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Greyhounds and children

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My partner and I have had our doggo for about a month, and we absolutely cherish her. She is really starting to come out of her shell and show her true self--she's so bouncy, quirky, and mischievous, all while being a bit shy yet. We love taking her out for zoomies--she's not super cuddly but is starting to demand attention and playtime, which is lovely. I love her excited barks and wiggles when my partner comes home from work--we sit in a special place to greet her and call it her "alter".

TLDR; she's not like any dog we've had but we like her alien ways

The reason for this is basically the last post in the forum (the one with the baby and growling grey). A number of you were pretty vehement about rehoming the dog, and rightfully so--it sounded like a bad situation. My question--can greyhounds and babies be done well? I was honest with our adoption group; we don't have children yet but are hoping to start trying in about three or four years. The director gave us a recommendation for a book (Childproofing Your Dog) and said that when we decided to have a baby, we could reach out and they would put us in contact with other adopters who had successfully integrated sighthounds and children in their homes. Additionally, we would fully have the child respect the dog--we aren't hoping to recreate any of those TheDodo videos (those make me nervous for numerous reasons). I know this is pretty early, considering that we don't want kids for a while, but I want to do this right.

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It can be done and each dog is different.  If it is to much for your greyhound to be around kids loud noise, random movement/noises then you have to accept that it is not a good match and needs a different home.  You have to be the one in charge of the safety 

Having a well trained dog first is the easiest way to introduce kids.  It does not have to be completion level just reliable in following commands, leave it, bed, stay, come, wait, being able to mess with his food pickup the bowl, put it down, take a toy, take a treat nicely and the like make it more enjoyable and likely to tolerate life with kids. Then if one or the other is getting out of hand a leave it, bed, stay, to the dog gives you time to remove the child.  Instead of worrying about the worst.

If I give my dogs a command I know it will respond if I am unsure than they need to be on a leash or some how contained.  A well behaved dog/child is welcome anywhere.  
My first greyhound was walked in a fenced in yard by a 2 year old.  They were best buddies.  All my others have been good around kids too. They were all taught how to interact with new environments some took longer than others. 

Start exposing your dog to new sights and sounds.  When the weather permits do training in the park to get used to the sights and sounds of kids.  Slowly working closer to where the kids are playing.  Have as many adventures in as many places as you can and you should be fine.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Junebuggy - and congrats on your new pup! Ex-racers truly are a different breed of dog in pretty much every way, which is why so many of us adore them. :) We've been adopting since 2004 and just adopted our 7th (we have 3 now!). 

We do not have kids and never will, so no advice there - but I wanted to also say - and I'm not trying to be a downer, only trying to inject a dose of reality... If you aren't planning on kids for another 3-4 years, and babies typically start crawling around, what - 9'ish months - you're looking at 4-5 years down the road? Number one, your greyhound will be a very different dog in 4-5 years. I'm not sure how old she is, but we've seen the most crazy, weird & quirky dogs turn into mellow, sweet, cuddlers (still quirky, though!).

Second, and this is the part that I'm sure a lot of people will label me as depressing, but there is absolutely no guarantee your pup will be around in 4-5 years. Sadly, very sadly, we've lost two of our greyhounds before they even turned 9. Another made it just past his 10th and our oldest was 13.5. In fact, we found out right after adopting our (now 8 year old) girl that one of her littermates died within a couple months of adoption from bone cancer at only 4 years old. :(

In a nutshell, enjoy the HECK out of your girl and don't worry about the future when you may, or may not, have kids that she may, or may not, get along with when they start crawling. Literally - cross that bridge with future you and don't spend another second worrying. Spend your time training her, socializing her, maybe spending quality time with respectful children now, and loving her - but don't fret. Honestly, if you worry about that now, you won't enjoy her (very short) life fully. 

And BTW, I guarantee there is an entire community of greyhound lovers that would adopt a rehome in a HOT SECOND if this situation ever happened in 4-5 years - especially given how difficult it will be to adopt an ex-racer in the US. If I were the adopter, I would also make darn sure that you got regular updates, photos and could visit and I'm sure a lot of others would do the same. 


Edited by Sundrop
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Yes, it's certainly possible, and raising a child with a dog (any dog, not just greyhounds), can be done very successfully.  But it takes firm rules about supervision and boundaries, and knowledge of both dog behavior and body language.  Many tragedies could have been averted just by observing the interactions and reacting appropriately.

There are many people here on GT that have managed to raise kids and dogs together.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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  • 2 weeks later...

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