dashing along narrow trails through the brush.  Yes, sometimes she ends up with a scuff or a scrape (she has the typical greyhound thin skin), and a stitch or two might be in her future--but the joy she shows when she's running makes that minor risk acceptable to me.  I compare her running to my sports; I've done a variety of sports over the years, and sometimes I've gotten injured--but the joy of the sports has always made the injuries worth it.  I guess it's looking at the tradeoff between his enjoyment of running and the level of risk he's taking, and making the decision based on that...

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I think I’ll probably just let him off when it’s dry in there - or at least not too wet (so probably not much at all for the next six months!). I’ve walked the field and there are no major holes or big sticks where he tends to run. The biggest threat in that field seems to be the rabbit and bird carcasses that he can smell from 50 yards off and which he gobbles down enthusiastically 🤢

Living with Buddy Molly b. 5 November 2010. Welcomed home 16/6/2018 ❤️

Won 17/112 races at Romford - our champion Essex boy

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